Baldness – One of men’s greatest fears?

One in five men in the UK are more frightened of going bald than losing their health, turning senile, losing their sexual virility, or gaining wrinkles, a new survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted on behalf of The Alopecia Clinic, asked men aged between 20 and 35 about their fears as they grew older, and found that more than 80 per cent said losing their hair was a major concern. One in five said that it was their greatest fear about the ageing process.

The research is supported by a recent medical study into the negative psychological effects of hair loss which found that it can cause low self-esteem and depression.

The common misconception that hair loss is an incurable and hereditary condition was cited among many of those surveyed as a key factor in their concerns.

The most common type of hair loss, alopecia androgenetica or ‘male pattern baldness’, is a genetic condition which develops gradually and increases with age and affects approximately two-thirds of all men.

Despite the number of men affected by the condition, fewer than one per cent of sufferers actually seek help, as most are unaware of the treatments available or are concerned about the stigma attached to having treatment.

Andy McCarthy of The Alopecia Clinic, commented: “Baldness is traditionally been something that hasn’t been taken seriously, even by doctors, however it can have a real impact on self esteem.

“Hair loss, or alopecia, is very unpredictable which means that it can be an extremely distressing condition that leaves people feeling completely helpless.”

A recent study by the University of Nottingham acknowledged that alopecia can cause anxiety and depression, low self esteem, poor quality of life, and poor body image. Another study found that some alopecia sufferers experienced such an ongoing feeling of loss that, for some individuals, coping with the condition could be equated with grieving after bereavement.

Andy added: “Because hair loss is so common amongst men, most people think it is something they just have to accept, but there have been a number of recent technological advancements in ways of treating it.”

Some of the new methods of treating the condition include hair replacement systems, laser regrowth and hair volumiser which are undetectable, permanent and non surgical.

Hair loss can also be the result of other health issues, such as stress or hormonal problems, or nutritional, medical, mineral and vitamin imbalances, which if correctly diagnosed can often be treated.

Andy continued: “We hope that the results of the study highlight that it is a very real issue for most men. However technological advancements mean that baldness no longer needs to be something that men have to accept as part of the ageing process.”

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