Studies about Baldness and Self Esteem.
Those who are bald or balding are generally thought of as older,
weaker, and more ineffectual, both in the work world and on the
According to a 1995 article in the “British Journal of Psychology,” balding
men have been found to have lower levels of self-esteem than
their peers, are less sociable, suffer more from depression,
and are less likely to succeed in life.
Hair loss, especially when first occurring, can lead to rash decisions.
So it is important to slow down and look at the many viable options
that are available for dealing successfully with hair loss.
Our Hair Treatments section offers
in-depth information on many viable treatments.
1992, researchers from the Old Dominion
University in Norfolk, Virginia surveyed 145 balding men and found
that 84% were preoccupied with baldness.
Their responses showed that they were filled with self-consciousness
and helplessness. They were also envious of men with full heads
Additional research indicated that single men and woman who had
begun losing hair in their early twenties were more likely to
suffer from extremely low self-esteem.
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The Psychology of Hair Loss
Long ago, a full head of hair was valued as a means of protection,
heat retention, and camouflage.
Today we value hair for other reasons. Whether we admit it or not,
good hair still is associated with power, virility and youth.
Such associations date back to ancient times. Remember the story of
Samson and Delilah? When Delilah cut Samson’s long hair he lost
Delilah made him sleep on her knees; and she called for a
man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of Samson’s
head. . . and his strength went from him."
As “enlightened” as we are today, stereotypes associated
with hair loss persist. The bald or balding are sometimes passed
over and teased at work, in the media, and in the social scene.
The media idolizes the young and the attractive and often lampoons
the bald or balding.
Of course, it’s not fair. But at least losing your hair is
not health threatening. However, it can result in various psychological
and emotional issues. These include insecurity, isolation, panic,
a sense of loss, and even depression. But let’s first look
at the role of hair (and the lack of it) in our society.
How is Hair Loss seen by Society?
So why does something as superficial as hair seem so important
to so many men and women?
Studies have shown that hair is a symbol of social, professional,
cultural, and/or religious affiliations. Good hair implies power,
virility, strength and youth.
Studies reveal how baldness is perceived.
In a study done in 1971, a picture of one person was distributed to
60 people. But each picture had been altered by a commercial artist
to reflect a non bald, balding, or bald condition. The results revealed
some negative stereotypes.
When the person was shown with a balding head of hair he was rated
as weak, dull, and inactive. This same person with a bald head of
hair was rated as unkind, bad, and ugly. Yet this same person with
a full head of hair was rated as handsome, virile, strong, active,
Today, more than 30 years later, it is hard to know if things have
really changed. But maybe some of these tired negative stereotypes
about being bald are starting to change, at least in the media.
bald NYPD Blue's -Dennis Franz, a multiple Emmy Award-winner,
is considered a sex symbol.
is Tony Soprano of the popular HBO TV show the Sopranos.
of course, let’s not forget Telly Savalas of the 70’s
TV show Kojak who was once voted by People magazine as the
“sexiest man alive.”
Continue learning about how you
can cope with hair loss and find support.