The psychology of hair loss and its implications for patient care

    March 2001 in “Clinics in Dermatology
    Thomas F. Cash
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    TLDR Hair loss can significantly affect a person's self-esteem and body image, especially in young people, those who value their looks highly, and women.
    The document from 2001 examined the psychological effects of hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia (AGA), noting that it can significantly impact individuals' self-identity and body image. A survey of 145 American men with AGA indicated a desire for more hair and feelings of social self-consciousness and unattractiveness. The psychological impact of AGA was found to be more pronounced in younger individuals, those highly invested in their appearance, and women, who tend to be more affected due to societal emphasis on hair. The document also addressed the psychological distress caused by other types of alopecia and emphasized the need for patient education and support. It discussed body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and trichotillomania in the context of hair loss, recommending the use of questionnaires to tailor treatment to patients' psychological needs and suggesting cognitive-behavioral therapy as a beneficial approach for those with body image disturbances.
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