COVID-19 and Hair Loss: Is There Any Connection?

COVID-19

If you’ve had COVID-19, you likely suffered from some combination of fever, chills, aches, shortness of breath, and cough. Unfortunately for some, the problems don’t go away even after COVID has left your body. One of the lingering effects that many have experienced is hair loss. 

In this blog post, you’ll learn whether COVID-19 is connected to hair loss and what it’s been like for people who have had both COVID and hair loss. 

Does COVID Cause Hair Loss? 

While hair loss is not what most people have front of mind as they think about the effects of COVID, it seems clear at this point that there is some kind of connection. The connection may not always be direct, though.

Here is what we know at this point:

Studies have shown that people with COVID-19 also experience hair loss. One study of COVID patients in China revealed that 22% of those patients also had some kind of hair loss.1 

Hair loss can be caused by high levels of stress and trauma, something experienced by millions of people during the pandemic.2

On this view, you could have hair loss just from the stress of the pandemic in general, even if you didn’t contract COVID-19.

Fever can cause hair loss.3 From this perspective, you don’t necessarily have hair loss because of COVID, but because of the fever that comes with COVID-19. 

Telogen effluvium—the medical condition for people whose hair thins for a time—is often caused by trauma or fever.4 People who have had COVID-19 also have had telogen effluvium.

In general, while it may be difficult to pin down exactly what the causal link is between hair loss and COVID for any particular person, the evidence is clear: there is some kind of connection between COVID and hair loss. 

How Do People With COVID-19 Experience Hair Loss? 

For those who have hair loss after suffering from COVID-19, it usually happens several months after contracting the virus.5 Just like with fever or stress or trauma, the hair loss is not immediate. It takes some time. 

What does this look like? For many, it’s excessive hair shedding. While hair shedding is a normal part of life, what’s abnormal is when you lose more hair than is replaced. This is the medical condition called telogen effluvium, as mentioned above. It can feel like hair thinning, or you may lose big clumps of hair. 

The good news is that hair loss after a traumatic event is usually temporary. However, if you’re experiencing any kind of hair loss, contact Custom Hair Tampa Bay today by clicking here

Photo Credit: Surprising_Shots Via Pixabay

1 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32656-8/fulltext

2 https://www.forbes.com/sites/neeranathan/2020/06/30/why-extreme-stress-causes-hair-loss/?sh=1b7261eb4e6f

3 https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/patient-information/conditions-treated-a-to-z/hair-loss-alopecia-areata

4 https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/causes/COVID-19#:~:text=Fever%20is%20a%20common%20symptom,hair%20shedding%20is%20telogen%20effluvium.

5 https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/causes/COVID-19