Symptoms, causes, and treatments for phalacrophobia
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2022-04-06
Do you know what phalacrophobia is? Probably the name by itself doesn't tell you anything, but... What if we told you that there are people who experience fear of becoming bald, and that they even may feel fear of bald people? This is what happens to people who suffer from this disorder that causes serious health problems and alters the behaviour of those suffering this condition, affecting their lives and their relationships with others.
If you are looking for information about a FUE hair transplant, you may think: “I am also afraid of going bald, so... do I have fear of hairless people?” It is true that the fear of losing hair - which is an important part of our personal image - is very common; the problem, however, comes when that fear becomes an obsession that we cannot control. Is that your case? Don't worry: in this post we will explain you everything you need to know about phalacrophobia, and how to overcome it.
What is the fear of baldness called?
As we have just told you, phalacrophobia refers to an irrational fear of baldness: it´s a phobia caused by the fear of going bald, that becomes an uncontrollable obsession. People with fear of bald men or women can feel that uncontrollable fear even when they are not losing hair at all and there are no signs indicating that they may suffer from alopecia in the future. In addition, their condition may not be limited only to baldness itself; on the contrary, they can also feel fear of bald men, even hate about those with baldness.
This means that those who suffer panic of bald people can often feel deeply uncomfortable and tense in the presence of people with baldness, and they even avoid meeting bald people. They may also experience tremendous nervousness and anxiety just because of hearing about baldness, even if they hear about the issue just in an advertisement, for example. Just thinking about the idea of losing their hair, people with phalacrophobia can feel extremely nervous and even experience physical symptoms, such as anxiety attacks, nausea, or shortness of breath.
At the same time, these symptoms generate problems and disorders for these people that alter their daily lives, since the obsession can become totally uncontrollable; for example, it is not uncommon for those who suffer this irrational panic to become obsessed to the point of counting the hairs they lose when performing simple daily habits, such as combing their hair, showering, or sleeping. In the most extreme cases, the perception of those who suffer from this disorder becomes altered, and they even believe that have bald spots or that they are losing hair... even though their hair is perfectly healthy.
What causes phalacrophobia?
Although it can occur in both sexes, it is more common for phalacrophobia to be experienced by men; after all, they are the ones with a greater genetic predisposition to suffer from hair loss problems: it is estimated that around 50% of men over 50 years suffer from some degree of alopecia.
But what is the origin of this obsession? There are many hypotheses about it. Some theories say that those who suffer from fear of baldness have suffered some kind of trauma in their childhood that they have associated with baldness or bald people, so that over the years they developed this irrational phobia towards hair loss or even fear of bald people, without being able to explain it.
Another explanation is the one that relates this disorder to the fear of physical change. Although certain types of baldness can be associated with masculinity, and even be very attractive for women, in general, society sees hair loss as contrary to commonly accepted beauty codes: therefore, the fear about the opinions of others on our physical appearance, and social rejection, can both generate anxiety that leads to phalacrophobia.
Finally, we must not forget that many people associate baldness with the passage of time, with the end of youth and aging, and with the physical decline that ultimately leads to death. Therefore, can also be explained from the point of view of those who fear of becoming old and the end of their own lives, and that see hair loss – whether is real or not - as a symptom of the inexorable path to death.
How can I overcome phalacrophobia?
It is clear that facing hair loss is not an easy situation, since it is something that affects our personal image. Alopecia can affect our self-esteem and cause depression; and although nowadays there are multiple treatments - including drugs such as minoxidil - that can help to delay hair loss, not all people know how to deal with this situation in an easy way.
Our recommendation is that, if faced with any symptom of alopecia or simply when thinking about the idea of losing hair, you suffer from discomfort, anxiety, or an irrational fear that you cannot control, you should seek professional help from a psychologist as soon as possible, since a proper psychological treatment can help you to overcome your problem.
In any case, it is important to emphasise that if you notice signs of hair loss, the best thing you can do is to consult an expert, who will be able to carry out a professional diagnosis and confirm if you do suffer from some type of hair problem that needs treatment, or, on the contrary, there is nothing to worry about. Remember also that sometimes we can lose hair alarmingly but later hair grows back, as occurs with telogen effluvium. Besides, do not forget that baldness has a solution.
Remember: there is a solution for baldness
Currently, thanks to modern treatments and techniques such as the FUE hair transplant, recovering lost hair is very easy and within the reach of almost everyone. With this painless technique that does not leave scars, in a few months your hair will grow back even in those areas of the scalp where it had completely disappeared.
So, whether you suffer from phalacrophobia or you are just starting to suffer the first symptoms of baldness, and want to save your hair, don't worry: there are treatments and solutions for baldness, and if you decide to get a hair transplant, this is a definitive solution that lasts your whole life. Do you want to learn more? Contact Clinicana: we are the best hair transplant clinic, and we are specialised in all hair treatments. Request a free consultation, and ask us for a free, no obligation estimate for your treatment. We are here to help you!