Alopecia UK funds invested:  £24,678 from a grant by the VTCT Foundation

When:  2020-2022

Project type:  Psychology, Support delivery

Project Lead:  Dr Fabio Zucchelli

Length of project: 2 years

Research Institute:  Centre of Appearance Research, University of the West of England, Bristol

Condition of interest:  All types of alopecia, Alopecia Areata

Funds being used for:  Research staff, consumables and conference costs

Overall Aim of the Project:

To learn more about the experiences of men with alopecia, what kind of help and information men would like, how they would like to access it, and what gets in the way of accessing the materials already available to them.

Justification for research project:

We know from the men we speak to that many experience as much distress as women and feel frustrated that there is much less awareness of male alopecia. It’s true that the majority of journalists who approach us ask for women to speak to, and news stories tend to focus on women too. We wanted to really focus on men’s experiences to help us find out more about how Alopecia UK can help, as well as giving men a voice to tell others how it actually is. The research focuses on men because they are under-represented in research, not by design but because we just don’t often get men coming forward to participate so we wanted in this study to ask questions men can relate to.

How was the research done?

We sent a big survey to men with any form of alopecia (including androgenetic alopecia), which nearly 200 men completed: roughly half of whom had alopecia areata and half had androgenetic alopecia. We asked men about their experiences of accessing information and help through Alopecia UK and beyond, their preferences, and the impact alopecia had on their lives. Because we know especially little about how alopecia areata impacts men, we also interviewed 18 men with the condition who had taken the survey. In the interviews, we asked men in detail about how alopecia areata had affected them, and how their experiences fitted within society’s views about appearance.

Who is leading the project

Dr Fabio Zucchelli is a Research Fellow at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Since 2016, he has worked at the Centre for Appearance Research, and has conducted multiple studies on the psychological impact of numerous conditions that affect appearance. Since 2020 he has worked on multiple projects specifically on alopecia. He also collaborated with Alopecia UK to secure funding for this 2-year project from the Vocational Training Charitable Trust Foundation, investigating 200 men’s experiences of alopecia.


The results of the second part of this study, which covers the interviews with men with AA, were published in the journal Health Psychology Open in August 2022.

A blog on our website also summarises the results of this project.