By Brian Johnsrud
Whether you have hair or you don't, it sure seems to be a major focus on our every day lives. If you've ever had a choppy hair cut, a ghastly mistake in a new hair style, or an uncombable cowlick, then your probably in the vast majority of most Americans. Whether it be a night's sleep or a constraining hat, hair never quite seems to stay the way people desire. But, these quite often occurrences might be more mentally damaging than you would think.
A recent study at Yale University shows that bad hair days can drastically alter a person's attitude. The study involved 120 people, half men and half women, all from ages 17-30. They consisted of white, black, Asian, and Hispanic individuals in different proportions.
Out of these 120, they formed three groups. One, was told to focus on bad hair days that they recall, the second group was told to think of other negative things such as leaky containers, bad product packaging,
and others. The third group was told to try not to think of anything negative. While in these mind sets, each group completed simple psychological tests of self-esteem.
The group who recalled previous bad hair days showed lower self-esteem and self-worth than the groups who thought of other things. This study was funded by Procter & Gamble, a shampoo company who plans on releasing a new array of hair products called Physiqe. The company's goal is to provide its customers the maximum in hair comfort and control.
Hair, or the lack of it, seems to be related to more than one problem, however. A report in the Archives of Internal Medicine says that men with male-pattern baldness live up to higher risks of heart attack, coronary artery problems, and severe chest pain.
Apparently, men with male-pattern baldness have an increase in these risks over men with a full set of hair by 9 percent with frontal baldness only, 23 percent with mild vertex baldness, 32 percent with medium vertex baldness, and a whopping 36 percent with extreme vertex baldness.
Also, if the individual suffers from high blood pressure, than the risk can be raised by 79 percent, and can nearly triple if vertex baldness is joined with high cholesterol levels! What is the explanation for these bizarre connections? One reason may be increased levels of androgen, a male hormone. The men in this study with strong baldness had increased androgen levels in the scalp. High levels of this hormone may also contribute to hypertension arterial blockage due to a clot (thrombosis.) If you are balding, the researchers of this study suggest consulting with your physician to find any possible heath risks that may be accompanied with it. One solution to stay healthy, of course, is to maintain a specialized diet and regulate blood pressure often.
Either way, our hair seems to hold more relevance to people then most thought, whether you're concerned about your looks or your health.