Hair pulling – Trichotillomania?

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The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) defines trichotillomania as:

Recurrent pulling out of one’s hair resulting in noticeable hair loss.

An increasing sense of tension immediately before pulling out the hair or when attempting to resist the behavior.

Pleasure, gratification, or relief when pulling out the hair.

The disturbance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder and is not due to a general medical condition (e.g., a dermatological condition).

The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Not every person who pulls out their hair meets these strict criteria. Nonetheless, they frequently have a distressing problem that might very well benefit from treatment.



  1. Hi. I am 15 years old, and I have been pulling out my eyelashes since I turned 6.

    It started out with aiming to one particular spot on my eyelid, then the same spot on the other. It hit me when I was at a restaurant with my family, my mom had looked over at me, just to see a hole along my eyelash line on both eyes. She freaked out, sort of angry, and asked why it was like that. I had hesitated until I managed to say I had pulled them out. My mom had gotten mad, along with my grandma, and everybody else was just staring at me. My grandma told me with a strict voice that my eyelashes don’t grow back. That I would never have them again. Yes, I still remember that day, and yet I have continued to pull them out.

    I was in Kindergarten at the time, and hadn’t really realized the effect it would have on me until around 4th grade. I was so extremely self cautious, and at the time, my pullings were the worst. I managed to pull out every last eyelash on both eyelids. My parents were so mad at me. I know it’s just because they love me, and want me to be normal and have eyelashes. It was extremely noticeable because of how often I would do it. Whenever they would start to grow back, I pulled at them, leaving my eyelids puffy and red and swollen. I have a picture of me back then holding up one of my favorite books in the school library as a part of a project, later to be hung up in the hallways. I remember people giving me weird looks, asking me why my eyelids were so red and puffy, and why I had no eyelashes. I was so ashamed of myself. My dad constantly got mad at me if I pulled them out. He would ask me why I did it? He’d tell me to just say ‘no’. It made me feel like a freak, having him constantly look at my eyes with anger, yelling at me to stop doing it. He would get so angry that he would tell me to sit in the office with him, look him in the eyes, and tell him that ‘I would brake this stupid habit’, over and over and over again, until he was convinced that I must truely believe I would stop myself. That’s all it was to him. A ‘stupid habit’ that was led by lack of self control. Constantly being yelled at for having absolutly no self-control, I felt sad, ugly, and hopeless.

    After I would be told to stop doing it, and to just say ‘NO’, I would be crying, trying to explain that it just wasn’t that easy for me. I would be trying so hard to let my parents know that I couldn’t just stop. But they hadn’t believed me. I would be asked ‘WHY NOT?’, but I really didn’t know, and resulted in always saying what I felt: “I don’t know”. I couldn’t understand why, whenever I pulled out a single stub of an eyelash, it gave me relief, even comfort. All I could say was ‘I don’t know”. But that wasn’t good enough. I was repeatedly reminded that it was my own fault, that I had no self-control, and I did it to myself, so I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself.

    I was so miserable in fourth grade, I was becoming less social than I had before. I was so afraid to look at people in the eye, and so self-contious whenever people looked at me. I was a freak, and from then on have always hated to word ‘eyelash’. After hearing it used in anger towards me so often, I tried to avoid hearing it and saying it. Whenever I watched T.V. and there was a mascara commercial, I switched the channel. In fifth grade, girls were starting to wear make-up. Whenever they would mention their eyelashes or mascara, if I could, I would leave the room, staring at the floor, trying to avoid eye contact. I was so afraid to talk to people other than my friends. I couldn’t fathom the word or thought, and everytime I encounterd it, I would flinch to myself. I didn’t want to tell my teacher because it was too much to do while standing in front of her, looking at her eyes, so I begged my mom to call school and tell my teacher herself. She said he had the previous day, but I was so convinced it wouldn’t be any better. I was even too afraid to talk to my parents or make eye contact with them, for fear of them getting mad and yelling at me.

    It wasn’t until about half way through fifth grade that I had a weird change in urges. For some un-explainable, amazing reason, I hadn’t pulled out my eyelashes for long enough to let them FULLY grow back! I felt so amazing, it was the greatest I had ever felt for years. I could talk to people like a normal kid, I could talk to my parents without being afraid or ashamed, I even began being more social with friends at school. That was just the turnaround that I needed to get me to the social status I am at today.

    Of course, the urges came back, and I once again began plucking eyelash after eyelash. But if I hadn’t had that wonderful feeling of being free of fear and shame, I don’t know if I would have been able to continue to fight. I set a goal for myself that summer prior to sixth grade–grow them again before junior high. I didn’t think I could stand the peer pressure and embarrassment of being the only student with no eyelashes. It was almost the week before school, and my goal was not reached. I only managed to save about the back half of my eyelashes on both eyelids, leaving them looking identicle. It is so strange reflecting on my habits. How I would be such a ‘neat freak’ that I needed them to both look the same so it would be even. However, when school began once again, I had to stick to my old, anit-social plan to avoid eye contact. I wouldn’t make friends like I used to before 4th grade. Of course, I had my friends since before then, who were the only ones that I could trust would not making me feel bad and keeping to themselves to not ask me why I had no eyelashes. I absolutly refused to tell anybody what I had done, no matter how many times they would ask and make me feel bad about myself. It kept me enclosed, my thoughts to myself, my feelings left bundled up inside me. I couldn’t talk to people the same way normal people could. I realized how often you make eye contact with people in one day. It’s a lot. Too much for me to bear. When I would get home and lay in bed at night, I would stare out into the stars, wishing so hard and long that when I woke up the next morning, i would have my eyelashes back. I would prey so deeply, sobbing under my covers to please, just please, let me a normal kid. Let me have my eyelashes, let there be a miracle.

    My only dream never came true. I would wake up in the morning, the same freak as the previous day, and the day before that. My mom started to take into consideration that maybe instead of yelling at me and getting mad at me for uncontrollable pulling out my eyelashes, she should see what is really going on. I love her for that. She did a lot of research explaining situations of other girls like me, and we came to a conclusion that I must have Trichotillomania. My mom was totally supportive of me. I felt so joyous that I could then look at her eyes and have a conversation with her, guilt free. She even signed me up for a psyciatrist, who I went to see for a long time, and my eyelashes grew back! It wasn’t until the summer before 8th grade that my dad took into recognition that maybe I knew what I was talking about when I said I didn’t know why I pulled out my eyelashes. He finally took the time to listen to me, to hear me out. He actually researched for reasons why I did the things I did with my eyelashes. It wasn’t until one amazing day when he came home from work with pamphlets explaining girls, like me, with Trichotillomania. He finally sort of understood my side of the situation. It wasn’t untill 8th grade that I ever had a full eyelid of eyelashes. I had another strange, sensational, urge free few months that my eyelashes all grew back. I made sure I waited, so confident and sure of myself that I would never EVER pull them out again. I couldn’t go back to the way I was a few months before. I finally became more comfortable in the cosmetics department at target, or bath and body works, or PINK. I was like everybody else. Until I started to wear mascara. I never realized it made my eyelashes feel lighter than normal, like they weren’t even there. And the worst part is-if I touched my eyelashes, they felt clumpy. I couldn’t stand it. My eyelashes weren’t neatly layed out along my eyelid. Something was in the way of them being perfectly smooth, and that was my mascara. I still remember; 6th period, computer class. I felt the ends of my eyelids and yanked. I didn’t realize the mascara stuck to eyelashes so well. So, along with black mascara remnants in my fingertips were fully eyelashes. It was a sudden wave of anger, hatered, shame, sadness, and fear all in one wake. When it subsided, I realized in shock how I missed that sickening feeling of pulling out eyelashes. It was such a relief to be doing it again, yet I was in the middle of class! I couldn’t believe myself for letting go that easy, yet I couldn’t believe myself for holding back. Yes, the sensation was that relieving, unexplainable to anybody who hasn’t done it. I was sick with fear at the same time, realizing, as I continued to pull at the mascara, that I would soon not have eyelashes. I tried to stop and do the work for my class, but I was ahead anyway, and could afford to let go of the keyboard sometimes and feel my eyelids.

    I pretty much wanted to cry. But I couldn’t, I was in the middle of class at school. I wanted to be home, to handcuff my hands behind my back. I mean, when you think about it, that Would work, because without my hands there is nothing to pull at my eyelashes with. Yet, on the logical side, I need hands to carry on in life, you know? When I finally did get home though, I went straight to the mirror to see the damage I had done. It was horrifying. Yet, I couldn’t resist the sudden urge to pull more. In about 3 days time, I was almost all out of eyelashes on my eyes. That was they worst I felt in so long because all of my friends at school had seen me with mascara, had seen that I did, in fact, have eyelashes. That maybe they imagined I didn’t have them for a long time, because I still did not let anybody know that I had personally pulled them out. But then, it was like there was no way I could look at anybody in the eyes, for certainty that they just must realize that, hey, that girl just had eyelashes last week. Where did they go?? I was so ashamed when my parents got home. I didn’t want to look at my mom, I’d just have to wait for her to find out on her own. But at that time, my parents were more accepting of it because they knew somewhat about it. I didn’t get yelled at by my dad, but instead it was a settle, stern look into my eyes. I was so relieved, because all I could think about after school was what he was going to think. I was so happy that he didn’t yell at me, that even though he gave me a frustrated look, it felt like the best thing in the world.

    To this day, with my parents finally not getting mad at me for sometimes having eyelashes, and sometimes not, for not being yelled at or punished, for being accepted, I am doing better with my eyelashes. There is less stress to have to be worried about what they would think, although I sometimes still am, and with less stress, I have been able to go pluck-free sometimes for a weeks. I do not have full eyelashes, but finding this websight, and really getting involved with this, I think will really help.

    I am in 9th grade. I’m still self cautious in the hallways, because it always feels like whenever I pass people, they look at my eyes with wonder. But, after typing this and reflecting on the past 9 years of my life, I think it is a new opening for support and hope. All I have to do is wait a bit for them to come in 🙂

    Thankyou for reading,

    • Hi Erika! I as well pull out my hair. But the hair on my scalp. Maybe if we tried to get through this together it would help! So we could talk about it openly, and not have to be ashamed and hide it. ❤

    • hello my name is ashley i am 26 yeras old and I have pulled my hair out for as long as i can remeber and I have also eaten the root and I feel so so nasty because of this and the odd thing is I’ve done it for so long but not always. I have noticed that as I ahve got older it has got worse and not only do I pull my hair I pick alot if not myself then even at my boyfriend or my mom and they don’t understand my urge they just seem to think I’m nasty or weird. I just wanted you to know that your not alone and I hope that one day you can see that you are a beautiful person and that even though you do this ; their is help and ways for you to stop, I no I can’t say much about getting help because I still have a issue with it but you are young and can move on with your life. I just want you to not give up hope. your friend ashley~

      • Hi, Im Mandy, I started pulling my hair out when I was like 6 or 7, maybe even a little younger. It started off with the eyelashes because they where thicker. Then, I moved on to hair on my legs because I hadn’t got to shave them yet, Then it moved on to the hair on my head. Im now 19 and I still have to fight with the urges. Last night I created two bald spots on both sides of my head. on my hair line, (the edges), I’m trying they eye shadow trick for the first time…. I hope my mom doesn’t find out Im doing it again. =\ I just got bored and lost count. I kept telling myself “just one more” Now, I don’t know what Im going to do. I also eat the root, I don’t know why… its soothing to have it run across my lips or break it down with my teeth… I know it sounds gross, and I know im probably gross from doing it…. but hey, we all got our flaws. I have stopped before, for a yr! I dont know how I was once that strong or why I even picked the habbit back up. I just want to be normal and not have to stress on my family stressin’. They’re in denial that there child could have trich, or even the fact that it’s something real. I remember saying “it was stress” and my mom would ask “why are you stressed enough to pull your hair” and i would tell her all these excuses and she think it was my family, but honestly, the stress comes from the habit, the worry of being bald, but the habit comes from boredom. I wish there was a way to stop all this… and everyone of us could just be NORMAL with thick pretty hair, and we didn’t have to spay 1000 Ibs of hairspray on our heads before walking outside because the wind.

    • hi iam tique and im doign a call projet and the questionis how long does it take to pull your hair one at a time ?

    • Wow I don’t feel alone anymore 🙂 hi my name is shailiana Reyes and I pull out my hair from my scalp I started when I was like about 6-7 and I’m 14 now and I still pull out my own hair I feel so embarrassed cause sometimes I have bald spots in my head I use hair extensions so that nobody can notice it 😦 I feel like its taking over my life. I really can’t stop as much as I try I just can’t. I pull my hair when I’m thinking,mad,sad,depressed,stressed out mostly all the time. My mom hates when I do it . I really don’t know why I love the feeling of it . when I pull out my hair I roll it into a ball with my fingers then I throw it on the floor 😦 I’ve went to plenty of therapist nothing worked out for me 🙂 but I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one passing threw this

    • My name is sarah dixon, am from Dublin. i want to use this opportunity to thank my great doctor who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great man DR.OLUWAKEMI brought my husband back to me, i had 2 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i shouldn’t worry about it at all so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man phone number and his email address. i was doubting if this man was the solution, so contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i deed them all, he told me to wait for just two day and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after two days i heard a knock on the door, in a great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy.that’s why i want to say a big thank you to This great man made me to understand that there no problem on earth that has no solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. you can email him

    • Hi, this is 2013, almost 2014 … and I’m wondering if you still pull your hair? I do, sense 6th grade. I’m currently in 8th grade and my family makes fun of me. They say I look like Benjamin Franklin. They point it out in public and look at me in disgust. They shove a hat on me, yelling me to stop. But I can’t. I can’t explain why. My mom would give me away in a heart beat. No one loves me.

