Posted by: glitterseason | May 23, 2008

biting off the route

(picture from BBC)

This is the most embarrassing and shameful part of my struggles with Trichotillomania. I pull the hair to find a root and then I pull it off the hair. Some people bite it off, others like me just like to remove it with their mouths. I find great relief when i have pulled and then removed the route. I am not interested in eatingΒ  it, just the process of pulling, looking, separating the route with my mouth and then starting again is enough to keep me trapped. Of course not every hair has a route like this, so this just compels me to carry on pulling until I find one. Then I carry on. Its getting bad…my hair is thinning.

I find this picture a little ‘triggering’ in the same way a self harmer who cuts, finds pictures of self harm triggering. It sends a tingle through me and I know I will be compelled to do it again. And again.

I am going to go to the doctor about this, I am sick of it. But I am so ashamed that I don’t think I can talk about the fact I like to bite the routes.



  1. That picture gives me a tingle too, its not a feeling thats too comfortable :S

  2. i have the same problem. my hair used to be really thick and since i’ve pulled it out it bothers me. i don’t think i have bald spots, but i’m afraid i pull so much that it won’t come back. and it’s all for those roots. it actually bugs be to see the picture because it reminds me of something i’m doing that i know isn’t a healthy action. i just can’t seem to stop until i find a really perfect one. 😦

  3. I have this too!! I will sit for ages pulling hairs from my head just to find a glossy root. Im so embarrassed of it but i cant stop! I mean its am obsession right? But such a strange one! Its SO annoying and even leaving me with small able spots on my head which some people have noticed. What am i doing?

  4. Hi! I’ve seen some hits at my site from here so I just wanted to stop in and say hello. I don’t know much about this Trichotillomania condition but it’s wonderful that you have so many great references here for people to help themselves to. I have thin hair myself mostly due to genetics/thyroid issues and a bout with cancer. So I haven’t got enough to spare to pull out. LOL. Seriously, I hope you are doing well. πŸ™‚

  5. You’ve been around on my blog a little, so I think you know I do this part too. A LOT of us do. I think it is part of the whole sensory experience for us. The search for the root is why I can almost stomach Trich being listed next to compulsive gambling in the DSM-IV. I mean, searching for a “good” root is just like playing for the big win. This is also part of why I don’t let myself gamble!! Do you have any of the informational pamphlets about TTM from TLC? I like to give those to doctors or other professionals when I tell them about my pulling. That way I don’t have to answer their stupid questions about a disorder they should have been taught in school. Anyway, it seems to take a lot of the shame out of TTM, because the brochure really spells out how many people have this, and that lots of them play with the ends. Trying to access your inner strength so that you can talk about Trich and start taking care of yourself.

  6. I can’t believe others eat the root too. I honestly thought I was the only person doing this. I have made bald spots on my head back in high school. Now I can just tell myself to stop. I do eat the root, and search for a good (?) one like an obsessed gambler, as mentioned above. My area I can’t stop in now is my beard, if I grow it. My wife helps, and is cool about it. I never do it after I smoke some pot though. I know that some people think pot is bad but the hair pulling messes with my daily functioning more. If I can feel, and you all know what I mean, a good one coming, I couldn’t let go to save my life due to the fear that I may loose the hair. Really whacked man.

    • This is 4 nate damn u hit my soft spot like everything u mentioned on ur page here hit home and with the medical use of marijuana it does 99% help me 2 realize what i am doing and either i stop for the rest of the day or i find myself pulling a very few here and there and when im relaxed i tell myself NO NO NO……..But i have been doing this 4 way 2 long and need to grow up, wake up, or just shave my head like brittney but im not that really crazy lol……..damn all u guys got me a little more comfortable writing about this and i think this is the first step……..:)

  7. Hi! I used to have Trich until I followed the content of this website and haven’t pulled for 6 month…

    Please try it, it’s worth a shot.

  8. i have this same disorder. i been pulling my hair since i was 12. i now like eating the roots on my hair.I am now bold. Iwore a wig for ten years. i admitt i need help. please i don’t no where to turn

    • Hi Danielle if u find help, that really does help please let me know as well…I am on ur same page for the last 22 years now and i cant take no more i just wnat my hair back and to stop this behavior…much respect and many blessings for all my people in this circle here with me please may the prayers 2 the creator b the only help we need.

    • Just read some advice that suggests putting rubber bands on your wrists and snapping them when you find yourself pulling. Not enough to leave a welt, but just enough to sting a little bit. Hope it helps :3

    • Hi everyone. My names Patti. I’m 54 yrs. old & can remember pulling out my eyelashes at 13. From that I graduated to pulling out my eyebrows, then some hair on my legs. In the summer I can remember actually sitting with shorts on with tweezers & tugging the hairs out 1 by 1. Now that I’ve let that all go I pull my hair out…The hairs grow back in but grow in grey or white & stiff. I’m so attracted to those hairs & it’s like a vicious cycle. I don’t know how to stop. It’s horrible. Just recently i went to the drs. & he prescribed Zoloft for anxiety i have. It helps the anxiety but almost makes me too high…& i go into an almost mania & the hair pulling seems worse than ever now. Does anyone know of ANYTHING to stop? I can’t remember being this bad. Recently I almost lost my boyfriend of 2 yrs. due to surgery he had that went bad. I thought I was going to lose my mind without him..hence the pulling worse than ever. Now we are broken up since Aug. & I miss him terribly…I have no control over the pulling at times and don’t know really what to do now. It at times feels like a self satisfaction disease. If anyone has any constructive criticism please feel free to reply. Thank you in advance! I just wish I knew what to do.

