In April 2021, a 66-year-old man reportedly experienced severe hair loss temporarily after receiving both doses of the Moderna vaccine.
According to Lianhe Wanbao (Wanbao), the retiree named Chen Guo Liang received two doses of the Moderna vaccine in March and April 2021.
Some time later, his wife noticed more stray hairs in their bedroom. Her husband’s hair had also became more sparse.
Due to the severe hair loss, Chen’s thick black hair was reduced to a few patches of black and white. He was so distressed by this that he rarely left the house in the next few months.
After applying anti-inflammation cream and hair growth formula regularly, his hair gradually grew back in August 2021.
Read about woman in Japan lost hair after Moderna jab
Chen read an article from Wanbao about a woman, in her twenties, in Japan who received the Moderna vaccine in June 2021, and subsequently lost most of her hair within three weeks.
The woman later underwent blood and allergy tests but did not discover anything that could explain her hair loss.
Chen then contacted Wanbao to share his own experience of hair loss post-vaccination.
Four doctors could not answer
Chen stated that he saw four different doctors, including three general practitioners (GPs) and one dermatologist. None could confirm if his hair loss was a side effect of the vaccine.
Two of the GPs outrightly rejected the possibility, while the dermatologist said they could not be sure if there was a direct relationship between the hair loss and vaccination.
Could be “Telogen effluvium”
Infectious diseases expert Leong Hoe Nam spoke to Wanbao and stated that this might not be a side effect from the vaccine.
Instead, a possible cause is “Telogen Effluvium” (a scalp disorder that results in thinning of hair due to disruptions in the hair cycle) that emerged after vaccination.
According to Leong, a person’s body may respond to “shocks” from the external environment (such as being vaccinated) even if the person is unaware. In the two months following the “shock”, seventy per cent of hair may fall off.
Similarly, the American Academy of Dermatology states that hair loss due to fever or illness is common, citing telogen effluvium as the reason.
However, the hair would eventually grow back a few months later.
Post-Covid hair loss due to stress
While hair loss post-vaccination still seems uncertain, several doctors in other countries have reported that people who recovered from Covid-19 suffering from hair loss.
According to the Straits Times, Bangkok doctor Manoon Leechawengwongs stated that some of his patients suffered hair loss after recovery. However, he advised people not to be anxious as the hair loss would stop after four months and gradually grow back.
Manoon added that the hair loss was not directly caused by contracting coronavirus, but rather it was due to “high fever, stress and anxiety”.
Elsewhere in Japan, the National Centre for Global Health and Medicine reported incidents of patients who “experienced hair loss several months after contracting [Covid-19]”.
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Top image via Lianhe Wanbao