Say information technology with me. Trick-oh-till-oh-may-nee-uh. Trichotillomania. If you are living with trich, I wrote this guide with you in mind. I want you to walk away with a better understanding of this particular hair-loss disorder. I volition share five tips on living with trich that have helped me in my own life. These are things yous could easily pass on to your friends who may be experiencing hair loss, themselves.
What Is Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania is a mental disorder, just as much equally it is a hair-loss disorder. Beyond its catchy pronunciation (no pun intended), it is the compulsive urge to pull out one’s hair, which often leads to visible balding or thinning hair.
Someone with trichotillomania may pull hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or body pilus. The important thing to remember is that the urge is uncontrollable.
Equally someone who has experienced trich for the by sixteen years, I know the search for answers can be daunting. What are the trichotillomania treatments? What causes trichotillomania? How can I stop trichotillomania?
My Trichotillomania Story
I lived with trichotillomania for the better part of 16 years. Trichotillomania in toddlers is common, only most people start developing it during puberty or pre-adolescence. Some people might begin pulling hair out as young as infancy. I started pulling my pilus out by the follicle at 9 years sometime.
I am non a licensed psychologist, but I’ve been deeply researching trich for more five years. This guide is based on my research and my personal experience every bit a 23-year-onetime woman living with hair loss.
First Signs of Trichotillomania
I started past twisting and piffling with my hair at historic period 8. Others can start with blast biting, hair twirling, thumb sucking or any other seemingly innocent habit. There is no guarantee that these habits will manifest into compulsive pilus pulling (or skin picking, known equally dermatillomania), but in my instance, information technology did.
From twirling my pilus, I eventually began pulling my pilus by the follicle. That ways that I would pull a single pilus at a time, commonly with the goal of removing any coarse or irregular hairs on my caput. The sensation of pulling the “right” hair would soothe my anxious thoughts for a split 2nd.
Once that second of relief passes, my fingers are exploring my scalp and looking for the next irregularity to remove.
Also anxious thoughts, other factors affect my trichotillomania on a daily basis. The universal source of compulsive pilus pulling is extremely difficult to pinpoint. As a result, it’s difficult to avoid.
Results of Trichotillomania
When my trichotillomania is left unchecked, I would develop thinness throughout my hair. Depending on the “ideal” pulling spot, these patches would appear thinner than others. My hair has grown unevenly for the duration of my trichotillomania journey.
That meant that I had to mode my thin hair in means to conceal my disorder or lying to shut friends and family about the causes of my pilus loss.
I would go as far as colouring in my bald spots with eyeliner, vesture my hair in a certain updo for months at a fourth dimension, wear hats when completely unnecessary, bobby pinning my hair into oblivion, and so much more than. In that location is likely a trichotillomania hack that I haven’t tried.
Years of Hair-Pulling
Living with trichotillomania for more than 15 years, I have seen my hair exist in seasons.
Sometimes my pilus would grow potent and long. My pulling would disappear over the course of a few months. I would exist able to braid my hair, fashion it, and, at face value, show no signs of this complex hair-loss disorder that I accept lived with for years.
Other times, I would cut my hair short to curb the pulling. My hair would exist uneven, prove breakage and feel weak when my pulling felt uncontrollable.
Throughout loftier school and university, I thought the stress of schoolwork, deadlines and expectations were the source of my hair pulling; and I thought that if I had long hair, I would be happy.
Is Long Hair the Answer?
During my university years, I saved a lot of money from my part-time jobs to effort semi-permanent hair extensions. The extensions were micro-weft extensions where a silicone-lined dewdrop would secure a weft of hair to my own hair.
With months of research and several consultations under my chugalug, I found myself walking out of the salon with new pilus installed.
This new hair followed me for a total of eight months. I had the recommended monthly touch-up appointments, and slowly but surely learned nearly traction alopecia (which you can read more about hither).
The longer pilus felt great… at first. The constant risk of traction baldness was stressful equally someone with a tender scalp. I would still pull my pilus despite the extensions which left my hair thinner and damaged by breakage.
Even after all that, has it helped with my pulling?
The reality is that I still pull my hair every day.
Truly. Afterwards 16 years of living with compulsive pilus pulling and the subsequent hair loss, I however pull out my pilus, and here’southward why.
