Statistics: COVID and Hair Loss

Dr. Karen Owen

This text was written according to the highest scientific standards and reviewed by medical experts. Find out more about our quality assurance.

Written by Erin D. Updated on 9 Feb 2024

While the world still reels from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, several studies have been published in its wake, discussing the long-term effects of the virus. Many of these studies have marked hair loss as one of the 60 persistent symptoms patients suffering from long Covid may experience. Thus, we at Medihair have compiled the latest statistics related to Covid and hair loss.

Most Important Findingssvg

Reasons for COVID Hair Loss COVID causes telogen effluvium
Is the Hair Loss Permanent? No, it is only temporary
What to do? Consult a doctor

COVID-19 Can Be the Cause for Hair Loss

Over the years, a number of factors have been linked to hair loss, including stress, side effects of medication and treatments, aging, poor diet, and even genetics. 

Covid has seemingly joined this list due to hair loss being recognized as one of the symptoms of long Covid. While each report’s details vary, all point to Covid causing telogen effluvium. A form of temporary hair loss that causes an increase in the number of hairs you shed on a daily basis. 

You can find most of these studies, along with their most important details, in the list below.  

  • A May 2022 study aimed to assess the prevalence of telogen effluvium among Covid-19 patients. Researchers gathered 198 patients hospitalized for Covid-19, identifying them through positive PCR tests. Out of these, 79 were male and 119 were female. 48 of these individuals showed signs of hair loss, with the condition being more prevalent in females than males.
  • A study conducted in Saudi Arabia published in October 2022 also backed up claims that Covid could cause hair loss. It involved around 806 Covid patients who were screened and selected for the study through online questionnaires. 52.7% of these individuals were noted to have experienced hair fall after 3 months of contracting the virus. 
  • An older study conducted in 2020-2021 also concluded that Covid was one of the leading causes of acute telogen effluvium. It involved a total of 39 non-hospitalized patients who had contracted a mild form of the disease. Within 2-3 months of contracting the disease, the subjects started showing signs of major hair loss, confirmed through hair pull tests. 
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What Are the Reasons for COVID Hair Loss

As discussed before, patients infected with Covid tend to suffer from acute telogen effluvium (ATE) in the long term. But what is ATE, and how does it cause hair loss? 


Explaining Telogen Effluvium and How Covid Triggers it

A human, on average, loses about 50 – 100 hairs a day, which is categorized as normal hair shedding. Telogen effluvium tends to accelerate this shedding, causing you to lose much more hair than normal on a daily basis. 

While Covid is known as one of the leading causes of the condition, ATE is not specific to Covid alone. It can actually be caused by any severe illness or stressful event. Our hair usually goes through 3 phases: The anagen phase, the catagen phase and the telogen phase. The anagen phase is known as the growth phase, the catagen as the transition phase and the telogen as the resting phase. 

Hair Growth Cycle

It is during the telogen phase that our hair starts shedding and getting replaced by new hair follicles. Telogen effluvium seems to speed up this process for many of your hairs, making them reach the telogen phase much quicker. 

So far, experts have come up with a number of different triggers for telogen effluvium, including surgery, blood loss, hospitalization, childbirth, the death of a loved one and a severe illness. As for Covid, these same experts believe the virus can cause hair loss in one of two ways. Either through the illness itself or through the stress it causes on the individual. 

Additionally, many researchers also believe that people who have had Covid-19 are 4 times more likely to develop ATE than those who have not. 

Is This Temporary Hair Loss or Permanent?

Thankfully, hair loss caused by telogen effluvium, and Covid as an extension, is temporary.

You will start to notice your hair coming out in clumps as you brush them around the 3-month mark of your illness or stressful event. This will probably continue for around 6 months until you start noticing that your hair volume is returning to normal.

Despite that, however, research shows that 41.5% of patients want to get a hair transplant as soon as possible. Meanwhile, 95.2% of hair transplant patients experienced a significant boost in their happiness after receiving a successful hair transplant. This just goes to show how much of an emotional impact even temporary hair loss can have. 

What Can You Do Against Covid Hair Loss?

It is always a good idea to consult a doctor as soon as you start noticing signs of hair loss. For one, they can help you confirm your theory about your hair loss being connected to your Covid diagnosis and not some other underlying condition. Secondly, they may even come up with ways to treat the underlying condition. However, in the case of hair loss caused by Covid, this is a highly unlikely scenario. 

Most doctors just advise their patients to take it easy and wait for the hair to grow back naturally. There are some who recommend applying topical medications like Minoxidil in order to speed up the regrowth process. They may even suggest taking the drug in the form of a pill if you’re in a hurry. 

However, that’s only in extreme cases, for patients anxious about their hair loss and for those who have a big event coming up, like a wedding, and need to get their hair back to normal by then. The quickest fix of them all is getting a hair transplant. Our recent cost analysis shows that the average cost of a hair transplant across the world is $14,298.49. 

The average cost of a hair transplant in the U.S alone is $13,610. Meanwhile, Turkey has the lowest average cost of $2,675, making the country a prime destination for cheaper hair transplant procedures.


While the pandemic has irreversibly changed the lives of many worldwide, it is good to know that the hair loss caused by Covid is temporary and reversible. 

To summarize, hair loss is classified as one of the 60 persistent symptoms of long Covid. Moreover, hair loss caused by Covid-19 is known to be a condition named telogen effluvium, and it is not specific to just Covid. It can be a by-product of any major illness or stressful event. 

Today, there exist 7000 plastic surgeons in the U.S alone, many of them adept at treating hair loss through medication or hair transplants. 

Thus, if you opt for treatment at the right stage, there is a very good chance that your hair loss will subside in 4-6 months. Allowing your hair to steadily return to its original volume. 



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