View Full Version : Hair Loss – and your Identity

07-11-2016, 09:58 AM
• Hair Loss – Your Identity

For so many of us, losing our hair is the same as losing our identity. But if there’s one thing you should allow to penetrate your brain today, it’s this: You are not your hair.

If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re losing your hair and desperately seeking a solution. Why? Because you feel that with every hair that falls from your head, you lose part of what makes you, you.

You are so much more than your hair

Whether you embrace baldness or embark on a journey to remedy it, if you can understand and manage the relationship between your hair, your identity and your self-image, then you’ll feel empowered and more confident to make better decisions. If only I’d known that when my journey began! So, let’s take a look at how we can keep emotions and doubts from allowing our hair loss to ruin our lives.

How identity and self-image come into play

Identity is who we think we are and who we choose to be. It’s further defined by who and what we choose to associate with. Self-image is how we see ourselves and how we express our identity to the rest of the world. If you fancy yourself as a rock star, you may dress in jeans and a leather jacket, play in a band, hang out at musical haunts and, if you’re losing your hair atop your head, wear a bandana to conceal the evidence, leaving the longer hair hanging out the back. To an onlooker, you are a rocker. You could also be a volunteer for animal-related causes, a hard-working family man with a mortgage or a live-in carer for your elderly parents. To the rest of the world, your stand-out identity is the rocker you primarily choose to project.

When I was losing my hair at 20, my world was upside down, my emotions in turmoil. I truly believed my hair was who I was. I would’ve done anything and spent any amount of money to preserve my hair, plus my identity and my image. Had I known how to separate those two things from my hair, I would’ve spared myself the desperation, even if I’d still have taken the same path to remedying my hair loss.

While you cannot control hereditary male pattern baldness, you can, and do, control and choose your identity and image.

You don’t have to let hair loss dictate who you are because who you are is your choice. Hair loss merely changes your options, but it’ll only change you if you allow it to.

Visualisation sets the path to healing

Visualisation, goal-setting, positive self-talk and affirmations are all powerful tools recommended by sports psychologists because they weaken old thought patterns and generate new ones in the brain.

The 5 stages of grief

The Kübler-Ross model that outlines the five-stage process – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance – that people go through when they experience sudden change or trauma. Many young men daunted by hair loss find themselves experiencing these stages. It’s critical to remember that you are not a ‘victim’ or a ‘sufferer’.

Your new mantra is this: “I am experiencing hair loss and I accept it. It is very common among men of all ages and I won’t let it ruin my life.” This statement alone can help give us a more resourceful mindset. It won’t cure your hair loss but it will empower you to seek the best solution for your situation, without fear, anxiety or depression.

So in conclusion, though we can’t control everything life throws at us, we can control how we respond to it. We can let our hair loss control – or even ruin – our lives. Alternatively, we can find our peace with it, or our own particular remedy for it. At least with calm and clarity, that will all be so much easier.