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Hair loss is an overwhelmingly common part of aging for both men and women. Yet numerous studies over the last decade have looked into how it affects people because it is generally not a well-received part of the aging process. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about two out of three men begin losing […]
Hair loss is an overwhelmingly common part of aging for both men and women. Yet numerous studies over the last decade have looked into how it affects people because it is generally not a well-received part of the aging process.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, about two out of three men begin losing hair by the time they turn 35, and by 50 about 85% are experiencing significant thinning. In America alone, 35 million men are currently dealing with some level of hair loss or baldness.
Back in 2013, Berlin researchers did a study to look at the psychosomatic effects of losing hair, and found that even just minor hair loss or balding led to “an enormous emotional burden with low self-confidence, impaired quality of life, and even psychological disorders.”
Another survey from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery in 2009 concluded the 60% of men would choose their hair over money and friends. The statistics are certainly concerning, and it begs the question: is spending thousands on surgeries and drugs really necessary to combat something like this? Is it really such a big deal to go bald?
Recently, Men’s Health sat down with four accomplished men who are bald and asked them what they thought about the crisis of balding.
Dan Madigan, a successful screenwriter in Los Angeles, says he began going bald when he worked in Boston as a bouncer and that it was a relief when it happened.
“It has its pluses,” he says. “In some ways, it frees you up. You feel streamlined. When I started to lose my hair in my late 20s, I had a few months of angst. Then I realized that all of my favorite men of action were bald.”
One of those pluses, he says, is the fact that he doesn’t have to spend tons of money on products and then a bunch of time perfecting his hairstyle. When a guy goes bald, he says, he doesn’t need to worry about things like that.
Ronain Portis has thoughts along the same vein. Growing up in Scotland, he says he was “skinny and was going bald young. I had a chip on my shoulder, and my choices were coal mines, lumber yards, or ship wreckers.”
He says he simply didn’t have time to worry about a head full of hair. “I went on to serve in the Scots Guards,” Portis explains. “I traveled the world. I was a bodyguard for some of the biggest names in rock n’ roll. I’m a five handicap.”
As long as men are busy living, Portis says, baldness doesn’t matter. In fact, if guys spend a ton of time worrying about their hairlines, then they aren’t living. Vanity is not an attractive quality.
Peter Woodke added that finding someone who is bald and making them a role model can also help if you feel distressed.
Men have so many options to choose from when it comes to this: Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel, Billy Zane, Taye Diggs, Stanley Tucci, Pitbull, Mark Strong, Jason Statham, Matt Lauer, Isaac Hayes, Mark Messier, Andre Agassi, Albert Pujols, Stone Cold Stone Austin, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Lex Luthor, Brian Urlacher, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, and Evander Holyfield, to name a few.
As a veteran attorney, Woodke says even though he began balding before 30, finding people to look up to like that really helped him work through it.
“As my hair was thinning further, I realized I knew guys through work who are bald and are highly motivated individuals,” he says. “I figure they haven’t it let it affect them, so why should it with me?”
The last man Men’s Health spoke to, Paul Moynan, says baldness didn’t affect him because he chose to focus his attention on the rest of him. He spent multiple tours fighting in the Middle East with the Royal Marines.
“If you’re looking healthy, if you’re well dressed and you present yourself professionally, there isn’t a woman alive who’s going to look past you because of your hair,” he says.
Losing hair if often just a part of aging, Moynan says, and it’s out of one’s control. Focusing on other factors a man can bring to the table other than his hair can improve not only the experience of going bald, but his entire life.
All of the men agreed that women (and the rest of the world) will take men more seriously once they get over the fact that their hair is thinning and focus on other aspects of life. Overall, they advise that men shouldn’t become insecure over something that they are powerless to stop.
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