Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania) Treatment
Many people twirl their hair when they are bored or nervous or perhaps pluck out the odd hair. These behaviours are normal. For some people though hair pulling gets out of control and becomes a compulsive activity. Out-of-control hair pulling has a diagnosis. It is called Trichotillomania.
Signs of compulsive hair pulling:
- You use tweezers to pluck hairs from your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, face, or other part of the body.
- Hair pulling creates bald areas.
- You try to cover up or conceal the hair loss by wearing wigs or hats, wearing long sleeves, combing over your hair, or using eyebrow pencils or artificial eyelashes.
- You avoid people because you are embarrassed about your bald patches.
- You feel tense if you do not give in to the compulsion to pull out hairs.
- Hair pulling can take up hours of your day, either thinking about it or doing it.
- When you are hair pulling it can seem like you are in a trance and you lose track of time.
- You eat the hair or the ends of the hair after you pull it out.
How to stop compulsive hair pulling
Even if you have had a hair pulling problem for years it is still possible for you to regain control. Our therapists use the techniques that have been shown to be very useful for this problem. They would teach you skills based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and habit reversal training (HRT).
Our therapists can help you learn how to stop your hair pulling. With these kinds of compulsive habits there is a risk that the habit might start again when you are under a lot of stress. Our therapists can also teach you how to maintain your success so there is less risk of relapse.