How Hair Loss Triggers Body Image Issues And Impacts Relationships

Emotional Stress | |
Updated On: October 7, 2023
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Hair loss is not an uncommon issue. While it is more commonly seen in men, female pattern baldness or hair loss is also not unheard of, especially during or post-menopause or due to medical conditions like an under-active thyroid or conditions like PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) that throw hormones out of whack. In men, a lot of the time it is a result of genetics, however, other issues such as lifestyle or medical conditions can result in bald patches or thinning hair, too.

Hair loss (alopecia) doesn’t come alone. It brings in its wake body image issues, low self-esteem, anxiety, and a host of other emotional problems, which in turn, can interfere with your ability to forge new relationships or sustain existing ones holistically.

Why is hair loss so devastating for both men and women? Let’s take a look to understand the impact of hair loss on one’s psyche, the reasons behind alopecia and ways to combat it.

The Impact of Hair Loss On Self-Esteem

A receding hairline may alter your perception of the self, lower your self-esteem, and leave you feeling like you’re not good enough. Just like that, you may find that you’re stopping yourself from swiping right on that profile you really liked because you don’t think the other person will like you back. Or you may be uncomfortable in being intimate with your partner because you don’t feel desirable enough.

This massive dent in self-esteem, and by extension the way you conduct yourself in a potential or existing romantic connection is rooted in cultural perceptions and stereotypes. In almost every culture across the world, luscious hair is seen as a symbol of beauty, youth, and good health.

Among the many ways people adorn themselves and accentuate their looks, experimenting with different hairstyles remains the most predominant. For a majority of people, irrespective of gender, their hair is a crucial element of feeling attractive. When you lose or begin to lose your hair, the repercussions can be crushing, emotionally and psychologically.

Related Reading: Body Dysmorphic Disorder: How her Relationships Suffered because of BDD

Key Reasons Behind Hair Loss

You might not give it a lot of thought if you haven’t noticed any signs that your hair is falling out, but if this did start happening to you, you might feel more self-conscious and concerned about it. This is why it’s a good idea to be aware of how your lifestyle choices could be impacting your hair and the rest of your health. Here are some key reasons behind hair loss that you need to be wary of:

1. Stress

One of the most common problems that can result in hair loss is stress, and unfortunately, there are a lot of scenarios in life that are incredibly stressful. However, there are ways in which you can manage these stressful situations better, or avoid them altogether. If you are in a high-pressure job, for example, think about whether or not this career is right for you.

While all jobs get stressful on occasion, constantly being in its throes is not healthy and indicates that you are not happy. Equally, if there are relationships in your life that have the same effect, it’s worth reconsidering those unhealthy or toxic connections. Always reflect on your choices when it comes to facing stress, as you might see ways you can get out of those situations when you reassess.

2. Diet

Poor diet and general lack of health maintenance is another lifestyle factor that could become a trigger for hair loss. Your body needs a range of vitamins and minerals to function optimally. By not investing in a healthy lifestyle, you end up depriving your body of the key nutrients it needs to thrive.

Deficiencies in zinc, protein, iron, and selenium can all contribute to hair loss, in addition to bringing on numerous other health issues as well.

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3. Hair treatments

Experimenting with new hairstyles and looks can help to boost your confidence and express your sense of style, but it is important to be conscious of the kind of products you’re applying to your hair in the process.

Bleach, for example, is particularly damaging to your hair and excessive use can result in thinning or bald patches. Applying a lot of heat; whether that’s hot water from the shower or using hairdryers, straighteners or curling irons every day can also damage hair, as can using the wrong products for it.

How To Combat Hair Loss

You might not be able to avoid hair loss completely as there are other causes to consider. However, try to think about some of the lifestyle choices listed above and the decisions you make when it comes to these. If you are experiencing hair loss, you can always explore treatments such as specialist shampoos, or even look at getting a hair transplant if the loss is significant enough. You can find out more about the latter at the

Hair loss could happen to anybody, and while you might not be able to control every cause of it, you can take control over your lifestyle and choose to make healthier choices to help reduce your chances of your hair falling out. If hair loss is triggered by factors beyond your control, then your best recourse is to accept and embrace this change. Seeking counseling or talking to a trained therapist can be immensely helpful in combating body image issues stemming from thinning hair.

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