The Psychological Effects of Being Bald
Not all men and women age with grace. While it may currently be the fashion to shave one’s head, the folks that make the choice to do so are not on even psychological terrain as those who have no other choice. For many, the loss of hair and the thinning of hair represents a loss of youth, vigor, and desirability. While Patrick Stewart might make it look good as Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise, most men see the loss of their hair as disquieting to say the least, and can end up spending a good deal of cash on prescription drugs, hair transplant treatments, or other forms of cosmetic methods to manage their hair loss.
“Going bald for a lot of men is synonymous with aging,” says one dermatologist who performs hair transplant surgeries in Palo Alto. “If they’re in the market for a new job, or looking for female companionship, they report that it affects their confidence, which is why they end up willing to pay for surgical procedures like hair transplants.”
In many ways, the problem is at least contributed to by the loss of control. For those that choose to shave their heads, they are still the ones in power. They’re making the decision to ‘go bald’. Folks who have begun to lose their hair no longer have that choice. They have lost power over the situation, and this is psychologically tied into aging, to losing one’s control over their own body.
Studies have shown that man who do begin to lose hair on the tops of their heads, can still choose to shave entirely, and that these men are generally perceived as being ‘stronger’ than men who have just lost the hair on the top. While Jean Luc Picard may have something to say about this, the theory links total baldness with strength based on cultural associations with soldiers, athletes, and perhaps Mr. Clean.
Regardless, most men tend to be very fond of their hair. They have grown attached to it over the course of their lives and when they notice their hair thinning and their hairline receding, a bit of anxiety comes with their morning shave. Shaving their entire head may not be the solution they’re looking for. Restoring their full head of hair in fact may be the better option.
“In years past you didn’t have much of choice,” said one dermatologist from Palo Alto. “When you lost your hair it was gone for good. Nowadays there are drugs that can help you regrow some of your hair, and hair transplant surgeries that are very effective at restoring hair to the areas of your scalp that refuse to grow it. You don’t have to be bald anymore.”
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