  2. hi, I’m 22, been pulling out my hair for a long time, I think I was about 7 or 8 when I 1th did it, never knew why? sometimes do it with out thinking, its odd to tell ppl, dont talk about it as dont know how to? whould like to see my gp, but like i say, its feels like a bad thing, at the min, you can see where I have been pulling, so have to put my hair over it, shell

  3. I would like to tell you that there is hope. I was a puller for many years. I started pulling my hair out when I was 12.

    That particular age marked the time that I stopped my father from sexually abusing me. It was the time I realised what he was doing to me was wrong, and it was the time I started pulling my hair out. I could not stop myself from doing it. I would feel around in one particular spot for the perfect hair, pluck, then stroke the piece of hair between my fingers, and finally, remove the root with my finger nails before throwing it on the floor, over and over again.

    It had gotten so out of control, that I would do it in public. I remember doing it in the class room at school, in the cinema, but mostly in front of the television. Pretty soon, I had plucked myself a bald patch. One night my mum caught a glimps of it through the hair I had swept over it. I was yelled at, and asked the question “why” for hours. I tried so hard to stop, but it was like an addiction, I just had to at least stroke the hair…which inevitably ended in pulling.

    So then I just got smarter. I would still pull, but not as much and I would try to spread out where I pulled from, even though I didn’t feel the same satisfaction as I got from the original spot. I continued this way, on and off, sometimes I didn’t need to do it, and then other times it was full on.

    I also suffered from depression on and off, when I was 14 I tried to commit suicide… then at 24 was depressed and suicidal again, with intense hair pulling at the same time.

    Over the years the sensation lessened, as did the episodes. I am 36 now, I haven’t pulled my hair out for around 10 years. I practice positive thinking every day, in order to keep my mind in a good place. I have been told that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy involves working with positing thought patterns, and this could possibly be the answer. I have conquered my hair pulling, and I know you can do it too. Good luck xx

    • Thank you for posting this. It is the first time I have heard of someone conqureing hair pulling. I have hope!

      • Thank you for posting this too. I have had this problem with hair pulling for over 10 years but I am way too ashamed to let anyone know except my hairdresser. Saying you conquered this yourself gives me hope.

    • I have pulled for 20 years. Everyday. I stopped August 28 2012. Did you hair come back?

    • I’m 15 and I do the same exact thing. It’s always towards the back of my head but still in the top. I always start with one piece of hair, I pull it out, run it between my fingers a few times, then I pull the hair cast off and throw the strand in the floor or on my lap into a pile. I once counted over 50 pieces. I t hasn’t gotten to the point to where I do it in public. But I do get really bad anxiety if I happen to be with my family or freinds or im out in puplic when i have the urge to pull. it scares me because I can’t stop it. I have gone through depression and done self harm. I didn’t know it was noticeable that I pull my hair but the other day when I got out off the shower and I was brushing my hair my sister told me it looked like I had a bald spot, I later looked in the mirror and there was a bald spot in the back of my head. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I want it to stop. I get so frustrated once I start pulling out a few strands of hair but I can’t stop! And even when I do try and stop I get fidgety and nervous, it’s gotten so bad once that I had an anxiety attack after not pulling my hair out for 6 hours. I don’t know what to do anymore. Somebody help me please.

  4. This is a beautiful blog – I have never seen any website like this one before. I was searching for how to remove the ingrown hairs which I now have after 2 years of constantly plucking hairs from my body. I knew that people pulled hair out from stress but had never heard that there a diagnosed condition of hair pulling. After reading this blog I really feel for Erika. I hope that you find a way to fight the deamons and live a life that you are proud of.
    your message has touch me.

  5. Hey, i’m 17 years old and when i was in primary school i constantly pulled out my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. So much i had half of my eyebrows, a bald patch the size of my fist and a thin layer of eyelashes.

    I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and neither did anyone else. I was bullied at school for all of these things, my parents had no idea what was wrong with me.

    It was a real blow to my self esteem when i had to have my lovely long hair cut short (it was about 2 inches long all over after getting cut) to hide my huge bald patch.

    My childhood was such an unhappy dark place.

    I eventually stopped the hair pulling.
    But it starts again every now and again.. it’s only mild now. I find i always pull from the back of my head. I want to find a hair with a root and bite it off or pull it of. And i’ll keep searching quite frustratedly until i find a root.

    Also i pluck my leg hairs and pubic hair. I’ll dig with tweezers at ingrowing hairs and pull them out.. it’s a bonus if i get a root. My legs are covered in spots and scabs thanks to this. Oh well.. aslong as it isn’t my hair.

    It’s only within the last year i’ve come across ‘Trichotillomania’
    I just thought i was weird to be honest.
    I haven’t told my parents about this.. it would be too embarrassing. I haven’t been to a doctor either.

    Perhaps i should, what do you think?

    Thanks to Erika for writing this blog, thanks to everyone who has commented above me and everyone who reads this comment.. i appreciate it all. Finally i don’t feel alone.


  6. I”ve been pulling my hairs for years maybe since age 12 and i”m 40 still pullling my hair. I feel embrassed when my husband ask me why and I really can”t explain. I hate that i do it because i don’t understand why i do it. The crown of my head has many many bald patches, never have eyelashes or pubic hair. For me I feel pain, like a throbbing sensation that hurts it really hurts and when i find that one hair thats causing me the pain, I pull it, rub it across the bottom of my lip feel the moist root tip and drop it, and the sensation continue and i continue pulling until theres nothing else to pull from that spot that was throbbing and hurting. When i was younger i pulled from the back so it was easy for me to hide that because i’d keep my hair tappered as i got older i”m pulling from the front and it’s terrible, I have beautiful light brown eyes and have no lashes so i wear eyeliner to mask the missing lashes.
    Wish there was something i can do to stop the painful throbbing of my scalp at any given time which causing me the pull. If I didn’t feel that painful sensation I wouldn’t pull I know this because I’d realize I havn”t had that throbbing scalp pain and hair has covered the bald areas.

    • I know this post has been here a while but I just came across it. I also just figured out y my scalp always hurts for no reason at all and y I pull my hair out at the root when that spot hurts. This is so interesting and after reading ur post inparticular finally I found someone that has the same exact problem. I’ve never read about anyone having the unexplained scalp pain along with pulling. I thought I was just going crazy. No one understood that I couldn’t stop messing with the spot and that my scalp hurt for no reason. Im 33. I’ve been pulling, picking rubbing my hair out since i was 12. I would do it until I had a huge bald spot that I couldn’t cover. Im glad to know im not losing my mind

    • I have the same problem but my first tyme i cut a small piece of hair out an i was pregnant at the tyme n the 8 th grade. Now that I’m 26 i still have the bald spot it grows bout a half a inch an b like that til it starts hurtin an ill pick it all out n the middle wit my fingers. I also bite my nails been doin that since 5 an i have gotten my nails to grow like 2 years but my hair it jus wont grow bac… I need help because i want my hair to grow an my nails as well but can’t find out y. But thanks to everyone i knw I’m not alone an that now we have a understanding as to y it’s a problem

  7. I”ve been pulling my hairs for years maybe since age 12 and i”m 40 still pullling my hair. I feel embrassed when my husband ask me why and I really can”t explain. I hate that i do it because i don’t understand why i do it. The crown of my head has many many bald patches, never have eyelashes or pubic hair. For me I feel pain, like a throbbing sensation that hurts it really hurts and when i find that one hair thats causing me the pain, I pull it, rub it across the bottom of my lip feel the moist root tip and drop it, and the sensation continue and i continue pulling until theres nothing else to pull from that spot that was throbbing and hurting. When i was younger i pulled from the back so it was easy for me to hide that because i’d keep my hair tappered as i got older i”m pulling from the front and it’s terrible, I have beautiful light brown eyes and have no lashes so i wear eyeliner to mask the missing lashes.
    Wish there was something i can do to stop the painful throbbing of my scalp at any given time which causing me the pull. If I didn’t feel that painful sensation I wouldn’t pull I know this because I’d realize I havn”t had that throbbing scalp pain and hair has covered the bald areas.
    Hope there help for people llike me I just want to be able to let my hairs grow.

    Thanks for readling

    • Hi there,
      I am writing an article for a newspaper in the UK about hair pulling/TTM, and I am looking for a female aged 25-45, who pulls her body hair to take part. If you still pluck your hair from your body, please could you get in touch? We can pay £100 for taking part and it will only take a quick interview over the phone plus a photo shoot.
      Many thanks,

  8. Alright well I’m usually one to ignore my needs and try not to complain because I’m always afraid people will think I just want attention. That’s what “cutters” are just wanting attention. Or at least that’s the idea. But what about the ones no one knows about. I’m doing this not for attention but just to say that I was able to tell someone about these feelings I have. It may not be someone close to me, but at least telling someone I feel might make me feel better knowing that I’m making some effort hopefully leading to success. So here’s my little life story…

    So I don’t think I started pulling hair until I think 3rd grade where I was 9 I believe. I moved to a whole new state. I was against make-up for a long time so it was pretty apparent. I pulled out a majority of my eyebrows, then I started tugging on my eyelashes. My mom noticed that and so from then on I was always scolded for tugging at my eyelashes/eyebrows. (This all started at the same time of the whole, eating cautiously and worrying about gaining weight. First meal I intentionally skipped with that in mind was 4th grade.)

    That worked, but only for some short time. I soon learned how to get around my mom, and just took out the loose ones. A light tug you could say. That’s what I would say and do when I was caught pulling. I remember first learning about cutting and I asked my mom why some do it. She answered with a question, asking why did I pull out my eyelashes? I think her idea was for attention and made me feel lower than society. Which I think is when I started pulling again.

    With my mom’s comment, I thought I could try cutting to see if I could get rid of the urges of pulling my hair. I did it a few times and thought nothing of it. I carved even a cross into my forearm in 6th grade. Not sure what that was about. Obviously, that was a mistake. I tried that for so long it was just and addition to pulling out my hair. Although it did dull out my hair pulling urges. I found it easier to pull away from my mom. Get around her, escape from her.I learned how to use make-up and hide it. Still do a lot. Then I was able to say I was just pulling off the mascara.

    Things just piling up. I already had the hair pulling, then lack of eating. My grades started to slip, I pulled away from my family. I always wanted this skater, punk look so I didn’t have the best influences. I listened to music ALL THE TIME. If you were to label me I was an emo kid, but really I was just alone, and sad, all the time.

    Cut for the longest time, subconsciously pulled my hair but always made sure it wasn’t a lot at one time. So I at least had some. It was one thing that would keep me entertained sort of, and not crying. Or just it would just keep me from saying things I didn’t want to say by accident. I was always trying to be sincere but always KNEW how to hurt someone with words. I didn’t want that.

    Everything just kept getting worse. My cuts deeper, my fasting longer, my grades failing, I started taking hours out of my time, hours sitting down and pulling my hair. I pluck my eyebrows constantly leaving marks and scarring. Pluck, with tweezers, abnormal eyelashes, nose hairs, the hairs on the bottom half of my pinkies, hairs on my feet and toes, and any that I miss from shaving. I will dig out the ones growing under my skin. I started doing this so I could spread it out and nobody would notice. I didn’t really realize I enjoyed it. A lot of the times I’ll pull at my split ends and twirl and play with any that I got. I would also pull my arm hairs. I did it loosely.

    At one point I went to a mental institution for cutting. (My mom pushed me to a point of breaking down and got the cops involved earlier this year.) For my time there, I was diagnosed with depression. Always gave out select information cause I wanted it to be something worth their time. Not me wanting attention. They thought I was getting better for not wanting to cut, but really I was just pulling my hair more to get rid of the other urge. I’ve always been really good at manipulating people so I get away with things I really want to get away with. I have always just generally been ashamed of the ingredients that make me me.

    These feelings, of feeding these desires and urges. Comfort, a distraction of all my problems. It’s always a focus. Every time I sit down to do it, I complain about not putting music on but I’ll take a long time to go and actually put music on.

    Everything that I’m dealing with now…Pulling hair a lot more now, the cutting, isolating myself, my obsession of weight and what I’m eating, giving myself away to those who just want someone to fool around with. I rip at my scalp, I punch, hit, and scratch myself severely. My hours of sleep have just decreased by so much. When all this started happening, one of my ex-boyfriends would hold me down cause I just couldn’t control myself. I just absolutely wanted that pain in any form I could get. I would have almost a panic attack if I didn’t. I got pretty creative at times when I had all sorts of factors restraining me.

