With age comes wisdom-yes, but also grey hair. Now grey hair is a blessing if you ask any bald man. And in this day and age, we have many such men to ask, who are acquainted with hair fall. As per the latest studies, 67% of the men by the age of 35 would experience appreciable(pun-intended) hair loss and by the age of 50, 85% of men would have significantly thinning and hair fall. This phenomenon starts as early as the age of 21 in 25% of the cases. What is this phenomenon?
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It’s called Androgenetic Alopecia, and since hair fall as it is scary, in layman terms we less hauntingly refer to it as Male Pattern Baldness. Male pattern baldness is defined as the loss of hair from the scalp in men due to change in hormone levels especially as they age. This is a fairly standard phenomenon in men and is widely observable too. And yet, hair loss can be extremely upsetting and psychologically depressing. Hair loss often leads to a loss of self-esteem. It’s what one would call double jeopardy as it is not only loss of hair but also a loss of confidence.
Contrary to popular belief most people who suffer from male pattern baldness are extremely unhappy with their situation and would be willing to go to any length to change their situation. Looking from home remedies for hair loss to taking vitamins to stop hair loss; they’ve tried it all. The search for the best hair regrowth shampoo and treatment for male hair loss leaves you exhausted.
Experts working in mental health, have mentioned that they see a surprising number of men who confide in them about being anxious and depressed because of male pattern baldness and hence are facing mental health problems. It is a shameful secret for many men.
The psychological impact of male Pattern Baldness / Androgenic Alopecia
Male pattern baldness has been seen as a leading cause of depression in men. And yet society is yet to grasp the level to which hair fall can be a source for depression. No matter how many times people try to convince baldness as attractive, the process of going bald has many inaccurate associations, which the person is aware of too, and hence compounds the feeling of anxiety and depression. Compared with the general population, people with a receding hairline and androgenic alopecia have an increased prevalence of psychiatric disorders, including a major depressive episode, an anxiety disorder, and social phobia. Those going through the different stages of male pattern baldness or hair loss are often anxious and show signs of severe depression, mostly because of a lack of credible and effective solutions for their hair loss situation. This just feeds into insecurities and further takes self-esteem lower.
Of course, there are many who are able to get above the throes of depression and really embrace their thinning hair and balding scalp. Coping with depression isn’t easy! More power to them while effective solutions can help, genetics can prevent some from having a wavy thicket of hair. It is important that men start talking about these problems and seek advice from experts. Men need to not fall into the abyss of anxiety and depression because of male pattern baldness and it starts from opening up and seeking help.
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- Judith J. Wurtman, October 2016; Does Preventing Male Baldness Cause Depression?- Does Preventing Male Baldness Cause Depression? | Psychology Today
- Markus MacGill, July 2017; Male pattern baldness: What you need to know- Male pattern baldness: Causes and treatment (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Smitha Bhandari, March 2021; Causes of Depression- Causes of Depression: Genetics, Illness, Abuse, and More (webmd.com)
- Stuart J. Ritchie, Sarah E Harris, William David Hill, and Saskia Hagenaars; February 2017; Genetic prediction of male pattern baldness- (PDF) Genetic prediction of male pattern baldness (researchgate.net)