  9. I know exactly what you mean! But I don’t bite off the roots. I like to just pull them off with my fingernails. >.< Its mega embarassing. Especially in public. I like to look at it close up too.. So I look completely strange. I hate it soooo much!

  10. I do it too. Used to spend hours tearing them out to find the best, biggest roots – Lately it’s more of an accepted casual pulling not as hardcore. On occasion if I pull too much my fingers hurt for a few days. It’s like clearing a hair forest you feel like you can’t stop until the section you want all gone is gone.

  11. Omg i cant believe it im shocked im so so shocked what i do is actually a problem..? and there is a name for it aswell..ok im scared now im 14 and i cant stop pulling out my hair n eatin the root…i jus cant keep my hands away watz wrong with me why am i like this can some 1 explain why i do this pleasee…is it a mental thing or summin omgosh 😐


  13. its crazy how we’re all different people and dont talk about it to many people but we all do the same thing. i wonder why our braind react the same way.

  14. Hi to all,

    I am a 28 year old female who suffers from Trichotillomania and I have for 14 years. It started with trauma in my life and escalated to something I couldn’t control. I was eating the hair I was pulling and over 7 years it built up to the point where I could no longer digest my food properly because the hairball took up the entire space in my stomach. I had gone to doctors over many years but got no real answers even though my stomach was clearly larger from the blockage. I was ashamed to tell anyone what the problem was as I knew all along why I was feeling so sick. I thought I was crazy and who would actually pull hair out and eat it. Eventually I had to visit emergency and wouldn’t leave or take no for an answer. I told them to get a specialist in to do an endoscopy and they found what they call a trichobezoar or hairball. I was told I was 6 months away from dying had this been left untreated. This is not something to be taken lightly, if you or someone one you know may have this problem please tell them to get help. I went for surgery in 2001 and never ate my hair again. I still find myself pulling more often then not but I am conciously working on it day by day. We are not alone and there is help we can get, but the most powerful help we can get is from the will of our own minds. It can be overcome….if you make the choice.

  15. I also forgot to mention that the hairball removed was the size of a football and weighed over 4 pounds. And one last comment for all those suffering, DONT be ashamed, stand tall and proud of who you are. No matter what, talk to someone about it, they will understand and want to help once they know what its all about.

  16. well i have this disorder, i bite it off as well.

    I landed up in a hospital for it.

    Laurel Ridge here in San Antonio, i wear hair tracks and often a hat, i hate it it made me depressed seeing my sisters do there hair and me have to do it by hand.

    But once you recieve help, and find coping skills youll find other ways to get rid of that feeling.

    im only sixteen as well, it just goes to show you no one is alone in the process.

  17. The thing that upsets me is when people who have alopecia say omg i wish i had your problem…. well to be honest i might as well have alopecia because there is nothing to stop ones urge to pull.
    I often imagine that this is what it must be like for heroin addicts…except we can never get away from the addiction because its always attached to us. Not to say its unbeatable… i have to believe that it is beatable just to stay sane.
    The only thing that gives me hope is seeing long time suffers who have been pull free for 10 years… oh to have hair again! To not worry about how bad it looks all the live long day!
    I can’t believe how many people suffer from this and yet there has been little research into it because its not ‘physically harmful’…according to my doctor who said ‘come back to me when youre really harming yourself…i mean its not like cutting is it!’….
    Although, i imagine it is as psychologically damaging as cutting….if not more so. Or is it a genetic defect?
    How do we end up with exactly the same symptoms like enjoying biting the ends off when we’ve never heard about our condition? There must be one thing it is down to… its not a learned behaviour… so what part of our brains already knows the stages of pulling, obsessing and eating and digging?!?!?!
    It drives me silently mad! I hate it.

  18. still doing it and eating the ends at 50+.. why??? it has ruined my life

    • Trich didn’t ruin your life, you’ve let it ruin your life. Change your thinking and be the person you should be, whatever that may be. If you have the strength to adjust your attitude, you can succeed in life, with or without pulling. The choice is yours.

    • me 2 and im 45 and i still doing this. Sometimes my hair will grow back and when it does something starts at me to pull out my hair again. I get the same thought pattern going and i begin to feel sorry for myself. Im on Wellebetran pills for it but they dont seem to help much. Cymbalta is another pill i try. It makes me feel tired.We know its wrong but at the time we are pulling out our hair i wish i could remind myself about all the horrible past times ive had since ive been 12. Ive pulled out my hair atleast 40 times at the back making a huge spot.

  19. hey all i have trich to and i am 16 ive had it for a few months now and trying to get over it but its hard every time i pull it is like a stress reliever adn i feel better the more i pull put at the same time i knowi need to stop but my hand just wont stop pulling i dont know what to do pls help!!!!

  20. If any of you read these and say oh i have that or i do that too and you dont know what or why u are doing it…the GET HELP might not have bald spots YET but i assure u if u keep it up u will! i statrted in the 6th grade it moved from my my hair on my head…my parents noticed finally asked me what the heck was going on bc i had a huge bald spot that bangs would not cover..i told them and as 6 years passed it got worse..i was so ashamed that i just tell them everythings ok and hope they dont look at my hair for a long time..I am dead serious if u just started or dont do it very often u need to get help and quit has ruined my life and i believe it is too late me for mee…i have a HUUUGGGE bald spot starting from my hair line all the way an inch past my ears all i have is hair to through up in a messy bun and i have bangs that are clip ins…. thats all i used to do is find the really dark peieces of hair or the coarse hair bc i knew a cold root would be it started as just pulling and feeling the root then…went to biting the root and when it dried playing with it…and now i dont swallow but i chew it…so u need to get help as soon as possible..i cant afford a therapist soo..but get this through your head do something about it now!! or it willl get worse.

