Our research has found that there is a strong link between the novel coronavirus and hair shedding.
22% of COVID-19 patients demonstrated hair loss (The Lancet)
71% were diagnosed with clinically significant hair loss out of 41 male patients admitted in Spain due to COVID-19.
In a study done by Survivor Corps, more than one-third reported hair loss relating to COVID-19.
Androgenetic alopecia has been proposed as a cutaneous marker for elevated severity risk from COVID-19.
Source: The Lancet
Is COVID-19 linked to hair fall?
Many people have complained of hair loss after recovering from a severe Covid-19 infection. However, the extent of association of hair loss with Covid-19 Infection and the mechanism behind it is yet to be discovered.
Actress Alyssa Milano posted a video on Twitter slowing large strands from her head after brushing her wet hair.
In May 2020, a study was conducted on 175 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 Infection. Results showed that 67% of the participants suffered from androgenic alopecia.
A similar study was conducted in July 2020 to compare balding patterns in 2000 hospitalized men. Out of all the participants, 390 men were hospitalized with Covid-19 while 1910 were hospitalized without Covid-19 infection. Results showed a higher prevalence of baldness among patients positive for Covid-19.
A November 2020 population survey was conducted on approximately 43,000 people to study the link between hair loss, co-morbidities, and Covid-19 outcome. The results demonstrated an independent association of hair loss with severe Covid-19 infection.
According to The New York Times and a recent study reported in The Lancet, 22% of the patients hospitalized in China with Covid-19 Infection experienced hair loss six months after recovery.
According to Dr. Esther Freeman, the one in charge of the Dermatology COVID-19 Registry, having 1,000 cases from 38 countries, reported a rising number of people reporting hair loss after recovering from Covid-19 Infection.
Despite several reported cases, there is still minimal research to support the association of hair loss and Covid-19 Infection. Therefore, further investigation is required to clarify this issue.
Diana Barrett surveyed her Survivor Corps Facebook group. She revealed that more than one-third of the 1700 members complained of hair loss after recovering from Covid-19 infection.
Source: Survivor Corps
Stress might be the cause
None of the chemical or biological responses within the human body explains the direct link between Covid-19 Infection and hair loss. Therefore, doctors blame emotional and physical stress that accompanies Covid-19 Infection, the reason behind reversible hair loss called telogen effluvium.
Dr. Susan Massick is a renowned dermatologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, explains:
Dr. Aurora Pop-Vicas, an infectious disease specialist at UW Health in Madison, Wisc, says:
According to Dr. Greg Vanichcakhorn, the medical director of the COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn:
Therefore, hair shedding after the Covid-19 infection is due to this insult to the body. However, the delayed presentation makes it tricky to determine whether the hair fall is directly related to Covid-19 or not.
Reference and further reading