Everybody has a fear of something. It’s a common, natural characteristic of the human species. It’s become so bad, we have an entire list of phobias, and there are some incredibly ridiculous fears on that list. There is actually one fear many men (and in some cases, female), young and old, share in common. Related to hair loss, this phobia is known as “Phalacrophobia.”
Phalacrophobia is the fear of becoming bald. Every man in his lifetime struggles with this fear at least once, and it can cause a bit of personal distress. “Will women still find me attractive?” “Am I getting old?” “Do I have bad genes?” These are some of the common thoughts and fears that stem from phalacrophobia. If the fear of going bald is the cause of such fears, then what causes phalacrophobia?
Most people believe that phobias are the result of traumatic events, and that makes perfect sense from a psychological stand point. Someone experiences a traumatic event, and then triggers become developed around that event until it turns into a phobia. For example, seeing a loved one drown can quickly lead to a development of aqua/hydrophobia, the fear of water. Then, whenever that person is near a body of water, and in worse cases, a glass of water, they panic. However, if someone hasn’t experienced hair loss before, or have yet to become bald, then what causes the fear of going bald?
The answer is usually the simplest explanation: social expectations. Perhaps, the fear of going bald is actually the effect, and the causes of this fear are the expectations we’ve been taught to have. “Only old people go bald,” “Hair is sexy,” or usually the worst comment someone can hear “Do you have cancer?” When people think of going bald, they instantly think about what everyone else will think of them. More often than not, people tend to wonder what people will think of them if they go bald. What matters is what they will think of themselves.
This article isn’t meant to stir up psychoanalysis though, this is just a little peek into a shared fear amongst the human race. The symptoms of having phalacrophobia are the same as any other phobia: anxiety, dread, irregular breathing or heartbeat, sweating, dry mouth, sudden feeling of sickness or nausea. It’s hard to imagine someone feeling nauseous the moment someone mentions going bald, but if you’ve ever been to a hair salon and your stylist says “Your hair seems to be thinning,” then you know the feeling.
As with most phobias, there are very few cures for phalacrophobia. You can take medicine, but the symptoms will only be suppressed; the fear is still present and alive. You can always try out psychological treatments for phobias, such as counseling, hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy, which tend to have mixed results. If it’s a hair loss thing, you can even try special shampoos or hair loss treatments. In the end, it all comes down to acceptance and how you feel about going bald. It’s not as bad as it sounds; a lot of people shave their head willingly and end up liking the look and feel of being hairless. So why fear losing all of your hair? Conquer your fear of going bald, and get on with your life.