10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania (TTM) is a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) characterized by compulsive hair pulling, resulting in noticeable hair loss and distress. This disorder affects an estimated one in every 25 people yet struggles with gaining significant awareness. TTM causes a great deal of shame, which makes it difficult for people to come forward.

woman lying on bed looking at hair

At 7 years old I was diagnosed with TTM. I have been in an ongoing battle with this disorder for nearly 14 years now. I have also been closely involved with the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors during these years. After becoming an advocate for TTM last October, I have been faced with many questions from friends, family and other sufferers. There are certain aspects of this disorder I believe are extremely important for the public to know.

1. We can’t “just stop.”

If we could, we would. I promise.

2. This is a real psychological disorder.

I often get asked if this is a habit or an addiction. It’s not. TTM is categorized in the DSM-5 as an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) related behavior. This does not, however, mean that TTM is OCD. This is a common misconception. TTM and other BFRBs are simply on the OCD spectrum, as this is currently the most appropriate place for them in terms of diagnosis.

3. We don’t want this.

People seem to forget this. We don’t want to engage in the behavior, nor do we want the hair loss or shame that results from it. The only thing we do want is the feeling of relief from tension and anxiety that causes us to pull in the first place. When a hair is pulled, endorphins are released in the brain. This creates an instant feeling of relief. You may have heard about endorphins before — they are released when you exercise as well!

4. We are extremely self-conscious about our appearance.

As you probably guessed, unwanted bald spots (or total baldness) creates a great deal of emotional anguish. We spend hours every single day doing our hair – it’s both frustrating and nerve-wracking. Even when we’re sure our spots are covered, we still constantly worry about them being discovered.

5. We don’t expect you to understand.

It is absolutely impossible for someone who does not have TTM to understand someone who does. No matter how frustrating it is, you will never be able to feel what we feel (unless by some chance you develop TTM, which I whole-heartedly hope you don’t). That being said, we don’t need you to understand. We just need you to support us during this battle. Unconditional love, encouragement and positivity can make a tremendous difference… and we appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

6. Sometimes, we just need space.

It gets tiring to live in a society where the importance of hair is so over exaggerated. Not only is the point of having hair put in our faces constantly, but specifically the idea of perfect hair: imagine all of the hair product commercials you see or the fuss over how celebrities do their hair. Seeing someone with silky, luscious locks can send us into a depressive frenzy. So yes, sometimes we get irritable and upset. We just need some time to breathe.

7. Many of us suffer from other mental health issues as well.

It is not uncommon for those with TTM to have co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Research has not yet identified whether other disorders trigger the onset of TTM or if TTM leads to the development of other disorders.

8. Recovery is possible.

Take it from me: I have recovered twice. Unfortunately though, TTM is much like a roller coaster. There will be times in life where your pulling is nonstop and times when it is stagnant. But it is in fact possible to stop. The most important thing is to never give up.

9. There is no known cure.

Until recently, doctors did not take the issue of TTM and other BFRBs seriously. It was assumed an insignificant amount of the population struggled with these disorders, when in reality, it simply took time to get people to realize they weren’t the only ones – which led to the creation of a community dedicated to raising awareness. Now, it is estimated that 4 percent of the population is affected by these behaviors. For the first time, large-scale research is in the works. However, for the time being, millions of others and myself are facing this issue every day without a cure.

10. You can help.

The largest barrier between us and a cure is funding. This research costs an astonishing amount of money. We need your help. To learn more about current research and making a donation,



She has Trichotillomania and is bald. Boy grows out hair for 2 years so he can make a wig for her


Most 10-year-old boys normally invest their time in video games, sports and other hobbies that catch their interest. They often do what brings them enjoyment. For the past 2 years, 10-year-old Tyler Boone has been growing his hair out to make a wig for his friend, 12-year-old Gabby Ruiz. During the process of this selfless gift, he has learned to ignore bullies and countless comments that have mistaken him for a girl.

With a smile, Tyler told ABC News, “I’m used to it now… I just want to make her happy.” After meeting years ago, the two have shared a friendship despite living a hundred miles apart.

When Gabby was 4-years-old, she was diagnosed with Trichotillomania, a hair loss disorder where the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Over the years, she has tried a variety of treatments but has not been able to grow her hair. So when Tyler met Gabby, he decided to grow his hair for her.


