Ranvir Singh has been suffering with alopecia (hair loss) since she was a child, and the Good Morning Britain and Strictly Come Dancing star has spoken out about her battle several times during her adult life.
According to charity Alopecia UK, the condition affects approximately 1 in 1000 people, but a study published in the medical journal The Lancet revealed that hair loss could also be a long-term side effect of contracting coronavirus, meaning that it could become more common.
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The findings revealed that of the study participants, 22% suffered from hair loss, while authors of the study added that alopecia was "more common in women than in men".
The NHS, however, doesn’t cite hair loss as a symptom of coronavirus, but several people have spoken out about suffering from hair loss and alopecia since testing positive.
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Khloe Kardashian is the latest. Speaking to Refinery29, the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star explained: "When I got COVID, I actually lost a great deal of my hair. It happened in chunks, and it was like two or three weeks after I had COVID. I was really bummed – you don't feel good about yourself. A couple of months after, my doctor, who is a great friend of mine, was like, 'You know what, I've seen so many women, specifically, who have lost a lot of hair and they think it's because of COVID."
The American Academy of Dermatology confirmed that there is significant evidence to support the claim that coronavirus could cause hair loss, while dermatologist Dr Annie Chiu, explained to Refinery29 that this comes down to "acute telogen effluvium".
"The virus pushes growing anagen hairs into telogen, so you will see prominent hair loss in a short amount of time," she explained.
That said, it's not necessarily the be all and end all. Khloe has since added that her hair has recovered and is now back to its usual healthy state, while not enough time has passed to show whether it could be a lasting effect from contracting the virus.
The loss of hair as an effect of coronavirus could also come down to stress, which is what GMB host Ranvir says initially brought on her condition.
"I was only eight when my dad had his first heart attack," she told the Mirror in 2015. "It was absolutely devastating. I'd have nightmares and wake up crying. That was also the start of my alopecia.
"A year later, my dad had a second heart attack and died. My world was completely ripped apart, and that's when the hair loss went completely haywire."
She adds that doctors told her it was a result of her body shutting down from the shock of losing her father.
Now though, Ranvir has cemented several hacks to feeling more confident, including having a fringe cut into her hair, using tinted thickening powders and hair extensions, and most recently having her eyebrows microbladed.
For more information on alopecia and coronavirus, visit Alopecia UK.
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