For thousands of years, hair has played an important symbolic role in a wide variety of societies. These historical roles, which have in the past included wealth and power, have changed over time, but their significance remains strong in today’s society. Hair, especially in females, represents beauty, youth, attractiveness, vitality, health, femininity, and sensuality. For many it is a tool through which individuality is expressed and control is asserted. The symbolic power of hair is such that when it begins to thin or disappear, it takes with it those feelings of attractiveness, youth, health, and femininity, and so when a woman begins to lose her hair, she often loses her confidence too. This transference of negative impacts can spread like wild fire.
The insecurity felt by a female dealing with hair loss often means that they don’t want anyone else to know about their struggle either. Women often try to hide their hair loss and to avoid situations where thinning or bald spots are most easily noticed like activities in close quarters or swimming. This constant preoccupation can be distracting and a source of fear and anxiety, or even jealousy. These issues can in turn cause or exacerbate problems at work, in social situations, or within relationships, and subsequent introversion can contribute to depression. As one can see, the hair loss itself is just the tip of the iceberg.
Though hair loss occurs frequently in both men and women, our society perceives it as more normal in men than in women. While it is certainly an emotional and challenging experience for both genders, this difference in societal norms and expectations creates the distinction in the psychosocial implications between the two. Though more research is needed on the disparities, much has been done on the overall emotional impact of hair loss as well as the specific consequences in women. For example, multiple studies have found that more than 70% of women with alopecia report lowered self-esteem. Other research shows that “about 40% of women with alopecia have had marital problems as a consequence, and about 63% claim to have had career related problems.” The lists of reported psychosocial symptoms in these studies are expansive and include those noted above as well as additional effects such as a change in influence on others and a loss of sense of self.
Understanding these issues and the extensive emotional impact of hair loss is imperative in highlighting the significance of finding a solution. Hair thinning or loss is not just about the hair. It is about a wealth of other factors that encompass health and quality of life. The hair loss may or may not be permanent, but living without hair and with the emotional impact that goes along with it certainly don’t need to be.
It is important for women (and men) dealing with hair loss to have a healthy support system and someone to talk to. The magnitude of this element of hair restoration is why New Look Institute strives to provide excellent customer service and extend every courtesy and accommodation to our clients, ensuring that along with successful restoration comes a pleasant, compassionate, and supportive experience on all fronts. If you are dealing with hair thinning or loss, reach out to your local hair restoration specialist today to begin the process of healing emotionally while you develop your new locks. In our San Jose office, we offer complimentary consultations in a private, confidential, and kind environment that prioritizes the emotional aspect of the experience as highly as the physical.
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