    • Oh, my friend, I can feel your pain through the screen. But you have to stop thinking so negatively. It’s not too late – TO LOVE YOURSELF! You are a unique, special, awesome, cool person…who has trich. Big deal. Surround yourself with people who are smart enough to love you for you. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re bad or crazy. And that includes yourself! Also, on a side note…local universities may have students studying to become therapists…perhaps they could offer free therapy.

      Remember, YOU’RE AWESOME!

  21. I’ve had this since I was 17 and am now 26 – I went to see a doctor for it and the best thing to help me was he gave me an evelope and told me to put every hair I pulled in the envelope and the next time I saw him we’d look at the envelope and talk about it. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t pull any hairs out for 4 weeks! Cold turkey – maybe keep an envelope and ask a friend you trust to collect the evelope from you after 2 weeks or something. I think it helped me b/c it was a small victory and I was accountable to someone.

    • wow, I have never heard this one, but what a good idea, i think i shall try that!!

      • that sort of thing helped me too, but for me it was pulling my bed away from the wall and seeing about a foot of hair piled up where I had thrown it for about a year. I have stopped since then.

  22. OMG WOW. im fourteen. ive had trich since 3rd grade. just this year did i start to pull out the hair on my head. at first ii just picked out the curly ones, then the short ones. until, one day i found a root. i went crazy it felt so cooll!! im addicted now. i love it. i pull hair everyday just to find a fat jellyfilled root. and then i play with it and bite it. im so addicted i have restorted to pulling my friends hair. now we all have visible bald spots….:(

  23. wow…this is so weird….well i thought i was weird b/c i pull and eat the root as well. Ill pull for hours trying to find a “good root” or one that is red looking b/c those are “crunchy”…lol I sound like such a FREAK! πŸ™‚ im 23 now and ive been pulling since i was 12. Just pubes and scalp hair…everywhere else hurts…ive tried therapy and pills….i dont know what to do anymore….

  24. Hiyah everyone, im 16 and ive been pulling my hair since i was about 11. I’ve never told anyone, been to the doctors about bald spots when i was in 1st year, but was just put down to itching or something. It was so embarrassing, but I completely denied ever doing it. I was so ashamed of myself, i didn’t know there was other people with the same problem. I dont even know why it started, all i know is that it’s become a very bad habit and i’ve felt very depressed about the whole tihng. I even refused to go outside for about a whole year. Refused point blank to go to school with the fear of being teased, which I had been in 1st year. Then there was a time where i was with my family(who knew that there was sumthing wrong, but put it down to an irritating shampoo or something) and we were leaving for home on a bus. There was a few teenagers at the time who were sitting at the back of the bus taunting me, calling me all sorts of names. Nothing particularly offensive to anyone else, but things that made me ashamed ever more of myself. That’s what sent me into a deep depression which i still have. I mean, I can have a laugh but its always at the back of my mind.Its affected my whole life, i cant socialize with friends as well as i used to and dont go out as much. Sure I have other problems but i think that most of them routed from the hair pulling. I know I’m going on a bit, but this is like a huge relief for me, you know? I’ve never told a soul about it, not even close friends or family. Sorry if you feel like you’ve wasted youre time reading this but this is the only place ive learned that other people where like me. All the best to everyone in getting help with it, dont suffer alone. Lastly, I just had to say what was on my mind, this being the very first day i’ve actually read up on my problem. Ach, I’m pushing it.. Good luck to you all. xxxx

    • I have depression too. It’s not caused by the hair pulling, but it defintely doesn’t make it any better. But one night I just got down on my knees and gave this habit/compulsion/problem/mess to God, and I haven’t pulled a single hair from my head since. It’s been seven days. Good luck to you(: I will be praying for you! God really saved me from trichotillomania. I believe completely that He can save you too. Just believe in Him, and exercise your will power. I know how desperately hard that is, but I know you can do it. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13.

  25. wow, i thought i was alone… I pull them out and find the biggest one to. but once i pull it off, then i pull that apart too!!!!!

  26. omg i thought i was the only one who would like to eat the roots.. i havent gone to a doctor becuase all they tell me is that either im depressed or nervouse and i know for a fact that, that is not true! idk what makes me do it but ive been doing it since i was 13 and now im about to be 21 and i get sad becuase i have some bald spots and i wanna be able to put my hair down for my 21st bday! but i cant without wearing a wig or extensions and that sux! so i hope that something gets created so we can stop this trich thingy! lol i hate it but i cant stop its like a drug!

