A great deal of attention is given to the possible causes of hair loss. But aside from medical and hereditary concerns, it’s important to think about the emotional effects that losing your hair can have.
Finding that your hair is falling out or even just thinning in spots is a stressful experience for men and women. Throughout history, attitudes toward baldness have been mostly negative. In a culture that views healthy hair as a sign of youth and attractiveness, people who lose their hair may face strong feelings of sadness, anger and frustration. These feelings are well known to hair restoration experts who work closely with patients to overcome the effects of hair loss – giving them a chance to feel attractive and confident again.
Here are the most common emotional effects of hair loss suffered by men and women.
WORRIES ABOUT GETTING OLDER
We associate hair loss with aging, and there’s little doubt that thinning hair and baldness can make you look older than you actually are. For most people, this physical change symbolizes the end of youth, vitality and desirability, bringing on fears of aging that can feel overwhelming.
FEARS ABOUT HOW TO STYLE YOUR HAIR
Many hair loss sufferers feel frustrated by the work that goes into camouflaging thinning tresses. They may need to spend more time and money covering up the signs of hair loss while feeling unhappy with the end results. This becomes a daily source of aggravation that amplifies other negative feelings associated with balding.
DISSATISFACTION WITH APPEARANCE AND BODY IMAGE
As hair thins and hairlines change, appearances often change dramatically. Hair loss can transform the look of the face by exposing more of the forehead. One study revealed that men with profound hair loss were more worried about looking older than those with milder hair loss. This effect cuts across all ages, but is most pronounced in younger men who lose their hair prematurely.
Women are even more upset by hair loss than men. Studies show that women develop a negative body image when hair starts to thin. Women are also less able to adapt to this physical change than their male counterparts.
WORRIES ABOUT HOW OTHERS SEE YOU
Physical beauty is one of the cornerstones of self-esteem. It is also an area in which all of us feel uniquely vulnerable. Hair has always been an important element in the way we look, so it’s no surprise that we feel less attractive – and less like ourselves – when our hair starts to fall out.
LOSS OF CONFIDENCE AND SOCIAL ANXIETY
A full head of healthy hair does not guarantee confidence. But as hair restoration experts hear often, losing your hair can make even the simplest of business or social situations more difficult.
One study of men showed that nearly 75% felt less confident since the onset of hair loss, especially in dating or love relationships. Studies also show that 60% of all bald men are teased at some point, adding to the sense that they are less desirable and attractive than others. Women tend to feel even more stigmatized, though there are few statistics to pinpoint the effects – since women facing hair loss tend to hide their condition along with their feelings about it.
Research shows that in extreme cases, such as those involving alopecia – a disease that causes hair loss in people of all ages – anxiety and depression are often the end result.
DIFFICULTIES AT WORK
Those suffering from hair loss often experience feelings of envy and resentment. These emotions can show up in many ways, but can be especially difficult in the workplace, where social competition and the pressure to look and act young can be acute.
If you’re in a youth-oriented field such as technology, sales, public relations or marketing, you may feel subtle discrimination from co-workers. If you believe your hair loss makes you look older, you are likely to worry about keeping your competitive edge.
DR. FAROLE CAN HELP YOU FIND THE RIGHT SOLUTION
The good news is that, with advanced hair restoration techniques, you don’t have to struggle with the emotional consequences of hair loss. Dr. Anthony Farole, a hair loss and restoration expert in Bala Cynwyd, has worked with thousands of men and women who want to look and feel their best. He will meet with you to discuss your options and answer all your questions about the various hair restoration methods open to you.
For a personalized consultation, call Dr. Farole today.