Even though there are numerous hair loss treatments available nowadays, the psychological effects of hair loss in men and women can often make it very difficult for people to ask for the help they need. The results can be humiliating, devastating, and even tragic in some cases. The effects of hair loss a person’s self-esteem—regardless of their gender—are immeasurable, and the societal pressures that burden all sexes only make matters worse.
Hair loss is a superficial, external condition that is perfectly natural for all genders, yet it still manages to wreak unimaginable havoc on the psyche of those who suffer from it. A lot of people fall into the depths of despair and develop severe mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, body dysmorphic disorder, social phobias and even paranoid disorders. These disorders are largely undertreated, underrepresented in studies, and neglected by society at large because people are usually too ashamed to openly discuss their issues for fear of being ridiculed. Fortunately, hair loss is highly treatable, and hair loss treatment options are plentiful so losing your hair does not have to feel like an emotional, social, or psychological death sentence.
In this article, we will discuss the many psychological impacts of hair loss on women and men as well as a few treatment options they should consider to help restore the vitality of their hair and, in turn, improve their depleted self esteems.
Emotional and Psychological Effects of Hair Loss on Women
It is commonly believed that the psychological effects of female hair loss are far greater than the psychological effects of hair loss in men for the simple reason that the media and society have pigeonholed women as being very vapid and vein creatures. Women are often perceived as being obsessed with their looks because they are made to believe that their self worth is embedded in their physical appearances.
Perhaps that is why it is so difficult for researches to accurately collect and quantify data on how women feel about or react to their hair loss. It is believed that because hair loss in women is so highly stigmatized by society, most women do not report their hair loss and do not even discuss it with their doctors; they simply suffer in silence and try to hide their condition from the world. This is not surprising since our psyches are bombarded with constant infomercials and advertising that harshly target women who are losing their hair, calling them manly and unattractive just to elicit more sales by obliterating women’s self esteems.
It is important to remember that hair loss is a perfectly natural bodily function, and most women lose about 100 strands of hair per day. Unfortunately, women’s perceptions of themselves are also heavily influenced by the media and beauty industry that prey on them. Women try too hard to adhere to impossible and unnatural beauty standards, which can have a crippling effect on their psyches. Studies show that approximately 40% of women with alopecia or other forms of hair loss are under the impression that their condition is responsible for the demise of their personal relationships. Of these women, 63% reported that it has also negatively impacted their work life and job prospects. Many people believe that hair loss presents a much more definitive social stigma for women than it does for men; however, upon further exploration and research, it is clear that men suffer many of the same treacherous effects of hair loss on their self esteems as women.
Emotional and Psychological Effects of Hair Loss on Men
Throughout history, having a full head of hair or being able to grow a large beard have been descriptive physical staples of what it means to be manly. Men who have trouble growing facial hair, even in their adolescent years, are often teased and regarded as being less masculine than men who develop this capability much more easily. This causes their self-confidence, and even their ability to socialize with the opposite sex, to plummet as 75% of men who suffer hair loss have reported.
On a positive note, a 1998 study that asked a group of various individuals to answer first impression-based questions about the appearances of different men showed that bald men dominated the intelligence category. However, they floundered and were negatively perceived in every other category. This kind of superficiality can have detrimental psychological impacts on men suffering from alopecia and male-pattern baldness as they are typically considered to be less socially, sexually, and even professionally desirable. Most employers are less inclined to hire men with severe hair loss because they claim that it negatively impacts their company image. In other words, men with alopecia and male pattern baldness do not fit within the unreachable physical standards that most industries demand from them.
This harsh treatment by society could extend the devastating effects of male-pattern baldness much further than degrading a man’s self-esteem. Not being able to find a job because of a receding hair line could lead to depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphic disorder. These mental illnesses also manifest themselves physically by causing impotence and erectile dysfunction, which only worsen the entire ordeal.
Hair Loss Treatment Options for Men and Women
To reiterate a previous positive point, amidst all of these disparaging facts and figures hair loss at any stage, mild or severe, is highly treatable and there are many different methods to suit everyone’s personal needs. The best part is that these treatments are discrete, so no one has to know if you are undergoing any of them.
You can try hormone-replacement therapy, medications such as Minoxidil (unisex) or Finasteride (for men only), hair restoration surgery, hair transplant, change your hairstyle to cover up thinning hair or minor bald spots, or scalp micro-pigmentation (more popular with men than with women). The point is that you do not need to suffer any further humiliation because there is hope.
Hair Loss Treatment Clinic in Toronto
The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists has been in business for over 20 years, and our specialists have extensive experience with hair transplants, replacements, postpartum hair loss treatments, as well as many other hair loss conditions. For a free consultation, please call us at (905) 272-0190 or toll free at 1-800-563-3836.