    I didn’t want everyone to go away, just wanted me to go away. Still do. I’m not saying any of this for attention I’m really not. I just need to vent somehow and thought this might be a good idea. Just turned 18 this past summer. I’m still in high school but my mom kicked me out and I’m now living with a friend that’s hardly even my friend. Don’t talk to any of my family. I work with blistering feet and a tired mind constantly. I can get free lunch at school if I have time to get to the cafeteria quickly. Because I’m considered homeless now. I’ve never been so close to suicide and so alone at the very same time.

    • hi there! my name is juliana. i stumbled across this totally by accident, but im glad i did. as i started reading your post, i caught my breath, and by the end i had tears running down my face. reading some of that felt like reading things i write about it in my own mind, things i wish i could tell people but am still too ashamed of. i am seventeen and a senior in high school, and i have been struggling with Trichotillomania since about eighth grade. i have also been struggling with things like drug abuse and self-mutilation (cutting, scratching, etc.) and have been in and out of inpatient hospitals. some of them help for brief periods of time, but like you i am very good at manipulating people, so i can generally sweet talk my way out of things, and tell people what they want to hear so i can go back to what i want to do.

      i started pulling my hair out in grade eight. i remember this so well, it was in the beginning of the school year, because i wanted a straightener for christmas and my mom told me that i’d have to stop pulling out my hair if i wanted to be able to use it. by christmas, i had a few very noticeable patches. eighth grade was a very tough year for me, and i was experimenting with a lot of things, so my story that “i got drunk and cut my hair” was generally accepted.

      right around the time i started pulling (or “picking”, as my family refers to it as) i started cutting myself. i had just met a new group of friends who were all about things like that, and before long, i started doing it to see what it was like. it quickly escalated into an addiction.

      in the second half of my eighth grade year, i was put into an outpatient program at the hospital, when someone found out that i was sniffing OxyContin in school. at this point, i was cutting myself at least once a day, and pulling for hours on end.

      by the beginning of my ninth grade year, i had to wear a bandanna to school. that was probably one of the most humiliating things of my life. people in school had spread rumors as to why i left school, because i stayed in the outpatient program for the remainder of my eighth grade year. walking into a new school, the senior high school, with less hair than most of the boys was horrible. i was so depressed and continuing to cut myself and pull my hair. by the middle of ninth grade, i decided to get a wig. before i ever started pulling, i had donated eleven inches of my hair to Locks of Love. my family sent in the proper paperwork, and soon i had my very own wig. although it made me look more “normal”, everyone already knew that there was something “wrong” with me and i was the girl with the wig. most people either thought i “went crazy” and pulled out my hair because i was mad, or that i had cancer.

      by the second half of that school year, i was pulled out of school again, this time because someone had found out that i was self-harming, and put into another inpatient hospital, and then from there went into another outpatient program for the remainder of that year.

      in tenth grade, i came back to school for about a month before i ran away and was once again put into an inpatient. by then i was so out of control my parents decided the best thing for me would be putting me in a long term facility. so after being in the hospital for a month, i was transferred to a Residential Treatment Facility.

      during my ten month stay at the residential, i addressed my hair-pulling problems for the first time. there i met another girl who had trichotillomania, although she left after a few weeks. i continued to struggle with cutting and pulling, and by the last month or so, i had successfully stopped pulling my hair and cutting myself.

      i got out in august, right before my junior year. my hair was very short, but i learned how to style it right so that it looked girly. at least it was all there. my hair was growing! but after a few months, for no particular reason, i started pulling again. it hasn’t stopped since then. i also started having thoughts of cutting and suicide again, and started smoking marijuana more than i ever had before.

      i am now in the second half of my senior year. i wake up early for school so i have enough time to do my hair so no bald spots show. the hair in the back is long, because i haven’t pulled that since i was in residential. the hair on the top and sides is the worst, with my scalp clearly showing mostly everywhere. i have little wisps in the front that i use to cover it up, but it doesn’t always work. i also have short bits that stick up and cause me problems every day. i still haven’t come out and told anyone in school about this except for a few very close friends. no one other than my family knows what my hair looks like. it’s something i still struggle with every day. as for self-harm, i haven’t cut in close to two months, but it’s something that’s on my mind every day and very tempting. i have a teacher that i’m very close to that definitely helps me get through that. i still struggle with drugs abuse, using mostly marijuana and alcohol but occasionally something like ecstasy, acid or cocaine. since this summer, i have also developed problems with eating. it’s more of a hatred of food than anything, and i binge eat.

      trichotillomania has consumed my life. i can’t do anything without worrying. my hair can’t get wet, because the gel and hairspray will get messed up, exposing my secret. even exercise is a problem, because i dont want my hair to move at all. sex is very awkward, with me trying to make sure my hair’s still perfect while trying to be very discreet about it. i can’t shower at a friends house, or go to the pool during the summer. hair is a very important thing, especially for a teenage girl. it’s really painful to even see my friends swish their long beautiful hair around while i keep mine in a tight ponytail every day. many of my friends that don’t know about my condition ask me why i do my hair the same way every day, and i say it’s just because its easy for me. i am very unexcited about things i should be looking forward to, like prom.

      i have tried everything i can to fight trichotillomania, from hypnosis to gloves or band-aids on my hands/fingers to hats, to taking showers or listening to music to distract me, to playing with paper or string or fabric, but there is nothing quite like picking. i have tried endless medications, but none have stopped my urges, and most barely made any effect.

      i hope you get a chance to read this and i’m sorry it’s so lengthly. i have never told anyone about it in this much detail, and i have plenty more details that i have left out for the sake of time. i hope that we get through this and i hope that someday i will be able to face it and maybe set up a support group or at least be open about it, and not so ashamed.

  9. Wow, you guys all totally make me feel less like a complete freak when I read the above stories. Cat72, it’s like you were writing about me!! That pretty much sums me up. I’ve found though, that I can go a long while without pulling and then when something really stressful comes up in life, I go right back.
    I started in the 6th Grade tho, when I had some wierd scalp thing where I had scabs all over my head and I’. d pull out the hair where the scabs were. Eventually the scab thing went away, but I kept pulling until pretty much the entire top of my head was bald and I was coming my hair over to hide it.. My parents did research and found that I had Trich and took me to a psychologist. I’m not going to lie to you, I honestly don’t think she did much except made me feel stupid (my own interpretation, she was a very nice lady) which only intensified my feelings. I’d coverI suffered with this until the summer between grades 7 and 8 where my dad, at his wits end, threatened to shave my head. My vanity won out. I was way too afraid to walk around bald, so I stopped and I was pull free for years after. I can’t pinpoint when, but I would say sometime after highschool when I was having intense problems in my family I started up again.
    I’m now 22 and now, the thing for me is that I’ll find a spot on my head that is sore and for some stupid reason I figure that if I intensify the pain in that spot, the pain will go away. So I pull the hair in that spot that causes the most pain and I’m usually left with a bald spot about half the size of a dime. And when I pull, it’s usually the entire root, so it ends up not relieving the pain, it just makes it worse which makes me pull more. And when I finally will myself to stop I feel ashamed and frustrated and embarassed and I immediately check the damage in the mirror to see if its noticeable. So far, I think I’ve done a fairly decent job of keeping it hidden, but I have spots now where all the hair isn’t growing back and so I’m afraid that it won’t be long before someone is going to notice and there will be nothing to be done. The hair will not grow back.
    I’ve been using a hypnosis regime that I have on my iPod and that has helped but its never gone away. I’m at a loss and don’t know what else to try, Maybe a different psychologist. It’s so much easier to be honest about my issue now than it was at 11/12. I have found, though, that I am more likely to pull when my hair is dirty than when I’ve freshly washed it.
    Thank-you for having this site, I’m so happy to know that I’m not going through this alone!

  10. I, like many, started pulling my hair because of stress. I’m an obsessive creature. At 16, I bite my nails, I’ve had an on-off relationship with anorexia, exersise compulsively and…I pull my hair. Just one at a time, at specific spots. Usually somewhere at the back of my head. So atleast I won’t see the bald patch that forms.

    I just love that feeling of twisting my fingers around the hair and then pull it out. If the sticky root and the pigment come as well, I look at it for a moment before throwing it away. Then I feel guilty again, but often I go on for a while before I can get ahold of myself.

    I’ve always felt like a freak. I’ve always had obsessive tendencies and I have a lot of tics. I’m insanely private, so bad that I won’t even invite people over to my place and I haven’t had a birthday party since I was 10. I hope I’ll beat it somehow. I want to be normal. Being ‘special’ or strange is overrated.

    • This is really just like my situation I have an eating problem and exercise compulsively, I also bite my nails. I started picking my hair in 3rd grade and now am in 10th I had stopped Picking my hair but no am having a relapse. Every night I sit in bed pick one hair but that leads to the other and u can’t stop I loom at the gooey root pull it off then wipe my
      hands on my shirt. I thought I was done with this problem, the last thing I want to do is go talk with a shrink again how do I stop!!!

  11. hi, this is a wounderful blog you talked about the real and serious problem that for sure lead to either depression or sucidal attempt, for me I had the same problem but thank God not for long timem it started when I was 18yrs old finished at 22yrs old but it left very bad effects now my hair very thin not like before, deppressed most of the time and the bald patch very clear as well as my hair no longer strong as before now Im 26yrs old but my hair didnt grow up again I tried many stuff I even went to the doctor and end up that there is no cure only wasting money for a hopless dream I wish if my hair would grow back as before
    God help and bless all

  12. I really Don’t know or Remember when I started to pull my hair out, And when it escalated into chewing on my hair. All I know is that I really don’t want to do it anymore. I’ve tried to convince myself to stop, by talking to myself in the mirror, and trying to control my urges by catching myself doing it, but in this Life I fear there is no hope. I had to wear hair extension’s at my wedding to hide the huge bald spot on top of my head, and the two spots behind both ears. (crying now) And I would tell people that i got a really bad hair cut, when they would catch me with out my hat.

    I got onto the Nioxon treatment and that seemed to help the hair growth, but not the fact that I couldn’t keep my fingers away from my head. Since I’ve been married it’s harder to keep from my husband and he has asked me what i am doing, but I have no answer.
    Until I finally got the courage to look it up.

    The only thing is I can’t afford medical insurance and live paycheck to paycheck, can any one give me advice on, or ideas to keep my mind from letting me do this to myself?
    Because I am tired of trying to explain to my husband that “It’s just falling out” (my excuse)
    And I’m tired of picking up the hair from the floor and crying about how much I have pulled out in a few hours. (enough to make at least 4 Barbie doll heads) not only do I pull my head hair, I find myself pulling out eye lashes, eye brows, plucking bodily hair and digging into my skin on my legs for the in-grown’s. Which has caused me to not wear shorts in the last 3 years.
    Please some one help me! because I miss my hair and being normal. I feel like a freak because I eat it and it makes me more depressed and mad at myself everyday! And being alone in this matter really sucks! Thanks for listening Kris 27

    • You know eating your hair can result in hairballs in your stomach, don’t eat your hair stay positive and find something that preoccupies your hands never leave them empy

    • I can symphathise with you. I was very scared, started pulling on my head in 6th grade and wore a bandanna. I still do mildly now, but not to get into my full story, I began dating mynnow husband when I was 19, and he knew a year or so after about my problem with trich. Ive also had OCD since I was seven, but when i told him of my hair pulling, then onto eye lashes, he did the best he could to understand. The thing for me though, once I started dating him, most of my urges stopped, of course, as i said earlier I still pull fom time to time from my head and eye lashes, he knows, and he supports me if I have any problems.

      Do not beashamed to discuss this with your husband. I was scared i was going to be single all my life, but my husband reaffirmed me that when you marry, your problems are each others! Im only 24 now, but his help and him being my best friend makes it easier for me, and also modivates me to stop!

  13. hey guys..
    I’ve had this since 6th grade, i’m now a freshman in high school. When i first started i regretted it. I would tell my mom that i didn’t know what happened. My mom caught me one day and did tons of research. She sent me to a psychiatrist (however you spell it) for a year and a half! It did not help one bit. He had me picture people on clouds and stupid stuff. My mom removed me from his “treatment” and got me a book. It may seem dumb but this book is great! It helps me realize when, where and why i do it. Do you do it because it feels interesting? yes. to relieve stress? yes. for revenge? yes. for boredom? yes. Once you figure these things out it gives you specific details on how to prevent it!
    thats the book. It is helping me very much. I use their strategies and have been pull free for a very long time now 🙂
    We can do this!!!!
    – fellow trich

  14. I just have no words. This is a fantastic website-Thankyou so very very much:) Truly. I’m glad to know that i’m not alone.

    I’ve pulled my hair out since i was 6-7. My mother and father had fits. I was given a round beating by my mother (which she ofcourse thinks back on as the darkest day in her existence for hurting her child in such a way) . After much thought my parents concluded it might be a medical thing-that i might have an itching scalp, or that my allergies made my pull out my eyelashes. Alas, After a year or two, they obviously knew that it was no such thing. They took me to a child psychologist.he only wanted to drug me down, like that would help (yeh right).