  27. I’m 23 years old & I’ve had trichotillomania since i was 10. I have suffered immensely over the last 13 years as a result of this disorder–it has affected every aspect of my life. I’ve been asked “what’s wrong with your hair?” so many times in my life and been in so many awkward situations because of it that it makes me depressed just to recall the memories. My relationships, motivation and self confidence among other things have been affected–majorly. My hair is supposed to be thick and beautiful. It’s a very pretty dark brown color with fire red highlights. But it’s bare on the sides with just thin curtains covering it and the top is very thin. I keep thinking: my life should’ve been normal…why me? It’s progressively gotten worse and now for the past 7-8 years I eat my hair–not just the root–if it looks good I’ll eat all of it. My digestion has definitely been affected by it. I keep telling my mom that my stomach is swollen and when I eat certain things it burns so bad I feel like I’m going to die. She just says “then get help.” Ok sure. I don’t have health insurance and I’m a single mom. Gastroenterologists, Psychiatrists and hypnotherapists are not cheap and don’t usually do pro-bono work. I’ve tried multiple therapists over the last 10 years but talking about it doesn’t help. I need to take some pretty drastic actions–as do all of those suffering–or I will be a 70 year old woman–hating my life and miserable and wishing I’d have done something before my life was over. I also have a 2 year old daughter. She will notice that her mommy doesn’t have hair. How would I tell my sweet innocent child why her mommy doesn’t have hair? I’ve decided enough is enough after reading all of these comments. I’ve suffered long enough. I will beat this tough bitch to the ground. I’m going to do what’s necessary to end this terrible chapter in my life. Exhaust every resource. I will have a full head of hair again. This will all just be a terrible memory. I hope you all can find ambition in your souls to rid yourself of this demon disorder

    • I have trichotillomania also. I have pulled eyelashes, eyebrows, and the hair on my head. It has gotten so bad that I have had a huge bald spot on the back of my head and had to find some way to cover it in my school, where no hats were allowed. I have also gone almost completely without eyelashes or eyebrows, which made people ask questions, which made me very embarrassed. Most of my hair has grown back right now, but i still have very thin eyebrows and refuse to be seen without having used my eyebrow pencil to draw them in.
      Also, I just wanted to urge you to see a doctor about the digestion problems, as this condition, if not treated, can be very dangerous.
      I hope we can all find the strength to beat this disorder. Best of luck to everyone!

  28. oh my god! you got a sticky one, thats my favorite kind… i thrive on those. i have trich too. im 12 years old and recently raised over 4,000$$ for my mitzvah project for my bat mitzvah, i donated the money to TLC(trichotillomania), an organazation for trich,

  29. Hey , im haley and im now 15 almost 16 ive been pulling since i was about 12 i was in the 6th grade. And i still do it. The need to do it is so unbarable i can hardly handle it; i also bite of the root. I feel like i cant stop pulling until i do get a BIG wet root , it sounds harsh and sick but it’s just the truth of it all. And when i do get what i want , it was so amazing to me that i keep doing it , most of the time 5…6….10 roots at a time i pick out the roots that ive tooken and eat them. I know it sounds sick , but its who you are and al hair pullers must feel ugly but in reality we are all beautifull. It took some time to be so confident and outgoing about my (OUR) problem but when i came to the point where i just said to myself “haley you pull your hair and eat the root .” I accepted that as who i am . But trust me, theres not a min. where i dont wish i couldnt just wake up and stop . But untill then im standing strong and i have faith, some days im stronger then others but im holding my head high and strong πŸ™‚ i hope you feel better .

    • I’m a puller to & my name is also Haley. How ironic [:

    • I am just like you (turning 15) and i started in 5th grade. I also bit off the roots and waited for a big wet one. I’m getting better though =] (over 1 month “sober” from it) I found that it really really REALLY helped to wear hats. also it helps to slap your hand away when your reaching to pull. I wish you the best of luck. I know you can defeat “the enemy” and your right. we all think we are ugly, but in reality we are beautiful. and on the inside, i think the hardships help us become better people and appreciate life more. It has bettered myself and trich had made me and God closer.

      Good luck
      God Bless
      Much love! (no homo =P)

    • so true, its insane how many people pick the hair and then eat it. I also thought I was super crazy because it seems really gross. I started picking my eyebrows and eyelashes at age 7 and started pickjng the hair on my head when I was in 3rd grade and still do at age 18. It seems to get worse around the same time every year (christmas) and as every year goes by when that time comes its always worse than last year. Im scared ill never stop and I just honestly want my hair back and i want it to be normal again. This site really changed my perspective on trich..

  30. hi im nelly … i live in europe/austria and i have this too … im biting off the big white root ant chew it… ive started in the age of 9 years now im 23… 4 years i stopped and now ive started again…. my long beautiful hair 😦 im so sad i dont know what to do … maybe i should marry a boy who has trich too? because im beautiful but my hair makes me to not meet any boy … if there is anybody from vienna who as trich boy or girl … i want tto meet and talk about it because i never talk to anybody about this

  31. Wow, as I sit here and read all the coments posted it makes me want to cry…it is such a relief that I am NOT

  32. *opps
    the only one that suffers from this AWFUL disease!! I am very tired of doing this..I am 25 and have been at it since 14, grrr!!!! I also “eat” the root and feel so ashamed when I feel that I have been caught…

    Anyway, I just hope that besides medicating myself there is another option!

