Did another colleague beat you again to a promotion you’ve been working hard for? That’s really frustrating. In the ideal workplace, people are judged solely by their skills, performance, and drive for excellence. But in the real world, talent and hard work can only take you so far.
In the workplace, your confidence matters as well. You need it to boost your presentation, negotiation, and interpersonal skills. But if you’re having self-image issues like hair loss in your 20s or 30s, they could affect your self-esteem and, eventually, your chances of career growth.
As much as you’d like to believe that looks have nothing to do with professional advancement, various studies have proven otherwise. Attractive people are hired sooner, paid more, and promoted faster than their less attractive colleagues. Getting ahead at work isn’t only about making an effort to look good and feel good—it’s all about being a total package so that you can prove that you deserve to take your career up a notch.
Here are the different ways hair loss hinders your chances of getting your dream job, raise, promotion, and opportunities to grow in the workplace.
Hair Loss can hurt your self-image and confidence
Feeling overly conscious about your hair loss? Does it bother you that your coworkers get shocked when they learn that you’re actually younger than you look?
You’re not alone. A study by Charité – Universitätsmedizin, a teaching hospital in Berlin, discovered the serious psychological effects of hair loss: low self-confidence and extreme feelings of unattractiveness. In worst cases, hair loss can trigger body dysmorphia (a mental disorder in which people worry too much about flaws in their looks) and trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder).
Hair loss can also increase the risk of anxiety and depression, according to this review of research about the psychological impact of alopecia.
The emotional suffering caused by hair loss is more devastating to women than men. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, women tended to be more upset and worried about losing hair than men did.
Lack of confidence is a bane to your career prospects. It affects your presentation, negotiation, and other skills that require assertiveness and the ability to carry and express yourself.
This is one of the reasons why TV host Tonipet Gaba decided to get a hair transplant from Svenson. Having a head full of hair doesn’t only look good (especially for on-cam talents like him) but also boosts confidence and overall well-being, he said.
It’s hard to make a good first impression
Did you know that it takes only a fraction of a second to form a lasting impression?
Findings of experiments by Princeton University psychologists reveal that people take 0.1 seconds to judge a person, and that impression doesn’t change even with longer exposures.
So whether you’re in a job interview trying to impress a prospective employer or in a business meeting selling an idea to your client, people might find it hard to focus on your merits when they get distracted by your thinning hair or receding hairline.
Especially if you’re applying for a front-line job like sales officer, hiring managers consider candidates who will represent their business best to customers.
In fact, 57% of hiring managers said that “qualified but unattractive” jobseekers would have a harder time getting hired for a job, according to a Newsweek survey.
You’ll have a lesser chance of earning more money
Many studies confirm what you don’t want to hear: attractive employees get paid more.
Economist and author Daniel Hamermesh reviewed such studies and concluded that attractive men and women earn 3% or 4% more than people with below-average looks and enjoy extra perks and benefits on the job.
You’re seen as less successful and likable
Balding men are perceived as older and less attractive than guys who got a hair transplant, according to a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study. It also found that people thought of men with full and thick hair as younger, better-looking, more successful, and more approachable.
Unfortunately, hair loss doesn’t make a good reputation in the workplace. Either you become a subject of office gossip or the laughing stock in the office (or both). That’s frustrating because people focus on your looks rather than your work ethics and performance.
And if you’re in the running for a key position in the company (like being a team leader or manager), how can you expect your future subordinates to take you seriously?
Fight hair loss to boost your chance of career growth
While having thicker and healthier doesn’t automatically make you a successful employee, the confidence you’ll gain with it contributes to your corporate success. Are you worried about your hair loss and how it’s affecting your work? Visit a trichologist to have your hair and scalp checked and get recommendations for a hair treatment that suits you best. A hair and scalp consultation is free at Svenson—book one now! #TheHairlossAuthority