    I am now 27 years old and I have come to the conclusion that i do not know why i do it. I cannot control it, and if i have the urge (you all know that urge.. it comes creeping up and slowly but surely you end up doing exactly the thing you vowed never to do again ) .
    I can however relate that at times where i’m under significant emotional stress or pressure, or have elated senses such as loneliness/depressed/sad/confused/hungry i tend to pull.
    I have gone through every tactic-
    Pulled one hair there and another over on the other side of my scalp to cover it up.
    Pulled lots of hair so that complete white/pinkish bolds spots or one large bold spot showed.
    I’ve managed to let it grow somewhat and rejoyce that i could possibly cut my hair short and finally be normal , only to pull a ton of hair out the day after.
    I have pulled out eyelashes which i then need to use a ton of eyeliner to conceal.
    I have pulled out eyebrows.
    I’ve lived with shame and guilt and the understanding that i was alone and a freak and completely abnormal and unworthy.

    But you know what people? We are not. We are human beings. Everyone have flaws and scars, we all deal with it differently. Only difference between us and the rest of humanity is that one of our flaws can be viewed on the exterior.

    So if there is anything i’ve learned, i say be proud of yourself, not matter what.

    I have accepted that this is how i am, i’ve told my family, my fiancee when i met him, my relatives. I’ve told them exactly what should be said. I have Trichotillomania. Sit your loved ones down, tell them about it, the truth is important.

    People surprise you , really-they do. Much more understanding and compassionate once you share and include. By not being open and straight with them, how are they supposed to react or know whats really going on. You walk around depressed, lonely, feeling like a freak-but imagine how your closest must feel.

    I’m truly happy for this website, a very good addition:)

  15. god this is weird..
    almost everyone of us r doing the exact same stuff…
    its so sad 😦 ive tried everything too….nothing worked….im wearing a wig to make me feel pretty but when i take it off i start to pull again….so the wig just hides…but doesnt help u stop….:(

  16. oh could some of u add me on msn id really love to talk to ppl like u!!
    im turning 18, female i live in europe,hungary and im a senior!please add me!

  17. Hi. I had submitted a comment earlier, and I just thought I’d give it another try. I know you’re probably resistant to people to talking about treatments, but I think it would really help people to consider Dr. Chad Oler’s approach. He’s a naturopathic doctor, and he gets at the root problem of trichotillomania: Most people have a neurotransmitter imbalance. We treat it with amino acid therapy. People with obsessive compulsive disorder have the same condition.

    Much of what we do is based on the fact that many obsessive compulsive disorders are caused or exacerbated by imbalances in neurotransmitter levels; that is also why the only medications that have shown any substantial effect with these conditions work with or mimic neurotransmitters. However, amino acid therapy can go a step beyond this as it can address the imbalances directly by providing the body the amino acids and cofactors it needs to produce them on their own. We are still gathering clinical data; thus far, it is extremely encouraging, as we have seen dramatic changes in the urge to pull within days or weeks on the appropriate amino acid therapy. Used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy, this approach shows tremendous clinical promise.

    Dr. Oler has helped my family in many ways in this area. You have great readership on this blog, and I think it would be a great service to at least let them know about Dr. Oler’s approach. They can see more by visiting our website on how to stop pulling hair out.

    This approach has great promise and we’ve already seen some tremendous results – please give it some consideration. Thanks, and best of luck to you all.

  18. Man, I can’t believe how much I can relate to all of these stories.

    Well I’m 18, and as I sit here right now I have 2/3 bald patches on my head, about the size of my thumb print, or a little bigger, and hardly any eyebrows.

    I’m obsessed with a few things about the hairs…
    I like the wirey feeling ones, well these are the ones I search for, cos I think they have a bigger root, i then pluck it out, rub the wet root against my lips (?) look at it, and sometimes bite to create a split end.

    Then theres the multicoloured hairs, since my hair has been dyed blonde to black, there are some hairs near my neck, that have an orange patch on them, or a bronzey one, which changes to the blonde, where the dye didn’t take properly, these are almost always thick/kinky hairs, but don’t have a good root, with those ones I just run them along my thumb and look at the change in hair colour.

    Then theres the short growing back ones, which are a pain to get, and I end up pulling out loads of others in the process of searching for it.

    I also create split ends on my hair, biting, gripping with tweasers…

    As you can imagine it looks bloody horrible, so embarssing going to the hairdresser, I say I wear them glue in extensions, which give me bald patches, I know she doesn’t believe me though.

    I don’t know why I do it, I just feel that I can’t stop it, I know full well I am doing it though, every time saying this is the last hair, but I just want to find a more fulfilling hair to pull out, and then theres a bald patch by the end of it all. 😦

    I’m not one for doing the eyelashes, anymore, when I was younger I did my whole top lid. :/

    This has been going on 11 years now, I absolutley hate it. 😦 I don’t think ANYTHING can be done.

    Therapy didn’t work, and I’ve read a lot about meds not working.

    Reading you guys’s stories has made me feel less of a freak 😛 thanks xxx

  19. Well I have read thru most of these and as I read I am pulling out strands of hair and biting the root…man it is 3.07am in the morning and I have three kids to get ready for school, highschool ect.

    Why do I do this???beats me I am stumped. I know I began this behaviour when I was about 15 in form 5 which is the equivilent of year 11 in other countries. I dont know why I did it but it felt nice and I would bite the root.

    I pulled generally from the middle of my scalp because I could hide it, I would pull for hours and make circle patches then if on one side of my head I would make the exact same circle on the other side of my head…squares U name it I would pull it.

    I did not know for years what it was called until a few years ago. I stopped pulling when I reached my later 20s, now I am 36 and pulling again but now on the sides of my head…what to do, I tell myself no more, but it is sooo addicative because the patch becomes tender and the hairs just seem to come out so easily.

    I know I pull becasue of work stress and relationship stress…but doesnt everyone have those problems…I dont know I just wanted to share, as I have never done so before. I hope U all find some way to stop this behaviour like me…

  20. I was an eyelash puller and eyebrow puller starting at age 8. I was experiencing abuse at school. Maybe that’s what triggered it. I don’t know. I pulled my hair out some too. But, never made more than a nickel sized bald spot. Now, I’m 45. At 35, I found out i had more troubles than just trich.. I was put on Effexor and Clonazepam…poof the uncontrollable urge went away. So, girls you are very young. When you get older. Some other meds maybe worth a try. If other things don’t work. I know there are hair dressers that specialize in working with people that have trich.. The sad thing for me is that my daughter has inherited it and it breaks my heart. But, she handles it better than i do-because of sites like this and videos on the web. Thank you all of you for being so brave and sharing your stories. Trish

    • Hi,

      I am 45 (male), my daughter is 7. She started pulling her eyelids 2 months ago. They are 60% gone on both eyes. The last time I cried was about 5 years ago when I broke my colar bone playing hockey. The time before that I cannot remember. I want to cry every day now for what my daughter is doing.

      We started consulting a psychiatrist together with her and are very gentle with her. We are upper middle class and are always home evenings and weekends ( no overtime).

      From reading sites like these it seems to me it is easier to quit smoking than it is to stop pulling.

      I am just curious to know what is your approach with your daughter ?

      • Correction. I meant psychologist , not psychiatrist.

      • hiya
        I dont have a daughter! I am writing about myself and I guess it wouldnt be a good idea if I offered you advice. I started pulling in my early teens and no one really noticed. All I would say is not to let her feel ashamed of it (ie dont tell her off or call it anything like ‘picking’ or anything!)
        good luck x

  21. I’m 17 years old, and i’ve been pulling my hair for 4 years. I remember watching a story on 20/20 or something about trich when i was around 13, and i thought that those women were crazy. they talked about how pulling their hair felt so right, and that they would bite off the root of a strand of hair after pulling.. so i tried it once, then again… and again.. and here i am now.

    Its put such a strain on my relationship with my mom. Its getting better now, but when i was in grade 8 we couldnt talk without getting in a huge argument. Very few people know, i havent even been able to tell my boyfriend of 5 months yet..

    I’ve become pretty strategic, pulling in different parts of my head so bald spots dont show, but now my hair is just thin and terrible. I want nothing more in the world than my old think beautiful long hair. I wish somehow all of us could meet and talk about our experiences. I’ve tried stopping so many times, but now im stuck.

    my emails if someone just wants to talk

    • thanks for replying!
      I have to say, I havent told my boyfriend either and we have been together 8 months….

      • glitterseason,

        The whole time I was a puller. I never told any of my boyfriends. I never told my husbands. My third husband is the only one that I had the courage to tell. Because my eyelashes/eyebrows without makeup are pretty fine and I have dark hair. I use to wear makeup no matter what…so I think it’s pretty common to not tell. It’s a pretty private issue. And I don’t think any of you girls should bare any more guilt than you already do. It’s fine that you haven’t told your boyfriend or other people you have that right. For those who do tell, that’s their decision and that’s what’s good for them. But, it’s not one size fits all.
        Just thought I’d throw my 2 cents in-been to therapy and have experienced all of what you girls are talking about/now I’m 45. I can see what was worth worrying about and what wasn’t.

        Trish hugs to you all…

  22. Im so glad I went on this site I too have been pulling my hair since I was about 10 im 42 now and still pull my hair out I get told off by my husband and my family but I cant help it I sometimes do it without realizing im doing it. I pull my hair out if the root comes out with it I feel like ive achieved something then I look for split ends split the hair as far it will go if it doesnt go as far as I was thinking it would then I take the next one out and carry on for hours like this. I want to stop but am too embarrassed to tell anyone because they wont understand me I cant even speak to my Dr about this because I went many years ago and he didnt take much notice and I felt stupid. I seem to do it more when im upset about something or worried. My hair is very fine and my eyebrows ive been pulling them out too one eyebrow is different than the other so I have to pencil it in everyday and wont come down infront of my family or anybody till ive penciled my eyebrows in I feel so embarrassed just dont know what to do or how to tell I feel ashamed of myself. Its made me feel abit better that its not just me and maybe one day I will have the courage to get help. Thank you all.

    • Oh, I remember what you’re going through! But, don’t feel stupid! It’s an Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorder-at least that’s what the new “Bible” for psychiatrist’s will have it categorized in the new addition. I suffered for most of my life-but I took Effexor/it became something I could control. Don’t be ashamed. No one researches this disease because it is rare. Maybe if we all come out of hiding it will turn out it’s not as rare as we thought. And, fear no therapist or psychiatrist, they love getting a patient who is not their ordinary. But, going to therapy etc. was easy for me because I have a BS Degree in Psychology/am interested in the topic etc..

      If you can’t go to a doctor, don’t feel bad. Just try to focus on what stresses you out and find ways to get rid of it or reduce the stress. Eating healthy was good for me too/exercise. *hugs*

    • I feel the same. I feel i have the urge more when im worried or upset. But it can b everyday to. I hace to pencil in my eyebrows and eyelashes too. And i have a doctors appointment soon to. Im hoping that i will get on a medication that will help the urges.

  23. Hi, I am a 15 year old girl and I have trichotillomania. Right now, I don’t suffer from the kind of trichotillomania most people do. Most people pick hair from their scalp. I pick hair from my body, but it did not start that way. I started hair pulling when I was 3 years old, I had picked off almost half of one of my eyebrows. When I was 4 years old i started picking off the hair on my big toes. When I was 6 years old I had picked off half my eyelashes. The eyelash and eyebrow picking stopped. I sometimes would pick hair off my big toes up until about age 12. Then things got more and more severe. At age 12 most girls start shaving their legs, but i got my legs waxed instead. After getting my legs waxed i could sit for hours plucking off the hair that had not come off. By age 12 I had also begun to get acne, and then i began skin picking. The sight of acne would bother me so I would always pop the acne, leaving scars. At age 12 it was pretty mild and did not happen to often, about once or twice a month. When i was 13, I began getting bikinni waxes, which removes the pubic hair that sticks out of your underwear line. When the hair would grow back it would be course and sometimes ingrown, for some reason I liked that and I began to pluck them off either with tweezers or with my fingers. Some of the hair would grow back ingrown, which made me want to pick it out. Picking it out would also make it bleed and leave a scar and soon enough i had a half dozen scabs on my bikinni line. But as I got older the plucking and skin picking got worse. My legs had begun to have little scars from places i had pulled out and ingrown hair or redness from plucking. At age 13, i had picked my legs so much that I was embarrassed to wear shorts. Over the next year i was able to limit the picking on the leg as much as possible which took a lot. At 13, I had also begun to get a lot of acne on my chest and arms. This bothered me a lot and i began popping the acne leaving scabs and scars everywhere which made me cover it up with clothing again. My bikinni line had more scabs and scars than anywhere else, I could no longer wear a bikinni. My current state right now is worse than ever before. Just today i had scratched out over 20 different spots on my legs leaving a lot of red marks everywhere. My bikinni line is really bad…..i have picked and picked and picked so much over the past few weeks leaving it with a lot a lot of scabs and scars and a lot of red spots and inflamed parts. I cant wear tank tops anymore because i have picked a lot on my arm, there are 30 small scabs and a lot of scars. I always touch my face and neck and scratch and pick when I am not thinking and I also still pop all the acne on my face as soon as it appears. I feel so embarrassed and ashamed of myself for ruining my body so much. I constantly must cover everything. I may not have the same kind of trich as everyone else but I go through the same emotional pain. I look at other girls arms and legs and feel so jealous that they don’t have scars and scabs everywhere. Lately, I have been picking everyday. I am really going to try and stop but the longest I have gone is 2 weeks and that was over a year ago. Lately the max I can go to is 3 days. Hopefully you understand that the bald spots others have are like the scars and scabs I have, and they bring so much emotional stress and make me angry at myself. I feel ashamed of this. I am sick. I want to be able to see a hair on my leg or acne or an ingrown hair and think of it as whatever or not even notice it at all just like normal people do, instead I see it and it kills me if I don’t pick it, and when i do it gives me calmness and feels good, but as soon as the hair is plucked out or something is picked out and is bleeding, shame fills my mind and pain, but I still continue. I want to be able to see hair like normal people do and not even think about it. My goal is to have a normal body with no scars and no scabs and no red spots. My heart goes out to all people with trich, I understand what you go through.

