If you consider yourself young or you once were, do you remember aunties or uncles advising you to cut your hair? Whether it's cutting your hair post an agonizing break-up or letting it grow when you were undergoing that Bob Marley phase- your hair has been through it all.
To begin at the start, let’s discuss Lanugo! Well that’s the first type of hair that forms on an individual’s body, shedding shortly before or just after birth. The first few infant months see the onset of Vellus hair that spans across the body in all places except the palms of one’s hands, feet, toes and some other places. After one hits puberty, the growth of Terminal Hair begins. Forming in one’s armpits, on the genitals and on the face. Throughout the span of our lives, different stages of hair constantly sheds and regenerates itself.
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The grooming, upkeep, length and attention we give to hair is not a physical act alone, but a reflection of our opinions, beliefs, views and attitudes. Our sense of self is constructed and categorized with assumptions made based on that, whether we intend it or not. It offers insight into one’s sexual orientations and religious beliefs and a larger outlook on life. Much like Angela Davis, a vehement African American radical activist who sported the ‘Afro’ hairstyle, a vehicle of her refined political articulations.
Sikhism- a religion that originated in the Northern part of the Indian subcontinent does not endorse the cutting of one’s hair throughout the householder period of life. The inherent respect of the perfection of God’s creation and the belief that hair possesses spiritual energy drives this choice.
Other notable hair transformations came along with the carefree, unbounded hairstyles of the hippie movement that resonated with many white youths in its prime.
Coming back to how one’s hair changes throughout their lives, it naturally doesn’t remain healthy and thick forever. Many suffer from alopecia, a dermatological disorder wherein individuals lose some, most and even all of their hair on the head. Also an autoimmune disorder, it can be caused by both genetic factors and external environments. What’s interesting is that it's not fatal or painful, but still causes immense amounts of stress and anxiety. Minimal effectiveness of treatment for this condition leaves those facing it all the more helpless and distressed.
Hear from Sam Wolfson, popular writer and producer on his hair loss experience. “I know this seems both melodramatic and shallow – millions of men get on fine without hair – but it felt as if my youth had been cut short.’
Severe psychological impact and alarmingly low levels of self esteem have been recorded among individuals suffering from alopecia. Apart from psychological outcomes, psycho-social outcomes are being examined through further research. What does this mean? That the appearance of an individual not only affects their physical health, but also places emphasis on their chance to earn a respectable place among those around them.
Studies have shown that men with receding hairlines are perceived as having high social maturity and decreased attractiveness as compared to men with fuller hair on the head.
As a company that caters to men’s health, it's our responsibility to redirect you to other articles in the Misters blog that provide reliable information regarding home remedies, tips and hair styling hacks that help manage hair loss without you feeling defeated. Feel free to check it out!
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP