How is hair loss affecting your work and social life? While people battling with hair loss handle the issue differently, it’s important to know that you are not alone.
However, evading the issue won’t bring you far. Some may take the matter lightly, while some remain distressed despite rationalizing the psychological impact of hair loss. Denial, guilt, pessimism and depression are some of the responses of people struggling with effects of hair loss on their well-being. Some choose to ignore the issue and just focus on their jobs, only to encounter once again the negative emotions associated with hair loss. To reach the point of self-acceptance and to find viable solutions, it’s a crucial first step to understand hair loss and its negative affects on your professional life.
If you are one among countless professionals seeking some answers and solutions to hair loss, this article is for you. Here are three attitudes that show how hair loss affects your social and professional life, and why there is hope beyond the problem.
“I’m hopeless and bound to fail in my job”
One of the adverse effects of hair loss include loss of confidence. The condition on male population is compounded by the bald jokes they constantly get at the workplace and gatherings. Meanwhile, hair loss in women does not paint a rosy picture either. Approximately 40 to 50% of women experience hair loss, affecting their self-confidence and professional outlook. Huffington agrees with all of these by citing a new research that proves just how devastating hair loss can be.
In today’s highly competitive market, you worry that hair loss in professionals can be a decisive factor at the workplace. While we’re made to believe that talent and skills are the most important professional requirements, facts from the ground reveal how looks contribute to creating first impressions. These appearance-based impressions are strong enough to make or break a job interview in just a matter of minutes.
Being “qualified” for succeeding interviews and getting the job, however, does not necessarily make you less worried about hair loss. You find yourself having to struggle against the effects of hair loss despite your professional achievements. There may be a lingering feeling of hopelessness for not being in control of how people judge you by your hair and appearance.
For people suffering from hair loss, being comforted that the condition affects many people is not enough for them have a paradigm shift. For despite reassurances like “It’s okay to have thinning hair,” our feeling of self-worth still largely relies on how attractive we are to ourselves and to others.
“My career future is bleak and headed nowhere”
If appearances matter at the workplace, what becomes then of your chances to advance in the career ladder? Experts say that being tall, fit, and having good hair are contributing factors to getting a promotion. Indeed, standards vary between workplaces, and perhaps the prevalence of hair loss in professionals has lessened the stigma.
However, now that understanding hair loss in men has become a more open topic, it’s becoming clearer that serious psychological repercussions do exist. The feeling of a compromised professional future is one such effect. And it’s not just the older working group that is stung by the psychological effects of hair loss. Younger men at the start of their careers can also feel insecure about hair loss affecting their professional future. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 25 percent of men affected by this condition see the first signs even before they turn 21.
Due to the psychological effect of the condition, men dealing with hair loss can feel disadvantaged in the career race, despite them seeing balding men occupying senior posts. To refer again to statistics, four in 10 men admitted to having “hair envy” towards non-balding men. They feel envious for some unexplainable reason when they see men with full hair, despite consciously knowing that they shouldn’t be. We can rationalize our spontaneous psychological responses and convince ourselves that we’re better than this. But often you find yourself stuck in the same rut, still harboring the feeling that your professional future is bleak and will lead to failure.
“I force myself to interact with colleagues but my insecurity paralyzes me”
Sometimes, it’s not enough to combat your low morale with self-affirmation and by trying to be more interactive with people. Even if some try to deal with hair loss by pleasing others and being more sociable, the physical problem can still bring negative effects and make you feel paralyzed and insecure.
Although the condition affects many men, social analysis suggests that it’s the hard-working, professional women with hair loss that can likely exhibit symptoms of depression for failing to fit the “ideal” of femininity at the workplace. It comes as less surprising that in a 2012 study by the National Institute of Health, 29% of adult women experiencing hair loss reported symptoms of depression. This dispels the view that it’s only the men who can suffer from the debilitating effects of hair loss.
What’s clear is that despite the double-standard, both men and women unable to comply with aesthetic standards can experience depressive symptoms in the form of identity crisis, insecurity, and introversion. For both sexes, the effects of hair loss on work can derail their professional career and personal life.
So, what now?
Take action and gain every inch of your confidence back!
Allowing the social effects of hair loss to control your life will only bring you to the dangerous point of total paralysis and despair. True, hair loss effects on work are serious and are usually approached only through jokes, however “friendly” or “collegial” they may be. But if this convinces you that you’re better off avoiding the issue, you’re only letting yourself lose the battle.
It’s important to know that on top of the usual hair tricks and tips, effective treatments for hair loss have become increasingly available and affordable for both men and women. The treatments are rapidly advancing to be effective even for gaps in facial hair. According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, more than 310,000 hair transplant operations were performed worldwide in 2012 alone. This is welcome news, because it means that more and more people are relying on medical procedures to address hair loss at its root. And with hair restoration pioneers practicing in Asia, it means that effective hair procedures are no longer exclusive to the West.
Superficial as it may sound at first, treating hair loss through available medical treatments can be your long-awaited answer and hope to get back on track in achieving your personal and professional goals. Having fuller hair is not a guarantee for happiness and success, but it provides the optimistic spark for people with hair loss problems. Changing for the better is possible and within your grasp.