Hair is one of the best ways to express identity. You often cut, colour and style it in ways that will improve your appearance, but on a deeper level you might even change your hair to reflect mood, personality and even career. Suffering from hair loss can therefore be devastating and with up to 50% of both men and women being affected by the age of 50, the issue is a common one.
The start of a hair loss journey is usually a very personal experience. You may notice hairs falling out in the shower or stuck to your comb. Some people start to notice when they are unable to style their hair in the way they used to. Whichever way it happens, starting that hair loss journey can have many ramifications, both professional and personal.
For women it can be incredibly disheartening to start losing your hair. The reasons behind hair loss in females is still very misunderstood and a huge amount of research still needs to be done. For men, the diagnosis can often be male pattern baldness (present in 50% of males > 50 years of age). However, like females there can be other diagnoses. In all cases of hair loss- please visit your doctor or hair loss specialist to get an expert analysis on what is going on.
How important is hair to men?
The importance of hair and hair loss to each individual is very personal. If you don’t mind losing your hair and are completely content then there is no need for you to actively seek treatment.
Although some men may be able to embrace their hair loss, others are often left with a feeling of dread and a lack of control. Being unable to stop or reverse hair loss can instil a feeling of anxiety and depression in anyone. In extreme cases this may establish itself as a body dysmorphic disorder. This is where a person has an obsessive anxiety about their looks. It can result in self-imposed social isolation, especially if they experience humiliation when being compared to peers of a similar age.
In a social context, our brains are wired to make unconscious associations with hair loss and the end of youth. Some men feel that this turning of age is associated with less vitality, desirability and sexual potency. Consequently, this reduction in self-esteem can have a huge impact on being able to form new relationships.
There are some interesting facts and figures that a study has concluded about men who are suffering from hair loss. In a survey of 1000 men, the study showed:
- 60% of men aged between 25-44 cover up a receding hairline to impress people at work
- 53% of men aged between 25-44 feel they lost out on a date due to their lack of hair
So, should you care about going bald?
The psychology of hair and hair loss is fascinating. Hair loss has long been associated with attractiveness in the past but attitudes are changing in modern times. With well known celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham sporting the bald look, many men are happy to follow suit.
This is backed up by studies showing that “men with shaved heads are sexier”. There has been research into the perceived confidence, attractiveness and dominance of bald men. All 3 characteristics were perceived to be higher in groups of bald men compared to those who had hair. The 3 characteristics were linked to these men being rated as more attractive.
Interestingly, bald men have also been perceived as not only attractive and dominant but also friendly. This is thought to be the case as male pattern baldness may have evolved over centuries to act as an “appeasement signal and signal benign, non-threatening dominance“.
So, if you are losing your hair and are comfortable with it then there is no need to have treatment. Embrace baldness!
If you are worried about hair loss- what treatments are available?
Your hair loss can occur slowly as part of your natural ageing process. In some individuals it can be accelerated with the balding process being noticeable in their 20s.
Starting treatment will really depend on the “root cause” for your hair loss and the rate of loss too. In most men who suffer from male pattern baldness, starting finasteride is the first treatment option. Minoxidil can also be used as additional therapy.
To read more about Finasteride or Minoxidil click the following links:
However, in order to replenish hair in areas that have now become bald, a hair transplant can be considered.
To find out more about a hair transplant- feel free to navigate the following links: