Is hair loss really more distressing for women?
There seems to be this conventional wisdom that hair loss should be far more distressing for women than for men and I'm sorry but I just don't get it. Let's compare the two situations.
If you're male and start losing your hair, regardless of how young you are, you:
1) Get ridiculed by your friends with comments like 'getting a bit thin on top' and 'chrome dome.'
2) Are laughed at for taking medication to stop or slow down your baldness.
3) Are mocked if you try to cover up with Toppik or a toupe, especially in the media who think slap stick jokes about wigs falling off are hilarious.
4) Have no real prospect of any current medication working.
5) Are looked down on and considered 'unmanly' for worrying about your hair loss.
6) Create a first impression of subservience and insecurity that leads to many doors closing on various career paths (for example entertainment, politics, business management).
7) Have little prospect of the Government paying grants to research and cure your type of hair loss.
However, if you are a woman, you get:
1) Lots of sympathy from your friends and family who recognise that you have an undesirable condition.
2) Are expected to take medication to try and reverse your hair loss.
3) Some medications actually work for female hair loss and the chances of some regrowth are good.
4) Are not laughed at for wearing a wig (the NHS even provide wigs for female cancer patients as if it's the done thing). Ever seen slap stick humour on TV where a woman's wig falls off?
5) Are considered courageous if you embrace your baldness (e.g. Mo Mowlam, Gail Porter etc)
6) Have no fears for your career because you'll be seen as courageous (even if you wear a wig)
7) The Government will spend money trying to cure your condition.
The only downside for women is that transplants tend to be less effective. There is the argument that it is less common for women to go bald and there are conformity issues, but the statistics suggest that's nonsense, it's just that women have been allowed to cover up without mockery so they're more likely to do so and slip under the radar.
Also, when you speak of conformity, statistically men in their 20s are no more likely to lose their hair than women. So why are men berated for wanting to conform when women aren't?
I think it's time to accept hair loss affects both men and women just as hard and the jokes about male pattern baldness need to stop.