A Look at The Psychology Of Hair Loss And Hair Transplants
One of the things men and women learn while growing up is a full head of hair is a symbol of power and strength. The loss of that symbol of youth can have a devastating psychological impact on the identity and self-worth of a person. Hair loss has and its consequences have been studied extensively and some of the reported psychological effects on male patients include:
- Detrimental impact on their sex life
- Affected career choices in men
- Inability to stay competitive in the work place
- Increased anxiety levels among younger men
- A higher rate of depression in men with male patterned baldness (1)
While there have been published reports on the psychological impact of hair loss in both men and women, the corrective effect of hair restoration has not been studied until the last few years. We have conducted a study to evaluate this. Our motivation for this study came from our observations of the changes in patient’s behavior as well as their overall satisfaction after their hair transplant.
A Unique Study on the Psychological Effects of Hair Loss
In 2008, Drs. Parsa Mohebi and William Rassman conducted a study (2) to quantify the psycho-social impact of hair loss in men with typical male-patterned baldness. The study criteria were based on a combination of prior studies as well as clinical observations that could be modified by a hair restoration procedure.
A group of patients were picked who have had a hair transplant in the past and they were surveyed the changes they experienced through a questionnaire. The questionnaires featured queries about these eight criteria:
- Level of happiness
- Energy level
- Youthful feeling
- Feelings of anxiety
- Feelings about the future
- Impact of the procedure on their career
- Impact of the procedure on their sex life.
The patients chosen for the study (200 men with male patterned baldness) had their first hair transplant between 1-3 years prior to the study. Their participation was voluntary and their responses were permitted to be anonymous.
The Results of the Study
We discovered the patients had significant improvements in each of the criteria regardless of their age or their stage of baldness. In fact, 18% of the group showed a greater sense of well-being in their youthfulness, career, energy level, sex life and overall happiness. They also felt improvement in their anxiety levels, self-confidence and outlook on their future. These studies confirm the significance of hair to people’s self-esteem
Hair Transplant = A Better Self Image
Natural looking results from today’s advanced hair transplant procedures can help prevent, and in some cases even reverse, many psychological problems associated with hair loss. The more a person suffers from the effects of hair loss, the greater the positive effect of a transplant on their psychological well-being.
According to the study, patients with an active social life who experienced hair loss at an early age were more likely to suffer from anxiety and other negative effects. Therefore we can easily assume that hair loss can lead to a negative impact of the future outlook and positive attitude of a person. These negative feelings seem to reverse after a hair restoration procedure.
Although the response rate was not 100%, the results support the observations of hair restoration physicians and anecdotal evidence from patients.
Final Thoughts on the Psychology of Hair Restoration
Those experiencing hair loss, but not feeling any negative effects from the loss, are less likely to have a hair transplant procedure. However, most men and women suffering from hair loss find hair restoration to make a significant improvement in many aspects of their lives. Whether they’re looking to improve their chances in the job market, seeking a more youthful appearance or simply searching for some greater measure of self-worth, hair restoration is an option that helps broaden both personal and professional horizons.
Since you’re looking at our website, you might already be inclined to have a procedure. We would be happy to meet with you for a professional consultation appointment.
(1) Alfonso, Mariola., et al. The psychosocial impact of hair loss among men: A multinational European study. Curr. Med. Res. Opin. 2005; 21:1829-36.
(2) Mohebi, Parsa and Rassman, William R., Psychology of Hair Transplants, Hair Transplant Forum International, March/April 2008 (Vol. 18, Number 2, Pages 41 and 47), Los Angeles, California.