Concealing Covid Hair Loss with Hair Extensions

Just recently, I’ve met several women who were distraught over losing a lot of hair, seemingly by the handful. Several months after a covid infection, they first noticed excess shedding while shampooing or brushing. As shedding continued, the change in their hair’s volume was becoming noticeable to others. Some had patches so thin they could see scalp. According to their doctors, the hair loss was likely temporary, a side effect of covid’s stress on the body, but that it could take 6-9 months for their regular hair growth cycles to return to normal. That’s an eternity when you’re feeling self-conscious about your hair.

"Can I get hair extensions to conceal my temporary hair loss due to Covid?"

Because I am a master hair extensions stylist, you know my answer is going to be “that depends.” But don't worry, there are a number of solutions to get you through the aftermath that don’t involve wearing a wig. Whether or not hair extensions are right for you will depend on a few factors such as the condition of your hair, where you are in the shedding process and the severity of hair loss. I offer my clients a free consultation in a private setting to assess these things and discuss the best options.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before getting hair extensions to conceal hair loss.

When did the shedding start?

I’ll get an idea of when your hair loss started so that I can determine where in the process you are. If you’re at the beginning of the hair loss, I may take a different approach than if you are near the end. If you’re in an early stage of shedding, I have to keep in mind that as your natural hair sheds, your extensions can also shed. For an early stage of hair loss, I would likely recommend a temporary style like HairBand. It slips on like a crown and gives volume and coverage all around the head. For a later stage of shedding, you could consider a long-term type of hair extensions like tape in extensions which attach with a medical grade waterproof adhesive.

Is the shedding mild or more severe?

For very mild shedding, there may be a solution that doesn’t involve hair extensions at all. I could suggest a hair fiber product. It’s a sprinkle on product in shade similar to your hair color and it “fills in” thin areas by clinging to your natural hair. It’s very effective especially on the top of the head and along your part, and it washes out when you shampoo. This product is great for men too!

For more severe cases of volume loss, of if you’re seeing thin or bare patches on top or around the crown of the head, I would recommend a HairBand or a clip in topper. Now let’s be clear, I’m NOT talking about shaving your head to apply a hairpiece with bonding glue! HairBand by HairTalk wraps around the head like a crown and adds volume all around, and Toppers add coverage to the top of the head with coverage all around. Both are considered hair extensions and they’re easy in, easy out. Beautiful coverage that starts at the top and cascades around the face in a single piece.  

If your shedding is somewhere in between mild and severe, then tape in extensions could be a good option. Tape in extensions aren’t just for adding length; they are very effective when you just want to “fill in” certain areas. With different sizes and densities of wefts available, tape ins can be tailored to add volume and coverage exactly where you need it. Tape ins have a large weft, compared to fusions or hand tied wefts, which will help give you added coverage to conceal the scalp in sparse areas.

How’s the condition of your hair?

Are you experiencing hair breakage as well as hair loss? When it comes to long-term hair extensions, those that attach to your natural hair, I need to determine if your hair is strong enough to hold the attachments, and which type of attachment would be best for you. For some clients with covid hair loss, I find a tape in hair extension works best because of the larger wefts of hair. They have more points of contact with your natural hair than a strand by strand extension like fusions or hand tied wefts. 

How much time are you willing to dedicate to maintaining your extensions?

This may be your first experience with hair extensions. Before proposing a solution for hair loss, you have to think about the maintenance required. Some hair extensions are designed for long-term wear; you’ll need to back every 6-8 weeks for adjustments. Other hair extensions like HairBand and Toppers are designed for short term wear and are removed before bathing or sleeping.

What about hair color?

If you’re totally new to hair extensions, you may be wondering about hair color. How on earth will I find hair extensions to match my strawberry blonde with a little bit of grey hair color. No worries! The hair extensions I carry have thought of everything. Not only are they available in a full spectrum of colors, because they are made of human hair, they can be further colored, highlighted or dyed in salon. I can match your color!

What else can I do for my Covid hair loss?

Talk to your healthcare provider about your hair loss concerns. Ask them about supplements to promote healthy hair growth. There are lots of over-the-counter supplements for hair, skin and nails. They don’t need to cost a lot of money, they just need to contain the nutrients your body needs to encourage hair to grow.

You could also try an in salon treatment, or at home treatment, that helps stimulate hair growth. I like ColorProof BioRepair, a three step anti-aging hair treatment line with a thickening shampoo, conditioner and serum.

Use a gentle brush for combing your hair, especially after shampooing. You don’t want to make your hair loss worse by applying too much stress or tension to wet or tangled hair. Brushes specifically designed for hair extensions do a good job and the bristles give your scalp a little helpful stimulation too.