Emotional Impact of Hair Loss
The psychological significance of hair
Men often describe their hair as evidence of their masculinity, sexual potency, power and self-confidence. Women describe their hair as vital to their femininity, fertility, sexuality and self-confidence. Hair is a symbol of self and carries deep social significance.
Our culture regards hair as a symbol of beauty, youth and health. Hair is our “crowning glory” and communicates well-being, health, desirability, confidence and social and financial status. Hair is an expression of personal style.
Recall in Samson and Delilah, Delilah shaved off Sampson’s hair as he slept. Samson’s response was a loss of his strength and ability. He was then captured and blinded. Rapunzel cut off her hair to symbolize her separation from mother. In the 60’s men grew long hair as a means of social rebellion.
The emotional impact of hair loss
We have all had a bad hair day, so we know how distressing it is to our well-being.
Given the deep cultural significance of hair, it is little wonder that men and women suffering hair loss experience trauma that impacts them personally, at work and socially.
The consequence of male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness is primarily psychological and affects each person differently, but all suffer some level emotional distress. Hair is part of our identity, and self-image. Hair is an expression of the individual, and the group, social status, power, and the social experience.
People whose sense of self-worth and self-identify are defined by their looks, will have a more traumatic response to hair loss, including shame and embarrassment.
Hair loss robs us of our personal style, self-esteem and security, and makes us feel old and vulnerable. Our hair suddenly becomes the most important part of our appearance, and affects even our personality.
The negative perception of men and women with hair loss as less attractive, compounds psychological problems. Both sexes go through psychological stages as the hair thins from feelings of helplessness, to stress, anger and social phobias.
While most men cope well, studies confirm a high prevalence of anger, depression and anxiety. Men often cope by avoiding uncomfortable situations, feeling vulnerable and embarrassed. Men who seek help often have been dissatisfied with treatments they have received. The most distressed are those with more extensive hair loss, those with early onset balding, and those that understand their balding is progressive.
Even today the subject of hair loss is still taboo. One study revealed that 46% of women with hair loss hid their condition from those closest to them. And they often avoid photos and meeting new people. The prevalence of female pattern baldness is likely higher than reported because many women suffer in silence.
Hereditary hair loss affects all races and ethnicities, but Caucasians have the highest rate of genetic hair loss. The most recent statistics available report that 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S. suffer hair loss. 95% of hair loss in both sexes is due to pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. It can begin as early as the teens and increases with age. In women, hair loss becomes most pronounced after menopause.
The bottom-line is that balding and thinning hair can be treated proactively. Explore the many opportunities available to treat hair loss at StrandMD in Newport Beach, California.
When you are concerned about hair thinning and balding, contact StrandMD, the leaders in hair loss treatment in Newport Beach. We can help.