How Your Psychological Health is Affected by Hair Loss
Hair loss, medically referred to as alopecia, is a common problem among men and women. It is, however, not just physical. While it is not considered to be a life-threatening disease, a hefty number of research studies on hair loss among men and women point to a common devastating fact – hair loss can have huge psychological effects that can trigger low self-esteem, lack of confidence, depression, and anxiety, among others.
Psychological concerns linked to hair loss
Research shows that psychiatric disorders are prevalent among people who suffer from hair loss than the general population. This implies that persons with the problem are at higher risk for having depression, paranoid disorder, anxiety disorder and social phobia.
Psychological effects of hair loss among women
Although hair loss has long been considered as a natural part of getting old, the personal experience of losing your hair has become negative due to the cultural influence of the ideal appearance, perceptions of beauty, and aesthetics. And because hair is a key component of beauty, labelled as one’s “crowning glory”, it appears that women are stricken with more psychological effects than men. As a result, approximately 40% of women with alopecia have experienced marital problems and 63% have went through work-related problems.
Female perspective on hair loss in men
A study conducted by H.J. Lee and D. Kim found that among 150 female participants, 90% perceive men who are suffering from hair loss to be older and less attractive. Almost 50% of the same group of women also perceive that men with hair loss looked less potent, duller and less confident.
Common responses to hair loss
The discovery of hair loss can be particularly distressing and difficult to address emotionally and mentally. Some who suffer hair loss and fail to manage the emotional effects of the disorder even reach a point requiring psychological treatment to enable them to cope with its psychological consequences. It is therefore crucial to understand the emotions you are likely to experience when faced with hair loss. These are:
- A number of persons suffering with the disorder find it hard to accept hair loss. Some men even go at great lengths to hide the hair loss.
- This may arise as a result of lack of self confidence, poor body image and low self-esteem.
- Most men report that while hair loss is a common disorder, they still feel alone in the matter.
- While it isn’t always evident, men who are losing their hair may get jealous of their peers who have healthy heads of hair.
- Discovery of hair loss triggers a number of issues in masculinity. This makes men worry about how it will affect their attractiveness and physical appearance and whether the disorder will negatively impact their lifestyles.