Can Prednisone for Allergies & Asthma Cause Hair Loss?


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Prednisone is a versatile medication — but it has a few potential side effects. Does prednisone cause hair loss? It’s possible, though there’s not much evidence to confirm it.

You may have been prescribed prednisone for asthma, allergies or inflammatory conditions. For many people, prednisone is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to treating these medical issues.

But every silver lining has its cloud. And every medication has its side effects — prednisone included.

So, does prednisone make your hair fall out? And if so, why does prednisone cause hair loss?

While there are many well-documented side effects of the drug, little research examines whether prednisone hair loss is a thing. Let’s take a look at what we do know about corticosteroids and hair loss.

What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a type of steroid — not the kind that helps you bulk up your muscles but rather a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are prescription medications used to treat inflammatory conditions.

Prednisone is prescribed for issues like:

  • Asthma

  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and psoriasis

  • Cancers, including certain leukemias and lymphomas

  • Certain types of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and gout

  • Certain blood disorders

  • Eczema and other skin conditions 

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) 

  • Joint pain and inflammation

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Severe allergies

Prednisone treats these conditions because it stops the immune system from causing inflammation (or swelling). Although inflammation can be a necessary immune system function, too much inflammation can be a problem.

It would appear to be a great medication if you’re suffering from any number of conditions — but what effect does it have on your hair? Can prednisone make your hair fall out, and if so, is prednisone hair loss permanent?

We’ll answer these questions, but let’s first go over prednisone’s known side effects and look at what the research says.

(RelatedBiotin for Hair Growth: Can It Help With Hair Loss?)

What Are the Side Effects of Prednisone?

When taking prednisone, there are some side effects to be aware of. 

The most common prednisone side effects include:

  • Appetite changes

  • Fluid retention

  • Headaches

  • Indigestion and nausea

  • Insomnia

  • Mood swings

  • Weakened immune system

  • Weight gain

Prednisone can also cause some serious but rare side effects, including high blood pressure. And it’s possible to be allergic to prednisone (which is ironic since it’s often used to treat allergic reactions).

But generally, adverse reactions are more common in people who take high doses of prednisone or use it for a long time.

Word to the wise: Always use prednisone exactly as prescribed, and don’t take an extra dosage. If you’re experiencing any side effects of prednisone, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice.

Can Prednisone Cause Hair Loss?

The short answer? Maybe. Here’s what we know.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) listings for certain formulations of prednisolone mention thinning scalp hair as one possible side effect. While scalp thinning isn’t a common side effect of prednisolone, it’s still a potential side effect — and one that you should be aware of.

You may have read a few blog posts or Reddit threads about prednisone and hair loss, but most of these are based on anecdotal evidence, not rigorous studies.

Hair loss isn’t listed as a side effect of prednisone by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The only mention of the word “hair” is a suggestion that the medication may cause “increased hair growth” (or hirsutism), which the FDA doesn’t note.

Who are we to believe? 

Well, the NLM website says the entry was updated in March 2020, and the FDA listing is from 2012.

So, time may have changed things — hair loss as a side effect might have been disproven. 

But perhaps both are more or less right. It’s possible hair loss is a rare side effect or a sign of overdose, which would technically be in a different category from side effects.

One thing’s for sure: There aren’t any rigorous studies proving a link between hair loss and prednisone.

(RelatedCan Finasteride Regrow a Receding Hairline?)

Do Other Steroids Cause Hair Loss?

You might have heard that anabolic steroids cause hair loss. These meds are usually prescribed to treat hormone imbalances like low testosterone. They’re sometimes used by athletes, weightlifters and people with conditions that cause reduced muscle tissue to put on muscle mass.

Anabolic steroids are basically synthetic testosterone. Androgen hormones — particularly one called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — are associated with male pattern baldness. But there’s little evidence that steroids cause high levels of DHT.

So, if you’ve noticed increased hair fall-out or a thinning hairline after steroid use, it’s very possible another cause is at play.

Is Prednisone Hair Loss Permanent?

If you do happen to experience hair loss from a steroid like prednisone or another prescription drug you’re taking, it’s probably not permanent. Medication-related hair loss is usually telogen effluvium, a form of excess shedding that’s most often temporary.

When you stop taking the medication, it’ll most likely grow back. In the meantime, hair loss treatments might help — we’ll get into these below.

Prednisone for Treating Hair Loss

In some situations, prednisone may actually be used as a treatment for hair loss. 

Studies like this one from 2009 cite intravenous (injected into a vein) prednisone use as a treatment for a type of hair loss called alopecia areata. 

A 2020 study notes that corticosteroids, including prednisone, might even be effective at treating alopecia areata in children.

Why would this treatment be good for hair loss? Well, because alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. With alopecia areata, your immune system attacks and damages your hair follicles, disrupting the hair growth cycle, often to the point of preventing hair growth.

Since corticosteroids are used to treat autoimmune conditions, it makes sense that prednisone could treat alopecia areata.

How to Treat Hair Loss

As mentioned, prednisone is actually an effective treatment for some kinds of hair loss.

But if you’re experiencing hair loss and think it may be due to prednisone, the first thing to do is contact your healthcare provider. They can investigate the cause of your hair loss and recommend whether or not to stop treatment. 

