What You Need To Know About Trichotillomania

What is it?

Trichotillomania is self-induced hair loss from continuous pulling of hair consciously or subconsciously. Those with trichotillomania battle with irresistible urges to pull hair from their scalp, eyebrows, and other places.


Who suffers from it?

While it commonly occurs among children, it also affects teens and women. Some patients begin to notice symptoms between the ages of 10 and 13 years of age as puberty begins. 


What are some symptoms?

Some basic symptoms include:

  • Forcibly removing hair despite internal efforts to stop
  • Hair loss, thinning, or balding on scalp
  • Sparse eyebrows or eyelashes
  • Consuming pulled hair
  • Noticeable increases of hair pulling during times of stress at work, school, or home
  • Hair pulling patterns or rituals incorporated into daily life


What causes this?

Trichotillomania is a complex disorder. While there’s no specific cause, a combination of genetic and environmental factors play a role in its strength. Some factors include family history, high stress situations, and a close relation to other mental disorders like depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).


Why pull out your own hair?

Multiple combinations of factors can induce hair pulling. Some trichotillomania sufferers use hair pulling as a coping method for times of high-stress or to relieve tension. For some, it’s automatic and happens subconsciously while they’re relaxing. Others seek relief or positive feelings only satisfied by pulling out their hair. Or when sparked by negative emotions, it can be a result of depression or loneliness.


What’s just not true?