Temporary Hair Loss May Be a Lingering Effect of COVID-19 in Survivors

Getty / Peter Dazeley

With novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in many parts of the country rising again, the pandemic is still very much top of mind. Every day we’re learning new information about the virus, like that hair loss can be a lingering aftereffect in survivors. According to Today.com and a survey of more than 1,500 people in the Survivor Corp Facebook group, 27 percent of patients recovering from COVID-19 report hair loss as an on-going problem – that’s more than a quarter of survivors.

This residual effect of the virus is due to a condition called telogen effluvium, and according to Harvard Health Publishing at Harvard Medical School, can be triggered by surgery, major physical trauma, physiological stress, illness, extreme weight loss, some medications, and more.

“Because hairs that enter the telogen phase rest in place for two to four months before falling out, you may not notice any hair loss until two to four months after the event that caused the problem,” reads the Harvard Medical School article. “Telogen effluvium rarely lasts longer than six months, although some cases last longer.”

While this COVID-19 recovery symptom is only temporary and should not lead to a long-term condition, you should visit your doctor if you’re concerned about your sudden hair loss, as well as follow a healthy diet and try to keep your stress levels down. (Which we acknowledge is easier said than done during this time.)

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