Struggling with Hair Loss? You’re Not Alone: Research Shows How Devastating Hair Loss Can Be
Every day, we encounter friends, family, coworkers and strangers on the street who have some degree of hair loss. We may just see it as part of their appearance, if we even notice it at all. So losing your hair is no big deal, right?
Not necessarily. The above scenario assumes that you’re not the one losing your hair. But if it is you, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else sees—you might feel like your vitality, or even part of your identity, is falling away along with your hair. Lest you think I am being melodramatic, consider the research.
The effects of hair loss are not a matter of vanity
A number of studies have shown that hair loss can have real and lasting negative psychological effects for some individuals. One of the most frequently cited is a 2013 study conducted by the Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science in Berlin. Researchers determined that hair loss can have a real and “enormous emotional burden” that can lead to serious psychological disorders including acute anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder.
This is consistent with findings of previous studies, which showed that hair loss can have a wide-reaching and detrimental impact on quality of life, contributing to issues including marital distress, career problems, and depression. Understandably, these problems appear to be more severe in younger people and women suffering from hair loss; however, the psychological and emotional distress affects men too.
Hair loss has even been linked to degradation in physical health; one study showed female patients with androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness) were more likely to have issues with insulin resistance and blood sugar regulation than those with “normal” hair. And, as you may expect, the stress of these negative effects can make one prone to further hair loss.
Can hair restoration help?
All this may seem to paint a rather grim picture for hair loss sufferers, but there is a silver lining. Increased awareness of these very real health effects—combined with changing attitudes about having “elective” procedures and improved hair transplant technology—have made hair restoration treatments a truly viable option for more patients to restore thinning hair and improve their psychological wellbeing as a result.
There’s even scientific evidence that casual onlookers saw patients as younger, more attractive and more successful after undergoing hair transplants. While I believe the most important opinion of your appearance belongs to you, there’s no denying that how others perceive us can affect our lives.
Hair transplants have changed for the better
There was a time when you could spot hair transplants a mile away—either because they looked like rows of astroturf or you could see the long, linear scar in the back of a patient’s head. Thankfully, new technology called automated follicular unit extraction (FUE) has eliminated both of these problems. Automated FUE allows us to quickly remove individual hair follicle units using local anesthesia only, without a scalp incision or resultant scar, and place them exactly where we want them, in a natural-looking pattern to repopulate thinning areas.
The gold standard in automated FUE treatment is NeoGraft, which is safe and effective for restoring hair in both male and female patients—proof we’ve seen in our many happy NeoGraft patients at Anderson Sobel Cosmetic. You can learn more about the NeoGraft procedure here.
You don’t have to let hair loss hold you back
If you have gotten anything out of this post, I hope it is a reminder that negative emotional and psychological effects of hair loss are real and common—you’re certainly not alone if you feel distressed. I hope I’ve also given you reassurance that you have options to restore your hair if you wish to do so.
If you are bothered by hair loss and you are in the Bellevue area, I invite you to come in for a consultation to learn about NeoGraft and see if it is the right solution for you.