Does Anesthesia Cause Hair Loss?

Maanvi Kashyap
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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does anesthesia cause hair loss

Have you noticed excessive hair fall after surgery?

This might happen due to anesthesia used during surgery to provide relaxation.

It happens due to a disturbance in the hair growth cycle.

This kind of hair loss falls under Telogen Effluvium.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, Telogen Effluvium might be the second most common cause of hair loss seen by dermatologists.

It is not a permanent hair loss condition like male pattern baldness.

Read the article to understand how anesthesia can cause hair loss.

Why does Anesthesia cause hair loss?

Anesthesia is a medical treatment that relieves pain in patients during procedures such as surgery, screening, diagnostic tests, tissue sample removal, and dental work.

Anesthesia slows down the fast-paced cell division in the hair follicles.

This leads to disturbance in the production process.

This means some body parts, such as hair follicles, are forced into the resting phase.

Although it is unclear whether anesthesia causes hair loss, patients and many doctors believe there is a link. 

If this is the case, it is more likely to occur after lengthy several-hour anesthetic periods than after shorter operations.

Cases of sudden, excessive hair loss, including hair loss caused by general anesthesia, can be termed Telogen Effluvium.

There are three stages in a hair cycle:

Anagen stage (growth phase): This is the active stage where the new hair follicle is produced.
Catagen stage (degradation phase): This is the transition phase where the hair stops growing.
Telogen (resting phase): The hair follicle is at complete rest during this phase.

A person is said to have Telogen Effluvium if they have frequent periods of hair shedding for more than six months and lose more than 100 hairs a day.

Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss characterized by hair thinning or increased shedding.

Telogen effluvium can be caused by various factors, including metabolic stress, changes in hormone levels, nutritional deficiencies, infections, and illnesses that cause fever or any stressful event to the body.

It is more common in women and is usually caused by a disruption in the hair cycle.

Stress due to the surgery can also impact the hair growth process.

During a stressful event, such as surgery, your body may divert the nutrients away from your vital organs, which may also lead to hair loss.

How to prevent hair loss after Anesthesia?

Man suffering from severe condition of Androgenetic AlopeciaSource: Andranik_Hakobyan_from_Getty_Images
A man worried about his sudden hair loss

Hair loss after anesthesia can be controlled with various treatments.

Depending on the severity, a hair expert can suggest the following treatments:


PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, is a popular hair regrowth treatment.

In this technique, an injection is used to the root of your hair to transfuse your blood platelets, which are known to have the ability to regenerate/repair cells.

The blood extracted from other areas of your body, such as your arm, is centrifuged to separate platelets from plasma. 

The platelets are injected back into the thinning or scanty regions of the scalp.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is also known as red hair therapy. 

It is a safe, non-invasive treatment for hair growth.

Laser lights can promote and repair the regeneration of tissues.

This treatment stimulates circulation in the scalp and increases hair growth.

Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injectionsSource: Oleksandra_Polishchuk_from_madproduction
Corticosteroid injections

Steroid injections treat hair loss caused by the body’s immune system attacking the hair follicles.

Usually, the immune system should fight infections. However, in some hair loss disorders, the immune system attacks the hair follicle, causing hair loss.

Steroids can prevent the immune system from attacking the hair follicles and stop hair loss.


Minoxidil is one of the two hair loss treatments approved by the FDA.

It comes in liquid, foam, and the prescription-needed oral form.

It helps in increasing blood circulation in the hair follicles, which helps in stimulating hair growth.

Medicines with MinoxidilApprox Cost
Hair4u 2%$6.60/unit
Hair4u 5%$21.61/unit
Tugain Solution 10$43.65/unit
Always consult a hair expert before going through any of the treatments, or it might have adverse effects.


Hair loss after surgery might be caused due to anesthesia.

This hair loss is temporary.

This kind of hair loss can come under Telogen effluvium.

The hair can grow back with treatments like laser therapy or PRP.

Consult your doctor before surgery if you are concerned about post-surgery hair loss.

Frequently asked questions

Does anesthesia affect your hair?

Yes, Anesthesia slows down the cell division process, which disrupts the hair cycle and causes hair follicles to enter the resting phase. This may result in excessive hair fall or hair thinning. Fortunately, this hair loss is temporary, and the hair can grow back with treatments recommended by experts.

Does all Anesthesia cause hair loss?

A research study has shown that Hypotensive anesthesia can lead to hair loss, especially positional Alopecia. This type of anesthesia is most commonly used during maxillofacial surgeries.

How can I prevent hair loss after anesthesia?

Hair loss after Anesthesia is not permanent, and with the help of treatments like Platelet Rich Plasma, Laser therapy, Minoxidil, etc., hair can grow back to its normal state within 3 to 6 months. A healthy, nutrition-filled diet can also help in hair regrowth.

How do you stop hair loss from Anesthesia?

Hair loss after anesthesia is temporary and can be stopped with treatments like Platelet Rich Plasma, Laser therapy, and Minoxidil. Minimizing stress and a healthy diet can also aid the process of hair regrowth.

Is it normal to lose a lot of hair after surgery?

Sometimes, hair loss can happen after surgery due to factors like Anesthesia or stress. Fortunately, hair loss after surgery is not permanent and can stop after undergoing treatments recommended by experts.

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