Hi Doc, Here is an interesting msg I ran into in Craigslist, a guy who is job hunting, might be good for the blog sfo Help! I am bald and cannot get a job! “Recently, people interviewing me have been staring at my bald head. I used to have a receding hairline (a la George Costanza) so I keep my hair shaved bald now. Nobody used to stare before, now they do a lot. I notice that a lot of IT guys are bald and does not seem to keep them from getting hired. Am I being discriminated as a bald (I mean “follically challenged”) man because people in sales/marketing are supposed to be cool looking (unlike IT nerds) so they are not hiring me because of my looks? Should I do the hair transplant thing? I always thought that the bald-shaved look was cool, sort of like the no-collar shirts used to be.
Myths exist about men with hair loss reflect the superficial nature of our society which judges a “book by its cover’. These myths, at times, cut deep into the psychology of our culture. About 9 years ago, I ran a radio talk show called “The Inner Man”. It ran an hour once a week. We covered many subject from sex to religion and became fairly popular because of the controversial subject material. One show, in particular, discussed discrimination targeting bald men. The switchboard went crazy with many call-in listeners. I remember one man who called in and told us that he was a Vice President of Sales for a very large company and he was very bald himself. Then he told me that generally bald men can’t be trusted and he never hires balding men because of that. As a bald many, he must have known something about himself with that comment because it made no sense, particularly in his case.
The image of trusting men by their appeearance, however, is common issue in politics. Full header hairy men win more elections than balding me across the nation. Every elected president after Eisenhower, has had a full head of hair and many pundits infer that men with a full head of hair are trustworthy. That is not to say that a bald man is not trustworthy, but prejudices go back centuries. Women, for example, have preferred full haired men well before the 1900s because men who lost their hair often had some disease like tuberculous, making them undependable marriage candidates because they may die early leaving them with children and no support. Although tuberculous is uncommon today and we understand that balding is a genetic condition that has nothing to do with health in 99%.9 of men, but the cultural hangovers of history probably left a mark through our present time.
From what my patient’s tell me, I can assume that getting hair back, produces a man who is more self confident. I have heard this from men who have made it in their careers after I have restored their hair, particularly those who eventually became successful actors (we are in Hollywood so we get a fair number of actors). I remember an African American who wanted to be America’s first black president and believed he could not do it without hair on his head. I have heard these stories for the 24 years I have been in practice and those who have had their hair restored have reported that this surgery and this change in their appearance was a milestone in the development of successful careers. Hair does bring: freedom from the fear of the unknown, freedom from the fear of looking older, and a general feeling of more confidence for the man we all see in the mirror
What should you do? the above poster asked. Clearly this is an issue for him. He should become educated about hair restoration as the first step he might consider. He could come to one of our Open House events as he is in Southern California and he can meet many of the men who have had their hair put back back and ask them the questions he asked on Craigslist. He should research the internet and the many forums that address hair loss. He should interact with the community through social networks. He might find the answer by probing the world around him.