If you or someone you know recovered from COVID-19 weeks ago, but is now experiencing hair loss, don’t freak out. It’s perfectly normal.

Dermatologist and hair loss expert, Dr. Marc Glashofer, says it’s down to a temporary condition called telogen effluvium.

Our hair has both growing and resting phases, with about 90% of our individual hairs “growing” at any given time. And we normally lose up to 100 “resting hairs” per day, on average.

But that number can skyrocket when the body experiences physical trauma, like surgery, giving birth, a stressful life event - like the death of a loved one, or an illness - like COVID-19. Because extreme stress triggers the body to go into what’s called “conservation mode,” which eliminates unnecessary processes, like hair growth, to save energy for healing. And when more hair follicles are forced into the resting phase, they all fall out around the same time. In fact, this explains why a survey of 15‑hundred people in a COVID‑19 survivors’ group found that one-in-four reported losing more hair than usual. And it’s not just because the virus on itself. The stress of it, like from isolation and financial worries, can compound hair loss, too.

The good news is: Telogen effluvium is only temporary. After a few months, your hair should start growing back.