Health Advice



Do COVID-19 vaccines help keep you from going bald?

John Woolfolk, The Mercury News on

Published in Health & Fitness

The COVID-19 vaccines can help keep you from getting the nasty virus, missing many days of work or school, and ending up in the hospital or the graveyard.

But can they keep you from going bald?

“Rona can lead to hair loss,” warns a social media ad from California’s Vaccinate All 58 campaign depicting a fellow with a pencil-thin moustache in a baby-blue suit straight out of the 1970s, whose hair is being snatched from his head by a cat paw labeled “rona” — slang for the coronavirus: “Protect your melon. Get vaxed.”

Count Stanford Medical School professor and COVID-19 lockdown critic Dr. Jay Bhattacharya among the skeptics.

“Umm… Seriously?” Bhattacharya tweeted Sept. 21 after he said his daughter received the ad in her Facebook feed.

The California Department of Public Health confirmed the piece was one of their “assets,” but did not respond to questions about the science behind it — or the super cheesy cartoon.


However, there have been a number of reports and studies recently linking the virus to hair loss.

“Months after recovering from COVID-19, many people find that their hair is falling out in large clumps,” reports the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss.”

But the sudden hair loss experienced by COVID patients isn’t the same as the genetically linked gradual balding experienced by so many men — a condition that has made hair loss treatment a $3.4 billion industry in the U.S.

Instead, it is a sudden, stress-induced shedding, known medically as telogen effluvium, the American Academy of Dermatology says. It isn’t limited to men, and it isn’t only seen after a bout of COVID.


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