For many men, there comes a time where our once luscious heads of hair start to elude us and hair loss begins to take over. Those first signs of thinning can loom over you, and the idea of having your appearance drastically change against your will can be a worrying, stressful chapter of your life.
In times like these, it can be genuinely helpful to have a support structure of friends or to be able to have an open dialogue with other guys suffering the same fate. Unfortunately, as we all know, it’s all too common for men just to avoid talking about hair loss.
So, why is this? Well, there are many factors at play:
Hair loss denial
It sounds silly, but hair loss can be similar to losing a loved one – it’s been a big part of your life, and to see it leaving can stir up similar emotions to that of grief.
Famously, the first stage of grief in the Kübler-Ross model is denial, which can almost definitely be seen in some men who have spotted the early signs of balding.
The nature of male pattern hair loss also enables this denial – it’s a prolonged process, which means it can be easy to tell yourself “it’s nothing”, or “this isn’t happening”. Sometimes, by the time we truly accept what is happening, it can be too late – the trick is to act quickly!
‘Men can’t be scared.’
It’s 2019, and the idea of all men having to strive for the physique and emotional range of The Terminator is thankfully a silly one.
However, the yesteryear expectations of being a male, often instilled upon us during our upbringing, can still follow us around today. There’s no denying that in the past, our society has associated the idea of emotional repression with being a man – “Grin and bear it”, “Get a grip”, “Act like a man”, “Don’t be a girl”.
Well, it’s 2019, and those ideas are daft – hair loss is scary, and you absolutely should talk about it.
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Our hair is a huge part of our appearance, so it’s understandable that one of the common concerns with losing it, is the effect it might have on your attractiveness. This doesn’t just apply to single men either – often there’s a concern that their current partner may find them less attractive.
The truth is that hair loss is not something to be scared of – in fact, a study in Social Psychological and Personality Science suggests that it can even have some benefits. The research explored how others perceived men from across the hair follicle spectrum.
The main conclusion was that completely bald men were generally perceived as being confident and stronger than their well-thatched counterparts. On the other hand, men who had visibly thinning hair fared worse than both sets, which suggests it’s best to go all or nothing – act decisively to keep your hair, or go the Dwayne Johnson route and embrace the bald look!
Scott McDougall (MPharm) is a clinical pharmacist and in addition to being Cornerstone’s senior in-house pharmacist, is the co-founder of The Independent Pharmacy, one of the UK’s leading independent online pharmacies.