How Hair Loss Impacts on Appearance and Self-esteem

Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Hair Loss conditions | Comments Off

How Hair Loss Impacts on Appearance and Self-esteem

The realisation that you may be suffering from a hair loss condition will instantly result in questions about how your appearance is going to change over time. Hair loss is most often associated with attractiveness and age issues. This will probably throw you into doubts about how attractive or how much older you will appear in contrast to your former self. This is the reason why many decide to try to regain their hair in order to retain their body image and confidence to remove the doubts created by hair loss and overcome what is normally referred to as an age-inappropriate appearance.

 When you suffer from alopecia, you most likely do not wish to appear much older than you are or less attractive than

alopecia grow back

alopecia grow back (Photo credit: Duncan Creamer)

you were. This is a natural feeling and it does not make one vain since hair is considered a gift that has been granted to every body. So if you were not born bald, you will most likely feel disadvantaged if you lose your hair. Many people wish to regain their hair sometimes for more reasons than just self-image. The type of job that one does may be partly why someone may wish to desperately regain their hair. This may be due to the fact that a certain type of appearance is desired in order to retain the confidence that is required to perform at work. However, it is generally known that hair loss as a condition or   the related age-inappropriate appearance can greatly affect your body image, self-esteem and interpersonal relationships on various levels.

 Hair Loss and age

Whereas hair loss is one of the symptoms of ageing and is generally accepted as almost inevitable for one to suffer hair loss due to age, suffering from it at a relatively young age can be very stressful. You may start to feel that people are judging your age from your appearance in ways that are that affect you negatively. This is especially true in male pattern baldness as it is commonly associated with age. A young person who suffers fro m the condition may be put within an age bracket that affects their life negatively. Furthermore, they may feel as though they have become old prematurely and this can result in negative body image.

Hair loss and attractiveness

Losing hair also creates feelings of unattractiveness. Women especially associate hair with beauty and loss of hair transforms into loss of beauty. This affects their self image and it is known that women are more likely to try and find solutions to their hair loss more than men. Young men who lose their hair may also feel that they are less attractive than their peers and this translates into feeling less masculine regarding how attractive they may appear to women. The next article explores this phenomenon with some interesting statistics about a recent study.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Psychological & Personality Science, included three tests of people’s perceptions of men based on how much hair they had on their heads.

In each test, participants were asked to rate men with hair, shaved heads, and naturally thinning hair on how dominant and attractive they appeared. The first test included nearly 60 college-age men and women. The second two tests questioned hundreds of participants from a national online panel.

“The results were consistent across all three studies,” said Albert Mannes, a lecturer at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania who conducted the study.

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The thought that people may be making judgements about us due to thinning will very likely have an impact on how we feel.  When we think that people believe that we are older and less attractive than our peers definitely reduces our self-esteem and may lead to withdrawal.

The emotional aspects of living with hair loss can be challenging. However, discovering that you are suffering from hair loss is a very stressful time for both men and women but considerably more so for women. The following article reveals some of the trauma that is related with hair loss.

“For many women, it’s like having a disfigurement,” Hoffmann says. “It takes a lot to get over it, to build up your self-esteem enough to say, ‘I am more than my hair,’ especially in this society where you can’t go five minutes without seeing a TV commercial for some hair product.”

Her ‘crowning glory’ 
Our tangled relationship with hair may explain why women’s hair loss remains such a dirty little societal secret. A March 2008 review of hormonal therapy for female-pattern alopecia in the Dermatology Online Journal refers to it as a “common but puzzling condition” that strikes 10 percent of pre-menopausal women and 50 percent to 75 percent of women 65 years and older. As for treatment, the paper concludes that “the need for effective agents is highlighted by the paucity of effective treatments and the substantial psychosocial impact of alopecia on women.”

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In extreme cases, some people consider hair loss a tragic moment and get very distressed up to the point of depression. To others, the feeling that they have lost control of their lives due to hair loss is very real as re-growing hair is no easy task and therapy may have frustrating results.

Reversing hair loss is by no means an easy task, it requires a lot of patience and consultation with the medical professionals and specialists in the field. A good plan needs to be implemented towards the journey to re-grow hair. However, many physicians are now willing to try different treatments for their patients in order to help them to obtain satisfactory results to their hair loss or thinning hair problems. If you think you are losing hair abnormally, then the first step is to consult your physician so that they can give you a proper diagnosis of what type of alopecia you are suffering from. You will be glad to know that some types of alopecia are temporary.

 Video:  7 Home Remedies for Hair Loss


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