Are you having a good or bad hair day? It may sound like a superficial question but in fact our hair and confidence are more closely intertwined than we’d like to think. Several years ago, Yale University decided to study the psychology of bad hair days – and found that our self-esteem was highly affected by them, with subjects reporting feeling less smart, less capable, more embarrassed and less sociable.
Most of us are already aware of the effect our appearance can have on our self-esteem. But psychologically, hair is particularly poignant when it comes to how we feel about ourselves.
For instance, when babies are born we usually heap praise and focus on how much hair they have, while in adults (particularly women) we have long associated long flowing locks with sensuality and fertility. What’s more, our hair frames the face and is considered by psychologists to be the most important in terms of first impressions. Speaking to Red Magazine, psychologist Elaine Slater noted that our hair is one of the features most often recalled after a social interaction.
In the article, she also comments. “Many associate confidence with feeling in control, and hair is one way that most of us can be in charge in terms of the vast number of ways in which we can alter it. Hair can give us the external appearance of being well managed and in control.”
The rise of the digital world hasn’t helped matters much. Recent research commissioned by Simone Thomas Wellness has revealed that three quarters of adults blame social media and dating apps for damaging their self-esteem, while 57% attribute them to feeling more worried about losing their hair.
The study also reported six in 10 women stating that hair loss or thinning hair plays a huge role in negatively affecting their self-esteem - while 59% of adults claimed they would rather have a full head of hair than one million followers on social media.
If you’re currently feeling low about your hair or hair loss, there are ways you can get help. Following people going through their own hair loss journeys on social media can be a way to feel less alone, and discover supportive online communities of people in similar situations. Elsewhere, organisations such as skinsupport.org.uk (which covers hair loss) together with alopecia.org.uk can be great sources of support and advice. You can also speak to your GP if your hair is negatively affecting your mental health. They may even be able to refer you to a psychodermatologist – this is a medically qualified doctor who focuses on both the physical and psychological impact of skin and scalp conditions such as hair loss.
Here at MONPURE we know how much our hair means to us and the emotional impact losing it can have. If you have any questions or advice around hair loss and its emotional impact, feel free to email our team of experts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to discover our Christmas Gift Sets with a percentage of profits going to The Little Princess Trust – who donate real hair wigs to young people who have lost their own hair due to illness, such as cancer treatments.