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I wish I could take your pain

”I wish I could take your pain"
The individual drama of female hairloss and self help communities in Sweden

Hair loss (alopecia) is recognized as a form of disfigurement comparable in its psychological affects on a personality with serious skin diseases such as severe psoriasis. Social psychological studies on alopecia established that the condition frequently entails serious psychological difficulties regardless of type and areas of balding. Those are lower self-esteem, feeling of vulnerability, social uneasiness, the feeling of” loss of a sense of self”, fobias, inadequacy developing in some case into a clinical depression. Due to biological factors, women seem to have more reasons to lose hair than men. Hormonal misbalance connected to some of gender-specific illnesses, childbirth and birth control medication, nutritional deficiencies caused by blood effusion during periods and by dieting, hair styling and dyeing, as well as other not fully known triggering factors, expose the female population to an additional risk of alopecia. Particular cultural definitions of femininity and beauty that determine the social perception of women and girls in society make experience of thinning hair and baldness especially dramatic for them.

The study offers an in-depth look at women’s experience with alopecia and at their corresponding relations with services and support institutions. The emphasis is made on the role of grass-roots communities operating in Sweden, Skaraborg region. A multimethod design research combines qualitative interviewing with survey elements.

For more information, please contact

Lika Rodin
Lecturer in social psychology
Institute of Technique and Society
University of Skövde

Page Manager: Anders Östebo|Last update: 6/25/2013

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