Can Mold Cause Hair Loss? Exploring the Connection

Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Mold exposure is commonly associated with respiratory issues, but some molds may also impact hair and scalp health leading to temporary or permanent shedding.

Can mold cause hair loss?

Certain indoor mold species are capable of inducing telogen effluvium by secreting inflammatory mycotoxins that can disrupt the hair growth cycle in sensitive individuals.

Common Culprit Molds

Stachybotrys chartarum ("black mold") and several Penicillium/Aspergillus varieties frequently contaminate damp indoor environments like basements or bathrooms.

Mechanism of Toxicity

Mycotoxins act as potent trichothecenes, inducing an inflammatory immune response on the scalp that prematurely halts growth phases over time.

Symptoms of Mold-Induced Shedding

Increased, diffuse shedding observed 2-4 months after exposure begins. Hair may also appear dry, brittle without usual luster.

Potential for Permanence

If exposure stops early, hair typically fully regrows in 4-6 months. Prolonged contact increases likelihood of residual scarring AGA.

Avoidance and Treatment

Thorough remediation of source(s) combined with antifungal shampoos/supplements often restores hair if caught before extensive loss.

Consult Experts

If suspected, have indoor air professionally tested and address any contaminants to prevent ongoing damage to hair and health.

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