  24. I’m a 23 year old female. I’ve been in Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs for almost two years now. I started picking at a spot on the left side of my scalp around the age 11. To be honest, the next 10 years were a blur filled with abuse, disfunctional relationships, and drug/alcohol abuse. In the past two years my picking has increased. I always pick at the crown of my scalp. I search for the short thick darker ones. I also like the wirey ones. When I’m picking I’m driving down the road, reading a book, playing on the computer. I will chew crushed ice compulsivley. All the time and consistantly anytime I’m at home. It’s almost like I have to be doing something. When I’m in the “act” my eyes aren’t focused on anything. It’s like I’m staring out into space. One of these sessions can go on for an hour and I won’t have even realized it. I pick at my face. If I see a blackhead I can’t rest till I try and get it out. I think I “think” i’ll see one and by the end of the process I’ve got small bruises on my neck and face.When I pick my hair I’ll pick one at a time. I’ve never had a compulsion with the root, or sticking the hair in my mouth, but I’ll gather a little pile up. I keep going until I give up or till I’ve found the most think-most black-short strand I can get. I’ve saved them before in cirgarette boxes to go back and look at. I hardly ever remember or go back and look but If its a good one i don’t discard of it at that moment. I don’t like longer blond ones. It has to do also with how easy it comes out. I want one that is a little harder to pull out.

    I’m haveing extreme anxiety in other areas. Sometimes I’ll experience a tightning sensation around my chest. I have difficultly on focusing, its almost like when I’m pulling my hair out and I’m in that zoned out place I stop thinking. I’m sure this is non related but I’m constantly popping my fingers and cracking my arms, shoulders and neck. If I don’t it is similar to the urdge to pick at my har. I need help. I have pictures…

  25. Hey I’m 21 years old. When i was 6 years old i had to have an operation to remove a hair ball that was in my stomach otherwise i would have died because i lost weight everyday i had it inside me. After the operation i didn’t really do it again as my mum never took her eye off me. But over the last 3 years i have started again out of nowhere. I don’t know why i have started as im a very happy person. I have just built up the courage to tell my GP what im going through again on my own. I am now waiting to be refered to a clinical psychologist. I hope that i can finally overcome this for once and for all as i dont want it to ruin mine or my families lifes.

    • Good luck and thank you for commenting xxx

  26. hi.
    i have questions.
    i think i have trichotillomania. i remember being in eighth grade, reading a poem about a girl who pulled pulled pulled out her hair like i did.
    i dont have noticable fact no one ever notices. i pull out my eyelashes in the evening but by the morning i clump on mascara. i pull out my eye brow hairs because the release is deliourous but i have bushier browns so again no one notices. i have a full head of hair to yank out of.
    my trichotillomania may not be as strong as some and im thankful for that. i didnt know anyone else wanted to pull their hair out for no reason like me.
    if someone could talk to me about this, i have a ton of questions.
    im me @

  27. I’m 14 years old and I started pulling out my eyelashes, eyebrows and scalp hairs… Sometimes I pull out my nose hairs with tweezers too. It started 1 year ago when I was finishing middle school and going to high school. I got a pair of tweezers and I thought my eyebrows were too hairy so I decided to pluck them.
    I ended up plucking most of them off. The I decided that nose hairs were gross, so I plucked those. Then I thought my eyelashes were hurting me, so I plucked a bunch off until I found the ‘one’ that was ‘hurting’ me.
    It wasn’t until later that I began to pull out my scalp hair. It started when I was looking for split ends and liked to pull them apart. Then I began pulling them out.
    I recently found out that there’s a thing called trichotillomania, which seems like what I have. I tried to tell me sister but actually just said I was a freak and that I didn’t have any type of disoder… After that I pulled out almost every eyelash on my left bottom lid.
    I want to talk to my parents but it’s hard, I’m scared they’ll react like my sister and I’m scared they wont think this is important. They gave me no indication that they’d care. My dad likes to tease me about my hair…. I like to rub it against my teeth, but I don’t eat it…. But my dad likes to make fun of me, they like to say mean things because they don’t get that I have a problem with this.
    I just hope that soon I’ll be able to tell them.

    • You are a very brave one Emily. I had (and still have) the same problem as you. It is not right that your father already insults you about your hair. How is your mom? If I were you talk to your mom about your problem, and tell hersince you were scared to talk to her about it, you researched it yourself. You will find that when a parent finds out, they may be confused, but never flip or freak outat them if they dont believe you. My mother was very supportive after we spoke the first time when i was 14, it was hard for her learning it on top of me already having OCD, but she helped all shecould.

      If anything, talk to a guidance counceller at school. Research psychistrists in your area or even group meets for others like you, and MAKE your mom take you. It is a serious thing, and all you need to start, is support from loved ones.

      I had terrible urges starting at fourteen up until seventeen, but once i began dating my now husband, I halted it all. I still pull her and there, especially my eye lashes, but since he was undestanding of my prvious condition, he supports me and helps me not feel horrible. I always stop again, but it is vey hard, the urges are always there.

  28. Hi everyone… My name is Katie, I’m 26 years old, but unlike most of you I began pulling at the age of 23. I’ll never forget the night I started pulling I went on like and googled “pulling out my hair” and discovered Tric… The next day I said to my mom that I thought I had Trichotillomani, and she really didn’t believe me.
    During this time of my life I was going through some crapy stuff. I had been addicted to painkillers for a while at that time which I believe is what spiraled my life out of control… I didn’t get accepted into the Master’s program for Grad School, and I felt lost.

    I was waitressing and all my money was going to the drugs… I soon got to the point where I had to take the painkillers just to feel normal and not go through the retched withdrawls. I was cheating on my boyfriend of 5 years with different guys, and when he found out (they always do), he broke up with me. I was a mess so I guess that was when I began to pull…

    Now I’m 26 and my life is a cocktail of depression and Tric. My beautiful long dark silky hair is gone. My hair now os chin length with bald spots I can no longer cover. Last year I went to Hair Club for Women and got a “system” aka wig glued on my head, which really worked bc I could no longer pull out my hair. Six months ago my hair was fully grown back and I got a cute pixie cut. But as most of you know it doesn’t last, and I began pulling again.

    My family and friends who know are supportive, some understand better then others. I have become a recluse… I have no job, no car, no life… Tric has taken over my life and I have yet to find a cure for this debilitating disease. Its frustrating bc five years ago I had no worries .. I was smart and beautiful, and now I’m nothing.

    I have just purchased a book by Abby Rohrer who had suffered w Tric but hsmt pulled in 35yrs. I’m willing to try anything to get my life back. Her website is
    .. I hope this works!!!!

    My email is if anyone wants to talK I will GLADLY exchange emails

    Oh and for PARENTS of pullers that website above has books and tips for you too…

    Continuing the struggle,

  29. Hey everyone,
    I am 22 years old and I began pulling out my hair from my scalp when I was 16 years old. Trichotillomania ruined my teenage years completely. No matter what I did, I could not stop pulling out my hair. I tried everything. About 6 months ago, I told myself that I was going to slowly stop. I bought a little journal and I was going to record every time i pulled out a hair. Since I pulled out my hair basically all day, I would be constantly writing in this book. I told myself that the first week I would record it and get a “baseline” number for how many hairs i pull out each week. Then the second week, I would make myself greatly reduce this number in half until I gradually pulled out no hairs. THe first day I tallied up 27 pulled hairs (this was an improvement). Day 2, I pulled out 6 hairs.. Day 3, none, Day 4, none, and so on. Now it is 6 months later and i have not pulled out my hair in months. My hand occasionally goes up to my head and i play with the hair and feel its roughness but i dont pull it out. I still get that anxious feeling but now it is bareable. I am so happy that I stopped pulling out my hair, it is the greatest accomplishment of my life. To see my beautiful hair growing back in is the most wonderful feeling possible. However, everyday i think about it and i worry that its not over. that one day i will pull it out again. All the years i struggled with pulling out my hair, how could it just be over? and it was all so easy. i just stopped one day without hardly even trying. I am so afraid that it will come back. I pray every night that my hairpulling days are over for good. I think the important thing is to be positive. To believe in yourself that you can stop, and stop for good.

  30. Hello, I never knew my hair pulling had a name until today. I have been pulling the hair out of my head for over 5 years. It is so comforting. I don’t think I will ever stop. Well, maybe when I’m dead I will stop. I know that sounds strange,but I mean I don’t see how people can stop pulling once you have started this. This is a terrible habit I must admit. Some days I look at the floor and it’s a pile of my hair looking back at me. I want to stop, I just don’t know how or if I can.

    • Try pulling from another area that is not visible

  31. Hello, I am 46 years old and I started hair pulling when i was 8 this was the year my mom left and never came back. I at the time was also peeing the bed and biting my tongue until it bled. I continued throughout my life to hair pull but never once did I tell anyone or they noticed. This made me feel invisible and ashamed. I went through trauma last year and I really started pulling again but this time on my head but under my bangs to hide, all my eye brows, eye lashes and pubic area. I went to therapy and finally told a group and I felt better but even with aniti-depressants I seem to not be able to stop. You are not alone in this it is a very awful thing to have but all I know is I am going to try really really hard to fight it and I hope I can win this battle. I want to try and start a group where I live in napa, california. I think just talking to other people who have to live with the embarrassment every day or the fact that we hide it and are so afraid of someone finding out. It has effected me going to the dentist, doctors, hair dresser and relationships. I recommend trying to take care of it aggressively at a young age so when you are my age you can live a much more content life. I am always feeling guilty and at any moment people are going to find out i am a big freak.

  32. Well, right now i’m in 7th grade, and i’ve been pulling hairs out of my head since i was in 3rd grade. I thought it as cool that i could pull out a clump of hair and it wouldn’t hurt, but soon enough, my mom started noticing balk spots on my head. she thought that it as from me and my brother fighting, but it wasn’t. I kept doing it, sometimes i didn’t even know that i was doing it until i saw a clump of hair in a ball right next to me. I did it all the time, and i just did it a while ago, and so i decided to just look it up. I didn’t even think there was a name for this disease/disorder or whatever it is. I just wanna be normal like the other kids at my school, but i’m always twisting or pulling out my hairs, and so now my bangs are so uneven and short and people keep bullying me at school and calling me mean things just cause my hair isn’t as “fancy” as theirs. These 2 girl even started started calling my hair my “lil’ friend” and it just adds more stress to my life. Especially sine my parents are literally never home, and all my mom does is yell at me. And whenever my brother and i get in a fight, no matter what, both of them take his side, even when he hit me with a baseball bat. I just feel so useless and like i’m worth nothing and that im just a waste of space :/ I wanna top pulling hairs out of my head but its so addicting, whenever i get nervous, My hands just dive up straigt to my head and start twisting :\ well. i guess that’s all….

  33. Hi, so I’m 17 yrs old and I just started pulling single strands of hair off my head. This started like 2-3 months ago and I notice I only pull when I’m bored while watching TV or laying on my bed. Should I go to the doctors to treat Trich? I mean I don’t have bald spots or patches anywhere. I started researching if hair pulling is bad on google a couple of days ago and of course it’s not good for my head. So I’m thinking I am really going to try to stop pulling my hair and if I get bored I should do activities to get my mind off it because I sure really don’t want to loose my hair and go bald! Do you think it would be okay if I could cure my diagnosis by stop pulling my hair? or should I go to the doctors?

