The impact of hair loss on men’s mental health is certainly an overlooked issue. In recognising and understanding its impact, society has opportunity to learn to accept it and deal with it appropriately.
Here are just some of the ways in which a man’s mental health could be impacted:
The first and most common psychological effect of hair loss is a decrease in self-confidence. A hairstyle plays a large role in the way a person looks. This is especially the case as it's at eye level so it’s one of the first things other people notice about your appearance. Plus, more importantly, it’s one of the first things you see when looking at your reflection in the mirror. When you take a combination of these aspects into consideration, it makes complete sense that unwelcome changes to your hair will negatively impact how you feel about yourself - and challenge your self-esteem.
Just how much a man’s self-confidence will be dented depends on how much of his self-image is tied up in his hair, or appearance in general: the more he feels it’s part of his identity – the more he takes pride in his hair or it’s what he’s ‘known for’, the bigger the blow to his confidence.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, hair is linked to youth and virility. As a result, when a man starts to lose his hair, at a subconscious level, at the very least, he can start to feel like he’s less masculine. Hair loss can actually impact how you view yourself as a man. Unfortunately, this is exacerbated by comments made by women detailing ‘good hair’ as criteria for what they look for or find attractive in a man.
All of this comes together to make a man starting to experience hair loss feel less desirable, and ultimately, less confident all-round.
Related to a decrease in self-confidence is increased self-consciousness. If your sense of self starts to suffer, it stands to reason that you’ll care more about what others think. You may even be more sensitive to slights, jokes, and insults than in the past. Worse still, some men who are losing their hair can feel that people are looking at them, when, in most instances, that’s not the case.
Social media is partly to blame for this, as you’re bound to come across memes about hair loss - especially making fun of celebrities, which affect the way you feel about yourself.
For some men, their increased self-consciousness about their hair can escalate into feeling anxious, where they’re so concerned about what people think about their appearance that they avoid social contact. Unfortunately, without getting accurate feedback, that people don’t care anywhere near the extent you think they do, the problem can’t get any better. In fact, with the opportunity to remain alone and obsess about it, even more, a person’s anxiety is likely to get worse.
However, worse still, if someone persists in not going out, spends increasing amounts of time alone, and stops doing things they used to enjoy, it’s possible for their anxiety to descend into depression.
Stress is another psychological effect brought on by hair loss. This is an especially sad irony as stress may have helped to bring on the hair loss in the first place and can cause it to further continue.
One of the places this can affect you the most is in the workplace. For a start, work is among the biggest causes of stress, especially as its unavoidable. However, work can become even more stressful when your hair loss affects your self-perception. As stated above, hair is associated with youth, so when men start to lose theirs, many feel that their chances for career progression are compromised; that their superiors no longer see them as progressive, a go-getter – the future.
Feeling Like a Victim/A Sense of Unfairness
Some men can feel like a victim when they start to lose their hair, asking “Why is this happening to me?” This sense of injustice is heightened the younger a man is when starts to lose his hair.
Worst of all, it can cause him to become resentful of others, even close friends and family, causing him to withdraw from social situations and increasing feelings of anxiety and depression.
A Feeling of Hopelessness
Lastly, there’s the feeling of hopelessness that can accompany losing your hair. The feeling of being a victim is made worse by a perceived lack of control: that this is something that’s happening to you and there’s nothing you can do about.
Similarly, feeling hopeless can be a result of not understanding the options available when it comes to hairline lowering and treating hair loss.
Many men think that hair loss treatments begin and end with hair transplants, and are dismayed when they find out about the cost and/or mixed results.
However, there are better, and far more cost-effective, solutions to hair loss than hair transplant surgery, take your hair loss assessment to find out how you can transform your hair loss today.