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33 members have voted

  1. 1. Where do you most commonly pull hair from?

    • scalp
      17
    • eyebrows
      9
    • eyelashes
      5
    • pubic area
      12
    • other
      10
  2. 2. At what age did hair pulling begin for you?

    • < 5 - 10
      7
    • 10 - 15
      11
    • 15 - 20
      11
    • 20 - 30 >
      4


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Additionally, I wonder how hair pulling has negatively (or positively, if possible) affected your life.

I began pulling hair in second grade. By late elementary school, I had sizable bald patches on my head. As such, my parents received special permission from the school board for me to wear a hat while in school. Of course... I might as well have walked around with the bald patch, as the hat attracted just as much attention from asshole kids and out-of-line staff.

I'll never forget when a teacher randomly walked behind me in the hallway and pulled the hat right off of my head, beginning to lecture me for not following dress-code. The expression on her face, when I turned about to face her in shock/embarrassment, was one of pure disconcertion. Her own embarrassment didn't make the situation any less horrifying for a very image-sensitive 12 year old. It's something I wouldn't wish on anyone. I mean... people looked at me like they do people with cancer.... except it's less pity, more.... what's the word... resentment?.... like this thought that I could just not pull my hair, and it'd be as easy as that. That I wholly inflicted it upon myself. As if I were doing it for attention, or some other grotesquely ignorant perception. I felt like a circus freak.

Anyway.... after middle school, my mother discovered this product called Toppik*... which was pure God-sent. Since then, the trichotillomania hasn't been much of a social issue... of course outside of when it rains, or I do a poor job of applying the powder. Then again, it doesn't exactly work as well as they advertise it to (smaller patches become invisible, but the larger ones look 'off' in the right lighting).

* I hope this doesn't constitute as advertising. It's just been such a blessing for my condition, I feel the need to share it with anyone who suffers the same.

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I'm glad (well not glad, you know) to see someone else on the forum with this problem. Mine began when I was 17, I was plucking my pubic hair. That's really embarrassing for me to say, actually. I still do it, and I use tweezers, and I still don't know why I do it. And, at the risk of TIMI, some points I run out of hair so I start digging into the skin and eventually I get bad spots and scabs. I've been able to reduce that part of it, but I've not been able to stop. I mostly only do it in my own bathroom, anywhere else it feels wrong.

I also pluck out my eyebrow hair. I lost both my eyebrows to toxic lithium levels, and now that one of them is steadily trying to grow back, I pluck it out. I use the logic "Why would I want only one eyebrow?" so that makes it okay. I use tweezers if I have them, or if I don't, just my fingers, which is less effective.

Thank you for this post, I was beginning to think no one else on this forum did this.

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Thank you for having the courage to reply :)

It's rarer condition, and I think it's something that I think tends to be dealt with very secretively compared to other mental health issues..... when at least in my own case, the trauma inflicted by the consequence of hair pulling is probably at the forefront of psychological disturbances... ironic because it's a coping mechanism that winds up becoming a vicious cycle and probably causing the most damage in the long-run.

I bet there are more of us than we're aware of... which is a shame because I think us 'tillomaniacs should stick together. It would probably make dealing with this coping mechanism all the less painful.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have had this since I was eight. I remember the exact moment it started, sitting in the backseat of my mom's car in a nearby town. When I was younger, it go so bad I actually had to cut off all my hair in an attempt to look somewhat decent. I'm terrified of bald spots so I tend to space out the pieces I pull, and end up with lots of frizzy, shorter hairs which doesn't look much better. A few years ago I also started with my eyebrows, which generally just leaves me looking even more odd. Stress was a huge factor when it started, and now I just can't stop.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Is this trichotillomania? I love to rub the top of my head to the point where some of the hairs break off, and then they feel sharp. The feeling of rubbing my fingers on the sharp pieces is just so satisfying. I can do it for hours. Sometimes I just *have* to do it, for the feeling.

