The health conversation for the week begins with an event set for Sept. 5 in Henrico County, expands statewide for news of additional funding for a telephone helpline for those in need of a mental health boost in dealing with the pandemic and ends with a look at a puzzling condition experienced by some people recovering from COVID-19.
A health event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5, at the Eastern Henrico Recreational Center on Laburnum Avenue, with offerings including a blood drive, sickle cell anemia awareness activities, free flu shots (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), music, care packages for seniors and other activities. It’s part of the Helping Our Community Outreach Series, and the sickle cell anemia awareness and the blood drive is offered through a partnership of Real Talk With Monica and Rising Towards Success with the American Red Cross, according to a release.
Commonwealth residents in need of help in dealing with the stress and cares of life in a pandemic can talk with trained counselors through Virginia Copes at 877-349-6428. The free service is described as a “warmline” and is designed to offer people contending with behavioral health issues stemming from the pandemic “an easy way to discuss daily struggles,” according to a release. The service was set up in May, and more than 270 people have called, according to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. A federal grant of $996,000 will pay for continuing the service through May 2021.
Coronavirus and Hair Loss
The list of side effects and symptoms that people with novel coronavirus must contend with continues to grow and apparently includes hair loss. That’s according to a Facebook survey from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the nonprofit COVID-19 group Survivor Corps that asked virus survivors about symptoms they had experienced.
Should you be concerned? Here’s some insight into hair loss from Crystal Alvis, a master colorist and cosmetology instructor and a Richmond magazine contributor:
Under normal conditions, hair goes through cycles of growth. The growth phase is called anagen, the resting phase is catagen, and the shedding phase is telogen. We cycle through these phases regularly, with our hair going through all of them simultaneously in a dance as old as time.
When systemic disease, shock or stress occurs, the body responds by sending a larger percentage of hair into the telogen phase. Telogen effluvium is a temporary condition that resolves itself once the body has time to recover from the stress and shock produced during the illness.
Rest assured, you won’t lose all of your hair. The hair all over your body is stopping and starting the various cycles constantly, so only the hair in catagen or telogen is affected. You may notice a reduction in growth during this time, but once the phases resume, growth will return, creating fullness again.
If you experience baldness in spots or significant shedding lasting longer than three months, see your physician, as it could be a sign of a greater problem. In the meantime, gentle scalp massage is a great way to stimulate growth.