Just like being thin, society puts too much emphasis on hair and hairstyles, especially the younger you are. As you age, it is considered natural to begin losing hair (just strictly from Androgenic Alopecia let alone other forms). Nevertheless, hair is way overrated. Unfortunately, Hollywood and advertising has effectively set the societal norm that having hair is what defines beauty, youth and/or masculinity. This is not true. The reality is, having hair or not makes no difference whether on the head or body. It's simply strands of excess protein that really is of no use to the body, that's why it's sent out of the pores. And honestly, hair is mostly the reason for skin breakouts. Humans have just taken to cultivating the look of the hair much like we've done with manicuring the grass in our yards. The reality is, it's not the hair that matters, it's the person and what's inside that counts. The hair just comes along for the ride.
Unfortunately, most people are so attached to their hair and the identity that they have built around their hair that when they begin losing it, it's a shock. But, the primary reason it's such an emotional shock is that it's an unexpected (and unwanted) change combined with societal expectations. However, losing hair isn't the end. It may take some time for you to come to terms with your new less hairy identity, but in time you will. Personally, I prefer to get to know the person, not the hair.
Worse, cancer treatments have shed an unflattering light on those affected by alopecia. It's not really the cancer that's the problem either, it's the chemotherapy and drugs. These drugs are extremely harsh on the body in an attempt to kill off the cancer. Cancer treatments are effectively like trying to kill a microbe with a sledgehammer. So, it's no wonder all of the hair falls out from those harsh treatments. It's unfortunate too that those with alopecia get painted with that same brush even when it has no relation.
As I have aged, hair has become less and less important to me. In fact, for me it's become more of a nuisance than a blessing for my skin, due to issues with the natural fallout/regrowth cycles. While I do suffer from some Androgenic Alopecia, I am not affected by AA or AU. Yet, I have still chosen to shave my head (and other parts where my skin is problematic). I have also found that shaving it off tends to help with my skin's problems.
For children, though, having alopecia is tough. Peer pressure is very real in school. It's too bad schools don't have some way yet to combat peer pressure as children can be very harsh on someone who's even slightly different. For children with alopecia, it can be heartbreaking as these children are the same as all of the other children, just without hair.
Unfortunately, as long as society continues to define beauty by hair and hairstyles, we will continue to have the stigma attached to losing hair. It's unfortunate too because I find both men and women can be not just attractive, but funny, confident, kind, helpful and intelligent with or without hair. If you are in the process of losing your hair to AA or AU, societal standards (yet another form of adult peer pressure) are what is making you feel insecure. Just tell yourself there's no reason for this insecurity. It's not the hair that makes you, you. It's your actions, confidence, style and personality that drive who you are. The hair is just another accessory that you can ultimately do without.