  33. I have the same problem… i have gone to a therapist and here are some tips
    1. to fix this problem you have to want to stop more than anything
    2. you have to realize when you pull
    3. you have to do something to keep from pulling up your hair up and putting hair spray in it helps)
    4. when you start to pull you need to do something to entertain your hands like im always typing or holding a stress ball
    6. wear gloves and hats when your at home by your self
    i hope these tips help—-Lucy

  34. I have been doing it since 16. I had an ingrown hair in my scalp that was really bothering me and my mother yanked it out. The root was completely intact: plump, juicy, fluid filled, large, shiny, and soft. I remember holding it and not wanting to throw it away. It was WEIRD. From that moment on things were different. I started pulling…..and snipping the roots off with my teeth…..constantly looking for another root like that first one…. (Never have found one). It is an unbearable urge. I start without knowing it. Usually when under stress. I keep going even though I know I should stop. “I’ll just do ONE more…..THEN I’ll stop”. It is worse when I am driving or alone. I will end up with a pile of hair. I can make a 3 or 4 inch in diameter completely bald spot in a day, easy. I have to come up with creative ways to hide it. I will go for 6 months or more without getting my hair cut to avoid having to “explain” what is wrong with my hair. I have NEVER ever admitted to anyone face to face or to anyone that I actually know that I have TTM. I didn’t even KNOW about TTM until four years ago! I am in my mid-thirties. I have not sought treatment. I’ve considered, seriously, cutting/shaving my hair off. I have permanent grooves in my front teeth (noticeable to me or if you look closely) from sliding the hair between my teeth until I find the juicy bit at the end then I snip it off, chew it a bit, maybe take it out of my mouth to inspect it, then I swallow it. It is such an odd, embarrassing, confusing, compulsive behavior. I don’t think it will ever get better. I don’t mean to drag anyone down, really, but I think I just have to try to control it and DEAL with it.

    • If I didn’t know better, I would believe that I had written this response. This fits me to a “T”!

  35. Hey! Ive had this problem for about a 2 to 3 years now. Doctors will not help you. They only think we have mental problems people! They are not the people to go to. I have a HUGE bald spot on the back of my head and on the top i am slightly bald but the hairs i pulled a while back are growing in VERY SHORT and VERY NOTICABLE. i hate it. It looks horrid. Im ashamed very much! But i fixed my problem the best way i could, I shaved my head bald and bought a really nice wig and NOBODY can tell it’s not my real hair. look up lace front wigs! It’s the best thing that happened! I promise! My hair grew back my hair grew back more full and EVEN! haha i hope you all who have gone too far to be helped in this do what I did! It works. I know we all love those crunchy roots or the big huge ones, but it ruiens any social life. YOU NEED TO STOP!

  36. I am 14 years old. I have had trich since i was around 8. Mainly its my eyelashes. Just recently i have started pulling out my LOWER eyelashes. The picture is very triggering..

  37. OH MY GOSH….I thought I was the only one…i’m almost ashamed to admit that i’m relieved there are others with the same problem…I thought I was maniac or crazy.GOD HELP US ALL,IT’S ACTUALLY A MENTAL STUFF…
    I’m 19 and i’ve been doing this since i’m 12.When I typed in-“eating hair roots” and feeling like a complete moron,i never thought i’d actually lend here.It’s worse when tensed,stressed up.I guess we’ll do well to try some of the suggestions…putting a lotion on ur hair helps…

  38. Hi,

    I am a 28 year old woman and I have the same problem too. I have been pulling out my hair since i was around 11. I was, and still are in search of the perfect root too chew. It is very embarresing. I really hate to show myself in a bikini or in the shower at the gym. It is a big relief to konw that I am not alone out there with this issues. Until two years ago I thougt I was the only one and was very suprised when I found out that there even was a name for this disorder. My problems often occures when I am under stress. I really hope that i once will recover from this disorder. Best wishes to you all!

  39. Hi guys,
    I am 45 years old I have been picking compulsively since I was about 15 years old, I have had ups and downs and tried everythign that has been mentioned here, I pull my hair it first started with the pulling, eyebrows, eyelashes and on the head,in later years I somehow did not get pleasure from eyebrows or lashes anymore wiich is odd to me. I however have had ups and downs with pulling. What I do: pull the hair out inspect the roots, looking for that plump fat shiny root, one that hurts a bit is a good one then bite off the ends crunch with my front teeth, repeat, repeat, looking for that perfect texture and root and just that right amount of pain then ahhhh, but it starts over again. I have had ups and downs and as soon as my baldness has improved that little monster says go ahead its ok pluck out a few its thick enough not to look bad you can get away with a few then there is my bald spot again! my clothes full of hair which I then brush off look in the mirror at the bald spot and cry. It is painful. I am back on the sight because I have relapsed and looking for help. I am obviously bald and now am staying home until it grows at bit which is not happening as it used to because the hair follicles are probably just worn out. I may have to get a wig cause it looks awful. I cant recommend any help just to let you know you are not alone, they think we are crazy were is the help? The envelope thing worked for me once but nothing is working for me, I am sooo upset with myself, i dont consider myself to be unhappy nor depressed, I just hate this thing that controls me. well enough If anyone finds real help and not some scam artist trying to take advantage of us please post it thenks.

    • Faith…. i just came across this. Your post is a few yrs old… but wondering if u will receive this reply. I am 40. Been pulling since 11 yrs old. My hair follicles are dead at my hugd bald spots now. I would like to talk with u via emai?

  40. Hey! Jamie from Texas here! I was a puller for 3 years. I joined an amazing group called Celebrate Recovery and became part of a “step study.” I’ve been pull free for over 4 months now! All of my hair grew back in only 3 months, and I was bald! Like old man or bozo bald. My hair came back! Why? Because I went deep into my feelings and looked at my past. I finally discovered the “root” of why I pulled! So, I suggest everyone find a Celebrate Recovery near you! You can thank me later! πŸ™‚

  41. *sits and stares at screen, slackjawed*

    See, I knew the hairpulling was a disorder…but I had no idea about the prevailence of the root-thing!

