Personality, hair loss go hand in hand

November 20, 1992|By Asahi News Service

TOKYO -- Men the world over seem to worry about receding hairlines and thin hair. Men with certain characteristics may have to worry more about losing their hair if results from a recent survey by a major Japanese cosmetics company is any indication.

The survey conducted by Shiseido Co. this summer showed that men who are pessimistic, methodical and irritable are more likely to have thin hair.

That connection was made based on street-side interviews of men in various parts of Tokyo on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Valid answers were received from 733 men between the ages of 15 and 59. They were asked whether they thought their hair was thin, receding or abundant, as well as about their habits and personalities.

The survey showed 51.5 percent of the men who said their personalities are pessimistic replied their hair was getting thin and 20.4 percent said their hair was already thin.

On the other hand, only 47.2 percent of the men whose personalities were rated as optimistic said their hair was thinning and 13.9 percent said it was already thin.

Similar relationships were found between the amount of a man's hair and his methodicalness and irritability traits, the survey showed.

For instance, while about 74 percent of irritable men said their hair was already thin or thinning, only 63 percent of calm men reported the same problem.

Based on the findings, the company's report advised, "The best medicine against hair loss is to lead an easygoing life without brooding or being particular about small things."

A company spokeswoman admitted, however, that the findings were based solely on answers of the men interviewed and that "no link has been proved between the characteristics and hairlines," she said.

Dr. Ko Utsumi, a dermatology expert at Chiba University, who conducted a study on the subject decades ago, said, "In general terms, a relationship seems to exist between personalities and loss of hair."

But he also warned that for more precise results such studies must be based on psychological testing of a person's personality.

In addition to the noted personality traits, the Shiseido survey showed that the typical man with thin hair is someone who is a little overweight, a heavy smoker, sweats easily, often drinks alcohol and has a thick beard and bodily hair.

This type complains of an itchy scalp and dandruff and has soft hair. His father or the grandfather on the father's side also had thin hair.

The survey also found that one in every four teen-agers worries about losing hair.

Although 75.5 percent of teen-agers said their hair was full at present, 24.5 percent said they thought their hair was thinning or was already thin.

Moreover, 22.5 percent of the teen-agers in the survey said they worried that they were losing hair, compared to 26 percent among men in their 20s.

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