While the latest hair style or fashion trend should have little do with the workplace (unless you work in hair and fashion), evidence would suggest otherwise. This is especially true when it comes to negative experiences related to hair, clothing, or body image. You may not have considered hair loss as something that might impact a woman’s career, but here are 4 ways it might do just that:
- Loss of Confidence: There’s a lot of pressure put on women by society to look and act a certain way, and while feminism has come far, there’s still a strong link between appearance and confidence. Unfortunately, hair often plays a big role in this link, and for women suffering from hair loss it can come as quite a blow to their self-esteem. In 2015, a study on female pattern hair loss was published in the Official Publication of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology. The study concluded that hair loss in females had a significantly negative impact on self-esteem and quality of life. The article also discusses the common fear many women have of losing their hair and the social implications which could arise from such a change.
- Missed Opportunities: As unfair as it sounds, appearance plays a big role in the workplace. Men and women who look put together, polished, and attractive are often chosen to represent the company over those who don’t dress well or are unpolished. Hair loss can cause a woman to appear disheveled or ungroomed, perhaps leading to her being overlooked for a more put together colleague.
- Work Performance: Hair loss, thinning hair and lack of confidence can impact work performance, especially if mood has been affected. Women who are losing their hair may have an emotional reaction to this change in physical appearance. This can cause a woman to lose interest in activities she used to enjoy or make her feel embarrassed to interact with colleagues and clients in a social setting.
- Inability to Commit to Social Activities: To become part of a team, many workplaces encourage bonding outside of the office as well as inside. This might include company picnics, team building excursions, or retreats. Unfortunately, hair loss may ultimately impact activities which a woman enjoys, such as swimming in chlorine-treated water, or wearing a helmet to participate in a bicycling event.
Hair loss happens for many reasons and to women all over the world; don’t be embarrassed to reach out for help.