Bald is beautiful?: the psychosocial impact of alopecia areata

J Health Psychol. 2009 Jan;14(1):142-51. doi: 10.1177/1359105308097954.


This study reviewed previous studies to explore the psychosocial impact of having alopecia areata (AA). Nineteen primary studies, representing a total of 1271 participants from nine different countries are described and the psychosocial impact of AA is considered. Upon review of the evidence, it is apparent that AA causes dramatic and devastating emotions in patients, which can negatively impact their self-esteem, body image, and/or self-confidence. The negative impact of AA may be heightened for female patients due to the societal pressure to be attractive. Treatment for alopecia patients should offer psychological support to foster increased self-esteem and adaptation to their disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia Areata / psychology*
  • Beauty*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology
  • Social Desirability