How to deal with hair loss
Here’s How to Accept Hair Loss and Gain Deeper Self-Love
About 70% of men lose their hair as they age, according to the Cleveland Clinic. If you’re one of them and you’re having a hard time coming to terms with it, you’re not alone.
A study on the psychosocial impact of hair loss in men found that hair loss made 43% of respondents with hair loss fear losing a significant part of their personal attractiveness, while 21% of respondents with hair loss reported feelings of depression. These concerns are fueling the growth of the global hair restoration services market, which is expected to reach $12,119.4 million by 2026, according to Allied Market Research.
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“Hair loss can affect men in many ways beyond the physical. For many men, hair loss can lead to lower self-esteem and confidence. In a society that values youth and vigor, hair loss can be a hard thing to accept,” says Dr. Cory Gaskins, resident dermatologist and medical expert at BestBotox. “It can make men less attractive and less masculine. Hair loss can also be a source of great anxiety. Some men even avoid social situations altogether because they are so embarrassed about their hair loss. If you are a man struggling with hair loss, know that you are not alone.
Maybe you are looking for solutions for hair loss, and this can help you. But before you googling terms like Rogaine and PRP therapy, why not use your feelings about your hair as an invitation to gain a deeper level of self-love? You don’t have to like the fact that your hair is thinning, but you may be able to get to a place of acceptance you never thought possible – and improve your mental well-being in the process.
Consider the impact of society on your body image
Hair loss is a natural process for most men, but most men feel bad about it. This shame comes from unrealistic social ideals and their impact on self-image.
“We are a society that places great importance on physical appearance, and we are at the same time a society that fears and demonizes aging. As such, we place significant value and importance on our physical appearance and are conditioned to fear, fight and delay the signs of aging in both men and women,” says Savanna Schiavo, life and confidence coach. “Recognize the impossible standards that society places on ‘maintaining youth’ and the expectations placed on men and women. Think about the expectations of men and how they look, and how hair loss relates to those unrealistic expectations,” adds Schiavo.
It’s also a good time to be honest with yourself about how much you value your appearance. According to licensed psychologist Dr. Kristi K. Phillips, men who are very invested in their appearance may have a hard time coming to terms with hair loss.
“When men start to lose their hair, they can have significant self-esteem issues related to the extent to which they attribute a large part of their overall attractiveness and self-esteem to their appearance. Men who People who invest a lot in looking young can find it hard to come to terms with hair loss, which can have a negative impact on self-esteem,” she says.
Consider who you are outside of your appearance
For this reason, it’s a good idea to take inventory of who you are beyond your looks. “If losing your hair is like losing part of your identity, identify who you are outside of how you look,” Schiavo recommends. “How else would you define your identity if you couldn’t define it by your appearance?” Consider what kind of person you are and allow yourself to reflect on aspects of your identity that have never had to do with your physical appearance.
It helps to surround yourself with people who support you, love you, and make you feel good about yourself no matter what, says Gaskins.
Give yourself space to feel your grief
That being said, even with all these shifts in perspective and thoughts, it’s okay to grieve the loss of your hair, and you should allow that grief to take place. “Give yourself space to mourn the vision of yourself that you’ve carried with you for years,” Schiavo says. “Allow the five stages of grief: denial, anger, negotiation, depression and acceptance.”
She also recommends treating your hair loss by looking in the mirror and looking at pictures of yourself even if it feels uncomfortable: “When we are uncomfortable or insecure, our tendency is to avoid the cause of the discomfort. This then makes seeing ourselves in pictures or in the mirror much more triggering, as we haven’t had a chance to process and adjust to our physical changes.
Try meditation and positive affirmations
According to Gaskins, one of the best things you can do to deal with these physical changes is to meditate for a few minutes a day. “It can help clear your mind and allow you to focus on positive affirmations about yourself,” he says. Focus on mantras that anchor a positive belief you have about yourself, such as “I’m amazing at what I do” or “I’m perfectly flawed.”
Find new things to like about your appearance
Finally, Schiavo also recommends focusing on the other things you like about your appearance. “When you look in the mirror, get into the habit of finding one thing you like about yourself. Do you like the way your teeth look when you smile? Can you notice the shape of your nose with admiration? do you like in your shoulders, your skin or your neck?This is a neurological rewiring process of learning to appreciate how you look, even with hair loss.
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