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Going Bald: It’s All in Your Head

Bald men often feel ashamed and inferior. Here’s how to get over it.

Bald and proud? continued...

Coping with going bald: Don't try to hide it

But what about those men who are not mistaken about their appearance - men who really do have thinning hair and think they look awful as a result?

"If a man really has obviously thinning hair or is bald, technically I wouldn't give him a diagnosis of BDD," Phillips says. "But many men who do have thinning hair are suffering enormously. As a clinician I would probably use treatments to help depression and to cut back on preoccupations. If you're obsessing about your appearance, that's a problem."

If balding men are ashamed of the way they look, and they declare their shame by trying to disguise or hide their thinning hair, that's a huge turn-off, according to image consultant Amanda Sanders of New York Image Consultant.

"I hate to say this, but nothing is less attractive than a man with thin hair who is trying to hang on to it," Sanders says. "I seldom see anyone with a toupee or hair weave or hair plugs who looks fabulous. It always looks fake, and I think that's a put-off. Women find it more attractive when a man has more confidence in himself, so a balding man should just embrace being bald."

According to Sanders, if a man acts as though being bald doesn't matter to him, then it doesn't matter. And there's even hope on the Hollywood front in that regard. Several film stars, such as Bruce Willis, Ed Harris, Samuel Jackson, and Sean Connery, project self-assurance by making no effort to hide their thinning hair, while Matthew McConaughey, the "sexiest man alive" in 2005, according to People magazine, appeared vain when he confessed to David Letterman that he was using Regenix to bolster his thinning hair (and probably getting hair transplants too, some doctors speculate).

And I have to agree that it really comes down to how you feel about it. My life became much more enjoyable after I stopped caring about losing my hair. The American essayist and aphorist Logan Pearsall Smith captured my experience perfectly: "There is more felicity on the far side of baldness than young men can possibly imagine."

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Reviewed on May 01, 2007

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