On Thursday December 29th, the duo and their families met at the JCPenney’s store in Florida’s Westfield Brandon Mall. There, the two shared endless amounts of laughter during their photoshoot before the big haircut they all had been waiting for. Gabby personally cut 12 inches of Tyler’s hair. The photographer captured the before, after and all the wonderful moments in between. The hair will be donated to Children with Hair Loss, a nonprofit organization that will make a wig just for Gabby.


Gabby and Tyler have set the standards of what the essence of a friendship should be – selfless effort, love and lots of laughter. “He’s a great person and he’s amazing,” Gabby shared with WFTS.

After Tyler’s big hair cut, he got a new buzz-cut at a salon inside the mall. A wonderful new haircut just in time for the new years! He’s a handsome kid with a giant heart, the best combination.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.



trichotillomania so whats that pros and cons

“the harmful effect that occurs when the general population endorses prejudice and subsequently discriminates against people with mental illness (Corrigan, Roe & Tsang, 2011, pp. xiii). More importantly I feel for my illness is the internalised stigma that develops, by directing negative attitudes inwards leaving a feeling of unworthiness and just ‘less’ of a being. It is an incredibly frustrating disease, while being described in psychiatric records as far back as the 19th century, research on epidemiology, psychopathology and treatment is sparse. It has only been in the last decade that trich has received increased attention, with the first book on the disease published in 1999.


 Prior to wearing a wig I feel that I dealt with social stigma on a more regular basis. This was mainly because my hair was obviously short, thinning and patchy. More often than not I had members of the public sharing their pity with me about my ‘chemotherapy’ treatment. This was particularly evident one day when I was working in Scotland. An older gentleman came in to purchase his bus tickets from me and proceeded to share his story of surviving testicular cancer. Although honoured that this man had shared his very personal experience with me, I had to tell him that my hair was not the result of a terminal illness but I was pleased he was doing so well. This was a statement I had to use regularly, “no, I don’t have cancer and my illness is not that serious” I would say. Sometimes I even said I had alopecia, because it was just easier to explain than “I pull my hair out” which can lead to either silence or further questioning.

(Sometime during the 1990’s, one of the few times I went to the hairdressers in an attempt to disguise my pulling)

For those of us that pull, there are often a range of feelings that develop after a good pulling ‘session’. Most involve guilt, sadness, frustration and an increase in anger, but all add to the internal feeling of helplessness that can lead to a decrease in self-esteem and self-efficacy. This can then have a direct effect on an individual’s pursuit and accomplishment of life goals, such as getting a job, living independently, and developing meaningful relationships.



1/ no longer the need to worry about their secret getting out

2/ others may express their approval

3/ others may have had similar experiences

4/ the person may find someone who can help them in the future

5/ the person is promoting their sense of personal power

6/ the person is living testimony against stigma



1/ others may disapprove of their mental illness or stigma

2/others may gossip about them

3/ others may exclude them from social gatherings

4/ the person may worry more about what people are thinking of them

5/ the person may worry that others will pity them

6/ family members and others may be angry they disclosed.


Personally I expect a mix of both through my experience writing this blog.  I am more hopeful that it will be a therapeutic experience for myself and a learning and/or sharing experience for others. 


Corrigan, P., Roe, D., & Tsang, H. (2011). Challenging the stigma of mental illness: lessons for therapists and advocates. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Son


10 Surprising Ways to Deal with Trichotillomania

Image result for trichotillomania

I haven’t stopped pulling. Nor do I have the cure.

But, I do know how upsetting, belittling, heartbreaking, soul destroying and life consuming this disorder is. I know what it feels like you can’t do something out of fear you may start pulling out your hair. I know what it feels like to see people looking at your eyebrows, wondering why they’re so drawn on. I know what it’s like to be outside in the wind, hoping that your false lashes aren’t going to fall off. I know what it’s like to constantly worry about your eyebrows rubbing off during the day. I know what it’s like to worry about what your eyelashes look like from the side. I know what it’s like to look down to a pile of little hairs on the desk. I know what it’s like to have that one little hair that you desperately need to pull out. I know what it’s like to pull out that one single hair that was stopping you from having a bald patch. I know what it’s like to pull so much that you’ve irritated your skin and eyelids to a point where it hurts to blink. I know what it’s like to feel as though everything you do is so much harder because you have the added the challenge of trying to not pull out your hair.

I know what it’s like to lose all of your beautiful eyelashes and thick eyebrows.

You’re not a freak, you’re not weird, you’re just one of thousands of people who have a Body Focused Repetitive Behaviour Disorder.