    So many of the previous commentors have said this…but I *really* had NO idea there were people out there doing the exact same thing I do!! I have been pulling my hair for about ten years now, on and off. I stopped for a while in High School but it started again when I got my first job, four years ago.

    I had a few bald patches which started growing out again, making these little mohawks all over my head…then two years ago I shaved it all off. I though that the time with short hair would cure it but the minute my hair was long enough to pull, it started again.

    I cut too. Guess the two tend to go hand-in-hand, eh?


    What to do with ourselves?!

  42. I do the same thing everyday!!wow….its weird to read other ppl talking bout the same problem…..i hope we could stop one day… so sick of it…its been 10 years….ive had enough

  43. i honestly cannot believe it.
    there are so many people who do exactly the same thing as me, i look, and SEARCH for those perfect oily fat roots, and i’ve lost so much hair in the endless search in ‘special’ spots that i can only pull a little bit now because i’m pretty much bald there.
    but the binges are so bad, and so good.
    i’ve started an OCD busters program at Griffith Uni in Brisbane, Australia
    I hope it works.
    But i feel so much calmer about myself now.

  44. Oh, my God! I’m 15 and I have pulled my hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows out ever since I was young! I found out it was a disease and a name for it when I was 14. I was so relieved! I was glad that I wasn’t alone. My mom thinks I have a mental disorder, and that something’s wrong. She doesn’t know; to afraid to tell. I feel so good when I pull out hair. Especially the roots. I don’t eat them, I just love to look at them! And it feels wet sometimes when it touches my skin.

    I must pull until I find that fat, oily, and plump root. I hve bald spots.:( And mom has threatend to shave me head, or go and get mental help. That scares me. Sometimes I just want to say it’s not my fault, and accept it. I have tried quitting too many times, and it doesn’t work. Covering up my bald spots to look normal, is sad and embarrassing. I just feel calm after I pull. I thought no one else saw that “beautiul” strand of hair but me. But, thankfully, I was wrong.

    I get urges to pull daily. And it is a struggle not to. It’s addicting. My mother told me I looked ridiculous. I could have died. Which is what I feel like when I notice a new bald spot.:( No 15-year-old should think of their death all over a disease. And regret living. She makes me feel so awful about myself, that I find no value in me living! I now try to learn as much as possible about this as I can. . . trying to tell myself there are others out there.:)

  45. OMG!!! I really thought I wuz the only person who did this too. I am 25 and have been pulling my hair out since I wuz 9!!!. I first started when I found a strand of hair and I thought it wuz mine so I pulled out a stand of my hair and found a big white root at the end n being a curious child I ate it. And since then I have been pullin to find a big white crunchy root. Smh. I have been trying to stop. I have been wearing a weave for years because of this bad habit. I have never told n e one about this. I really wanna stop. I really do it when im sleepy or bored by myself. I can go about 2-3 weeks w/o doing it then when I feel the stuble hairs growing back I pull agian. I like to pull in the sore spots too I guess I like the pain. I dont understand why I do this. I really want help but I dont know where to go for it. I just pray God helps me through this. I have beautiful hair n I would really like to wear my own hair one day.

  46. I don’t know how i found this site but i think this is what i needed to read tonight. I am 41 and have been pulling from various parts since the age of 8 when my parents got divorced. I guess that’s when it started, pulling my eyelashes and blowing them into the air to make wishes–i would always wish for my parents to get back together. I read about the eyelash wishes in a children’s book and that gave me the idea, if the kid in the book could get her wish from one eyelash, well, i had so many more wishes coming to me. So i pulled all my eyelashes out except for like two in the middle of my eyelids which for some reason i would never pull out. My mother asked me what happened and i told her i didn’t know. She was concerned and took me to an eye doctor, who after an hour of examining me finally asked if i had pulled them out. I had to admit it, and my mom was really angry. But i think right about that time i subconsciously realized that even when she was yelling at me for pulling, at least i was getting some energy from her. So i pulled until junior high when other girls were starting to wear makeup and people started asking me why i had no eyelashes. I used eyeliner to cover it up but somehow managed to stop pulling, mostly because i wanted to wear makeup, and i guess i wanted to look pretty after being a tomboy for so long. I would still sneak a few when i could get away with it, because it always felt so good. My mom sent me to a psychologist but we never once talked about my eyelash pulling. We didn’t talk about the emotional abuse i suffered at home either. Mostly i just ate french fries and shrugged my shoulders during our appointment.

    I find it interesting that so many of the people posting here are 15 and pull their hair, because that is when i started pulling out my hair. At the time, my mom and her new husband were having a lot of arguments and my mom had a nervous breakdown. I guess the stress was getting to me and i couldn’t pull my eyelashes anymore. I hadn’t thought about pulling my hair, but my mom showed me a newspaper article about a girl who died from eating the hair she had pulled out (this is real and serious, so those of you who eat the whole hair really need to get your stomach checked out). Anyway, i didn’t know at the time that my mom also pulled her hair out, but it made sense once i found out–she wouldn’t ever put her head underwater in the pool and always pinned her curly hair up over the crown of her head like Lucy Ricardo. I think she was interested in that article for personal reasons, but i don’t know why she had to show it to me–it gave me the idea to pull out my hair, i started at age 15 and haven’t stopped since. Through college, it was only along the part of my scalp so i was able to pull my hair back on top to cover it up and no one knew. I had pretty hair then. I could still go without hats or scarves through my 20’s, riding my bike in the wind as long as i had a barrette to hold my hair over the bald spot. But it got worse as i got closer to 30. My years of abuse had caught up with me and i had still never gone to any good counseling to work through my childhood traumas. By the time i met the man who became the father of my kids, i had to wear a hat or bandanna most of the time. He is the only one besides my family who knows about my hair.

