Photo Credit: Pexels via Pixabay
The physical changes that come with aging can vary from person to person, but often one of the most embarrassing of these changes is hair loss.
Hair loss is an extremely common occurrence; in fact, it happens daily as part of our body’s natural renewal cycle, similar to how we’re constantly shedding skin cells on our body.
“The average man will lose anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs every single day, and that’s perfectly normal,” writes Dr. Mulholland, a plastic surgeon that specializes in helping those seeking a hair transplant in Toronto. “We barely even notice until we clean our keyboards or wear something black.”
The problem occurs when the hair stops growing back.
Why Does Hair Stop Growing?
Every hair follicle on your head has its own cycle of growth. As we age, the brain begins to stop sending the necessary nutrients to these follicles, resulting in them falling out and being unable to grow back. As the follicles are all on independent cycles from one another, not all our hair falls out at once, but rather one at a time, usually beginning in a clustered area. This is what is referred to as pattern balding.
By the Numbers
According to the American Hair Loss Association, 25% of men will begin to lose their hair before 21. By age 35, this number grows to approximately 66%. And by age 50, a whopping 85% of men will experience at least some degree of hair thinning and loss.
Men aren’t the only ones affected by hair loss either. Nearly 40% of women report detectable hair loss by age 50.
If hair loss is so common, why does it still feel so devastating to those who get it?
Hair loss is widely considered embarrassing, as it is a prominent visual of our aging process. This can be especially distressing in younger men, who can begin to lose their hair in their late teens, long before any other signs of aging.
Those with hair loss can experience emotional distress and psychological issues at how others perceive their hair loss, not wanting to be seen as older or with “weaker” genes. This self-esteem issue can result in an exaggerated feeling of its severity and noticeability.
This can result in stress, anxieties, and even depression. What’s worse, heightened states of stress and anxiety accelerate hair loss, so worrying about it quite literally makes the process worse.
Keeping Your Confidence
You may not control your hair loss, but you can control how it affects you.
Acceptance is the most challenging yet most vital way of getting through hair loss. This isn’t to say you need to be happy about hair loss, but accepting its inevitability can benefit your mental wellbeing.
Put things into perspective, is anybody really judging you for lack of hair? Remember, hair loss affects 80% of men and 50% of women at least some point in their lives, so the odds of onlookers judging your appearance are slim. Think of how many people you pass by on the street daily. Can you remember any of them sticking out because of the condition of their hair?
While it can be unpleasant, hair loss will never physically harm you or prevent you from living your life to its fullest capacity.
When it comes to the hair itself, find a style that works for your hairless, can it be discreetly combed over? Would it look less noticeable with longer or shorter hair? With or without product?
Though the idea may be a horror to others, some men actively begin to willingly shave their heads once they begin to develop noticeable hair loss or receding hairlines. The idea is to show that being bald is their aesthetic preference and prevents others from seeing hair loss progress with age.