If the hair loss is noticeable, you might want to talk to your provider about potential treatments to return some luster to your hair. 

Effective, science-backed treatment options for hair loss include: 

Want to avoid thinning or dull hair? You could also try the following:

Remember, though, that hair loss could be a symptom of another health issue. So it’s a really good idea to speak with a healthcare professional if you notice thinning hair, bald patches or increased hair fall-out. 

Prednisone and Hair Loss: The Verdict

So, does prednisone cause hair loss? Probably not — at least, based on the current research.

The relationship between corticosteroids and hair loss is complicated, but here’s the TL;DR:

  • Prednisone hair loss isn’t a proven side effect. However, the FDA notes that some formulations of the medication may cause hair thinning. 

  • Prednisone can actually treat some forms of hair loss. Corticosteroids may be effective for treating alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that damages hair follicles.

  • You’re wise to chat with a medical professional. If you have noticeable hair loss — whether you think it’s caused by prednisone or something else — it’s always best to consult a professional.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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Discover the Most Popular Hairstyles the Decade You Were Born

Discover the Most Popular Hairstyles the Decade You Were Born

There are so many things that define each decade, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. But none of the things we’ve looked back on were quite as polarizing as the hairstyles. From piled-high funky styles to buzzed dos, here are the most popular hairstyles from the decade you were born, spanning from the 40s to the 2000s. 

Wikipedia / Mediafeed

Inspired by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood women at the time, the victory roll hairstyle featured tight curls pinned toward the face to frame it. Victory rolls were customizable, so you could opt for a single roll or different symmetrical or asymmetrical versions of dual rolls. 

Other popular hairstyles of the decade for women included tight curls, waves, and the pageboy. Women were also big on hair accessories, particularly the snood, which was essentially a crocheted bag used to cradle the hair and keep it in place. Both men and women sported the infamous pompadour during the ’40s. Men were also partial to quiffed hair or short curls and were also prone to just slicking their hair back.

Wikipedia / U.S. Army – Yank, the Army Weekly

Everyone knows the beehive hairstyle, whether you associate it with the ’50s or Amy Winehouse. All you had to do to be cool in the 1950s was pile your hair on top of your head in a conical shape to resemble a beehive. Lots of hairspray was needed for this one.

If your hair wasn’t long enough for the beehive, you might have sported other bouffant hairstyles, a poodle cut, an Italian cut, victory rolls, or even a pixie cut. Men were still into the slicked-back look along with side parts, the pompadour, or — if they were influenced by Elvis later in the decade — a Rockabilly do.

Wikipedia / Warner Bros.

Bouffant (derived from the French verb “bouffer,” which means to puff or fluff up) hair became popular during the 1950s, but dominated in the 1960s thanks to the iconic Jackie Kennedy sporting the style. The puffy, rounded hairdo was especially popular among housewives during the ’60s. 

Women also gravitated toward shorter hairstyles (influenced by Twiggy), including pixie cuts and flipped bobs and, for long hair, bangs. Men styled their hair with everything from the bowl cut and the ducktail cut to shag cuts and styles copying The Beatles.

Public Domain / Wikipedia

During the 1970s, the afro became a symbol of cultural and political expression, particularly within the African American community. The style pushed back against Eurocentric beauty standards and celebrated natural Black hair. Influenced by icons like Angela Davis and the Jackson 5, the afro surged in popularity, crossing racial and cultural boundaries to become a mainstream fashion statement. Its voluminous shape was achieved through techniques like picking, and its prominence spread among both men and women.

Separately, and inspired predominantly by Farrah Fawcett, long, feathered hair was also sought after during the ’70s. 

Wikipedia / GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia

Whether it was crimped, curled, teased, spiked into a giant mohawk, or cut into a towering flattop, the most iconic ’80s dos could all be tied to one main group: big hair. During this decade, freedom of expression was fully embraced and displayed through hair. Styles like Jheri curls were popular thanks to Michael Jackson, and Billy Ray Cyrus spearheaded the popularity of the business in the front, party in the back mullet. The ’80s were eclectic times that reeked of Aqua Net and perms. 

Wikipedia / Allan Light

You didn’t even need to be a fan or viewer of “Friends” to ask your hairdresser to give you “The Rachel” in the ’90s. Everyone knew exactly which version of Jennifer Anniston’s hair you wanted. Layered, framed around the face, and shoulder-length was the style that ruled the decade. Chunky highlights, side bangs, and hair flipped out at the bottom were also wildly popular during the decade. And who could forget chopsticks carefully stuck into buns? All the rage. 

If you were a cool dude during the ’90s, you might have had frosted tips, spiky hair, or cornrows.


All you needed was a few bobby pins and some hairspray to make a pulled-back pouf happen, and every girl in the 2000s was on board. High ponytails and pigtails, choppy layers, and money-piece braids were a go-to as well. 

Skater boy hair/emo boy haircuts that swooped halfway across a guy’s face were also iconic during the 2000s. Who else remembers watching guys shake their heads in slow motion to get the hair out of their eyes like they were playing a role in the “Baywatch” intro? We shudder at the memory. On the opposite end of the spectrum, buzz cuts were prominent, along with faux hawks. 


Featured Image Credit: Bobex-73/istockphoto.