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I Lost My Hair; I Will Never Get Married

Questioner

I

Reply Date

Apr 08, 2016

Question

As-Salamu Aleikom. I am a 29 years old university student. There is a problem that worries me. I started losing my hair after 25 years of age. Now, it has become worse; I have become bald, and I know I look awful. I have tried the available medical treatments, but to no avail. Recently, I have stopped seeing myself in the mirror because it hurts me. When my friends and relatives look at me, they feel pity for me. I feel like a victim. I don’t want to face people. I avoid social gatherings and try to spend most of the time alone. That makes the situation worse.Earlier, I didn’t care much about it. I used to laugh about it. But now people around me have started laughing at myself. Many people say it is a small issue and may even laugh at my stupidity (of getting worried about it). But the reality is very different. The world we are living in right now judges on the basis of looks. External looks are more important than internal virtues.I have lost interest in my studies. I have lost interest in my life. I pray five times a day, but recently, I have noticed that the “khushu’” that used to be present earlier in my salah is gone. I don’t feel the connection with God any more, and I feel this issue with losing my hair is one of the reasons for that.My parents are worried about my marriage. They think it will be difficult to convince a girl to marry me. Their fears are genuine as far as our society is concerned. I have never had any relationship with any girl until now. I got offers many times from beautiful girls, but I kept myself away from them because I thought it was wrong. Perhaps I was wrong! What shall I do? I need help.

Counselor

Answer


hair

Answer:

As Salamu ‘Alaykum Brother,

Thank you for writing to us with your most important question. I am sorry you are experiencing such anxiety and low self esteem regarding your hair loss. What you are experiencing is common and referred to as male patterned baldness, which is experienced by 70% of men. Many men went through and are going through what you are. Some develop low self esteem (as you have) while others just accept it and move on with their lives focusing on other physical attributes. There are online forums I suggest you check out dear brother, which may be useful for you to read other young men’s experiences.

Regarding early hair loss, “Some men aren’t troubled by this process at all. Others, however, suffer great emotional distress associated with a lack of self-confidence, and sometimes depression and high levels of anxiety can occur.” The fact that your friends and relatives “feel pity” for you or make fun of you does not help. It seems they are playing off of your insecurities. There is no reason to “pity” you. You are a healthy, strong man. Some men are living with missing limbs or have severe deficits. I do not mean to downplay your feelings regarding this as your feelings are real and valid; I am merely asking you to put this in its correct context.

For instance, did you know may men shave their heads bald as it is also considered to be appealing to women? Physical attributes vary by culture and fashion as well. Some men work out developing their bodies and focus on health rather than hair and consider themselves attractive. While you may be consumed with your loss of hair right now, I urge you dear brother to focus on other areas of your body which you perceive to be acceptable and work on that. For instance, if you have the propensity for clear skin, maintain it. If you enjoy working out, then focus on that.

I urge you to make a list of all your attributes, good points, accomplishments, and blessings. Review them daily. View yourself with confidence and respect. Look internally to ensure you are not neglecting your needs for stress reduction, which will reduce anxiety, and enjoyment. When we are too obsessed with one aspect of our being, it leads to an overall imbalance which you appear to be suffering from now. I encourage you to try to overcome these feelings of low self esteem and anxiety by re-directing your perception of what is considered attractive as well as building upon your attractive qualities, both external and internal. If you cannot move along the continuum of increasing your self esteem and reducing your anxiety brother, I encourage you to seek counseling as there may be other underlying issues besides your hair loss.

A confident mind along with a cheerful smile is more attractive than a full head of hair!

Please let us know how you are doing brother. You are in our prayers.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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