Our mothers will tell us it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but it’s hard not to take notice of our exteriors in certain situations, especially when first impressions count. A survey conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration discovered just what hair loss means to some people.
When it comes to our careers, it seems that most find what’s on our heads to be as important as what is in them. Three-quarters of adults claim they would be very or somewhat concerned if they were just starting out in their career and experiencing unexplained, noticeable hair loss. Hereditary forms of hair loss affect 80 percent of men compared to roughly 40 percent of women but the survey revealed the experience would have a stronger impact on women (88 percent) than men (65 percent).
The survey further suggests that our crowning glory is as important to us as feathers are to a peacock. Two thirds of adults said they would be very or somewhat concerned if they were recently divorced and started dating again and were experiencing hair loss. Those aged 18-34 are more likely than those 35 and older to be concerned with hair loss in this situation and it is a far greater concern for women (76 percent) then men (50 percent).
Both male and female pattern hair loss can begin as early as puberty but for women it mainly occurs post-menopause. Of those surveyed, 82 percent correctly identified heredity as a cause of hair loss. The condition can be passed down through either the mother’s or father’s side and it can even skip generations. Nearly six in 10 adults believe stress and medical causes can trigger hair loss, which they can but the genetic predisposition for hair loss would need to be present in the first place in order for these factors to influence the thinning hair process.
Interestingly, less than one in five respondents associated wearing a hat (19 percent), over-brushing hair (13 percent) or shampooing too much (10 percent) with hair loss – all of which are not causes of hair loss. It appears that those aged 18-24 are the most likely age group to think stress, over-brushing hair and shampooing too much cause hair loss.
Alopecia areata is a hair loss condition that is most readily associated with stress. It can affect men women and children of any age but again the genetic predisposition would need to be present. It is an autoimmune disease which means the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, resulting in sudden patchy hair loss.
The idea that over-brushing hair leads to baldness is a myth but traction alopecia is a hair loss condition that can occur in people who wear tight braids, especially dreadlocks that lead to pulling, tension and breaking of hair. This excessive amount of tension on the hair shafts cause the hair to be pulled can damage the follicle and over long periods of time will cause the production of hair to slow down and finally cease.
Hair thinning is an inevitable condition for most and the negative psychological effects of baldness can be deeply penetrating. Most people do not understand the mechanisms of hair growth let alone realise that hair loss can be treated. There are a number of hair loss treatments that are proven to stop hair loss and regrow hair. In cases of complete baldness, surgical and non-surgical hair restoration options prove it’s never too late to do something about baldness.