Premature Hair Loss

Within the context of medicalization and biomedicalization, there is a huge role of medicine in American society. Medicalization refers to the control over bodies and behaviors through medical interventions and biomedicalization refers to the enhancement of them. An example of medicalization was when penicillin was invented, saving countless numbers of lives, and was advertised through mass media, such as television and print. This was a good example of what laboratory scientists could offer. Through medicalization, the body is normalized from sick to healthy. Biomedicalization represents the changing nature of medicalization. New biological technologies were being created to improve the social life in America. This came into play as a result of the media coverage of technologies that could repair and replace body parts and even help hair grow back. Biomedicine was used to enhance individuals’ bodies so that they are as productive as possible. Nowadays, medicine is used to solve every individual problem, like the examples we saw in class of menopause, birth control, and erectile dysfunction. These are all naturally occurring in our body and medication is readily available for those with these conditions to help us in our daily lives. Culturally, it says a great deal if you are healthy and successful and these medications not only make the sick healthy, but can enhance our abilities to be successful.

The video advertisement I chose was about premature hair loss. As an advertisement strategy, they attempted to be funny and put a small boy on the back of the balding man and he covered his bald spot like nothing was there. At the end, the message was don’t hide it, fix it and showed the bald spot. Vitalfan was the product being advertised and were anti hair loss capsules. There was no medical information besides what was presented on the box of capsules. It promotes healthy hair from within naturally, therefore, there are no doctor patient interactions, it is over the counter. As far as cultural values, premature hair loss can be very embarrassing for young men. Society views hair loss as something occurring at a later age, but not at a younger age, so medicine to help hair grow can help many people enhance their appearance.

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  1. Delisa Quayson says:

    Hair loss is a prime example of one of things that has been reframed as an illness that requires biomedical intervention. Hair loss in most cases is a natural phenomena. As we get older, our hair thins out. There are some special cases that call for biomedical intervention however. Hair loss due to illness or treatment, like chemotherapy. Socially however hair loss has become a very huge field in biomedicine. Women want thicker longer hair to be attractive.There are so many commercials and products out there that focus on giving women stronger healthier hair. Hair is seen by some as a status of wealth and health. The more shiny the hair, the more elegant the style, the more money a person has. Men also want to have a full head of hair that gives them confidence. Men are at higher risk genetically for hair loss because the gene responsible is found on the X-chromosome and has no oppose gene to cancel its effect on the Y-chromosome. Formally, not much attention was paid to it but now, men are going in for procedures and treatments to grow their hair back. This has economical benefits in that consumers spend dollars to get these treatments.

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