Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), also known as hair-pulling disorder, is a mental disease characterised by persistent, overwhelming cravings to take out hair from your scalp, brows, or other areas of your body, despite your best efforts to stop.
Hair plucking from the scalp frequently results in patchy bald areas, causing severe distress and interfering with social or occupational functioning. People suffering from trichotillomania may go to tremendous efforts to conceal their hair loss.
Trichotillomania can be minor and tolerable in some persons. Others are overcome by the obsessive need to take out their hair. Some therapy approaches have assisted many people in reducing or stopping their hair pulling.
Typical trichotillomania signs and symptoms include:
- Pulling your hair out repeatedly, usually from your scalp, brows, or eyelashes, but sometimes from other body parts, and the locations may change over time.
- An increase in tension prior to pulling or when attempting to avoid pulling
- A feeling of joy or relief after having your hair plucked
- Hair loss that is visible, such as shortened hair or thinning or bald patches on your scalp or other parts of your body, as well as sparse or missing eyelashes or brows
- Preference for certain types of hair, rituals associated with hair pulling, or hair pulling patterns
- Biting, chewing, or eating outgrown hair
- Pulling out your hair and spreading it on your lips or face
Buy a fidget toy
- Find something else to do with your hands, like knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching.
- Wear a hoodie to bed to prevent pulling.
- Consult a psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Consider hypnosis.
- Set small, attainable goals. For example, I will not pull for the next three hours. Then gradually increase your time.
- Every day, look at your hair in the mirror with your hands behind your back. Stare into the mirror until the need to pull subsides. This is known as exposure therapy, and it works!
- Examine yourself in the mirror every day to see how much you’ve grown. Be proud of your efforts.
- Brush your hair rather than pulling it.
- Maintain a good attitude
If you pull some hair, don’t be dramatic. Try to calm yourself
- Repeat the phrase “every hair belongs on my head” over and over until the temptation to pull fades.
- Keep yourself busy; too much downtime is hazardous.
- Help others, and they will help you.
- Learn everything you can about trichotillomania and treatment options on the internet.
- To learn new strategies, watch trichotillomania-related shows and documentaries.
- Wear perfume on your hands so you’ll notice when your hand rises to take out your hair.
- Name the hairs you wish to remove. It seems ridiculous, yet it works for some people.
- Spend less time in parts of your home that you draw in.
- Keep a diary of your emotions.
- Have some fun with silly putty.
- Relax by taking a long bath.
- Wear a wig all day till you go to bed.
- After that, put on a bandana. (Use this for the first two weeks or so, then trust yourself enough to remove it)
- Take excellent care of your hair. Appreciating your current hair will give you the confidence to grow more.
- This involves brushing your hair regularly, washing it at least once a day if possible, and respecting the fact that it belongs on your head.
- Keep your tweezers in a cabinet until you need them for grooming rather than trichotillomania.
- If you use tweezers frequently, you may need to dispose of them.