Trichotillomania Updates
During the summer, I managed to grow my eye brows back but by August I started pulling on my eyelashes. I was waiting for quite a big decision at the end of August/early September and I think it was the lead up to that that got me pulling on my lashes. It has been quite upsetting for me to start pulling out my lashes again, as I hadn’t done so since the summer of 2014.

From September until now, I hardly pull out my eyebrows. They grew back really thick, so thick that I actually really struggle to look after them. I definitely think that Rapid Brow helped, I always felt like the brows grew back quicker when I used that. Unfortunately, they came at the expense of my eyelashes.

For the past six months, what happens is that I’ll go through a period of a few days where I pull like crazy, leading to massive bald patches in my eyes. Then, it’s an uphill battle of trying not to pull at all and waiting for the lashes to grow back in again. This period is the absolute worst.

I had pulled a lot at the start of October, and they had started to grow in a lot by December but then I had three important essays in for January. In those last two weeks before the essays were in, I absolutely destroyed my lashes. I had pretty much no lashes on one lid and it was pretty devastating. Not only do I not like the look of it, it was also really hard to wear false lashes.

I’m in a bit of a better place now, a month on. Those lashes have started to come through and I don’t have any significant bald patches at the moment. I’m trying incredibly hard to not pull and I am playing the waiting game. I am so sick and tired of wearing winged liner and false lashes. Hey ho, I’m trying my very best and I hope some of my techniques help you as well.

Ways I deal with Trich
  • Cover up the area 
This will come as no surprise to anyone. Covering up the area reduces the availability of the hair to be pulled, reducing hair pulling. BUT, it also breaks the cycle of hair pulling. The less hair pulling you do, the better in the long run. Covering up the area isn’t just masking the problem, it does actually help you kick the habit for good.
Things I use are:
– Cotton Headbands
– Glasses – I recently got prescribed some as I was going a little blind and they’ve helped SO MUCH. I was using fake glasses (from Claire’s) beforehand and they worked as well.
– Sleeping Masks – I’m not the biggest fan of these because I find them annoying but if I’m desperate, I will always reach for mine.
These are just for eyelash and eyebrow pullers. I’m sure there are a thousand other things that can cover up the area, but it is each to their own. What works for me, may not work for you.
You can also cover your fingers/hands but I’ve always found this impractical. Some people use thimbles, little grips, plasters or gloves. I have seen a lot of long false nails helping as well. Again, you have to find out what works for you.
  • Castor Oil
There are other kinds of oil available as well, such as coconut oil. Putting this all over my eyelids when doing work helped so much before Christmas. Now that I have to wear glasses to do work, I no longer need the Castor Oil during the day. It works as a barrier to the lashes/brows, when they’re all slippery it’s difficult to actually pull a hair out. It’s also REALLY annoying to get oil all over your hands, even less of an incentive to pull! On top of that, Castor Oil helps with regrowth of lashes. I put it on before going to sleep most nights as well.
  • Keep your hands busy
Some people use fidget toys, some people knit etc you get the idea. Anything you enjoy doing that keeps your hands busy, get them in your life. Preferably something that needs two hands. For me, watching TV or doing something where I don’t really actively have to do anything, are some of the worst times for me to pull. I do need to get a replacement, but at the moment I just play games on my phone. My farm game is definitely my favourite at the moment. Otherwise, I do enjoy liking photos on Instagram. Basically, I use my phone to keep me busy. Although this works a little bit differently, but I really enjoy doing my makeup as a way of keeping my mind off pulling.
  • Exercise and Healthy Eating
This goes without saying that it’s good for you. By doing exercise, your stress levels are lower, which means that you’re less likely to pull. At least, that’s the case for me anyway. It is also another activity where you can’t pull your hair out. It is win, win, win, win, win. You feel better, you look better, you pull less? What’s not to love about a 10km run in the rain!
Healthy eating, again, I don’t need to give you a lecture about how it’s good for you. Eating a lot of vegetables will help with regrowth of hair as well. Eating meals regularly also helps. I find that alcohol, especially on a hangover, can make hair pulling worse as well. A regular sleeping pattern helps too!
  • Talk to someone
I can’t stress this enough. Please talk to someone. A problem shared is a problem halved (is that the saying? it looks weird written down…). I can’t even count the amount of times that people have messaged me saying they’ve never spoken to anyone about it before. I would advise talking to someone who you love and trust, perhaps a parent, partner or best friend. These people are in your life for a reason, they want to know these things and they will not reject you for being a ‘freak’. Because you are not a freak, and neither am I. Venting to people helps so much, please do not bottle all of these feelings in.


