Actress Alyssa Milano took to social media earlier this month to reveal a lesser-known effect of COVID-19: hair loss.
On a video posted on Twitter, the “Charmed” star showed large clumps of strands coming out of her brush after running it through her wet hair.
“This is my hair loss from COVID-19. Wear a damn mask,” said Milano, who recently tested positive for coronavirus antibodies after having symptoms of the disease in April.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not include hair loss on its list of COVID-19 symptomsTrusted Source, doctors say there’s compelling evidence that it can be a long-term effect from the illness.
Here’s what we know so far about COVID-19 and hair loss.
Hair loss among ‘long-haulers’
Milano isn’t the only COVID-19 survivor who is now experiencing hair loss. On the Survivor Corps Facebook group, there are dozens of posts about hair loss among people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 and still have lingering effects months later, also known as “long-haulers.”
A survey created by the group’s founder, Diana Berrent, revealed that more than a third of the 1,700 respondents say they’ve had hair loss after enduring COVID-19.
Dr. Dendy Engelman, a dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, said she started seeing an uptick in patients with hair loss about 6 weeks after the initial stay-at-home orders were implemented in New York in mid-March.
“There’s been at least a 25 percent increase in people coming in with hair loss, and that’s from a place of already being busy dealing with hair disorders,” said Engelman. “It’s not yet documented on major medical sites as a symptom, but patients show me their positive test results.”