I learned over time that pulling out my pilus is something I can rarely command. From a neurology perspective, I spent the by sixteen years reinforcing the signal in my brain, “If y’all feel stress, pull out a hair to salvage the stress.” Having already reinforced that neural transmission hundreds or thousands of times is something extremely difficult to overcome.
That’s why people with trichotillomania cannot “just stop”.
Since I can’t control the frequency of my pilus pulling, I decided to control the guilt I feel tied to my hair instead.
Trichotillomania Different for Anybody
If this course of hair loss is tied to psychology, mental health and neurology, how am I supposed to treat trichotillomania? But, overall, what kind of trichotillomania help is available?
There is no particular 9-minute cure, or 10-solar day program, or 2-calendar month practise program that volition work for everyone. At that place is no pill, serum or hair mask that you can use that will make your hair grow back faster than yous pull it out. Prison cell regeneration takes fourth dimension. There’s no disputing that.
Y’all may have seen trichotillomania bracelets online. These electronic bracelets notify yous every time you raise your hand to pull out your pilus to bring mental awareness every time y’all reach to pull.
Because of the inconsistent nature of trichotillomania (which means the feel is drastically different for everyone who has it), there is no way to narrow down a single treatment for everyone.
Extensions didn’t work for me, merely it works for others. Tracking my pulling didn’t work for me, but there are others who institute great success in it.
For some people, they woke up one day without the urge to pull anymore.
5 Tips for Living with Trichotillomania
For me, shifting my mindset on trichotillomania has been instrumental in my journey of recovery. Here are the modest, only mighty steps that have brought me the almost peace with my trichotillomania and hair loss.
#i: Ascertain Recovery
Your definition of recovery will define your success. Let’s say you ascertain success as being pull-gratuitous for a month. If you lot ordinarily pull your pilus every day, imagine how easily disappointed you’ll be. Your goal should align with your current habits. Information technology’southward important to fix healthy and reasonable goals for yourself.
#2: Talk to Someone Near Information technology
Suffering in silence is i of the near unproductive things I have done. By hiding my hair loss from others, I never got to confront my pilus loss straight. Honestly, it felt similar living in denial for a long time.
One time I began attending peer support meetings and opening up online, I came to realize:
Yous aren’t as lone as yous think.
At that place are people who dearest you lot any your hair looks like.
Pilus isn’t the end of the world.
#3: Research Alternative Pilus
In that location are so many hair solutions for ladies with hair loss, on the marketplace now. The key is to find one that works for you rather than against y’all. Don’t lose sight of the real goal, though. Long hair might be the goal, but there are different means to arroyo information technology.
The semi-permanent extensions didn’t piece of work for me because of the traction baldness it caused. I would yet pull on the extensions, and those extensions were connected to my hair.
Wigs and toppers are more popular than ever, and, depending on your level of pilus loss, information technology could be a solution that works for you lot.
Now I vesture a wig when my hair pulling feels out of command. It protects my real pilus from my pulling and gives it a take a chance to grow undisturbed even if it’s only for a few hours. Being honest with yourself and your needs is a really important step.
#4: Have Care of Your Pilus
The times where I thought the worst of my hair were the times I cared for my hair the to the lowest degree. Simply because my hair was thin, patchy, and partially balding does non mean I should let my pilus and scalp become to waste.
Taking the time to take real intendance of my hair is more than important than ever. It reminds me that my pilus is important and it’south doing what it can. I’thousand as well regularly trimming my pilus rather than avoiding hair cuts, which makes me experience better almost my pilus, since I’k constantly scared of losing it.
#5: Reflect on Your Strengths
Fifty-fifty though you lot’ve only read through all this hair talk, your life is more than your hair.
When I started coming to terms with my ain hair loss, it opened the space in my mind to think well-nigh other parts of me and to be grateful for them.
I started seeing the things in myself that have nothing to exercise with my hair: I’thousand a groovy friend. I ship amazing memes. I love to hike and drive. I can swallow a watermelon in 1 sitting.
There is all that and more in you, likewise, if you take the fourth dimension to wait for it.
To follow forth with my everyday life with trichotillomania and a dose of positive productivity, find me on Instagram.
5 Tips for Living with Trichotillomania Based on My Honest Story