  • Keep a trich diary

Keeping a diary of how much pulling you’ve done, what you were feeling, any foods that may have set you off etc can help you figure out your triggers. You can then try and minimise those triggers, thereby reducing hair pulling.

  • Stroking a pet
Stroking my cat is one of the best things for me, she’s soft, she likes it, stops me pulling and it’s relaxing. I hate being in uni because I don’t get to hang out with Daphne, but if you were considering getting a pet, then there’s your excuse! (I have a post about Adopting My Cat if anyone happens to want to read it!)
  • Make time for fun
Life is stressful. I like to have one night a week where I get to eat and do whatever I want. I look forward to that all week then as well. It’s only little, but the prospect of fun on the weekend makes dealing with a bad day/my workload a bit better. I have had to accept that I can’t just do my degree 24/7.
  • Deep breaths
I try to do this in the middle of a pulling session. It helps take my mind off whatever I’m doing, distracts me and also relaxes me. If this doesn’t really work for you, it’s probably time to get up and do something else.
  • Positive Thinking
Thinking positively definitely helps me. My hair pulling is always much worse if I think thoughts like “I can’t do this”, “I’m going to be stuck with this forever” etc. I don’t want this disorder, so I’ve had to cut out all of the negative thinking. No one can do it for me, I have to do it myself. I’ve cut out every single shed of insult and only say nice things to myself and after a while, you start to believe it yourself. Then you see results. YAY POSITIVE CYCLE. Don’t be hard on yourself either, this is a loooooong uphill battle, it’s hardly surprising if you pull out a few hairs, you just have to keep on trying.
No one ever achieved something amazing by telling themselves they couldn’t do it. 
 These are some of the things that I do to help myself from pulling out my eyelashes and eyebrows. I know they won’t work for everyone, but it is unfortunately an uphill battle and you have to be creative with ways of dealing with this horrendous disorder. I know it’s hard but we can do it.

Bride with Trichotillomania Gets Dream Hair for Her Wedding

For people who suffer from trichotillomania, something as simple as a bad day at work or a mean comment from a friend can set off a devastating pattern of pulling out hairs one by one for hours. In Ruth Sweet’s case, a severe case of trichotillomania led to losing nearly all of her hair in addition to her confidence — but she’s getting that back now thanks to an innovative procedure.

Bride With Trichotillomania

Sweet, from Leicestershire, England, was diagnosed at age 14 with trichotillomania, an impulse control disorder that leads sufferers to obsessively pluck out their hairs, particularly when triggered by anxiety or stress. For Sweet, it started when her parents got divorced. The simple act of yanking out a strand of hair gave her a sense of relief, but it led to terrible consequences.

“I would spend hours searching for the right hair to pull and while I was pulling, I felt safe, like I had a security blanket around me,” Sweet, now 25, told the Daily Mail. Individual hairs soon turned into massive bald patches; however, and Sweet’s confidence plummeted. “[Most] women have about 150,000 hairs on their head and I think over the years, I’ve pulled every single one out,” she says.

During her teen years, Sweet would cover up her bald patches with headbands and by strategically arranging her hair, allowing her obsessive pulling to go unnoticed. “I would not eat or stop until I had pulled the right hair. It had to be thick and frizzy and have a big root on the end,” she explains. “I would pull multiple hairs at a time and cause my scalp to bleed, which I would then pick at to keep the scab going.”

Bride With Trichotillomania

“[Josh] didn’t know until around two and a half years ago that I was actually pulling my own hair out, as I concealed it so well,” admits Sweet. “If he ever noticed any bald patches, I told him my hair was falling out on its own, and hid that I was pulling it out myself.” Fortunately, he was able to support Sweet by letting her know that he found her beautiful “with or without hair” — a sentiment that led to Sweet shaving her head to finally stop pulling.

While she was eventually able to overcome her trichotillomania, Sweet was still left with bald spots all over her head and desperately wanted to restore her hair before getting married. After being turned down multiple times for treatment by the National Health Service, Sweet sought out a specialist. Their solution: an Intralace device, made from a hair-covered breathable mesh that both gives the wearer the hair of their dreams and prevents any pulling.

“The initial cost was £1,500 ($1,864 USD), but I have to go back for followups a couple of times a year,” she says, adding that it has been “worth every single penny.” The results speak for themselves, particularly when you see just how happy Sweet looked at her wedding to Josh.

