How To Deal With The Shame And Low Self Esteem Involved In Getting Bald.
Typically, when guys experience hair loss, it usually comes with some degree of self-perpetuating shame and embarrassment. It can put a dent on social life and a damper on self-esteem and confidence.
“Hair loss has been affecting men’s self-esteem for centuries, if not longer,” general practitioner and medical advisor Nikola Djordjevic, MD, tells WebMD Connect to Care. “Long thick hair during ancient times was a symbol of masculinity and vitality, so it makes sense that men are psychologically affected by hair loss nowadays as well. Hair loss symbolizes aging and debility, which is why I think that men start feeling more depressed as their hair starts falling out.“
“Hair loss in men can affect self-esteem to the extent that a man believes his appearance to be an important part of what makes him a worthwhile or valuable person,” psychologist Paul Greene, PhD, says. “For men who are very invested in their appearance and who identify as a younger-looking man, hair loss can significantly impact self-esteem.”
What Causes Baldness?
Male pattern baldness usually comes from the gene. Medically, it’s called androgenetic alopecia, a common form of hair loss that affects both men and women which is caused by a genetic trait that comes from parents. There are other factors that can cause male pattern baldness; protein deficiency, excess vitamins and certain medications.
Male pattern baldness can also occur due to hormonal problems, mechanical follicle damage, autoimmune conditions, or as a result of chemotherapy.
According to statistics, at age 50, over 80% of men will experience male pattern baldness.
Society’s ideal image of a perfect man is ideally and annoyingly wrong. Over the years social media, commercials, magazines, and movies have portrayed an image of a perfect man as “beefy men with glistening muscles, smoky (and kinda dangerous) eyes that make us feel like they suspect our very darkest, deepest secrets, and thighs that look like they’ve been subjected to Olympic training.” – hellogiggles and a lush, full head of hair.
Society’s perception of beauty is sometimes wrong. Long hair shouldn’t be the standard for femininity and masculinity—all hair, no matter the length, is beautiful. There is no perfect man in this world, every man at some point in their life has experienced some level of body related shame.
Psychotherapist Gershen Kaufman, PhD, author of The Psychology of Shame, says “I don’t believe I’ve ever met a human being who has not experienced some degree of shame about his or her body no matter how much it seems to match the ideal. There’s always something wrong with the body.”
“There is tremendous shame about growing older, particularly in a culture that overvalues youth, as ours does,” he says. “Therein lies a great challenge – can we accept the fact that our body is changing?”
“The key is to tolerate and neutralize shame,” says Kaufman. “I’ve spent the better part of my professional life helping people recognize, tolerate, and overcome shame. It’s an inevitable part of being human. Some degree of shame is normal and natural, but we need to find ways to recognize it, to live with it, and to be proud of ourselves in spite of it.”
Getting help from medical professionals is key for managing the problems of male pattern hair loss and lowered self-esteem. “If a man is experiencing significant self-esteem difficulties related to hair loss, the best choice is to seek help from a therapist,” says psychologist Paul Greene, PhD. “Self-esteem is not easy to change, and we can benefit from professional help in making that kind of improvement.”
How can I deal with the shame involved in getting bald in my early twenties? Advice from Quora
I have a friend of mine who is struggling with the same problem. He is in a worse situation than yours. I have been seeing him without hair for almost 4 yrs now and we ve just entered our 20’s.
Now what is different, that he doesn’t make us feel that he is bald, he accepts it, since it is not his mistake for the condition, he is comfortable with it. We often talk about hair problems and he seems to have a huge knowledge about it. He is the topper of the class, has varied interests, a cheerful attitude and thus people talk to him.
So the bottom line is, since it’s not your mistake, accept it, try to bring different aspects of your personality when you are talking to someone than your baldness. With time everything will be alright, but first you have to make yourself believe that it is not your fault and thus there is no need to feel ashamed. – Aakashdeep Dwivedi
Keep your hair short as low hair count makes long hairs look very bad and the scalp shines under direct light.
You can work it out with your barber, maybe a good salon may help you better suit your hairstyle. If you have lost most of your hair and don’t have hairs on your scalp then I suggest you shave your head or buy a trimmer and keep them zero length(Jason Statham).
It’ll provide you instant relief from the tension. Then pick up a head gear(fedora, baseball cap etc) if you feel awkward with a trimmed head. You can choose from lots of head gears. As you assess yourself to be bright, focus on your studies/skill now as your work, your skill/job, your attitude towards life will cover for your baldness.
And just so that you know that odds are in your favor, look how happy they are. And after you have made enough money you can get a hair transplant like elon musk. Good Luck – Sanjay Dubey
Own it. You went bald young. Now you get to master the appeal of an older, more sophisticated man. – Natalie Smolenski
You have mentioned that you have spent a lot of money on it. Did you approach any dermatologist or did you approach all those hair specialists who are more interested in your money than your hair? Since you are only in your twenties, there is every possibility of getting back your hair, though not fully, but reasonably well to cover your scalp so that others will not feel that you are bald. I have seen some persons who lost nearly their entire hair in their early twenties but got most of it with ayurvedic treatment. So stop worrying about it.
If you carefully consider the facts, you will notice that not more than 25% of the people you meet identify your hair loss and comment on it. Generally 75% of the people do not notice it. Unfortunately there will be some people who always try to find some shortfall/abnormality in others and poke fun. Ignore such people. If you are not bald, they will find some other reason to make fun of you. Once you stop reacting to their comments, they will stop making it a point. Such people imitate and make fun of the limping of a lame person or problems of a deaf person. Is it humanity? Are opinions/comments of such people important? Think again.
Regarding your problem, I suggest you check with a dermatologist first and find the reason for your problem. If he can not treat your problem, approach some qualified ayurvedic physician and I am sure you will get favorable results. Do not apply all those things you see in ads to your scalp – it will worsen the problem.
If you do not know it already, tension and worry result in severe hair loss. So stop worrying about it, treat it as some health problem, get treatment. Life, if not dependent on temporary loss of a few strands of hair, is more valuable. Approach the problem with confidence, keep faith in the treatment and you will get results.
I am writing this since I have seen people with your problem, I can understand your stress and I am confident you will get your hair back with proper treatment. Good Luck. – Moorthy