Hair loss is a natural process that everyone experiences as they age, but it can also occur earlier due to various reasons such as genetics and stress. While the physical changes can be challenging, the psychological effects of hair loss can also be profound.
Hair loss can significantly impact your self-esteem and may even lead to depression. In this article, we will explore these and other psychological effects, while also looking at some hair treatment options.
What causes hair loss
One of the reasons for hair loss is genetics, which means if you have a family history of hair loss, you are more likely to experience it as well.
- Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes can also cause hair loss, especially in women. Pregnancy, menopause, and thyroid problems can impact hormone levels, leading to hair loss.
- Medical conditions
Certain medical conditions can also cause hair loss. For example, autoimmune diseases such as lupus can cause hair loss due to the body attacking its own hair follicles. Scalp infections can also lead to hair loss. Ringworm, for instance, causes your hair to become brittle and break off.
Certain medications can also cause hair loss as a side effect. Chemotherapy drugs are notorious for causing hair loss, but other medications such as blood thinners, psychiatric medications, medications that affect immune function e.g. anti-rejection medication in kidney transplant patients, and cholesterol-lowering drugs can also cause hair loss.
Stress can lead to hair loss because it induces a state of elevated cortisol in the bloodstream, a hormone that inhibits hair growth through various biochemical pathways. While stress induced hair shedding is usually temporary, and your hair will grow back once your stress is reduced, chronic intense stress can cause an acceleration of hair thinning if not addressed adequately well.
Psychological effects of hair loss
As seen with the example of stress, your psychological state can cause hair loss. In turn, hair loss can also cause psychological effects.
- Self-esteem and body image
Hair loss can significantly impact your self-esteem and body image. Over 60% of respondents in a study agreed that hair loss could affect self-esteem. They were concerned about losing their personal attractiveness and feared becoming bald and older.
- Anxiety and depression
As hair has long been associated with femininity, you may think females have a harder time dealing with hair loss, but the truth is both genders struggle with it. One study found that respondents felt depressed, embarrassed, ashamed, and helpless.
- Social withdrawal
Respondents from the same study also mentioned the anxious feeling of being judged by others. This makes them more likely to avoid social situations and impair their relationships.
Looking for a hair loss clinic in Singapore?
Going to a professional is one of the surest ways to get to the root of your hair loss problem before it affects you psychologically. At Terra Medical Clinic, we offer various hair loss treatments that are customisable according to your needs.
- Hair transplantation
This surgical procedure can effectively treat hair loss for those experiencing advanced balding or hair thinning. The procedure involves taking hair follicles from the back or sides of the scalp, where hair is more resistant to balding, and transplanting them into the balding or thinning areas of the scalp.
- Laser therapy
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive hair loss treatment that stimulates hair growth in people with androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness. The red light from the laser penetrates the scalp and stimulates the hair follicles, promoting hair growth and increasing the thickness of existing hair.
- Hair supplements
Hair supplements may be recommended as one of the first measures if your hair loss is not too severe. They typically contain the following ingredients:
- Saw palmetto can reduce the levels of the hair harming hormone – DHT, which causes hair follicles to shrink and leads to gradual hair thinning.
- Cucurmin, a purified form of turmeric extract, is high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
- Essential micronutrients like zinc, iron, copper, Vitamin D and biotin are crucial for various functions within the hair follicle. Supplements containing these can increase hair thickness by addressing underlying nutritional deficiencies.
- Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb used to help influence the effect of stress hormones on hair follicles. It has been shown to reduce the effects of high cortisol states not just on the hair but also to aid in mental function and sleep regulation.
To know more about common ingredients in hair growth supplements, read this.
Hair loss is a prevalent problem that can significantly impact your mental health. Getting your hair problem assessed can relieve you of uncertainty and doubt. Terra Medical offers a range of diagnostic tools and treatments to address your hair loss. Contact us today!