Hair is deeply entwined with our sense of identity, and perhaps even more significantly, our ideas (and ideals) of youthfulness.
And perhaps it’s this idea of losing our youth that we most dislike about the balding process. From a purely physical perspective, baldness isn’t a hotness killer. A number of archetypes of male attractiveness exist that incorporate, even celebrate, the follicly challenged.
So while baldness does impact the way you look, it’s not necessarily a completely bad thing. Which leads me to believe there is something else at play here, this sense of losing our youthfulness that going bald crystallises for many men. Because despite all the archetypes of attractiveness that exist for bald men, there’s one thing missing – the sense of having ‘your whole life ahead of you’.
The exhilaration that we experience in our 20s (mostly without even realising it) is the encapsulation of all the limitless possibilities, opportunities and adventures that lay before us. By the time we start going bald (usually in our 30s or 40s) we’ve come far enough into the future to be a little more world weary, jaded and perhaps even regretful.
Maybe our lives haven’t turned out the way we thought/hoped they would. Maybe we’re not where we would like to be by this age. Or maybe everything is going great – we’re happy, successful and fulfilled in our lives – but we just miss the good old days of our youth.
Going bald is in many ways, a full circle moment. It’s a snapshot of your life right now, looping back to when you started out on your journey into adulthood. So it’s going to bring up issues for you. And while you may not be able to control what’s happening to your hair (damn hereditary genetics), the one thing you can control is your response.
We often hear about post traumatic stress disorder, but there is another response to any traumatic event in your life and it’s called post traumatic growth. PTG refers to positive psychological change experienced as a result of experiencing adversity in order to rise to a higher level of functioning (thank Wikipedia).
So, rather than see hair loss as just that – a loss, we can actually choose the way we experience it. It opens up a world of possibilities about how we go through this event in our lives. We might not control what’s happening on top of our heads, but we can control what’s happening in them!