A woman who was left devastated after losing hair to Covid-19 has regrown it with an £8 product in a matter of months, despite doctors saying it would take at least a year. 

Smita Jalaf, 33, from Birmingham, noticed that her hair started to fall out in the shower weeks after she tested positive for Covid-19 in January 2021.

For her, the experience was like a ‘horror film’ as the locks would fall out in ‘clumps’ as she brushed or washed her hair. Eventually, Smita’s scalp became visible. 

She organised a Zoom call with her GP to get to the bottom of the issue, but the GP initially believed it was a deficiency. 

Following on from this, she phoned again and went for blood tests which came back normal. The doctor then diagnosed the hair loss as a side-effect of coronavirus, due to her weakened immune system.

‘I felt mortified, saddened and ugly. I had lost one of my best features,’ Smita explains. ‘I had a bad experience with Covid anyway but the hair loss made it 10 times worse. 

‘Now I was ugly, vulnerable and not special anymore.’ 

To try to combat the issue, the digital marketer cut her hair into a shoulder-length bob. All the while, Smita continued to struggle with the fatigue and loss of appetite that Covid-19 caused. 

‘I was really, really weak,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t eat anything. It was awful.’

‘Growing up Indian I always had long thick hair. My doctor told me my immune system got so weak that my hair then started to fall out. 

‘So I was in the shower washing my hair and I’m not talking bits and bobs, I’m talking about chunks falling out. 

‘It looked like a horror film. I wasn’t really eating properly so my immune system got to the point where there wasn’t much energy in my body. 

‘Your hair thrives on things like protein and vitamins and I didn’t really have any of that so it continued to get worse.’

As weeks progressed, Smita’s self-esteem nosedived as others started to notice the hair loss. 

‘Indian women always have beautiful hair,’ she notes. ‘I felt like it was taking away my nice features and beauty away. 

‘I lost a big part of myself. My friends and family did play a role in making me feel self-conscious. The first thing people would say would be “Your hair! What happened to you?” and “Oh my god your hair is gone.” 

‘I had to put a brave face on. Inside I didn’t feel great.’ 

Devastated to lose one of her defining features, Smita searched the internet for a solution.

She decided to invest in an expensive range, including a Grow Gorgeous bundle worth £93.50,  Wild Lemon Hair Growth Oil costing £41.99 and the Revolution Haircare Salicylic Acid Clarifying Scalp Serum, which costs just £8. 

By May 2021, Smita noticed her hair starting to thicken and regrow. 

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‘I’ve really had to change my whole routine,’ she shares. ‘I’m staying away from heat so I’m not straightening or curling my hair every two days. 

‘Using better products with less chemicals in them has helped. Before I would pick up something from the supermarket. Things are much better now, my hair is healthier, thicker and not falling out. 

‘This is due to me changing my whole attitude. I have adopted a holistic routine for my hair. My hair is a lot shorter because I have a lot of short tufts of new hair growth. 

‘I am used to the short hair now and happy.’ 

With her confidence restored, Smita shares videos on Tiktok detailing tips and haircare advice. Her clips have garnered over 50,000 views. 

‘Honestly your video inspired me to get my Covid jab! Glad yours grew back,’ wrote one viewer. 

Someone else added: ‘Wow! I’m feeling hopeful now. I had Covid in May. Recently my hair has been shedding every time I wash and comb it. Hope it’s in stock soon.’ 

Finally, Smita wants to reassure others that hair loss can be fixed and not to lose faith. 

‘Covid is not a normal disease,’ she adds.

‘It can have serious implications like it did with me. To others going through the same thing – there is a way back from hair loss.’

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