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The Harmful Impact of Hair Loss

Forrest-by-Michael-PollakHair loss not only influences a person’s appearance but also can lead to an enormous emotional burden with low self-confidence. That fact is being illustrated through a new survey out of the U.K., which is getting some attention because it illustrates that dramatic impact that hair loss can have on a man’s self confidence.

Here are some of the survey findings:

Nearly four in ten respondents (38 percent) said they were worried about losing their hair – almost the same number who expressed fears about gaining weight, suggesting that hair issues have become almost as important to men as body image issues.

One third (32 percent) of men experiencing hair loss admit that it has affected their confidence.

One person in seven (13 percent) experiencing hair loss admit the initial discovery affected their relationship.

When asked what they would swap for a full head of hair, one in ten of those currently experiencing hair loss (10 percent) said they would give up a year of their life and a quarter (25 percent) said they would waive a year’s pay raise.

Asked what they thought were the main causes of hair loss were, more than half (56 percent) said they thought it was hereditary.

One in every 12 (eight percent) surveyed said they believe that wearing a hat too much caused hair to thin, while seven percent of respondents said they thought that simply thinking too much could cause baldness.

Nearly four in ten (38 percent) admit they feel hair envy when they look at other men with a full head of hair.

These findings also back up findings from a recent study by Wolfgang Harth and Ulrike Blume-Peytavititled, which examined the psychological effects of hair loss, recognizing that losing one’s hair not only influences an individual’s appearance but also can often lead to an enormous emotional burden with low self-confidence, impaired quality of life and even psychological disorders. We reported on the study, “Psychotrichology: psychosomatic aspects of hair diseases,” in the article, Losing Control: The Psychological Impact of Hair Loss.

Of course, social and cultural factors are crucial to determining psychological impacts. Hart and Blume-Peytavi point out that feelings about hair change over time, are subject to trends in fashion and depend on individual style.

As described by the study, approximately four out of five men deal with hair loss over the course of their lifetime as a result of aging, genetics and androgens. Hart and Blume-Peytavi say there is no question that this “physiological aging process” impairs one’s quality of life.

None of this is necessary, of course. We hope that by raising awareness of the fact that there are proven effective hair restoration techniques that use a person’s own natural hair to achieve permanent and undetectable results, we can change the way men think about baldness. It is not a life sentence – it is something they can address through medicine and surgery.

As Dr. Arocha says, “Watching my patients’ self esteem soar and listening to my patients express their gratitude for changing their lives has had a profound impact on my practice.”

Photo credit: Michael Pollak.