by Dr. Roy Stoller
Obviously, every man and woman who comes in to see me is bothered by losing their hair. Some don’t like the thinning, or that they can’t wear the style they want, or their hairline is disappearing, or they can’t part it the way they are used to. Something about their change in appearance is bothering them and it doesn’t always coincide with how much hair loss they have suffered. Every individual has some psychological or emotional impact from the loss of their hair and are not happy with the way they now look. I know not only from years of speaking with patients, but also my personal feelings and the feelings of people close to me.
Most cultures admire good hair. It is reflection of many components of of lives. It’s a prominent feature for the appearance of your face. It affects your personal, social, and work life. It’s not just vanity; it’s seen as a sign of health and vitality. We still see references to Samson and Delilah and the strength he derived from his hair and his destruction with the loss of his hair. And what did we all think when part of the punishment of Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones was to get rid of her beautiful shining hair; it was a daily reminder of the all of the indignities forced on her during her punishment. She could never be the same.
Some people feel that they are losing control when they are loosing their hair. Maybe it affects your self-image or self-esteem, or your feelings of confidence and desirability. Some feel truly distressed, and may develop depression or anxiety.
One of the greatest rewards of my work over the years as a hair surgeon, is to be in the position to listen to each patient’s individual story about their hair loss, their family members with hair loss, what their hair was like before, how they would like it to be now. It seems to be a lost skill in medical offices today for physicians to spend time with their patient, listening to them, validating their concerns, and empathizing with the effect of their hair loss on their personal, social, and work lives.
When you become my patient, you are welcomed as part of our office family. Hair loss is not a condition that comes and goes. My staff and I expect to provide you with a supportive environment as you pursue the treatment for your hair loss.