Scottish mother was left with bald spots after losing 80% of her hair due to ‘Covid trauma’

A Scottish mother has told how she has lost 80 per cent of her hair after getting Covid.

Martha Bradford tested positive for the virus in July and spent three days in the hospital after her symptoms worsened.

The 43-year-old began to notice large lumps of hair falling out of the shower – and just weeks later, she had lost 80 percent of her hair.

Martha’s condition is caused by telogen effluvium, an extreme reaction of the body that occurs during high levels of stress.

Martha told Record: “I just noticed that more hair came out than usual in the shower. I’ve always had lots of thick, curly hair, and it often came out when I washed it, but it was different.

“There was so much more.”



The mother of four was sent to Crosshouse Hospital in July after she began struggling with her breathing while battling Covid.

After three days she was discharged to her home in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, but within a few days she began to notice that large lumps of her hair fell out.

In August, Martha had large bald spots on her head and her scalp was sore and painful.

Her spiral state caused her to become anxious and withdrawn as she chose to wear the headscarf and stopped going out to see friends.

The self-employed Martha said that her hair was once her pride and joy, but now it does a lot to hide it.



The mother of four recovered enough to be discharged to her home in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, but only a few weeks later she began to notice large lumps of her hair falling out.

She said, “Losing my hair was heartbreaking. It beat my confidence. My hair was my thing. It was what made me confident, so losing it was a big thing for me.

“I’m on a lot of video calls because of work and I wanted a scarf on them.

“If anyone came to the door, I would wrap a towel around my head as if I had just washed it, or I would say I was doing a conditioning treatment.

“Anything so people could not see my hair and how it had all fallen off.”



Martha, who has since been diagnosed with long-term Covid after repeatedly suffering from lung infections, went to specialists at Trichology Scotland in Glasgow.

The team used technology to scan her scalp and test her hair follicles, revealing that she had lost 80 percent of her once thick, curly hair.

Trichologist Wil Fleeson explained to Martha that her temporary hair loss was down to telogen effluvium.

Martha said: “My GP initially said it could be a side effect of Covid, and then after various tests, Will confirmed at Trichology Scotland that it was telogen effluvium – a trauma response to Covid.



“It’s apparently quite common after childbirth or serious illness, but I seemed to have had it particularly bad.

Wil, who founded Trichology Scotland, says more and more customers are coming into his clinic with hair loss conditions after getting Covid.

He said: “We have never seen so many people come through the doors with these hair loss conditions triggered by a trauma to the body as we have done in the last 18 months.

“Sometimes hair loss does not happen until two or three months after a patient has been through a traumatic or stressful event.



Martha was then directed to Hair Solved in Glasgow, which was able to patch her hair up using £ 1,700 mesh hair extensions.

“In Martha’s case, she suffered from acute telogen effluvium, which meant that her hair began to fall out particularly quickly, which rarely happens, but the emotional impact when it does can be devastating.”

Martha was referred to Hair Solved in Glasgow, who was able to patch her hair up using £ 1,700 mesh hair extensions.

She said: “They were expensive, but the difference they have made for how I feel is honestly invaluable.”

Martha has been told that her hair should grow back in 12-18 months.

She added: “I know I’m one of the lucky ones. A lot of people lost their lives to Covid, but I only lost my hair and I’m grateful for that.

“I can already see signs that my hair is returning, so it’s promising. I just hope by sharing my story that it will raise awareness and help everyone out there who might be going through this.”

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