What is self-esteem? It’s an incredibly important part of how we view ourselves and how we evaluate our own worth. It also guides our day-to-day interactions with people and the world around us. Self-esteem is defined by a wide range of factors, including:
- Feelings of security
- Perception of identity
- Sense of belonging
- Feelings of competence
In general, our self-esteem tends to be lowest in childhood. It steadily increases as we grow older, get to know ourselves, and become more confident navigating the world. However, self-esteem can take dramatic dips and also experience large increases in response to life events. A common life event that affects self-esteem is hair loss.
Despite the fact that hair loss is incredibly common and natural (50% of all men experience hair loss by the time they are 50 years old), the experience can negatively impact self-esteem in a way that affects both behavior and confidence in social situations. In this blog, we’ll explore the link between hair loss and self-esteem, and also consider some ways to improve the issue.
Self Esteem and Hair Loss
Hair loss has been linked to self-esteem for centuries, and perhaps even longer. In ancient times, long, thick hair was a symbol of vitality, youth, health, and masculinity. Thinning hair signified the opposite, betraying the aging process. It’s no surprise that in today’s image-focused society, people still associate hair quality, thickness, and length with these factors, whether they do so consciously or unconsciously.
We can’t speak for the humans of centuries past, but for modern men and women, hair loss, balding or thinning hair often provokes feelings of anxiety, low self-confidence, and stress. Infact, a wide range of studies have found that male pattern hair loss is associated with lowered self-esteem and confidence. A 2005 research study involved calling a sample of men and asking about their hair loss. It was found that 62% of the men that experienced balding, agreed that it had impacted their self-esteem. They also cited concerns about losingtheir hair affecting their personal attractiveness (43% of men), fear of their scalp going fully bald (42%), anxiety about the aging process (37%), decreased social life (22%), and feelingsof depression (21%). As you can see, this represents a wide range of negative feelings around the balding process.
Androgenic alopecia (often referred to as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness has also been linked to a lower quality of life, due to how people perceive themselves and carry out their interpersonal relationships, according to a 2019 study in the International Journal of Trichology.
While the results of these studies demonstrate the challenges faced by people suffering from hair loss, that is not to say that there are no possible solutions. Research carried out in 2018 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology demonstrated that low self-esteem in many patients with androgenic alopecia was improved after a hair transplant.
The Impact of Low Self Esteem
So, we know that hair loss can cause low self-esteem. But what does that actually mean, day to day, for the people who experience it? Low self-esteem may manifest in a variety of ways. If someone has low self-esteem due to hair loss they may:
- Decline social plans for fear of being judged about the way their hair looks
- Experience negative and unsubstantiated thoughts, such as believing that other people are better or look better than them.
- Feel embarrassed to talk about their hair and the feelings they have about it
- Focus too much on their hair and the way it looks, distracting from day to day life
- Experience fear, self-doubt, and worry alongside a feeling of lack of control over the future and their appearance
- Struggle with general confidence
Low self-esteem also could potentially lead to a variety of mental health issues, such as anxiety or depressive disorders.
Whether it’s saying no to a fun dinner plan, spending forever looking for the perfect hat, or spending money on expensive styling products, the impact of low self-esteem is never a good feeling. In the next section, we’ll explore ways to improve low self-esteem related to hair loss.
Improving your self-esteem
Thegood news is that hair loss certainly isn’t the end of the road. From surgical interventions to non-surgical solutions, there are a wide range of options open to people going through this. So, what are the main things you can do to improve your self-esteem?
- Be practical about it.
It’s true that hair loss is unpleasant. However, it’s not dangerous in most cases. Knowing that the changes to your body are in no way life-threatening may help you to see hair loss more as a psychological challenge to overcome. By talking about it with friends and family, this psychological challenge becomes easier to deal with.
- Find your style.
If your hair loss is noticeable, you may want to adjust your hairstyle accordingly. Overall, hair loss is less noticeable with shorter hairstyles that easily disguise thinning hair.
- Find the right treatment for you.
You have a wide range of robust solutions available to you. From FUT and FUE hair transplants to micro-pigmentation , taking control of your hair is simply a matter of finding the right option for you.
If you’re struggling with low self-esteem and hair loss, feel free to reach out to the Look Natural Hair Restoration team. We will provide you with a free consultation and discuss the best treatment plan for you.