Ignoring Early Hair Fall in Young Age, a Leading Cause of Mental Illness

~ Psychosocial Impact of Alopecia Is Greater In Women Than Men: Study~

Mumbai:  Dr. Debraj Shome, a renowned Cosmetic Surgeon, Co-Founder, and Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Dermatologist at The Esthetic Clinics conducted a questionnaire-based study on patients visiting at the different cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore. The study has been published in the journal of Dermatological Reviews, about alopecia’s (Hair fall) impact on the quality of life among adults in India.

The loss of hair including thinning, loss of volume or and baldness has a profound effect on the psychological and social sphere of one’s life. Since our society has set stereotypical standards around an individual’s beauty and outward appearance, it unduly affects their self‐esteem, emotional capacity, and mental well‐being. Though often mistaken to be primarily a male disease, women are equally affected by it with devastating consequences in their day‐to‐day life.

To understand the effects of hair loss in people, around 800 Patients above 18 years old responded to the questionnaire, out of which 442 were males and 358 were females. Based on the data, it was noticed that in the age group of 18-30 years, 30% Male have hair fall problems, and around 27% of females reported hair fall problems that impacted their social life, they felt depressed, stayed at home, and avoided socializing. Many of them were reported to feel ashamed, embarrassed, frustrated, humiliated, or annoyed due to alopecia.

Age Male Male Female Female Total Total
 (in years) 442 % 358 % 800 %
18-30 245 30.6 191 27.5 436 54.5
31-40 98 12.3 82 10.2 180 22.5
41-50 75 9.4 73 9.1 148 18.5
Above 50 24 3 12 1.5 36 4.5
Marrital Status Male Male Female Female Total Total
Married 173 21.6 175 21.9 348 43.5
Unmarried 269 33.6 183 22.9 452 56.5
Regional Male Male Female Female Total Total
Urban 276 34.5 308 38.5 584 73
Rural 166 208 50 6.2 216 27

Dr. Debraj Shome, a renowned Cosmetic Surgeon, Co-Founder, at The Esthetic Clinics, said “According to the result of the study, it was noted that as a consequence of alopecia or hair loss can potentially have a psychological impact in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, loss of confidence, low esteem, suicidal thoughts, and social phobia due to affecting their physical appearance. Approximately, 50% of men and women irrespective of their age are affected by alopecia due to several factors such as physical, chemical, hormonal changes, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, congenital diseases, infections, neoplasms, etc. This shows that what is not on the head (hair) can actually impact what’s inside the head.” (confidence).”

Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Dermatologist at The Esthetic Clinics said “Balding or thinning hair can be more traumatic for women in a society and culture where a bald man may be socially acceptable but a bald woman is not with her hair being symbolic of her femininity. The mental health relevance and public health concern of alopecia need to be recognized and an inter‐disciplinary approach should be adopted for its resolution.”

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