How Does COVID Cause Hair Loss?

Research has shown that nearly 30% of clinical trial subjects who had contracted SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID) suffered from telogen effluvium. This stressor-induced diffused hair loss appears as general thinning throughout the scalp. This type of biological trauma causes the hair follicles to become stuck in the telogen phase for extended periods. While lifestyle changes often correct this condition for traditional patients, COVID-induced telogen has become common. Some individuals may feel as though their hair never returned to its original state. In many cases, telogen effluvium can develop into a chronic issue. 

Unfortunately, the medical community lacks data about how COVID may be inducing telogen effluvium or whether compounding traumas like those seen with many other types of hair loss are occurring. The initial assumption of research states that the physical trauma caused by the virus puts undue stress on the body, resulting in the body prioritizing its energy on restoring more life-critical organs such as the lungs and heart. As a consequence, the hair takes a hit. Others believe that due to the COVID virus having a substantially negative impact on the respiratory system, tissue perfusion may decline, resulting in less oxygen flow to the scalp. 

People who already have issues with hair loss from androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness or female pattern loss) or hormonal imbalances may experience dramatically expedited loss of hair. If you are already predisposed to hair loss, you shouldn’t wait to get ahead of the problem; waiting may make it more challenging to resolve. 

Before covering the next topic, which may be more controversial, individuals should understand that all research regarding COVID-19 in any health-related capacity is still in its infancy. It takes many years for firm data to be validated. 

Keeping this point in mind, it’s also important to recognize potential correlations between vaccination and hair loss. Some reports have documented complaints about people experiencing hair loss after receiving their vaccination(s) for COVID-19. Published research through the NIH (National Institutes of Health) suggests that patients with specific types of hair loss, such as alopecia areata, may experience a recurrence of their respective disease process. This recurrence has occurred in patients who haven’t had episodes in many years. Fortunately, several treatment options are available for men and women that have shown promise in treating COVID-related hair loss.

Treatment Goals

If your hair loss is related to COVID-19, the primary goals of the various therapies for hair loss treatment are focused on improving density and regrowth while correcting or aiding in proper regeneration and hair cycling. 

More specifically, we aim to accomplish the following:

  • Elongation of the growth cycle.
  • Shortening of the telogen cycle.
  • Formation of new blood vessels, collagen, and elastin.
  • Assisting the body in the proper regeneration of the hair follicle.
  • Improving patency of existing blood vessels.


Some candidates could accomplish these goals through nonsurgical hair restoration and treatment options or surgical intervention via FUT or FUE hair transplant surgery.

Vitamins, supplements, topical compounds, serums, and injectables can also go a long way toward strengthening and nourishing hair follicles.

Who Is a Candidate for Hair Loss Treatment?

Many people experiencing hair loss can be candidates for various hair restoration treatments, and COVID-related hair loss treatment is no exception. However, some people may not be a candidate due to other disorders, such as various autoimmune disorders. If you are concerned about your hair loss, schedule a complimentary consultation by contacting our hair restoration experts at MAXIM Hair Restoration at 802-370-3227 or completing a contact form.