Bride With Trichotillomania - New Hair

Bride With Trichotillomania - After Treatment


everything you need to know about trichotillomania

If you compulsively pick at your scalp or pull your hair out, you're not alone

If you compulsively pick at your scalp or pull your hair out, you’re not alone

 Trichotillomania, an anxiety-related mental health disorder, is characterized as an insatiable and persistent compulsion to pull or pick at hairWomen, especially young girls, are often stereotyped as hair-twirlers, socially conditioned to play with and touch their hair out of boredom or self-consciousness. This predisposition makes trichotillomania harder to spot.

Of course, frequent hair-pulling and breaking is the most easily diagnosable symptom. Beyond the obvious, though, trichotillomania sufferers often exhibit other compulsions. According to Mayo Clinic, individuals with trichotillomania are likely to pick at or scratch hair follicles on their scalp, pull their eyebrow hair and eyelashes, and obsessively shave or tweeze almost all body hair.

Many people with trichotillomania develop bald spots or patches and suffer from hair loss. Trichotillomaniacs mostly pull hair from its root and, as stated by KidsHealth, usually “feel a sense of relief after pulling,” which decreases an individual’s chances of seeking treatment. As is true of those with many obsessive compulsions, people with trichotillomania frequently feel ashamed or embarrassed of their habits — especially since sufferers of this condition can often go so far as to need wigs or head coverings.

Hair-pulling can be characterized in one of two ways — as automatic (unconscious) or focused (conscious.) Those who pull consciously often develop rituals around the behavior and are aware of what they’re doing. In fact, they might even decide to pull their hair to offset stress or a negative emotion.

Their counterparts who pull unconsciously, however, are likely to pull hair as a sort of fidget — something they do without noticing when they’re sitting idly or feeling apprehensive. It’s generally easier to diagnose and treat focused trichotillomania since individuals who are conscious of their behavior are quicker to accept a diagnosis and can more easily track their own habits.

The impulse-control disorder usually begins to take hold around the onset of puberty and advance as girls get older. Since twirling and playing with hair is considered a feminine habit, many dismiss early warning signs as a bad habit or inability to sit still.

In fact, the disorder creates impulses that are incredibly difficult to resist. Diagnosed individuals in treatment have blogged on community forums about having more difficulty stopping their hair-pulling than they did recovering from eating disorders or quitting smoking.

Though some sufferers find success in creative treatments like scalp sprays and special gloves that help them resist the urge to pick, most find therapy and prescription medication to be the most effective treatment. Therapists often help patients examine why and when they pull their hair, and often help them fight the urge by building a substitute behavior or ritual into their lives. Just as with any compulsion, treatment takes time and effort and requires that the individual in question be ready and willing to get help.

So if you find yourself tugging at your hair the next time you’re catching up on your favorite Netflix series or spot your friend picking at her scalp, consider how common and challenging trichotillomania is. If you or someone you know might be suffering from its symptoms, the sooner you seek help, the sooner you’ll begin to address the compulsion head on.

By Emma Miller



Inside The Mind Of Someone Who Fights Trichotillomania Every Day-term life

I’m pulling and I can’t stop. I know what I’m doing. I’m acutely aware. I know what I’m doing and I know I’ll hate myself later and it feels good and it helps quiet my mind and I can’t fucking stop.

redhead pulls at her hair, anonymous

Danil Nevsky Trichotillomania is endlessly maddening because I can’t explain it to myself or to anyone else.

I’m a logical, reasonable person and it makes no sense to me. Why would I continue to consciously do something that makes me miserable? Why can’t I stop myself from a simple, stupid, repetitive action that means I will cringe at any mirror I pass for the next month or two? I’ve read books. I’ve read research. The information is gradually getting better and more extensive, but I still don’t understand what this awful demon is inside me that compels me to disfigure my face this way. It’s obvious that my anxiety affects my disorder, sometimes disastrously.

It’s also quite apparent to me that depression and low self-esteem are direct results. Adulting: 20s Vs 30s Play Video Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Play Mute Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 0:00 Fullscreen 1.5M views I fight it and I try to calm myself and I refuse to resign to a life in which I will always lack eyebrows and eyelashes.

I’m insulted when people suggest I get eyebrow or eyeliner tattoos. To me, that’s akin to giving up on myself. Maybe I hate the idea so much because it would force me to admit to the world that I’ve been giving up on myself over and over for years. “I’ve never believed I could beat this.” I’ve never really believed that I could beat this. Every time I’ve had a period of time when I stopped pulling out of the blue – for reasons still unknown – I have felt happy, but with a looming sense of dread. I know the other shoe will drop.

