Has 2020 Done Weird Things to Your Body?

“I am seeing tons of hair loss,” Mona Gohara says.

Patients come to Gohara, a dermatologist and professor at the Yale School of Medicine, for all kinds of reasons from skin cancer screenings to cosmetic procedures. But this year more than ever, they’re worried about their hair.

It’s not a coincidence. Stress — like, say, that brought on by living through a deadly pandemic — is known to cause hair loss. Ordinarily, “90 percent of the hairs on our head are in the growing cycle; 10 percent are in the shedding cycle,” Gohara explained. “But when we’re subject to some type of physiologic or emotional stress, that cycle shifts to where the shed outweighs the grow.” The result: “people notice a massive, massive shed.”

And those stray hairs are part of a bigger trend. At this point, millions of Americans have spent nine months living through a public health nightmare and an unprecedented economic crisis at the same time. They have also had to cope with all this while avoiding gatherings, limiting physical contact, and, when possible, staying inside their homes. Put together, the isolation and anxiety of life in 2020 have brought with them numerous side effects. For one, they might be doing weird things to our bodies.

Excerpted from Vox

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