One in five young men under the age of 24 turn to hair transplantation at the first sign of hair loss.
More than half (58%) of this age group have faced some sort of negative stigma as a result of hair loss, according to a new report. Likewise, one in five people have been victimized by someone using what it looks like as an excuse not to go on a second date.
The same amount also reports that someone canceled a date with them after discovering they had no hair, according to the UK Male Hair Loss report of 1,503 Britons using dating apps.
Anxious at the thought of receiving such a judgment, one in six who lose their hair have canceled an appointment themselves, 28% choosing to wear a hat when they have one.
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“Generally, when you think of hair loss in men, we tend to think of older generations, but hair loss can start as early as 16 for some,” said GP Dr Sameer Sanghvi and head of clinical technology at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, who conducted the survey, points out.
“Nearly nine in 10 respondents said they thought there was a stigma associated with hair loss, which correlates with feelings of self-consciousness and perhaps drives men to seek ways cover up their hair loss rather than accept it.”
Only one in four young men (24%) feel comfortable enough to show their lack of hair in their first dating profile photo, and they are more likely to reveal it in their third photo.
The attitudes they face in the dating sphere towards baldness contribute to almost three in four (72%) feeling unattractive and embarrassed, and ultimately looking for ways to distract or cover up their lack hair.
The results also reveal that men aged 16 to 24 are the most likely to seek medical treatment for hair loss, with more than two-fifths being concerned.
In addition to those opting for a procedure (19%), 13% said they had tried counter-treatments at the first sign of symptoms and more than a fifth (21%) had tried a prescription such as minoxidil.
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And in addition to trying medical solutions, young men are taking other steps to try to help what they feel is a problem.
Almost a third (35%) of 16-24 year olds use exercise to distract themselves from hair loss as the most common way to do so, followed by wearing a hat (33%).
And almost one in four (23%) change their diet at the first sign of baldness, with the age group most likely to adopt a new lifestyle at this stage.
However, just under a third of men with the disease under the age of 24 choose to make more permanent changes in the form of body modifications, with 16% going as far as getting a tattoo and 12% getting a piercing like a form of distraction.
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Sharing his words of wisdom for younger men, Dr Sanghvi said: “While it is great to see people aged 16 to 24 choosing to adopt healthier diets and start working out, Lifestyle changes will not slow or stop the process of hair loss, it is important to accept it as a natural part of human life.
To learn more about the condition officially known as androgenetic alopecia, or more commonly male pattern baldness, see our helpful guide to hair loss in men: signs, symptoms, causes and treatments.
You can also find a support group on the Alopecia UK website or contact the association with any questions by emailing [email protected] or by phone on 08001017025.
Watch: What is alopecia?