Tress Stress: The Effects of Hair Loss

We’re all familiar with the old adage, Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But how do we define beauty, really? We live in a society that dictates beauty as—among other things—having a full head of hair, which represents an individual’s crown and glory, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

How then do we define beauty for someone suffering from hair loss? Some say beauty is merely skin deep; if this were true, why is there so much shame and stigma attached to hair loss and hair thinning?

Hair loss can be the result of a thyroid condition, hormonal changes after child birth, cancer, stress, or alopecia, or it can also be genetic—the most common cause. The American Academy of Dermatology also reports that some blood thinners, along with medication for high blood pressure and arthritis, can cause hair loss or damage. In addition, tight ponytails, harsh chemicals, or pulling of the hair can attribute to temporary or permanent hair issues.

The psychosocial effects of hair loss can be devastating to an individual’s lifestyle, relationships, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Though it will not kill the physical body, it can kill the spirit regardless of the age. The impact of hair loss is as devastating to men as it is to women. In fact, the belief that hair loss does not affect men as much as women is a myth. Statistics shows that approximately 35 million men and 21 million women in the U.S. suffer from hair loss.

Many of the treatments for hair loss can be invasive, like hair transplant and hair restoration procedures (which should be performed by a licensed medical professional). Non-invasive solutions are more cost effective and garner immediate results, such as hair replacement (hair units that are attached to the top of the head and worn approximately 4-6 weeks, client then comes in to have it removed, and reset), and hair extensions. Topical treatments, as well as laser/scalp treatments and oral medications, are also available.

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By Bianca Lyder 

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