Most memories are attached to something defined. A smell in the air. A song in the background. The touch of someone’s skin. We can all agree, the majority of first impressions are always met with a “Wow your hair looks great! Who did it?” But for most people who are suffering from hair loss, the thought of social gatherings and being met with the questions of hair loss, and the prevention of it can be overwhelming.
Society standards have always been hard to keep up with. Styles come and go faster than most seasons. Having beautiful hair has always been correlated to youthfulness, your health, and sometimes even your social standing.
For many people having healthy hair is a laundry list of positives. Having great hair can help hide unwanted facial features, give you a boost of confidence and a sense of self-care. More importantly, it can help you stand out from the crowd. For some, having healthy hair can give a person a sense of identity.
The beginning stages of hair loss can be a difficult journey of self-awareness. Most diagnoses of hair loss can be traced back to genetics, health, or even stress. The effects of hair loss are devastating to most women and men of all ages. Anxiety, depression, or even social anxiety can be traced back to hair loss.
Social phobia can be named one of the biggest anxieties traced back to hair loss. Turning away from social engagements and causing isolation because of the lack of confidence in your appearance, can lead to anxiety, depression, humiliation, and body-esteem issues. When speaking on some of the physical affliction hair loss can cause, less shielding from the sun’s rays, which may lead to irritation in the scalp, they seem less drastic than the psychological damages.
Studies have found that patients with Alopecia (a condition that causes hair loss in the scalp and body) have reported psychological and emotional damage. Many avoid social situations, which can later then impair close relationships, due to the stigma of judgments from others. Reports have shown, the impact and significant impairment of these emotional stresses can be equivalent to those suffering from chronic skin diseases.
While most reports will show that a large percentage of women develop a more negative body image due to their hair loss; close to 75% of men report that they feel less confident about themselves as well. Other reports show 60% of men have even said they’ve been mocked for their baldness at some point or another.
All in all, hair loss, while to some may not be life-changing; for those who must deal with Alopecia or balding, it can be a drastic change to their everyday social life and mental well-being. The turmoil of trying to find confidence in yourself, while also dealing with the sadness of losing your own identity can lead your psyche down a dark path of isolation. We live in a time when mental health and the treatment of it are widely understood to be damaging to your overall life. It’s now time to understand, sometimes having a bad hair day, is just about having a bad hair day. It can be much bigger than that.