All I Have to Do Is Dream ... About Losing All Of My Hair
When we dream about our hair falling out, analysts and psychologists agree: It means something.
“I had a strange dream last night about …”
Some listeners hear that sentence and settle in for a fascinating little tale, while others prepare for sheer boredom. But analysts and psychologists, as well as psychics and mediums, know that sentence can be a pathway into the speaker’s subconscious and may lead to valuable information about the dreamer.
In a dream, almost anything can be a symbol or a signifier. So what can be gleaned from a dream involving hair loss?
“The meaning of hair loss in dreams depends on the dreamer, his background and associations,” explains Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf, a New York-based psychotherapist and the author of The Dictionary of Dream Interpretation.
In other words, baldness may mean one thing to me and another to you. It may mean something very specific to a particular man but something quite different to a particular woman. And many other factors – from age and background down to perhaps what the dreamer had for dinner the night of the dream – might cause the lack of hair to signify something unique to each individual.
Hair loss in dreams: The Freud and Jung models
That said, there are still some “classical” connotations that tend to be associated with baldness. Schoenewolf points out that “Freud interpreted baldness as both a phallic symbol and a loss of power. Many athletes shave their heads in order to look more masculine, which probably is an unconscious way of looking like a walking phallus.”
“Aside from the general meanings above, it does depend on whether it’s a woman dreaming of baldness or a man,” Schoenewolf explains. “And it also depends on whether the woman dreams of a bald woman or a bald man. If a woman dreams of her hair falling out, it is similar to teeth falling out (loss of power). If a woman dreams her husband is suddenly bald, it could mean he is emasculated or phallic. If a man dreams of hair falling out, again it may signify loss of power. If he dreams he has a bald patch, it could mean he feels exposed or is experiencing loss of power.”
Schoenewolf also comments that there are differences between various schools of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. “The Jungian approach might be to see baldness in terms of archetypes in the collective unconscious,” he says. “Baldness might signify ‘rebirth.’ This would differ from the Freudian approach, which stresses sexual meanings.”
Dr. Gary Trosclair, a Jungian analyst in private practice and on the faculty of the C. G. Jung Institute of New York, provides some insight from the Jungian school. “Everything depends on the context of a dream, of course,” he says, “but since hair can represent instinctual energy, strength, power and fertility, it could represent loss of those things, either as an expression of the dreamer’s fear of losing these things, or the actual loss itself.”
Dreams compensate for something in our lives, but what?
“Dreams tend to compensate for our conscious viewpoint, so if a man had become split off from his instinctual energy, but wasn’t sufficiently aware of it, a dream could show him as bald to try to make the point. This is more likely the interpretation for a younger man.”
“But, “Dr. Trosclair continues, “it could also symbolize a wisdom that comes with aging – being freed from the primitive instincts that drive younger men into problems. So, if another man dreams of balding, the unconscious might be providing an image suggestive of a more mature attitude – depending on the context, the need for a more mature attitude, or the actual accomplishment of it.”
One other possibility that Dr. Trosclair mentions is that baldness might imply rebirth. “Babies have no hair, shaving the head is often a part of spiritual rites of purification, and the hero has been known to lose his hair in the belly of the whale due to the heat,” he says. “The loss of hair could connote a sense of starting over. For Jung and many mythological traditions, death often leads to rebirth, and the same could be the case with the ‘death’ of one’s hair.”
What about baldness in dream interpretation outside of the psychoanalytical realm? The Psychics & Medium Network Web site says that in Europe and America a dream of baldness may be a “sign that you will soon have a financial loss,” but that for the Batoro tribe of Africa, for instance, dreaming of baldness is “an auspicious sign.” On the Coven of Cythrawl Web site, dreaming that people are bald means your subconscious is “trying to tell you that they are not as honorable or trustworthy as you would want them to be.” And for some, dreaming of baldness is associated with illness.
On a more positive note, baldness in a dream can also indicate that one is confident with exposing one’s true self to the world.
It seems, however, that general associations with baldness tend to be more on the negative side (loss of power, emasculation, financial ruin, illness and so forth) than on the positive side – although, again, it must be emphasized that the meaning of any symbol depends on the dreamer’s own associations with the symbol. Negative associations may reflect society’s general view of baldness as not necessarily desirable, but as more and more men embrace their hairless state, and as more men demonstrate the physical appeal of baldness, perhaps that will change.
Who knows? Fifty years from now, rather than saying, “I had a strange dream last night,” maybe a person who dreams of baldness will say, “I had the most liberating, invigorating dream last night.”
In the meantime – pleasant dreams.
Please fill out the form below to be referred to a hair loss treatment expert in your area. You will be contacted by a hair loss treatment expert who will offer you a free consultation and offer you recommendations based on your own individual hair loss condition.