The most difficult part of dealing with hair loss is coping with the mental stress of it. Regardless of age, hair loss affects men both physically and psychologically. Hair loss can lead to a loss of self-esteem, as our hair plays a huge role in our physical appearance. With that in mind, the frustration and anxiety that comes along with hair loss should not be underestimated. For those with healthy hair, these emotions may appear to be vain and self-absorbed. But believe us, this is not something you would wish upon even your worst enemy.
Here’s a fun fact: an average individual loses between 70 to 100 hairs a day. A not so fun fact? Male pattern baldness (MPB) is one of the most common types of hair loss, especially for those with a genetic predisposition. The most noticeable sign of MBP is an increased amount of daily hair fall, or a slowly receding hairline. Usually, when these signs appear, you may brush it off as a one-time occurrence. This is especially true if you are young.
However, if left untreated, MPB will only get worse, and will eventually lead to a state of complete baldness. Unfortunately, MPB is here to stay until you decide to do something about it. For example, committing to becoming disciplined in a regimented hair loss programme can halt further hair loss from happening. Here’s how:
Accepting Hair Loss is Like Swallowing a Bitter Pill
To cope with the mental stress of hair loss, you will first need to accept and understand it. There are several aspects of your physical being that are under your control, as they depend upon your lifestyle choices. These include muscle building, weight loss, growing a beard (or shaving it off), getting a piercing or tattoo, and having your teeth whitened.
Hair loss, unfortunately, is not within your control. If it is going to happen, it will, whether you want it to or not. This is especially true if you are genetically predisposed to suffering from MPB. And while there are steps that you can take to mitigate hair loss, you may still feel an undeniable sense of betrayal. Given that your hair is a significant part of your identity, it is completely normal to feel this way.
If you know of a friend who is undergoing MPB, it is important to be empathetic about it. Younger men who face MPB may look older no matter how they style their hair. Always remember that it is never a good idea to say MPB is a part of the ageing process, especially to a young man. Instead, try to encourage him if he expresses his insecurities.
Moving Away From The Negative Cloud of Emotions
According to Dr Scott Alexander, it is detrimental to a person’s mental health, especially emotionally, when he loses his hair at a young age. This is why learning to cope with the mental stress of hair loss is extremely important. You have to be aware of how you feel, as these negative emotions may cause you to turn to alcohol, smoking, or even drugs. This may sound a little crazy, but it is true – especially when hair loss is such a taboo topic. Acknowledging and accepting this as a condition may encourage you to be proactive and seek out suitable treatment options.
A man who suffers from MPB will typically go through the seven stages of grief – shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance. These seven stages occur before a person can pick themselves up and make a conscious effort to treat their condition. During this period of time, you may notice a person with MPB becoming withdrawn. Skipped social events, late nights at the office and avoiding bar visits with friends will become “the new normal” for them.
To put it in psychological terms, some of the mental stresses of hair loss include feeling lonely, anxious and depressed. If you are struggling to cope with these emotions, it may be best to speak to someone you trust. That way, you will slowly learn to accept your condition and allow yourself to seek proper treatment. Finding the right treatment modality for you may not be the easiest thing to do, but it will be worth it.
Turning Away From The Negative and Moving Forward With The Positive
Booking an appointment with a medical professional is the first step towards achieving a “new and improved” you. To determine if you are indeed suffering from MPB or another type of hair disorder, a medical professional may opt to conduct a number of different tests. Be sure to also discuss the emotional distress you’re experiencing (if you have any) with them as well.
Next, get yourself educated. Learn to separate credible information from information provided by unverified sources. As human beings, we are wired to respond to emotional triggers. That being said, interpreting information that has not been previously validated as the truth pertaining to a specific subject (in this instance, hair loss) could do you more harm than good.
The last thing you want is to have to treat two conditions at the same time: hair loss and mental health. Most importantly, remember to stay disciplined with your treatment regimen.