I know I’ll start pulling again at some point and won’t be able to stop and I’ll end up disappointed in myself all over again. This has been my narrative for so many years that I’m at a loss for how to change it. I’ve grown and blossomed in many ways lately, but that is one area where positive development still manages to elude me. I stopped this past year for over seven months, and it was beautiful. It had been several years since my last long period of abstinence. As usual, I don’t really know why I was able to stop. I just did. For a while.

A full set of lashes grew in, and I was able to wear mascara and forgo my ever-present eyeliner for a good few months. I loved it. I loved going virtually makeup-free and not worrying about how I looked. No matter what, I never grew too smug or excited, because I knew I would fuck up. It’s been the pattern for years. Why would it change? I don’t honestly believe that I’m capable of stopping indefinitely.

I enjoyed my eyelashes while they lasted, because I knew it wouldn’t be long. I’ve been back in the hardcore pulling zone for several months again now. I try to encourage myself with goals and memories of my happy trichotillomania-free days. I try to consciously stop myself or get up and do something else when I start pulling. Nothing works. I know exactly what I’m doing and how horrible it makes me feel, and I do it anyway. “I must be some horrible kind of masochist.” I must be some horrible kind of masochist. I hate myself for doing this.

Then I hate myself for caring so much. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things whether I have a beautiful, lush, thick set of eyelashes and eyebrows or not … but it sure does matter to me. I guess I’m more vain than I like to admit. I’m tired of feeling bad about myself, but apparently not tired enough to actually solve the problem. I know – I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. It’s a compulsive disorder.

It’s not something I can help. I’ve been doing this for years and years, but I still can’t quite accept that it’s a part of who I am. I tell myself that I accept it, and yes, I’ve come a long way. Still, I know that internally I fight against it being a piece of my puzzle. I have to accept it wholeheartedly and practically. I think that only then can I begin to make real strides to combat it. I’m not sure how to get there, but that’s what has to be done.

Nothing else has worked for very long thus far. I want to be able to feel comfortable going camping or sleeping in the same house as someone else without worrying about my makeup coming off or needing to bring it along everywhere. I’m tired of feeling ugly and avoiding making eye contact with people, as if somehow that keeps them from seeing my affliction. I’m tired of wearing a mask everywhere I go.

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Processed Sugar Play Video Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Play Mute Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 0:00 Fullscreen 1.2M views I have made some strides in the last couple of years as far as my confidence is concerned, but I have a long way to go. I long for those few precious periods of time when I could walk around in public makeup-free with sad nostalgia. I tell myself that I’ll get there again, only to end up pulling a day or two later. I’m in this rut of resentful resignation and I feel like nothing will ever change. I have all the power and absolutely none at the same time. I have two choices.

I can accept that I’m never going to look the way I want and deal with it, or I can commit to the exceptionally difficult and daunting work of changing a compulsion I’ve dealt with for the past 27 years. That’s a long time. Reforming my behavior will probably be the hardest task I’ve ever taken on in my life. Committing to the change will be even more frustrating. On the other hand, it can’t be worse than the anxiety and depression I’ve felt for almost three decades now. Perhaps if I put it in perspective that way, I can finally adopt the behavior modifications I need.




Trichotillomania Recovery

Individuals totally recovering from a hair plucking condition is actually possible; you don’t have to be a slave to trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is a nervous condition, not a mental condition, it is known as an OCD disorder — obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD is when an individual does an uncontrollable act by impulse repetitively. Hair pulling for some people with trichotillomania starts as a coping mechanism for their current circumstances. But however trichotillomania starts, that first hair pulled out is basically due to having a dark negative thought.

Tips to Trichotillomania Recovery

Avoid idle time and negative thoughts, cope with situations by doing hobbies you like. And begin a pattern of feeding positive thoughts into your mind. When you can find nothing to do with your hands but to pull the hair out of the scalp, this is idle time. It’s been said that idle time is the devil’s playground. And many people feel that their time is valuable, and they don’t want to waste their life doing things that is of no benefit. Hair pulling is a waste of time definitely, trichotillomania steals your time and you can’t get it back.

Researched shows that it takes at least 30 days to break a bad habit, it’s going to be a fight, but it’s well worth it at the end.

But thank God in heaven that hair grows back, now as a trichotillomania patient you have to do your part, and “recover from trichotillomania.” Having a pity-party for yourself and hurting yourself by hair pulling is not going to make matters any better. To continue with the hair pulling will only make the trichotillomania get worse; due to the trichotillomania some patients may begin to have bald spots, scalp sores, low confidence, guilt, shame, embarrassment, etc.

