Most young people are “terrified” of going bald

Linley SandersData Journalist
November 10, 2020, 8:02 PM UTC

The youth of America shares a common fear: going prematurely bald. 

Most 18-to 24-years-old men (59%) and women (57%) agree with the statement “going bald terrifies me,” according to a YouGov poll of more than 32,000 Americans. Most 25-to 34-year-old women (55%) and about half of 25-to 34-year-old men (51%) agree that a thinning hairline is frightening. 

Male pattern hair loss is not common for most men under 30 years old, which perhaps explains the terror around going bald at a young age. As men get older, their likelihood of experiencing hair loss increases, and their concern appears to fade as it becomes more expected. 

By age 35-44, only 41% of men are so worried about losing their hair – 48% have conquered their fears by this point. Among the oldest men – those aged 65 and above – only 14% are worried about the prospect of a cue ball head. 

It is from groups aged 35-44 and above that women — who are less likely than men to experience noticeable baldness overall — become noticeably more likely to be afraid of losing their hair than men are.  

About half of 35-to 44-year-old women (51%) fear baldness, a level 10-points higher than among men the same age. Although concern declines as they get older, it does so more slowly than among men: it is not until age 55-64 that women are more likely to say they aren’t scared of losing their hair (46%) than they are (39%). 

More than a third of women aged 65 and above (38%) are still terrified of losing their hair, a rate approaching three times the number of men who say the same. 

Related: Half of Americans would be more likely to date someone if they had a dog 

Methodology: Total weighted sample size was 32,601 US Adults aged 18+. Participants were asked, “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Going bald terrifies me.” Response options were: "Definitely agree,” “Tend to agree,” “Tend to disagree,” “Definitely disagree,” and “Neither agree nor disagree.” The survey was conducted between October 2019 – October 2020. The responding sample is weighted to provide a representative sample of the United States. 

Image: Getty