Can Mono Cause Hair Loss According To Health Experts?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Mononucleosis, often simply called 'mono', is a common illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. While it typically resolves without long-term effects, recent research suggests a potential link between mono and hair loss. This article will explore this connection in depth.

Can Mono Cause Hair Loss?

While not a direct cause, mono has been associated with hair loss in some cases. This is likely due to the body's response to the virus, which may trigger conditions like alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder resulting in patchy hair loss. However, it's important to note that such occurrences are relatively rare, and more research is needed to establish a definitive link.

The Connection Between Mono and Alopecia Areata

A study conducted in 2008 examined over 6000 individuals, out of which 12 had experienced an Epstein-Barr virus infection (mono) within six months prior to the onset of alopecia areata. This indicates that mono could potentially serve as a trigger for the autoimmune response causing alopecia areata, leading to hair loss.

Other Factors That Can Cause Hair Loss

Besides mono, several other factors can cause hair loss. Some medications, including those containing high levels of vitamin A and chemotherapy drugs, can lead to temporary hair loss. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid problems can also result in hair loss. Other medical conditions such as ringworm and trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder) can lead to hair loss as well.


In conclusion, while mono is not a direct cause of hair loss, it may potentially trigger conditions like alopecia areata, leading to hair loss. However, such instances are relatively rare, and more research is required to understand the connection fully. If you've recently had mono and are experiencing hair loss, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to identify the root cause and determine the most appropriate treatment approach.

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Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S. graduated from the Jinnah Sindh University in Karachi. He'll take the official medical licensing program in the US (USMLE) in September 2023. Bilal has a passion for research and has extensively fact-check and medically review articles under his name to make sure you have the most accurate information.