Dealing With the Psychological Impact of Hair Loss

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Hair loss at a young age can have a damaging and long lasting psychological impact
Hair loss at a young age can have a damaging and long lasting psychological impact

 

Most people consider hair loss, medically known as alopecia, to be something that only happens to us as we get older.  However, alopecia is actually a very common condition, affecting over 55million individuals in the United States alone.

Okay, you might think that that figure could easily be made of people over the age of 60, but the fact is that around 40% of American men are have some form of visible hair loss by the age of 35, from little, but noticeably thinning, areas to huge portions of hair.

Furthermore, it is estimated fewer than 1million people around the world are seeking professional treatment for hair loss [1].  While there are hundreds of hair care products on the market that deal with hair loss, there cannot possibly be selling enough volume to make up for the millions of individuals around the world who are living with hair loss.

While some people will undoubtedly take hair loss in their stride, for others it can be a huge psychological blow.  This is especially true among young women, for whom hair is an essential part of their identity and femininity, and by extension the basis of their personal esteem and self-confidence.

Whatever stage of life you find yourself, suffering hair loss does not have to resign you to depression or make you change your lifestyle in any way.  We looked at ways in which you can deal with the psychological impact of alopecia, and continue leading a vibrant, confident life.

Coming to Terms with It

The first thing we have to get out there is that we know dealing with hair loss is not easy to do.  For both men and women, hair is one of the main features that make us feel attractive, and losing it can be a difficult time.

Whether you have decided to live with it, are using off the counter products such as shampoos and creams, or have sought professional medical advice, the sooner you come to terms your condition, the sooner you can resume living your ‘normal life.’

What are your options?

Embracing Hair Loss

If you are feeling positive about dealing with your condition, then you always have the opportunity to embrace hair loss and make it part of your new look.

Perhaps a punk inspired contemporary hairstyle where your head is shaved in the affected area, and styled elsewhere.  Although a million miles away from hair loss, cancer victims often speak about how shaving their heads or cutting it short prior to chemotherapy helps to put them back in control[2], and doing the same could help you feel empowered and confident once again.

Hair Loss Counseling

One option available to those who are struggling to come to terms with their condition is counseling.  While there is a wealth of information available online and leaflets that can be picked up from almost every medical center, sometimes there is really no substitute for sitting down with someone and discussing how something is making you feel.

At the very least, talking about your hair loss condition with a trained counselor will leave you feeling better for getting it off your chest.  However, the positive effects are likely to run far deeper than this.  Counseling could potentially give you the confidence to go off and seek out treatments yourself, or make a positive decision around how you are not going to let a hair loss condition take over your life and undermine you at work, home, or in social situations.

Counseling has this wonderful power of making us realize that, actually, things are not as bad as they perhaps seemed.

If you are having difficulty in dealing with your hair loss, speaking to someone could help.

Beauty Buys

Many of you who are reading this are probably doing so and screaming at your laptop or mobile device, ‘JUST BUY A WIG!’

Of course, that act in itself can be a major psychological barrier, but it is definitely the best way to carry on your life as normal.  The key to buying a hairpiece is simple: you need to pay for a quality piece, whether synthetic or human hair, which will give you the confidence and self-worth you are looking for, and enable you to carry on with your life.  A great hairpiece is one that is easy for you to manage, yet discreet enough to pass off as your actual hair in the eyes of others.

It is often worth buying more than one hairpiece so that you can change the style from time to time should you wish to.

Take Your Life Back

Hair loss is not a condition that is limited only to those of a certain age, and finding that you have a problem during younger years is not a sign that you are weird or abnormal.  In a world where few are pro-active when it comes to dealing with such medical conditions, you can take a lead, take your life back, and show yourself that hair loss does not have to be a life-destroying ailment.


Sources:

[1] http://www.statisticbrain.com/hair-loss-statistics/ (Accessed 31 January 2013)

[2] http://csn.cancer.org/node/252583 (Accessed 31 January 2013)