Every man who has suffered form hair loss will recall that dreaded day when routinely combing their hair they noticed a patch of skin shining through. Suddenly they develop an obsession with this protein filament growing out of their scalp, even those who may have totally neglected it previously.
The Cover Up
They may try to conceal in different ways from the dreaded comb-over to ‘not so convincing’ toupees. Some try to find a cure anything from herbal remedies to more drastic surgical options and of course the last resort, the macho ‘final solution, shaving it all of, popularised by Michael Jordan.
Even in those who claim not affected by it, those who seem to accept it gracefully such as Bruce Willis, there are underlying psychological implications as it has been reported to cause changes in self-concept and body image.
As Bad As Impotence?
But why? Well, from a biological point of view a healthy head of hair is seen as a sign of virility, of youthfulness. Many species in the animal kingdom use there plumage or mane to seduce a mate. It even has a religious and cultural significance from Samson and the source of his power to Sikhs who grow the kais (the hair on their head is uncut form birth to death) as on of there fundamentals of their religion.
No matter how hard we try to disguise it humans are very much obsessed with appearances, research shows we make an impression of people we meet within a few minutes if not seconds. And everyone wants to make these seconds count.
Much of what men do is on some level directed toward attracting a mate and experiments have repeatedly shown that women usually find the ‘balding look’ unattractive.
In a study by Muscarella and Cunningham, males and females viewed 6 male models with different levels of and cranial hair (full head of hair, receding and bald). Males with facial hair and those with bald or receding hair were rated as being older than those who were clean-shaven or had a full head of hair.
Beards and a full head of hair were seen as being more aggressive and less socially mature, and baldness was associated with more social maturity. Interestingly enough in these experiments men who had shaved their hair off completely fared better, but still not as -well as the men with thick healthy manes who were seen as the most attractive of all the men in the study.
Losing More Than Just Hair
I myself have seen many friends and patients lose much of their confidence, especially with other sex as they lost their hair. From someone who took pride in their appearance they went to wearing shabby clothing, as if without their hair, why should they even make an effort. Hairloss I guess is an issue much like impotence, which maybe humorous until it happens to you, and I definitely saw a change in their personality as much as from the hairloss itself to becoming the object of peoples ridicule regarding their hairloss. Its seems as we as humans love to see chinks in another armour, to tear them down and in the process building ourselves up, and not many chinks in the armour are as visible as male pattern balding.
Bald and Look Good?
There are some cases, rare as they may be, where hairloss can have a positive impact, men who take an extra effort with the rest of there physical appearance, they may start going to the gym more often and nearly always start to style there facial hair, at least that will always be there. But even this is normally psychologically due to a sense of loss, trying harder in other areas to make up for perceived flaw. The men who look good with a shaved head are the lucky ones, but so often can be seen adopting the supposed tough ‘skinhead stereotype’, in essence physiology is psychology, the way we look influences the way we behave, our confidence and most importantly our self esteem. Google+