A phycological condition that give the victim the unavoidable urge to pull the hair from ones scalp, nose, facial hair or other body hair. The condition has been closely compared to OCD although classification of the condition is regularly disputed. The causes of Trichtillomania are also disputed but the most agreed prevailant cause is stress and pressure.

Trichotillomania - the facts

Most sufferers with trichotillomania are female. 1 or 2 people in 50 pull their hair at some stage of their life. In the United States, the figures are similar, with one US study finding that as many as 6 out of every 1,000 students developed trichotillomania but many of them were able to stop again once exam stress was over. Trichotillomania belongs to a group of impulse control disorders.
Put simply – you don’t want to pull but you can’t help yourself. Once a hair root has been plucked several times it desensitises, just as when plucking eyebrows or leg and bikini-waxing. This explains why pulling sites get wider and wider as the feeling of relief is lost from the original area.

Triggers for Hair Pulling

1. looking for hairs that feel different - thicker, coarser or wrong
2. hair that is the "wrong colour"
3. ritualised pulling that continues until the "right" hair has been found or pulled

It has been estimated that trichotillomania affects 0.5-3.5% of the population at some point during their life suffer from this impulse control disorder in which sufferers feel a compulsion to pull out their own hair. In some cases, the hair grows back; but in many cases, it did not.

Like many Trichotillomania sufferers, sufferers feel embarrassed by their appearance and ill at ease at professional and social gatherings.

Permanent cosmetics can help Trichotillomania sufferers to regain their self-confidence. Nationally recognized permanent cosmetics expert Debra Robson has the skill and artistic ability to create the illusion of natural-looking eyelashes and gorgeous brows.

There are several excellent websites that give information and support about trichotillomania, and I have listed some main ones below:

The Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC) is a not-for-profit organisation, backed by several experts in the field, which supports research into trichotillomania, holds meetings, and provides newsletters and online resources about the condition.

Lucinda Ellery is a London UK based consultancy providing tailored treatments for hair-loss. Dr Sarah Riley is a General Practitioner who works with Lucinda Ellery, and specialises in hair-loss.
Trichotillomania Support are a charitable organisation which campaigns for respectful treatment, recognition and understanding of Trichotillomania. To achieve this, they enable people, create awareness and aid research. They are committed to providing evidence based; up-to-date information and sharing tips that have helped others to be pull free.


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