    • Go to the doctors immediatley, the longer you do it, the more likely you will create a life long habit

  34. I stress and panic over littl ethings and sometimes i will do this when i am angry with my boyfriend cause sometimes i just feel like i wanna hit something but thats what i do instead

  35. Hi I’m 13 and I did this before when my mom got prego then when I failed English and I created a bald spot right at the top center spot of my head and I have very pretty hair and then I stopped and it is currently almost done healing but then when 7th grade started Im doin it agin and have 2 more bald spots and i like the roots
    And the way they feel if you have a
    Simular story could you please reply thanks you

  36. I may be late to comment but I have a issue were I will pluck my eyelashes out until I find that one that feels like pain. Afterwards I will continue to pick because I feel like eyelashes are hanging or something or ill try to just pull it out and before you know it my eyelashes are bald. When I no longer have eyelashes ill move to my nose. When I feel like hair is bothering me or I feel like its noticeable ill pluck all of them out and feel 100% better. As I do these things I’m always I’m lala land daydreaming. I also have a habit of biting the inside of my mouth. HELP!!!!! Is all I can say. But I enjoy doing it. That’s why I can’t wear fake eyelashes because I’m so use to plucking them out. I also love ingrown hair (weird) .

  37. I’m 44 years old and have been plucking my eyelashes and brows since I was 11, I still do it now but not as bad the thing is now the eyekashes that have grown back r little stumps hardly noticeable, I now use individual false lashes which work well for me

  38. My name is Ashley, I am 21 years of age. Reading these stories gives me comfort that I’m not alone. Even though my two cousins have a more severe condition than my own, it’s not something I’d like the family gossiping about. I’ve realized how bad my pulling has gotten when I saw my hairline was receding. (I tend to pull at my hairline.) I started off pinching my skin. Now I’m both. Lately I’ve been stressing about finding a job and I have thinning hair on my right side and three scabs on my left arm. I usually put extensions over the areas I pull to the bare flesh, and it helps so much, but I’ve tried having some self control.

    When I start pulling my hair I start by simply running my fingers through my hair, then I always feel that one strand of hair and “hurts”. I run my fingers down to the root of that specific follicle and then slowly pull. It’s the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had. It’s like a giant slab of concrete being lifted off my shoulders. It’s always frustrating when I go to pull and it snaps, it usually leads me to pull more. I’ve tried so hard to stop, only substituting one addiction for another. (An addiction is just what I refer to it. I don’t mean to offend anybody.)

    I am a hairdresser (oh the dear irony) and having this problem has been a very big challenge in my life. I don’t think I ever will stop, I just think I’ll learn to slowly get “better” and pull a little less.

    I feel better knowing I’m not alone, and of not hiding- so to speak.

  39. hi
    my hair pulling problem first started about 5 years ago. at the beginning it didn’t really seem serious and there was no physical evidence of it and it went away quickly after about a year. but then 3 years ago it started again and now there’s a very large part on my scalp without any hair, though there are some short hairs that don’t seem to be growing.does this mean they wont grow any more? am i going to bald for the rest of my
    life?is there any chance of my hair growing back again if stopped pulling them out or have my hair follicles already been too damaged?..i’ve only recently found out about trich for what it really is and would be very greatfull if anyone could answer my questions:(

  40. I am 27 years old and started pulling out my eyelashes when I was 11 years old. My mom noticed it, but didn’t feel comfortable talking to me about it, so she had my grandma call me and tell me to stop. I felt so ashamed after that so I never did it again. A few years later I started pulling out my leg and arm hairs. If I was home I would use teezers and in public I would use my thumb and middle finger nails to yank them out when I thought no one was looking. Unfornately I still do it. I begain pulling out my pubic hairs when I was 20. At first it was to pull out stray hairs after shaving or waxing, but I now do it all the time. In public I try to hold back on doing it, but at home I do it all the time. I take my teezers in the shower with me to pull out armpit hair ( I haven’t had to shave there in forever) or if my husband isn’t home I will spend hours pulling out my leg hairs. I want to stop but don’t know how. Any ideas?

  41. Hi, I really need help.
    I started pulling out my eyelashes in kindergarten and I didn’t know why. I also didn’t know it was a bad thing. I just did it. My grandmother was the first to notice that I had no eyelashes one day she was visiting. She told my parents, and they scolded me, telling me never to do it again. I did not know why they were mad at me back then, but I tried as hard as I could, and after two or three years, I finally overcame it. I remember how confident and proud I was to have thick eyelashes again.
    I have been pull free up until the past few months. I have been really stressed about school and friends, and I started the habit again. I didn’t fully notice until yesterday, when i absentmindedly created a quarter sized bald spot on the back of my head. I feel so horrible, and I cannot believe myself. I really need help from you. I don’t want to continue like this, but I can’t help it. If there is any way to help the hair grow back faster please tell me. And of course please give me any tips you have to help stop me from doing this to myself. Thank you so so so so so much.

  42. Well, it’s finally nice to see that I’m not the only one who has this problem. I go around feeling like a freak most of the time, and that’s only because my nephew called me a ‘bald-headed freak’ once. Worst thing was he didn’t even notice and so when I told him this, both he and my niece we’re like ‘oh, that’s fucked up’, but they were both laughing, so i know that they weren’t serious at all.
    I’ve been pulling since I turned 11, and I never really felt normal after that. I never felt like I had a chance to love. I mean, to me, I would always think what man would want me? I won’t even think of how my future kids, if i have any, would have this.
    Anyway, today I was in this community center and was in the sidelines watching people dance zumba. I’m naturally a person who likes to be in the background, so my friend danced while I stood there for over an hour.
    It was then that I noticed a guy watching me. Mostly I was looking at him because he looked like someone I thought i knew from school.
    He kept looking at me, I could tell. I, sometimes would think that he was looking at someone next to me, but then i was alone and he still kept looking over at me.
    I don’t know why, but I felt really flattered. I would look away and turn my body completely away so he would stop, but when i turned and glanced his way for a second, there he was still looking. I guess in the beginning, I had been staring at him because I thought he was the boy i knew from school, but I stopped.
    Through out the whole thing I kept looking over at him, and sometimes he would look back. At one point i even figured he wasn’t the same boy i knew. The damage was done though, he kept looking at me.
    I have short hair, and a small bald spot at the side of my left ear. It’s noticeable, and then i began to feel crappy.
    I think he was only looking at me because of my hair. Every time that i looked at him after the game, subtly (i hope) he would turn away quickly, and on purpose.
    That made me look up people with maybe the same problem with people, and here i am. I wonder if you guys have better luck than me with boys? Cause I don’t.

  43. I’ve been reading up on trichotillamania lately. I’ve always known what I’ve had, and tried to stop.. but it never. Really worked. I’ve pulled ever since I can remember from my scalp. It was horrible when I was younger, huge patches on the top and sides of my head. I’ve learned to disguise it and the people that I have told had no idea unless they’d seen old pictures or grew up with me. On a website called TLC trichotillomania learning center, I’ve learned that I shouldn’t feel ashamed and the reasons why I do. Also that the depression and horrible self image that I’ve always carried, and still do often is paired with hair pulling. Iwish I could say that I’m one of those success stories.. but I’m not. I’m a freshman in highschool, and I pull my hair and suck my thumb. One day I hope I can get the courage to find treatment and help. I’ve always known that I have a problem, but pulling. Is how I sleep. I can’t sleep without it. So for now, ill jus be the girl in disguise: maybe one day the real me can come out.. </3

  44. I pull out my eyebrow hairs and i cant stop, i get soo embarrased when i see people looking at my eyebrows or when they ask “have you started plucking your eyebrows cause your quite bad at it” i thought i was on my own. i know my mum has noticed but has only ever asked a couple of times and that was a few years ago, sometimes i walk around with no eyebrows. Because im asian i have dark hair and it is noticable having no eyebrows. I know i need help but i am still to embarrased to speak to anyone. My friends dont know about it and only my mum has worked it out because i hide from everyone else. I really am fighting a losing battle and i am all alone. Reading about people who have the same problem is actually quite conforting, knowing im not some kind of freak and people have solved their hair pulling problems. Thank you to the people who have given me hope and to everyone who has helped me understand that its not just me

  45. Hi, im 17 and have been pulling my eyelashes and eyebrows out for several years now. It has gotten so bad that i even pick my dogs hair out, and now he has a bald spot. I can spend hours just sitting infront of the tv looking for the perfect hair, which is any of it. Then i rub it on my lips. It has a calming affect, and sometimes i dont even realize im doing it till all the hairs are gone. Then i get so angry and dissapointed in myself. I have a doctors appointment for this and was wondering if anyone has tried any medications that help with the urge to pick. I have tried smoking murijuana which seems to help for a couple days then the urge comes back so that leads me to believe its anxiety but im not sure.

    • Try pulling hair in areas that aren’t as visible. I don’t think you will feel as bad if you pull it out from other places that people wont notice. Like your leg hair or armpit.

  46. Hey, m name is Arturo and I am 15. It weird because I’m a guy… I have the hair about 2 inches over my forehead totally pulled out. It wasn’t my doing though, my ex-girlfriend sexually abused me, so I left her and she got mad and pulled it out.. It has emotionally scarring for me. Like i wasn’t already depressed, I tried suicide a few times, too. I was already the typical “emo” guy, with long hair. My current girlfriend and other girls think my hair is amazing. It’s about 6 inches long, brown, thick, and shiny. I don’t want to cut it… I’ve been having to shave my bald spot to even it out every morning… Then pile makeup on it till it can barely be seen… Between every class period I have to change it because it gets really oily. I can’t even talk to my friends or look up anymore.. I am the happiest I’ve ever been with my girlfriend, she IS the one. Yet I’m the most depressed I’ve ever been in my life… I wear a hat whenever I can, which is making my hairline thin. I literally hate my life, there is a lot going on and has happened that makes me even more depressed. I can’t go a day without crying.. I’ve had to borrow my girlfriend’s make up. It was so demoting as a man to have to do that… I’m not a man. I actually googled “how to cover up pulled hair” and found this blog. I can’t find any help. I was doomed from the start… It’s nice to have someone listen every once in a while. Thanks

  47. Hi to you all.
    My name’s Petrea and I’m 17, almost 18 years old. It’s so weird to read all of your stories because I can realate to so many of the things you mention.
    BUT, I can tell you one thing I have not found alot of on here; Recovery Stories. And yepp, I DO have one of those (or kinda atleast).

    I have been pull-free for almost half a year now. I was the type to pull out both my eyelashes and eyebrows. I even at one point started pulling at the hair on my scalp but Thank God I quit that after about 3 months when I went to the hairdressers and she saw new baby-hairs on my head and commented on them in amazement.

    But, let me tell you my storie and how I’ve coped with trich for this long. I even have a TIP (imagine that!) for those of you who pull out your eyelashes!

    I started pulling when I was in 7th grade. I remember everything about that fatefull moment, hehe. It was and eyelash that desided to go in my eye and sink so far down there was no way for me to get it out again. I couldn’t get it out for the whole day. In fact I went to sleep, the eyelash still irritating me. When I woke the next day I finally got it out. But just to make sure there were no more loose eyelashes threatening to do the same as that one, I tugged lightly at my eyelashes.

    And THAT ladies and gentelmen, was the start of my thricotillomania-tale.

    It got really bad over the corse of a year and in 8th grade I had no eyelashes and no eyebrows. It was really stressing. I could hardly make eyecontact which made it hard for me to make friends. I was miserable. I covered my loss of facial hair with makeup the best I could but it was frustrating cause I really wasn’t the type for that kinde of stuff.

    I struggled and struggled to keep this a secret. No-one knew for a long time, not even my family. But then one day my best friend found out. You know that hot, squeezing feeling you get in your heart and how it’s like cold water flows through your skin on lightning speed? Yes, that one. I only have it when I’ve been caught doing something really forbidden, which is almost Never. But anyways, I got it then. And what could I do but lie? I think all trichsters are fairly good liers actually. It’s something we have to learn and learn fast if we don’t want to get exposed. But I told her I’d bought a maskara and then getten some kind of allergic reaction. She totally bought it.

    There have been three other occasions where ppl have noticed I had trichotillomania. Once it was a family-friend who asked me to show her but I got really defensive so she dropped it. Then there was a girl in my school who noticed but didn’t say anything. I think it’s actually worse that way because you can’t excuse yourself. And finally, my mom.

    Mom would say “why are you doing this”, “just stop it”, “I don’t understand”, “don’t, Petrea, it can’t be that hard”. And that really tore me down. I tried to stop. And sometimes it worked for a few days or even a few weeks but then I’d just start pulling again, or it just wouldn’t work at all.

    I had to be carefull what I did. If I went swimming, if I slept at a friends house, if I was going camping, I’d always have to make sure my eye makeup was good enough to hide my eddiction to pulling out my eyelashes and eyebrows.

    But now I’ll get to the good part; How I Got Better 🙂

    You see, when ever mom would ask my why I did it I’d say: I don’t even notice it, it just happens without me knowing. I said this cause I couldn’t admit the truth; that I pulled knowingly, plus, it felt good, gave me some sort of release.

    But I desided to tell her the truth, to come clean. I’d practised a LOT infront of the mirror but when I finally told her, it tool me 15 minutes just to get it out, and when I finally told, I’m surprised she even understood what I was saying cause I was crying so hard. The tension of a 5 year old secret coming out is quite intense I’ll let you know.

    But I told her and that’s the first step. I’d imagine telling a spouse or a close friend does same for you.

