Compulsive Hair Pulling: A Closer Look
So many factors influence the health of your hair. Various illnesses can affect hair growth, as can certain medications. Heredity is a significant factor, too. If healthy, attractive hair runs in the family, you will probably have good hair too. But one of the biggest influences on your hair is your state of mind. Stress can cause your hair to grow slowly or not at all. Stress is also a factor in a condition called trichotillomania, which is an overwhelming need to pull out own your own hair.
What Is Trichotillomania?
Trich is an obsessive-compulsive behavioral condition that causes you to pull out your own hair by the roots, either in clumps or one by one. Some sufferers then play with the hair or put it in their mouths. Others develop a related condition called trichophagia, which compulsively eat their hair. Those with severe trichotillomania can develop large bald spots that they often hide from their loved ones. If you have trich, you may struggle with your self-esteem due to noticeable hair loss. The condition most commonly affects young women and can last a lifetime.
What Causes Trichotillomania?
Experts have not identified a single cause of this disease, but they believe stress may be a factor. Also, you may have a genetic disposition for trichotillomania. If someone in your immediate family has the condition, you may be more likely to develop it as well. Finally, people with obsessive-compulsive disorders are more likely to have it.
Who Gets Trichotillomania?
People generally have their first bouts of trich in their teen years. At that age, both males and females develop the disease nearly equally. In adulthood, women sufferers far outnumber men. You can suffer trichotillomania throughout life — up until around the age of 60 if you do not address the cause of your condition.
How Do You Treat Trichotillomania?
Medical and behavioral therapy can often help you control the urge to pull out your hair by teaching you replacement habits. You may also benefit from medications such as anti-depressants. While you work to overcome your trichotillomania, you can disguise the effects by using hairpieces and other cosmetic strategies. Fortunately, your hair will probably grow back normally once you stop pulling out hair strands.
Seeking Help from a Certified Hair Loss Specialist
While suffering from Trichotillomania can be emotionally draining and depressing, there are viable solutions to help you lead a normal life. We invite you to consider speaking with a professional hair loss specialist near you who has experience helping people suffering from Trichotillomania. Their goal is to help you find the perfect hair replacement solution to meet your own individual needs and make a well-informed decision about your hair restoration options.