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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Psychological effects of hair loss and how to deal with them

Wazzup Pilipinas! 

Almost every culture and society considers a full head of hair a sign of youth and beauty, and hair loss is associated with the end of youth and advent of old age. In effect, it is understood as signifying the end of vitality and most people find it extremely difficult to deal with. In a world where youth and beauty is given such great importance, baldness can have a devastating effect on people mentally and emotionally.

Hair loss can affect a person’s social, personal and professional interactions. It can even lead to people isolating themselves from others.Hair loss is known tocause Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD in some people. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) defines BDD as a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance. It can infact lead to depression.

Loss of confidence and self-esteem
Physical attributes and physical attractiveness is an essential part of self-esteem and confidence. Research shows that men find themselvesless appealing to the opposite sex if they are balding, leading to decreased self-confidence. They often consider it the end of being desirable and feel they will be less attractive to their partners. When people start losing hair, they find it hard to be comfortable with their own bodies.

Even professionally, it is believed that older people are less energetic. Infact some employers don’t want to hire older people. Hair loss sufferers worry that their employers and colleagues will see them as aging, and imagine them as being less energetic or productive. People suffering hair loss feel that they are losing control of their personal and professional lives, and tend to believe that they are in a situation that is irreversible. All these feeling can cause anxiety and even depression.

Hair loss can be particularly harsh for women, since there is so much value placed on women’s youth and beauty.

Coping with hair loss
It is very important to not let hair loss change your life for the worse. It is essential to cope with it in the best possible way. Here are some ways of coping with it:

1. It is essential to understand that it is not a grave disease, and is not life threatening. It may cause an alteration in your physical appearance but it does not endanger your life. It is important to remind yourself that people love us, like us or employ us for reasons that are not limited to our physical attributes. 

2. Seek help: There is absolutely no shame in seeking psychological help or seeing a professional if you are feeling depressed and are unable to deal with hair loss. A professional can guide you through the changes you are experiencing. It also helps to talk to other people dealing with similar issues or even join online or offline groups or forums and talk to people in a similar situation. It is important to not take your emotional and mental health lightly.

3. If you are not comfortable with having thin hair or being bald, there are various treatments available.

a. Minoxidil – It is a topical solution used to stimulate hair growth and slow balding. It is useful in early stages of hair loss. While it won’t regrowth, it will help you hold on to the hair you have.

b. PRP Therapy
PRP or platelet rich plasma therapy involves injecting the patient’s own blood into the scalp to induce hair growth. This is how it works - A small blood is drawn from the patient and placed in a centrifuge machine where PRP’s containing essential growth proteins are extracted from it. PRP is injected into the effected areas of the scalp. It is a purely natural form of treatment as it uses the patient’s own blood.

c. Hair Transplant
Hair transplant today is extremely advanced, minimally invasive, easily available, and almost painless. Currently, there are two widely used methods of hair restoration used by surgeons – Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

FUE involves harvesting hair follicles one by one by using micro punches from the patient's donor site, the back and sides of the head, and transplanting them onto the thinning or bald areas. FUE is ideal for patients with male pattern baldness and involves no incision and heals quickly.FUT involves extracting a strip of scalp from the back or sides of the head and dissecting it into individual grafts, which are then transplanted on the bald spots.

Hair loss can happen to anyone, it is a fact of life. We need to ensure that we don’t let it ruin our life.

The above article is contributed by Dr. Sangay Bhutia a hair transplant and restoration surgeon in Delhi, NCR, and India. She has years of experience in the area of hair transplantation. She has been running her clinic for hair transplant in Delhi at Tagore Garden. Anyone can get in touch with Hair & Senses to get the right and effective treatment for hair loss and baldness.

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