Our God in heaven has put a gift and a talent in every person’s hands; it’s up to us to practice a positive talent, gift, or hobby. Trichotillomania is not from God because our God in heaven gives us “peace” and not attacks on our nerves.

How to Stop Hair Pulling

Recovering from trichotillomania can be accomplished when passive action is applied. You will have to find something positive to do with your hands. No person has time to pull their hair when they are attending school or employment, any public place will make a hair puller not want to pull. It’s all about renewing your mind. Once you begin to forget about pulling your hair and occupy your mind on a positive activity, you can fully recover from trichotillomania. Find out what it is that will help keep your hands out of your head and continue to make it your new positive habit.

Some people with trichotillomania do crafts to keep their hands busy such as: crocheting, sewing, playing cards, writing articles, and/or physical exercise.

You have to fight trichotillomania with everything that you have in you, it will not be easy. But you may fall off some days and begin to pull hair out again; you just get back up and begin fighting again. It may take the rest of your life to fight this “hair pulling battle” or it may not take that long, just keeping using your hands to do positive hobbies.

Expect great things when you have God in heaven in your life. Speak to the trichotillomania, say “I am healed no matter what my hands have done to my hair” I am still healed no matter what my physical eyes see. Close your eyes and begin to see a full head of hair on your head, and meditate on that thought. Whatever is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven; begin to loose strength, power, and Godly wisdom daily over your life and over the recovery of this OCD nervous condition. Prayer changes things; we have not because we ask not; so start asking God in heaven for your deliverance over the trichotillomania.

Make a list of things that you are good at, and write them down on paper. Be happy for yourself for your accomplishments and skills. There are other things that you can do to get your mind off of the hair pulling:

  • Learn Do-it-yourself projects.
  • Buy 2 Word Search puzzle books.
  • Or wear a hair-net at home (small holes net).
  • Engage in positive conversation with people.
  • Keep your hands busy with a hobby and crafts.
  • Dance to inspirational music.
  • Sing to your spirit, with Christian gospel songs.
  • Pray daily without ceasing, about the trichotillomania recovery.
  • Visit loving-family and friends.
  • Volunteer at a charity event or a library.
  • Get part-time or full-time employment.
  • Go on a 2 day Spiritual fast, by praying and reading your Bible.
  • Go on long walks at a recreational park.
  • Eat popcorn or trail-mix with the hand you pull with most.

    Negative Obsessions Can Be Redirected

    Redirect your negative obsession with a positive obsession. Many successful people redirected their bad habits with good habits as a daily routine. And their are those that aren’t obsessed with anything. Flip the negative obsessed characteristic into a positive one that will actually benefit your life physically, mentally, and possibly financially.

    Trichotillomania doesn’t have to control you, but you can control and fight the trichotillomania. Hair pulling can lead to depression if not treated quickly; contact your doctor immediately to get a prescription if needed. Most people that are diagnosed with OCD are prescribed with a medication call Prozac, which is a medication to help control “obsessive compulsive behavior.”

    Also ask your doctor about taking a probiotic supplement, which can reduce the urge to pull from the scalp.

    With bad habits like trichotillomania, you have to choose to be happy regardless of the hair pulling impulses. Making yourself to be in a happy mood is “good medicine.” Tell yourself “I am healed of the trichotillomania and I choose to be happy.”

    Avoid feeling guilt and shame, stay happy regardless. Life is bigger than just thinking about hair, besides hair grows back and in the meanwhile you can be doing something productive.

    Continue to speak healing over this nervous condition (trichotillomania), and avoid owning that trichotillomania is a part of you. Do not own a sickness, instead resist it. Speak healing to your body to cast away the impulses and urges to pull your hair. Christian gospel songs about “Healing” are a great way of saturating your Spirit with God’s healing power. Try to release the hurt, pain, anger, and anything else that you are holding in (suppressing) by crying it out.

    Just remember the one less hair you pull, the closer you are to overcoming and recovering from trichotillomania.

    Another Tip – No person really likes pulling their hair out due to the after effects of bald spots. There’s a video I found about an Orthodontist that has a son who sucks his thumb. This Doctor made a homemade thumb-guard to stop his son from thumb-sucking, and I believe his technique can also stop trichotillomania patients from pulling their hair out as well. The Doctor’s technique involved: long socks for the hands, huge safety pins to fasten the long socks under the pajama shirt sleeves. This exercise is good for when you want a good night’s sleep. See the video on this site . . . . . and Be Blessed!

