New research shows the emotional impact hair loss has on under 35s CREDIT: E+

More than a quarter of men under the age of 35 turn to drink and drugs due to hair loss, new research shows. The survey of just over 2,000 men, commissioned by Asda Pharmacy, shows the major emotional strain placed on young men who are losing their hair.

41pc of men under 35 said they would rather lose their home or sight in one eye than all of their hair, while 36pc of men under 35 referred to hair loss as one of their biggest worries. Almost four in ten (38pc) of the men surveyed said hair loss makes them feel depressed.

Many reported that the process has had a major impact on their social and romantic lives. Almost a third said they felt a lack of confidence, with some four in ten (39pc) experiencing a lack of sex drive and a third going so far as to avoid socialising with friends.

Hair loss is often seen as an older man’s problem, but according to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss by the age of 35.\

Spencer Stevenson is hair loss expert who recognises the data from his own experiences.

“This is a hidden epidemic – it’s off the chart”, he says. “I started losing my hair at the age of 21 and it emotionally traumatised me. I didn’t go out, I lost girlfriends and really isolated myself, which in turn brought on deeper issues such as depression and body dysmorphia.”

Like many men under 35, Stevenson felt he could not tell anyone about the emotional turmoil he was suffering, and continued in silence until eventually telling his family and finding others with similar experiences on forums such as Bald Truth Talk.

Having gone through a number of treatments until eventually finding two that worked for him, Stevenson now offers advice to men experiencing hair loss. He believes the reason it causes such emotional strain for many men is partially because it feels out of their control.

31pc of men under 35 in the UK are already considering hair transplants, according to the new survey – but Stevenson is adamant that this path should only be used as a last resort.

“You need to put a comprehensive regime in place to protect and preserve your existing hair situation for a minimum of twelve months to two years to stabilise your situation, enable you to see where your hair loss is progressing to or not, and then at that point look at doing surgery.”