    Next, I took a calander and marked 20 days with a dot. After those 20 days, if I’d been pull-free, I’d buy something I wanted to reward myself. It worked. Then I did it again. And It failed. And I tried again. And it was a success. Then again, AND I FAILED. I was really frustrated by then and janked out all my eyelashes in a fit.

    Of course I felt horrible and dissgusted afterwards, but, whatever. I sat down and took a LONG time just looking into myself. And I realised something. This was my choise. These were my hands hurting me. That was my mind saying: “just a bit more pulling, then I’ll stop”. And I saw that I was stronger than this. I HAD to be. I could DO this if I just tried hard enough. I was NOT a failure. So I grit my teeth and now, no calander, no rewards, no nothing, I stopped pulling. I jsut had one goal. I was going to grow my eyelashes back before christmas so I could wear maskara.

    My mom was a big help too, she understood a bit more about trich after I told her the truth.

    And I grew my eyelashes back. And, it sounds so weird when I look back on the urges, with time, the need to pull lessened. I didn’t have to THINK about not pulling. I just didn’t anymore.

    And now I wear maskara ALL the time. Why? Because I can. It’s like a triphy. It’s a reward. And here’s the TIP I was going to give. Actually, I DO pull. I do. Just not my eyelashes or eyebrows. There is still a slight need to pull, but gess what, I just pull at my maskara. Now many of you will be like, whaaaat. But really, if you have the right product, you can actually use your fingernails to pull the maskara off without it ripping at your eyelashes in the prosess. This way I can both wear maskara to feel better about myself and I can pull it off everyday!

    It also helps that I have a bf now and that motivates me NEVER to pull again.

    Hope this boosts your confidense to quit pulling! If you’d like to contact me this is my email:

  48. Hi, I am 23, and I can’t remember when I started pulling out my hair. I started occasionally pulling out eyelashes but got scared they wouldn’t grow back, and was also screwing up my eyebrows really bad. Then I moved on to some odd spots that people wouldn’t notice…. I know it is weird but i started pulling out pubic hair, leg hair, armpit hair, and sometimes arm hair. I guess it is better than pulling out my hair from my scalp. It doesn’t really bother me that I have this problem, except when i kind of get in a trans and wont notice that I have been in the bathroom for 2, 3, or sometimes even 4 or 5 hours doing this. Also I have scars from digging hairs out, and sometimes I could spend an hour trying to get one freaking hair out and then it doesn’t even come out until the next day…. I am a pretty bad case I think. Even talking or reading about it makes me want to start doing it. It feels so good to pull my hair out, but I hate how it gives me a neck ache from doing it for so long. Recently I bought an epilator which did start saving me sometime on pulling, but I still find myself with the tweezers pulling for hours. I don’t know why I LOVE pulling. It wastes a lot of time, but I don’t want to stop. I Can’t Stop, and probably will never try to stop.

    I recommend to those of you who pull hair from your head or eye brows or eyelashes or other visible areas to go to an area with thicker hair such as your legs or other places. I think you would find it so much more appealing than the places on your body with smaller roots. Since there is not very many treatments out there for this at least if you tried to move your pulling from the visible spots to somewhere else a little more discreet it wouldn’t be as embarrassing. Also if you find yourself doing it for too long maybe buy an epilator. Unless you think you would use it on your head.

  49. How hard can it be to botox the area so we don’t pull. This is the only genetic disease that has been ignored for over 100 years. All of our symtoms are the same except the part where some eat their hair . I would never want that poison back in my body once I pull it out. That’s my view. I read the only way to cure this disorder is through a BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT THAT WERE TESTED ON RATS. TO RISKY TO BE OPERATED ON AND EXPENSIVE.

    • WARNING!!!


  51. Erika, my name is Alesandra. It is wrong of your parents to feel angry. Normal people care for whom they love.
    My parents are angry that I pull my eyelashes out when I was 4 years old. I can not help it. I became confused and anti social in public school. I feel like a beaten dog. I feel like I am bad. Also, I grew older and am angry at my parents for being angry at me. If I have a child with a syndrome I will be nice to him and her.

  52. hi i have pulled my hair out too. i am 13 now and i have plucked my eyebrows to the point where i feel ugly and insecure. my mom yells at me when i pull my hair or pluck my thin eyebrows. i dont feel pretty anymore but at least i know there are others with the same situation that i am going through

  53. I understand what you’re going through, and I know the inexplicable feeling of relief when you pull. I used to pull my eyelashes, and then study the roots of them and pull the roots off with my fingernails. Kids would give me strange looks when I showed up at school with half of the eyelashes on each of my eyes gone. My parents constantly told me to “stop doing that” but I just couldn’t stop. When I got to 7th grade, I really began to feel the shame of having almost no eyelashes and I started to do everything I could to stop. I filled my days jam-packed with nonstop activity so I never had anytime to get bored and start pulling. Now, I’m in 8th grade and am proud to say I have all of my eyelashes back and haven’t pulled in about 6 months, although I do still scan my lashes and eyebrows for loose hairs or hairs that stick out or are different. Sometimes, when I feel the urges now, I take tweezers and pull out some of my leg hairs that have grown back after shaving. It gives you almost the same relief as pulling your lashes, but nobody notices because girls shave their legs anyways! Just try to keep yourself from having too much time on your hands- I suggest playing sports, taking instrument lessons, doing crafts like drawing or knitting, etc. Take it from me, there is hope for you!

    Best of luck,
    Victoria xoxo

  54. hey all, i have the same problem and i started when i was 9 years old and i am 23 years old now!!! icant stop it …i feel so shame when i go for hair cut!!!! who know what should i do?

  55. Hey guys it’s so so nice to know that I’m not the only one

  56. Hi. I’m 12 almost 13 years old. I just started pulling my eyelashes out over this summer. When my parents started noticing that my eyelashes were starting to thin and then start missing they would ask me what happened to my eyelashes and I would tell them that I didn’t know. But then when my eyelashes were gone they asked me what happened to them and i would hesitate and then they would be like you pulled them out didn’t you, and i would start tearing up. My dad would go easy on me, but my mom would get mad. When I looked up eyelash pulling late one night all these sites popped up about trichotillomania. When I told my mom and dad the next day they were all like mad at me because their like ” You can name anything a disorder, your just choosing to pull your eyelashes out” and I was like no that’s not true because i don’t know why i do it and i read all about trichotillomania and i’m pretty sure i have it, but they would not believe me and would be like ” you know why your pulling your eyelashes out, your just choosing not to stop” and i would be like i’ve been trying to stop but i don’t realize when i’m doing it.

    Then one night when we were at dinner my mom brought up how the last month or 2 of school left how my friends (ex-friends now) anna, bailey, and madi stopped being my friends. When my mom brought that up it really hit home. I started crying then because it was hard for me to think about them and still is. what happened was I was the new girl at school when i started 6th grade because everyone starting there knew each other from elementary school but i didn’t know anyone because i had moved from a different state that summer, so i started hanging out with them and they’ve been friends since like 1st grade. so then i came into their group and we became a foursome. we did everything together. we went to the mall together, saw movies together etc. . Well at school the jokes they made were always on me. they start running around the school telling all the 6th graders that i was lesbian ”Payton’s a lesbian” over and over again. then i would have to tell all those people i wasn’t and when i would finally get them to stop they would be like ”chill out payton, we’re just joking besides everyone else know’s we’re joking” and i would get all mad at them because they thought that telling the whole 6th grade i was lesbian was joking around. when i finally forgave them it was all fine again. but then all year they would think it was funny if they ran a way from me and hid from me because to them ditching me was funny but then the morning bell would ring and they would say they were joking and i would forgive them. but i only forgive them every time because when i started hanging out with them i became so oblivious to making other friends that when i realized what was happening it was to late. i only forgave them because i had no other friends. i mean sure i knew a lot of other people from hanging out with them but we weren’t friends. so then bailey, anna, and madi started ditching me more during the end of the year. i would text each of them at the same time and ask them what they were doing and they would each reply back not much, so then i would call each of them after they replied and i would hear the others in the background at the mall, or they would all spend the night at one of their house and not invite me. so i started hanging out with my only other friend jasmine that i realized i should have been hanging out with the whole time because she was really a true friend. so anyways when my mom brought anna, bailey, and madi up i started crying because it brought up all the bad memories and how they basically scarred me for life, and that’s when i realized they caused me so much stress that i started becoming really self contious about who i am now and what i had become with them that it’s played a big part of why i pull my eyelashes out. i mean i’m only 12. and my parents still don’t believe me about the trichotillomania disorder.

    but now i’m starting in 7th grade at a new school because we had to move again but to the next city over and i have become really self contious because my eyelashes are still growing back so i don’t have any right now and my school starts this tuesday august 28, 2012

    if any one has any tips about how to make friends in 7th grade at a new school without any eyelashes because they are still growing back that would be helpful.


  57. Oh and if anyone asks me why i don’t have eyelashes i tell them it’s because i had an allergic reaction to a new mascara that i bought.

    and i’m starting cross country at my new school too and i have to get my sports physical so i asked my mom what to tell my doctor if he asks what happened to my eyelashes and shes like tell him the truth about how u pulled ur eyelashes out and i’m like fine. but hey maybe he will even give me a prescription so i can get some latisse since you need a prescription.

  58. does anyone else get as upset as I do if one breaks to short and you can’t get it? It’s like the worst feeling in the world.

  59. Im 13 years old and i have londe curly hair, i used to lose my hair when brushing it or washing it.

    Earlier today me and my mum had started an argument. I stormed upstairs. And began to scratch myself and bite my self and only when i had started pulling at my hair i discovered it was coming out with. Ease. It is only the top left side. I pulled a large chunk out and hid it in the. back of my draw. The tops are jet black and feel weak. I have also noticed large headaches from that side of my head. Is there a problem? or am i over reacting?

  60. Hi, I started pulling when i was 12. Have been in tears many times over it. Now i use positive affirmations every day, e.g. i am beautiful, i am loved. i love myself, i get enough rest.. found some very hard to say at the start. I also wrote out a list of things i’m thankful for in my life. If i feel the urge now, which is very rare i will ask God and my Angels to please help me with this. I am not a holy Joe, but i have learnt this for myself. Anything that helps..

  61. Well i started to pull my hair snice…i was 13-14 and now im 15 it hasnt been so hard to control not to pull my hair. Ive caused my self a blad spot >.< not proud. But..i dont eat the roots its just gives me a good feeling when u pull the right hair..its like a stress reliver. Sory for my spelling. But my first bald spot has grown back but ive brought it to the back of my head isnt soo good but now its healing to but i cant stop..theirs alot of stress in my life..
    Another way that helps me in chew gum or…smoke so far that the onlything thats helps me…my girl yelling bout it doesnt help..ethier so..stay postive think postive.

  62. hi, i started pulling my eyelashes when i was 6-7. I wouldn’t admit to anyone even my parents that i pull them out, they took me to many dermatologists they thought my eyelashes fall out and i still wouldn’t admit that i pull them out. when i turned 11 i stopped pulling them out and my eyelashes were fully grown back. i then started pulling out my eyebrows, my parents thought that my eyebrows are starting to fall and they thought that the dermatologist they took me to is the one that made my eyelashes grow back so they took me to him again for my eyebrows. i tried to fight the urge so bad. the urges of pulling out my eyebrows stopped for a year and then i began pulling both my eyebrows and eyelashes. i was so embarrassed of the way i look. i used to think that it was just a bad habit when i turned 15 i did some researches and found out that its a disorder i got so scared i thought i was mentally ill. so i decided to tell my big sister. i couldn’t tell her so i told her to read about trichotillomania and i was so ashamed that i started crying, she asked me if i wanna tell mom about it, i could tell my mom so i told my sister to tell her and thats when my family knew. i get so mad or even cry when they talk to me about it, I’m 16 now, they still think its a just a bad habit, I’m so tired of pulling them and feeling ashamed and lack of confidence but its that feeling i get when i pull them out that won’t make me stop. help!

  63. I’ve been pulling my hair since I was about 15, back in 10th grade – and now I’m 24. When I first started, I would pull out my hair while at my desk studying for tests and exams. This old habit of mine would continue though to college/university. I guess it initially stemmed as a relief out of boredom and anxiety.

    I would run my hands through the front/fringe of my forehead to the top of my head in a combing motion, catching and gripping onto any “loose” hairs between my clasped fingers. I had thought long hair had played a significant factor in my trichotillomania (perhaps subconsciously and consistently pulling my hair away from my face, even if it wasn’t the case) as I had longish hair at the time, and that having my hair cut short would help mitigate my problem, or at least save whatever hairs I have left on my poor head by having it short so I couldn’t so easily pull them. So I had my hair cut short since then. But alas, the urges continue and I still relentlessly tug on my hair regardless, even resorting to plucking the short hairs.

    My excessive hair-pulling has progressed such that I find myself doing it everywhere I am, most frequently when I’m waiting or not doing much (even now as I am in front of my computer!), to the point that I’m badly balding as a result of this. I’d find myself pulling my hair constantly, whether at home and in front of the TV, or during work in the office, or driving the car, and even when I’m in my bed. My friends and workmates have started noticing this behavior too, and it’s become a bit of an embarrassment.

