Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes
Summary: In this blog we detail and explore the psychological impact of hair thinning and loss. We’ll discuss how to manage negative feelings and emotions that can accompany hair loss and thinning, and how common these feelings are in others experiencing hair loss. Read on to discover more about and come to understand the psychological impact of hair loss…
Hair loss is often thought of as something that affects just older men. Balding to most (who aren’t going through it) see it as a right of passage into one’s maturer years: a fact of life. But this is not the case. A fifth of men experience some form of hair loss by the time they are 20, and hair loss actually can affect all genders and can begin at any time.
But what’s the impact psychologically? Can hair loss cause poor mental health and even depression?
Well, hair loss can be considered a “disfiguring” disorder: it changes the appearance of someone and hair can be a defining feature, so can make those dealing with hair loss come up against identity issues and cause them to feel self conscious. Hair loss can also be subconsciously considered as “failing” because everyone else may seem to have hair when the sufferer doesn’t.
Half of men by the age of 50 will experience hair loss, and this can cause one to feel emasculated in the same way menopause can be associated with loss of femininity in women. Hair loss can serve as a reminder of our mortality, particularly as it is so often associated with ageing.
Losing one’s hair can leave you feeling powerless – your body is doing something you don’t seem able to control. So frankly, yes. Depression and hair loss, anxiety and poor metal health could very well much be linked. But, is there any scientific evidence?
Research into the affects of hair loss on someone’s mental health is limited but some studies claim to have found a direct link. It is thought hair loss can cause intense emotional suffering, trigger social, work and personal problems and have damaging psychological consequences. It can also cause someone to become clinically depressed, anxious and induce phobias of social situations.
However, stressful situations can cause hair loss, so it could be argued that the issue that triggered the hair loss is also causing the psychological distress. For example, one study found that females are eleven times more likely to experience hair loss if they’re highly stressed than those who aren’t and it’s been proven that an over-production of our stress hormone (cortisol) can lead to poor skin and hair health, including thinning and loss.
So, if you’re struggling with the mental health implications it’s thought hair loss can have, you’re not alone and there’s a lot who will argue that a negative psychological response is justified, and even to be expected. But, what can you do to improve your psychological state if you’re experiencing hair loss?
Always find someone you can talk about your feelings with, whether that’s a family member, friend or trusted colleague. If this feels too vulnerable or uncomfortable for you, reach out to a professional mental health therapist. A psychologist or psychiatrist, counsellor or therapist can be a really wonderful, confidential support and can even assist you in finding ways to cope and manage your distress at your hair loss, as well as other things affecting your mental wellbeing in your life.
Work with your hairdresser to find a new style to suit your hair’s current state or discuss alternatives like a well-made, natural looking wig or thickening salon treatments. Start off your inspiration by reading our blogs 7 Hairstyles For Men With Thinning Hair, Hairstyles For Women With Thinning Hair, and Easy Hairstyles For Thin Hair.
Being bald or having thin hair can’t kill you, and it certainly shouldn’t change your family and friend’s opinion, attraction to or respect for you. Remember, you are so much more than your hair.
Look to hair and scalp care ranges that are designed to stimulate, fuel and encourage hair growth (like Cel’s Microstem Range!). Invest in your hair and scalp’s health, and also make sure it’s the getting the nutrition it needs from the inside too.
A good diet and regular exercise increases blood flow which can encourage essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals all over the body, including the scalp which your hair needs to grow, thicken and shine. Good food and exercise also releases endorphins (happy hormones!) and can contribute to mentally making you feel better!