Losing Your Mind: The Psychological Effects of Hair Loss
Selfies and social media have created a culture that brings the focus on appearance. And in this society where how you look is important, one’s hair plays a big part in the desired image that gets sent out for all the world to see. But this world is not perfect and the struggle to keep that hair lush and abundant on the head of a lot of people is definitely real.
According to statistics, an astounding 35 million men are experiencing hair loss, closely followed by women at 21 million. Noticeable hair loss differs with the involved ages. It usually starts at the age of 35 with 40% apparent hair loss, and this increases with age. But there is a growing number of men who have experienced hair loss even as early as in their 20s.
Studies have also given reliable information that 70% of the respondents of a study that involved 729 men considered their hair as a crucial part of their physical image with 62% claiming that hair loss affected their self-esteem. Ironically, less than 10% were pursuing treatment to fight hair loss. Research has found out that women tend to get more affected with the issue of hair loss, heavily contributing to a negative body image that may lead to emotional suffering. Acceptance from society has always been harder for women and this magnifies the need to belong by a thousand folds.
Even with such statistics, the number of people with this condition has translated into a multibillion hair transplant industry. This shows how people would go to great lengths to maintain the hair on their heads. Below are the reasons for this obsession.
Unhappiness from Your Own Image
Hair loss is often associated with ageing. The diminishing amount of hair shifts the balance of the face to the forehead and produces that genuine aged look. This is especially among the younger generation who feel that they are not supposed to look as old as they do.
As with anything related to the appearance of a person, the feeling of inadequacy creeps in slowly until it reaches full swing and becomes an issue. Statements about looking younger than your real age sound like sweet music to the ears, while the opposite rocks the image that you have of yourself and leaves you with a vicarious feeling of self-doubt.
Hiding the Hair Loss
Out of desperation, one tends to hide the condition. Unfortunately, this is one of those frustrating agitations that become obvious when you exert effort to hide it. Hairstyles become limited and would often give the feeling of desperation to those who are still lucky enough to have their hairlines in-check.
Next to hairstyles, the next camouflage would be ever dependable cap or hat. Works pretty well outdoors, however these would look so out-of place when worn indoors or when the warm weather causes you to sweat buckets which make the headgear look totally ridiculous.
Losing Your Appeal
Let’s face it. People do not live solely for the purpose of satisfying one’s self. A lot has to do with society’s perception and approval that some have lived a life in the pursuit of that stringent stamp that is sealed by the steep standards of perfection. Media is guilty of condoning standards that are impossible for people to attain. And when one flaw, like hair loss is given the unwanted spotlight, there is that imaginary feeling that no one will ever give you a second look.
Men, like women, are also prone to using their hair to capture the attention of their desired mate and without it, they feel like lesser beings compared to their other rivals. Such a feeling can be depressing, and could lead to more psychologically damaging effects.
Loss of Confidence
It is like high school all over again. Only this time, there is a struggle that stems from internal bullying, with the source greeting you every time you face the mirror. A staggering 75% of those who have lost their hair have also lost their self-confidence. With such a vital force in any one’s life missing, other aspects are bound to fall one by one because the core belief in one’s self is suddenly compromised.
The sad part is that it hits the younger generation the hardest. A lot of men in their 40’s or older have come to accept the fact they are bound to experience this condition, especially those whose families are susceptible to hair loss. The younger generation is not ready for it and would take a long time before acceptance and action to actually happens. But before the first step is ever reached, self-esteem would have been eroded to dangerous levels. Party guys who are supposedly vibrant, or the life of the party, would wilt into shy and introverted depths that could lead to a full-on depression. In worst case scenarios this could suck the life out of anyone who struggles with it.
Society is not kind either. Humour has been unwittingly built around the lives of bald men and ridicule can range from the harmless to the deadly. Humiliation from hair loss is just as painful as those from other physical defects or imperfections and needs to be eradicated, in a perfect world that is. For the emotionally weak, this can be the battle of a lifetime.
Loss of Social Life
Without the courage to face other people negatively affects your skills to socialize and maintain a relationship. People in the media or other professions that sell the face more than anything else are hit the hardest in such cases. This often leads them to opt for other fields that don’t necessarily focus on looks. Partying becomes arduous with every outing turning into a challenge, while family or school reunions are better avoided than attended.
Best Treatment is Hair Transpalnt
All the effects of hair loss on a person tend to magnify as it progresses and the agony is not shortened either. It is best that the solution be quick and long-lasting, and this would be something a hair transplant procedure is able to bring to the table.
This involves taking active hair follicles from the donor site, which can come from either the sides or back of the head, and transplanted to the recipient or balding site. The process of hair regrowth is not immediate though; it will take about a year to finally see the most natural hair restoration results.
The success of the procedure greatly depends on the chosen hair transplant doctor who will perform the surgery. It not only takes aesthetic skills, but also the technical expertise to ensure that donor hair grafts will survive during the surgery. Furthermore, it is important to approach credible and board-certified hair transplant surgeons to do such intricate and meticulous procedure.
Do you think you might be a suitable candidate for hair transplant surgery? Click here to find out!
If you are tired of suffering from the psychological dilemma brought as a result of hair loss, you can trust Dr. Tyng Tan of the Aesthetics and Hair Clinic in Singapore to provide you with the best treatment to restore your hair. A consultation with our doctors will provide you with factual and in-depth information about your specific hair loss and the appropriate treatment for it.
Call us now or simply fill-out our inquiry form to learn more about our hair transplant procedure in Singapore!
Dr Tyng Tang
Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan, MBBS completed her graduate and medical education in the United Kingdom over a span of 10 years.