    That relationship went bad over and over–we kept trying again, but were mostly fighting a lot. It was so stressful raising babies while feeling so abandoned and hated by him, i pulled and pulled and pulled. At least i still had thicker curly hair showing underneath my hat so i could get away with it, but then after giving birth and nursing, most of that hair fell out. Decades of damage to my roots, nursing two babies and not being able to afford vitamins, being under extreme emotional stress and abuse all the time, and, possibly some other reason for my hair just not growing back in, has left me paralyzed from so many social situations and relationships. I want to stop, i have cut way back and hardly pull at all anymore, but now the things i do to cover up my enormous bald patches may be preventing my hair from growing back. What is trying to grow back is white, so i have to dye it. I use Couvre on my scalp and a hair piece that barely clings to the weak little ponytail i manage to gather on the crown of my head, and comb all the top hair to the side and usually wear a scarf around my hairline because i can not grow past one inch of sparse, wispy hair on the front of my head. I have dated a handful of young men over the years (always much younger than me cuz i don’t look a day over 30, or so i’m told), and i always squirm my way out of dating them for very long, or sabotage the relationship somehow, so i don’t have to get to the part where they ask me why i won’t ever let my hair down. That’s right, i have to sleep with my fake ponytail on when someone stays over. I had a friend stay with me, sleeping in my bed for two months in the spring, and i had my hair up every single night. He’s a good friend and sometimes lover, and may have figured it out but is sensitive to my fears so he never asked any questions. I wonder how many of my friends have figured out that i have a hair loss problem. I am an artist and fashion designer, having made many costumes, so i am very crafty about hiding my problem with clever stylish headdresses, hats and scarves. I am proud of my ability to hide this, but desperate to get my hair to grow back. I have done a lot of yoga and meditation over the last five years and feel that i have healed from my abusive upbringing. I am mostly very happy, my kids are happy, (i have even managed to hide my hair loss from them but they are getting smarter) and anyway, i am so ready to kick this once and for all. I think that if i saw some progress of regrowth, i would be more motivated to stop.

    Does anyone know if i a product like Couvre can keep hair from growing? I tend to leave it on for days at a time because it’s so much work putting my hair up. I wonder if i am blocking the pores too much. The lower part of my hair does seem to be growing, but the part i’ve damaged, at the crown and very top/back of the head, only has short, fine white hairs that don’t seem to get any longer than one inch.

    I guess i should end here, but there is so much more to say now that i have found people who understand the intense pleasure of feeling that little pain and the reward of a fat, crunchy root–i’m really floored that others get this, how perfect and good that is. I also pull it through my teeth and crunch on it, and i am thrilled when i find a tiny bit of red on the tip, which is really a gross thing to get excited about. I have almost no money so i can’t afford hypnotherapy but that would be my treatment of choice, at least to give it a try. Thanks for the link to the wig website, that is also something i will buy if i ever have the money. I barely make enough to feed my kids, which is even more stress that leads to more pulling. Ugh. A good wig would enable me to stop using the Couvre, and maybe my hair would start to grow.

    thanks for being here,

    • stay strong xx

  47. Wow i can’t believe so many people with Trichotillomania do this…
    I found alot on Trichotillomania alot of people with it,but i didn’t know so many ate the root or played with the root/remove it from the hair.

    I also do that,i have since i was 10 years old its shocking so many people do this and there isnt more info on it(the eating/removel/root part of trich)

    • Surprised me too, I thought I was the only one. I like the cool moist feel of the root on my lip afterpulling it out, and if you can get a good crunch its great. All part of the experience.

  48. Welll iliana from mexico and ive been pulling since i was in 5th grade im now turning 16 ive gotten to the point of not being able to style my hair because of the ald spots i make pullling hair, biting fingernails, picking scabs are also things i cant stop doing.

  49. I’ve wrestled with this demon for more than 30 years, and there is not a day that goes by that there is not a slight urge to do it.

    I can go for months without pulling, and then some trigger sets it off and it becomes almost impossible to stop. I have found it worse when my scalp is very dry.

    I use gel most days, and as long as there is a feeling of moisture retention, I am not urged to pull. I have tried to rationalise this problem for years, and this is some of the WEIRD reasons I have thought up as to why I pull and bite:

    1. There is a chemical or hormone in the root of the follicle my body needs. This to me explains why the urge is uncontrollable, because its my body needing this.

    2. That I must have undergone some severe trauma as a child which I cannot remember, which started all this. Its seems like an unconscious expression or desire to hurt myself.

    3. Its an unconscious method of release for my mind, which i need over and over.

    4. I find while Im doing I am absolutely unable to think of anything else. Its as if my mind blockades every other sensory input to the exclusion of this.

    5. Wearing caps or hats exacerbates the problem, because it causes my scalp to itch, and itching leads to pulling.

    What I have found it that if my partner scratches my scalp on a certain spot on my head for a while, the urge to pull disappears completely, as if the desire has been sated.

