What Psychological Effects Can Hair Loss Have?

If you are one of the millions who suffer from hair loss, you may already be experiencing negative emotional effects caused by balding so no one knows them better than you do.

Psychological impacts of balding usually increase with the severity of hair loss. We hear almost the same story from every person deciding to get a hair transplant at our clinic: They have tried all the treatment options available such as shampoos, sprays, lotion and PRP therapies, but when all of them fail to solve the issue, they eventually give up and look for a permanent solution.

Although hair has no vital importance for our survival and we do not suffer a physical pain because of hair loss, it has some important functions like protecting the head from extreme hot or cold. Besides its biological functions, good hair serves various psychological functions, as it is very important for our physical appearance and hair is an important part of it.

While the main cause of pattern hair loss is our genetic heritage, certain factors like stress, disease and environment can trigger thinning hair or balding.

However, the baldness that sets in after hair loss does not necessarily impair a person’s physical attractiveness – celebrities like Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham and many other bald actors have been listed among the world’s most attractive men for years.

You might want to check out the findings of two important scientific studies below.

• A study by a team led by Albert E. Mannes from the University of Pennsylvania reports that women think bald men are stronger and more attractive.

• Another study by the University of Saarland finds that women think bald men are smarter and more knowledgeable.

Even if these studies show that baldness is not necessarily the worst-case scenario, no one voluntarily chooses to be bald.

We know that our physical appearance is a major factor in many aspects of life, such as development of personality, career, partner, and general emotional state. Here is a list of possible effects of hair loss on men:

1. Some Psychological Disorders Are More Common in People Losing Hair

Depression, anxiety, paranoia, and sociophobia (fear of socializing) are more common in people experiencing hair loss as compared to the general population. Research has found that people with hair loss have increased fear of losing their hair completely.

2. Low Self-Esteem

Some studies have found that negative feelings caused by lack of self-confidence, dissatisfaction with physical appearance, impaired quality of life, decrease in self-esteem are more common in people losing hair.

High stress levels may be the most serious of the problems caused by low self-esteem. Stress may further trigger hair loss, leading to a vicious circle.

The connection between stress and hair loss is also observed in women – a study has found that women with a stressful life are 11 times more likely to experience hair loss than do women with normal stress levels.

In a study into women experiencing hair loss after chemotherapy, majority of the participants described their feelings as “emotionally unprepared”, “shocked”, and “embarrassed”.

A considerable number of women reported that the emotional impact of hair loss was even heavier than that caused by the removal of a breast for cancer treatment.

3. Introversion

General observations show that people with hair loss usually experience a decrease in their socializing skills. The shyness caused by a reduction in self-confidence can lead to introversion and make people isolate themselves from social life and feel depressed. This could be destructive for some as humans are social beings by nature.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

• Keep in mind that hair loss caused by drug use or chemotherapy for cancer is a temporary condition. After the treatment, your hair will quickly return to its original state.

• Try to increase your social activities rather than isolating yourself from social life. Remember that your family and your true friends take you in their lives and love you for who you are, not just for your physical appearance.

• Talk to your doctor. If you have just started losing hair, you may use some medications to halt or delay hair loss.

• If your hair loss has stabilized with a predictable pattern, you may consider getting a hair transplant or hair simulation. Hair transplant offers a permanent solution to your hair loss and after the treatment you can style, comb or dye your hair to your liking. Hair simulation, on the other hand, is a hair thinning solution that creates an illusion of fuller hair and can improve your physical appearance.