The Year Everyone’s Hair Fell Out

Posted on November 17, 2021


Life in the Boomer Lane has been getting used to her hair not only falling out, but flying across rooms and nestling in surprising places. She has noted hair inside freshly washed laundry, hair clinging to furniture, and hair doing a balletic freefall onto laptop keys as she types this blog post. While she considered any number of life-threatening maladies that must have beset her, she derived solace from only one source: a piece by Amanda Mull in the November 12 issue of Atlantic. LBL, no stranger to getting info, inspiration, and direct quotes from other sources, took Mull’s title as her own.

Mull notes that “the pandemic has manufactured trauma at an astonishing clip.” She then goes on to detail both short-term and long-term hair loss by those who have contracted Covid and by many more who live in fear of contracting Covid. And then there are the areas of life indirectly affected by Covid: the loss of loved ones or friends, job loss, etc. Add to that are the parents stuck at home with school-age children, grandparents unable to see grandchildren, anti-vaxxers who have nightmares about the government implanting chips in their arms, and people still waiting for JFK Jr to come back to be Trump’s VP.

Doctors have seen a flood of new patients detailing sudden, scary hair loss. People are scrambling to remedy their situations. They buy special shampoos and conditioners, they do at-home deep-treatments, they sleep on silk pillowcases, wear hair-restoring bonnets at night, and hairnets during the day. They then still watch precious hair being sucked into the shower drain and wads of semi-solid hair globs (hair mixed with hair products) accumulating on the tops of the drain . The only folks who get any benefit to any of this are the manufacturers of all these products.

Row of generic plastic bottles in a bathroom.
(Enviromantic / Getty)

Compared to the ongoing issues that are eating away at their souls (excessive malpractice insurance, surly offspring, potentially unfavorable tax laws), most doctors don’t get very excited about patients’ hair loss woes. Some years ago, LBL rushed to a doctor, after experiencing sudden hair loss. She detailed her woes to the doctor, who chuckled and said, “You women. My wife gets hysterical about the same thing.” He came close to patting her on the head, before he sailed out of the exam room. It was only later that LBL found out that the onset of menopause is often accompanied by sudden hair loss. Nature, it seems, has a lot of tricks up her sleeve to turn otherwise ordinary women into something other than ordinary, as they sail over menopause’s threshhold.

LBL will leave it to experts to figure out a remedy to all of this. But she strongly suspects that, no matter how many products or therapies are developed, there is one mega overriding issue that strikes paralyzing fear into the hearts of most people, starting in 2016 and, now, along with Covid, is affecting their ability to hold onto their hair: the constant thought that we are inhabiting a world (or simply a country) in which everything we thought was good (honest, well-meaning politicians, social programs that help people, vaccines that keep people from dying, people paying their fair share of taxes, and a basic respect for government, are actually very bad and very wrong and very Socialist or Communist or evidence of devil worship.

Science, education, modern medicine, healthcare, and stopping at red lights are now an indication of the government trying to ruin our lives. Hair, something that used to be considered good if it sat on top of our heads (as opposed to inside our nostrils or, in the case of humans who we used to refer to as “females,” above our upper lips), has probably now, along with principled politicians and basic rules of civility, abandoned ship.

LBL mourns the passing of hair, almost as much as she mourns the passing of a country in which decency often won out in the end. She does advise you to read Mull’s article. It’s outstanding. Mull has a lot more to say about hair, if not about our ongoing political debacle. She has obviously left that to LBL, who as Loyal Readers may have noticed, has a never-ending supply of words, that, like her hair, will drift over everything she touches.