  50. I have had this problem for years. Seaching for a cold, cruntchy root. 2 years ago it got so bad i just shaved my head. I thought it would solve the problem. The compulsion is beyond hard to ignore. I now take tweezers to my hair since it is too short to get fingers around the follice. I wear lace front wigs and am VERY self consious. I feel like EVERYONE looks at me thinking about my hair. And I hate looking at every girl with long beautiful hair. :/ I have no cure but sure wish i did.

    • lol…tweezers??

  51. I have the same problem once I start I can not stop.. My scalpbis itchy from the pulling and it makes me pull more!!! I need to see a dr about this. People think I am losing my hair, only if they knew the truth..

  52. I too am a hairpuller for around 10 years now. I am ashamed bc my hair was healthy and thick but is now reduced to a thin mess with bald spots around the crown. My family thought for awhile that I just shed alot but they now know the truth. My husband says just stop but he has no idea how hard it is. I find myself just doing it almost subconsciously and that bugs me even more. I am a Christian and this makes it even harder for me to accept bc Christ died to set me free from this. I do believe He is the answer for deliverance and not another source. I think I have been in denial as to how much of a problem this really is. I am sick and tired of being controlled by this and I am going to even go so far as to say its an evil spirit or demonic oppression. Some of you will not agree, but I am going to take some tips from the website and God help me to overcome this. It may take fasting and prayer together but I will overcome through the delivering power of Jesus. For those of you who are Christians, I would like to connect with you for added support. I have wondered if when the urge to pull comes whether I just need to say, Get behind me, Satan. I might give this a try. For all of you suffering from this, I feel your pain in a very real way. If you want to know more, contact me @ thanks for your ear and may God have the victory with us all!

  53. Wow, I am 50 years old and I started pulling when I was around 9. Started with my eyelashes, I would feel the lids and if I felt a hair there I had to pull it out. I still have no eyelashes. One time I pulled a patch of hair from my head but that never happened again,not sure why,just didn’t feel that compulsion. The armpits and public area are starting to go white now that I am getting older so of course these white hairs give me targets and have big juicy cool roots that I like to rub on my lips and seperate from the hair with my teeth. It is just so weird, it seems like some sort of primate grooming ritual. Have you ever seen monkeys grooming each other, they get something out of the other’s fur and put it in their mouth. Is it related to this, a sort of genetic compulsion? I have no idea, but once I start on my groin its hard to stop though there are no blank patches. Im sort of more accepting about it now, but the eyelashes caused me huge psychologically damaging embarassment all my youth life and still do.

    • xx

  54. I only try to pull out hairs of pimples or bumps on my scalp or face to get that white glossy root. It feels so satisfying to feel it being pulled out. I wish I could film it and watch it in slo-mo. I want to fill up a pool with my freshly pulled roots and dive right in. I know it sounds sick. I have never talked to a doctor about this. I just found out about a year ago that this is a disorder.

  55. OMG! I had no idea that this was a REAL disorder, I thought I was the only person doing this! I’ve been pulling since I was in the 4th grade I’m now 21! Idk what triggered me to start, my mom took me to the doctor bc she noticed I had patches in my hair. I didn’t tell my mom or the doctor I was REALLY going bald because I was pulling out my hair and eating the roots! He told my mom I had a fungus and it was causing my hair to come out in patches smh! I’m so ashamed of this my mom ended up cutting all my hair off in the 5th garde and I had to wear a wig to school …YES a wig! It was soooo embarrassing I got picked on all the time!! I wasnt “scared” of any of the kids or anything I actually wanted to kick all of their asses but I was afraid that my wig would come off! Now I just wear extensions which I am okay with but I really want to stop pulling! My boyfriend even asks me why don’t you ever let me see your real hair. I’ve stopped pulling before but when my hair grows back I start pulling again…. It’s pretty sad! My hair is horrible its uneven and I have bald spots all throughout my head! I’m just going to shave it all off and start over and just HOPE I don’t get the urge to pull again!

  56. i am 12 years old now and i started pulling my hair at the end of my 11 year and i dont bite the roots off my hair but i do rub it on my lips and hands. I always try to find a good one and now i have a bold patch on the back of my head. it is so embarrassing that every day when i go to school i have to wear a high bun. but i know of a medicine that will help you stop. it is named nac. i still havent told my dad because i am scared but i know i need help.

  57. Hi I have this desease as well I really want it to stop I have loads of bald pachtes my hair used to be really thick it started when I was sixteen I am now seventeen nearly eighteen can people please give me some advice

  58. I do the same exact thing. I have been doing this since I was 12 yrs old I’m 46 now. I got it bad too. Once I get started I can pull for hours. Glad to knw I’m not the only one that’s looking for the big white cold roots lol

  59. Hi there,
    I’ve been pulling my hair out for the past 30 yrs. I’m 36 now. I’ve been completely bald since I was 12 & have had 2 wear wigs. I have the same problem with eating my follicles. It’s not even the feeling of pulling my hair out, it’s me wanting to eat the follicles. I know it’s gross, but it’s like I’m compelled to do it. I keep telling myself I need to quit & can’t. I was almost able to go without my wig last yr because I stopped all of the sudden. And as fast as I stopped for that yr I started back up. I’ve tried all kinds of medications, hypnosis, drs, etc. And when ppl discover I wear a wig, especially in school I succumbed to endless teasing, bullying & harassment. Lots of them would try & pull my wig off, I’ve had wigs thrown in my lockers & stuff written in the bathrooms about me. Can anyone offer me some advice or a kind word to help me get through this next round?? Thank you for listening & please no bashing

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