    My family has known about this for years now, as they would often discover a mass of my hairs which I’d often leave on the table. They’ve been very supportive and I keep getting told to stop, but it’s become second-nature to me and I just can’t help it. I guess I’m somewhat glad to have found a site like this where I’m not the only one with this kind of problem and where I can get this off my chest, and hopefully find some way to stop my hair-pulling…

  64. hi im eric im 21 and i been pullin out and twisten my hair since i was in 2nd grade on the baseball field rippin out chunks of my bangs in the outfield ive seem to have it under control i pull it just enough where i rubbed the tips of my hair against the inside of my finggers and as im constantly twisten i am always unraveling so i dont end up haveing patches on my head even tho the satisfaction is not as good i have short hair and its noticeable knowing from experience but now my hair just sticks up in the front all time from playing with it and my arms get real tired. but ye thought id share

  65. I am really upset I want my hair back it is getting hard for me to hide it as I am going to colllege again in September to do catering and can anyone give me any tips to help me stop

  66. Hi I’m 14 and I pull any hair on my body. From eye brows to under arms to my legs and even my privates. I’d pull my head hair in math class when I was bored and every day I average I pull at least 30-50hairs from anywhere on my body

  67. How did you guys stop? I’m in desperate need for a cure, I have a giant 3 inch bald spot on the side of my head that I have to cover with other hair. I cant explain why I do it, nor why I cant stop.

    • you say you don’t know why nor cant stop?

      does it itch?

      does your hand just “be there” without thinking?

      what does it feel like to you when you pull the root out?

      my answers would be
      Yes like mad
      like I cant get enough of this feeling it hits the spot

      if your the same then I combated it with a few of these though some are silly and not recommended though helped me.

      simply get a new comb that has sharp plastic tips and comb away that itch and don’t let ur fingers touch the skin or hair (removes temptation to pluck) but stop if u notice your skin getting raw.

      wash your hair it could be something irritating your scalp that triggers you pulling your hair out (not saying anyone has dirty hair but it also distracts you, I did this a lot)

      I’m 27 and a guy so I distracted my hair pulling from my scalp to my 2 day old beard and when I’m all plucked out I simply shave the rest off and no ones the wiser (cheating)

      get ice and numb the area.

      I was going to add one more but I retracted it as its very dangerous with a blade and its just a no…I was desperate with my bald patch

      hope this helps you

  68. I’ve been pulling my hair since I was about six. I started with my eyelashes and then my eyebrows and pretty soon i was pulling from my scalp also. I’m nineteen now and I still am fighting with the urge to pull. I have started tweezing leg hairs and pubic hairs. It helps stop the urge to pull my facial or scalp hairs. I have been able to slow down on my pulling. I don’t do it as often anymore but it’s still extremely hard and frustrating. I haven’t pulled my eyelashes or eyebrows in over a year now and i’m trying really hard to quit the rest too, but somedays it just feels impossible to quit.

  69. I’m 19 years old, & I’ve been pulling my hair since I was 8 years old. After seeing my mom pull her hair several times when I was younger, I picked up on the bad habit, & since then, it has been unstoppable. As of today, I still pull my hair. I have several bald spots that I hide everyday from my own family & friends. It’s a struggle trying to cover them since my hair is so short. The only time I pull my hair is at home during late hours in my bathroom. Once in a blue moon, after I’m done pulling my hair, I sit on my bed crying for hours, thinking is this ever going to stop? Tonight was one of those nights. I feel so insecure, so ugly, sometimes I would just rather stay in my room just to not be looked at. Lately, I’ve been considering telling my bf of 2 years, but I can’t find the courage to tell him. This has been the biggest battle for me. My older brother has been sitting in prison for 8 years & I believe if he were in my life now I wouldn’t be doing this as much. My parents use to always yell & make fun of me for doing it. I guess that’s why it’s hard for me to tell anyone else. But I’m to the point where I need some sort of support system, I can’t keep this all in anymore. Hair pulling is so addicting, no matter how hard you try to stop, you always fall back into it again. I have at least 4 bald spots that are just getting bigger. Whenever I’m out with people, I run my hair back continuously, making sure the front part of my hair covers the roof of my head. It’s embarrassing. I use to even smoke weed to see if that would help, but that didn’t work. My body is filled with so much anxiety, stress, depression, sadness, anger, insecurities, & such negativity. In middle school, I was picked on for having bald spots. I’ve done therapy twice, but it never really helped out my disorder. They suggested medication, but my mom said no. Since I’m 19, I’m thinking about looking into it, but scared what the results might bring. I always look for the hairs that are darker & thicker to pull, or the short, growing hairs. After it’s pulled, I like to touch the root. Once I pull, it’s no stopping, I go for hours, leaving out a pile of hair. Every time I finish, the feeling of regret begins instantly. This is the biggest secret I’m keeping from everyone important to me. My hair pulling makes it hard for me to concentrate in school, find a job, talk about my problems, and think differently about a lot of things. Whenever my bf touches my hair, I move quickly away from him, but I’m pretty sure he’s noticed. He hasn’t said anything. I told him I have an OCD. I hate those moments with him. That’s when I feel the most insecure & embarrassed. When I’m in the shower, I like to use a lot of shampoo & rub around my bald spots, hoping one day my hair will be long & thick like it use to be. There’s days where I don’t feel the urge to pull my hair at all. I’m already going through so much, this disorder is only making it worse. I just want to be able to find the strength in me, to stop, to end this forever. My life would be a million times better, if I didn’t suffer with trichotillomania.

  70. When i was around 8 years old i would run my fingers through my hair by the back of my neck making my hairs curly and frizzy. I remember feeling relaxed while doing it, not knowing why i liked the feeling. As i got older my friend and I would have a contest of who could get the most eyelashes out, I guess from then on i was hooked. My eyelashes were my favorite to pull, there thicker and you can see the new root about to pop out of the eyelid, waiting with anticipation for it to be grown enough so i could pluck it. As a child i was always a little “off”, i was shy, easily stressed and afraid of things. Ive always and am still very afraid of what people think of me and its all because of pulling. For most of my high school years i wore fake eyelashes. I would avoid sleepovers with my friends, going into the ocean, pools and even shower if i knew i was gonna have to see someone after. My life was not a life, i was avoiding every possible thing, every encounter with a person making me more shy and deeper into this person my trich had created. I am 21 years old now and i have most of my eyelashes, i pull less now than ever. Im starting to know my triggers, the way i think, and aware of my negative thoughts. I still get very shy and anxious but i know i will get to where i want to be. I will not let this control the rest of my life. Just stay strong and focused on healing,It is possible!!!!

  71. i want to share my testimony on how i gain my nature hair back in just three weeks: i had very thick curly hair.i straightened my hair 2 yr ago.they after some time started 2 fall out.i also having dandruff problem all d time, before i used shampoo called antidruf containing ketoconazole and tugain 2%(minoxidil) have stopped using chemical one year ago.but still i am loosing a lots of hair everyday and my hair has become so thin. when a friend of my visit me and i explain how i lose my hair every day, she told me she was having the same problem 3 months ago and he contacted DR OPINGO online, i please with grace and she gave me DR OPINGO email, i email him immediately and explain about my hair to him, he told me not to worry that he is going to help me out.After DR OPINGO have prepared the spell cream i use for good three weeks my hair grow fast and was very thick, all my girl friends love and cherish my hair thank you DR you can contact his email at: ( his cream will make your hair grow fast and thicker.

  72. I’m 18 and its such a relief to read these. I’ve been pulling my hair since I was really little. But I seemed to have a major issue with eyebrows and eye lashes. I remember several incidents where my mother got so mad at me because I would pluck and pluck at my eyebrows at night when no one was looking until I was left with almost no eyebrows. She was horrified and she thought I was doing it because I saw someone else do it or that I wanted thinner eyebrows but it was just compulsive. I had to do it. Like many of u o went through stages, times where it would be really bad and I pulled out heaps and other times where it was okay. I looked like a monster sometimes. But when I grew a bit older I just got tactful. I started filling in my eyebrows with eyebrow pencil when I created holes. I managed to stop with the eye lashes. But the eyebrows I just can’t . I do it in front of people sometimes . its embarrassing but its like I need to pull out just that extra one more so that its even or something. I don’t get it and I’m so frustrated with myself and now I know I’m not the only one.

  73. Hi I’m 27 I have read some of the above comments and realise its the same in most cases, just like me… I started when I was in pre school with my eye lashes it seemed interesting to do and was fascinated at looking at them but I remember the pained face my mum gave me when she saw me that day.
    I started on my eyes, moved to my eyebrows then the back of my head and always in the same area (although the area grew) it was especially bad through my school years and uncontrollable for me as I would resist through the day but wake up having found pulling my hair out whilst I slept.
    I eventually got hold of the temptation and stopped hair pulling and so was able to grow my eye lashes back (which take ages to grow) and my eyebrows, the back of my head grew back as well however then so did the temptation of that lush feeling of ripping out the roots of my hair as it felt like I was literally ripping out the itch.
    I don’t know if this sounds familiar but does your “wanting to pull hair” escalate I get bouts where imagining what waxing that area of hair out would feel like and other painful methods but when my family, friends asked “is that not painful” I say more the opposite I love it.
    Like tonight I have just taken a chunk out of my back of my head at the bottom right side it doesn’t seem to be any where else for me now and it itches like mad now and all I can think about is “if only there was more hair to pull out of that bold spot”

    However the main reason I wanted to say is that I realised something that “might” help, I don’t know but I’m putting it out there for how you wish to take it.

    I started pulling hairs out at a very young age “sound familiar”

    school, social life etc. was stressful due to self appearance “sound familiar”

    get a phase where you calm down and then goes back up ” sound familiar”

    most threads I have just read that are from people younger than me i.e. still in school or just leaving and I noticed a change when I hit my mid 20’s.
    My life was identical to every thread above this one when they explained their situation and are aged 11-17 it was freaky it looked like we are slaves to this problem.

    I just want to put out there that those years were my worst and since then its gradually been getting better and those worries of “my hair will never grow back” are rubbish I have full set of eye lashes that I do not touch any more, full set of eye brows that I don’t touch no more, I still have the back of the head issue but I am working on it but I can safely say that know one can tell without staring.

    there’s always hope and I wish the best to you guys to get through it all

  74. I just started maybe a month ago, i don’t have a bald spot yet. Every other minute i find my self smoothing my hair, which always leads to pulling. How this happened? One da i ran a pen through my hair and out came a hair with the root. I thought i had lice so i pulled some more and more. I later found out thats the root, but it was addicting, and i have a lot of stress going on. Have i diagnosed this early enough to stop? How can you stop. I don’t want bald patches, but that’s whats going to happen i think. The only reason i think i have all this hair is because i have really fast growing hair. I’m scared now that i know i have a problem, but how do i stop?

  75. Hey, Im 13 years old.. I’ve been doing this since last year.. im really scared of how im going to look like in 5 more years from now.. I remember watching this show called, “My Strange Addiction” it was about hair pulling also. I was curious of how the follicle actually looked like so I did it.. I do it everywhere even when im showering. Many of my friends have noticed.. Some just stare at me like “wtf is she doing?” And the others just simply ask me if I just pulled mY hair out. I hope I can overcome this addiction some how. Oh, my mom also noticed when she was sweeping and when she removed the couch she found many of my hairs behind it.. and also when she was cleaning the bathtub when she was cleaning the drain many many hairs were there that where mine.. my house is invaded by hairs and im embarrassed … my mom thinks that in having problems at school but I don’t.. I just simply do it when im bored. Im just 13 years old!!.. why am I doing this to.myself? I want to stop as soon as possible my IV (15th birthday) is coming soon and is going to be hard to style my hair with these little hairs sticking out! Please anyone send me an email with helpful tips on how to stop.. I don’t want to be on my twenties or thirties and still pulling my hair out.. please help me.

  76. Hey,my name is alexia and Im 13 years old.. I’ve been doing this since last year.. im really scared of how im going to look like in 5 more years from now.. I remember watching this show called, “My Strange Addiction” it was about hair pulling also. I was curious of how the follicle actually looked like so I did it.. I do it everywhere even when im showering. Many of my friends have noticed.. Some just stare at me like “wtf is she doing?” And the others just simply ask me if I just pulled mY hair out. I hope I can overcome this addiction some how. Oh, my mom also noticed when she was sweeping and when she removed the couch she found many of my hairs behind it.. and also when she was cleaning the bathtub when she was cleaning the drain many many hairs were there that where mine.. my house is invaded by hairs and im embarrassed … my mom thinks that in having problems at school but I don’t.. I just simply do it when im bored. Im just 13 years old!!.. why am I doing this to.myself? I want to stop as soon as possible my IV (15th birthday) is coming soon and is going to be hard to style my hair with these little hairs sticking out! Please anyone send me an email with helpful tips on how to stop.. I don’t want to be on my twenties or thirties and still pulling my hair out.. please help me.

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