    If you avoid feeding any bad habit, it will gradually go away, starve the bad habit instead. Thank God in advance for your deliverance of Trichotillomania while you’re going through the stages of resisting it. The less you feed trichotillomania, the closer you will be to overcoming it. This is how you exercise will-power everyday, it will make you stronger most days, each minute resist the impulses, and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You will have to focus on your hair being long and healthy again. Take care of your hair, and be inspired by other with healthy hair.

    How Long Have You Been Pulling Your Hair?




I did something bad. I was doing so well, had a full set of lashes, and then received some bad news. I cried, my heart broke, and my eyelashes were destroyed. All of that time and hard work trying to grow them back through, and my happiness at being able to wear mascara and ditch the false lashes…all disappeared in one ten minute splurge. I hated myself for ruining my eyelashes yet again, for forcing myself back into the routine of covering up the ugliness, and once those ten minutes passed I was filled with utter disappointment, guilt, regret and self-loathing. I used some bad news as an excuse to pull out my hair, but was left feeling heaps worse than before.

Despite being left feeling worse- us sufferers are well aware that pulling out your hair never solves anything- during those ten minutes, I escaped reality. The trance-like state I fell into for that short period of time allowed me to focus on nothing but the odd sensation of having eyelashes and the overwhelming urge to pluck them all out. The immense stress I had been under for the past few weeks, topped off by some awful family news, disappeared bit by bit with every eyelash that was being pulled out. It’s as if my eyelashes embodied the stress, and pulling them out of my eyelid symbolised the stress pouring out of my body. It was cathartic, and, dare I say, blissful for ten minutes. Focusing on nothing but eyelashes. Forgetting the bad news. I knew I shouldn’t be doing it, but it felt too good.

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Because that’s the thing. We pull our hair out because it feels good, it relieves the tension. It isn’t completely pointless and there is always a reason behind it. But as soon as we slip out of that trance, those good feelings fall away and we’re left with something even worse that what we started with. But we know that, and we pull anyway. That ten minute opportunity for escapism is, in our complex minds, somehow worth the pain, guilt, frustration, depressive state etc that comes crashing down immediately afterwards. But that’s OK. It’s not ideal, but it’s our version of a comfort blanket. For those ten minutes, I felt better. We all have our coping mechanisms, however strange or destructive they may be, but if pulling out my eyelashes helps me deal with a horrible experience, I’m OK with that. It’s temporary. The hair will grow back. Sometimes life throws you something which makes you too weak to resist the urges, and that is totally fine.



5 Lessons Has Taught Me Trichotillomania hair regrowth

When I was 8 years old, I started plucking out my eyelashes. It relieved stress, and I liked the feeling of rolling the eyelashes between my fingers. Then, when I was 11, I changed schools, and my eyelash pulling evolved into eyebrow pulling. There were bald spots around my eyes and in my eyebrows. I felt ugly and alone. I was the only one in the world who had this problem.

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I only learned the word “trichotillomania” during my first year of university at 19 years old. It had been 11 years that I was struggling with this so-called trichotillomania. I am still struggling with this condition today but am now realizing I am not alone, and all I can do is learn from this disorder. Here are five things trichotillomania has taught me:

1. Patience

There have been moments when I barely had any eyelashes or eyebrows. I really wanted to be beautiful, but I would have to wait. Makeup can cover it, but it doesn’t seem authentic. It could take about one month for them to grow back.

2. Modesty

Once my eyelashes and eyebrows grew back, I finally had a chance to be like everyone else and perhaps feel beautiful. Obviously, those moments didn’t last very long, as my compulsions would take over me again. I had to accept I wasn’t perfect, and that’s OK.

3. Perseverance

I have not given up yet, even though I failed again and again at overcoming this disorder. I have tried nail polish that will be scratched if I press my nails together to pull out any hair, I tried Band Aids on my fingers, gloves, and stress balls. I keep on trying new suggestions, and I have not given up.

4. Self-acceptance

My brain is sick, and that’s OK. In the past I have felt like I was the only one going through this disorder, but my optometrist noticed my lack of eyelashes and said several of her patients have this problem. She sold me a heat pad to put over my eyes and activate my hair follicles.

5. Confidence

I am unique. I have been through a certain set of obstacles in my life that made me a smarter, stronger person. I no longer care what people say of my appearance and just recently when someone noticed and commented on my lack of eyebrows, I told the truth for the first time. I should have done this a long time ago.

Finally I would like to suggest to everyone affected by trichotillomania to treat this disorder like an addiction. You may relapse, and that’s OK. Stopping completely is unrealistic, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

By Emilie Bélanger