My aunt and mother do the same thing, except they both do their eyebrows. I have also witnessed my mother picking at little blemishes at her face.

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My youngest sister suffers from Tricho. She has suffered with it for over 10 years (since elementary). At one point she had to wear a wig in the 5th grade to cover up her bald spots. She is now 21. I am going to mention the product to her. I am pretty sure she doesn't know about it, as she has never been to therapy for this. My parents kind of brushed it under the rug, and to this day they still don't think it's an issue. But I know better.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

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I have full blown trichotillomania right now. I have scratched at least (4 )50 cent size spots on my scalp--- bald. I just sit and scratch. Sometimes it itches, sometimes not. It started with folliculitis an inflammation of the hair follicles. The hair started falling out due to me constantly scratching the scalp. I had to go get fitted for a topper hairpiece today. I hope if I wear this hairpiece it will stop me from scratching.

I also bite my nails to the quick, and have done so since about age 3. I can also recall as a child just stroking my hair a lot. I did not scratch it, just stroked it. My mother would yell at me and tell me to stop b/c everyone would say I was crazy and it would be her fault. I also heard screaming in my head at 13 and she said the same thing. thanks mom.

I started another thread about this same thing, maybe 2 yrs or so ago. It is somewhere on the board. I got some great responses. Folks just came out of the closet and talked.

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/37914-we-pick-our-noses-and-insert-objects-into-our-ears/page__pid__415880__st__20#entry415880e

There was another thread started by someone that really got into skin picking and all that. It was an amazing thread, but it not coming up under my name. If anyone finds it post it b/c it is just the greatest thread ever for total honesty of our human condition.

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/3313-scratching-my-scalp-cant-stop/page__pid__458616__st__20#entry458616

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not sure if it's actually trich, or if it's just an extension of dermatillomania (which I know is a problem for me), but I have dug my hairs out for years. I started out pulling from my head and eyebrows, but this freaked people out, so I went underground. I now restrict myself to socially "safe" areas, like legs and underarms. I have many small moles on my forearms, and pull the hairs vigilantly out of these, as well. I've always thought it was probably to do with dermatillomania, since I pull and pull until the skin feels "smooth" (except, you know, the little scabs where I dug down to yank the teeny little hair out :wacko:). But, reading everyone else's accounts, maybe it's not. I have bald spots on both shins where the hairs simply don't come in anymore.

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  • 4 months later...

I'm glad (well not glad, you know) to see someone else on the forum with this problem. Mine began when I was 17, I was plucking my pubic hair. That's really embarrassing for me to say, actually. I still do it, and I use tweezers, and I still don't know why I do it. And, at the risk of TIMI, some points I run out of hair so I start digging into the skin and eventually I get bad spots and scabs.

I do EXACTLY the same thing, down to the letter. For me, it's part of my OCD, though I also have a bunch of other impulse control issues and BPD, so I guess it could just be a general "I can't regulate my own impulses" kind of thing. It's also stops me from cutting when I self harm, so maybe that's the one positive I get from it - not cutting.

I also do it on my legs and under my arms (which hurts like a bitch!). Apart from that for me there's no pain whatsoever, just stress-relief.

N

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  • 3 weeks later...

OP: Glad to hear you found something that helped.

I have a very mild case of this, i pluck hairs from my beard and rub the ends on my lips. I have a line in the middle of my beard that has less hair then the rest of it. I have a goatee and I know I'm about to lose the soul patch of it, because the hairs there have become so fragile and easy to pull out. I really have wanted to stop for like 9 years but I never asked anyone about it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I'm not advertising here or encouraging trying this without doing your own research, but I recently found a study on a forum in the uk about a prevention. The study suggested to take 2 NAC pills and 2 vitamin c pills a day. It reduces the urge to pull and helps the hair grow back faster without the itch. After reading up on it and seeing positive results from the uk forum members, I tried,it myself. Wow is all I can say! It really did reduce the urge and within days I saw improvent. If you stick with it, it really works. Now this may not be.the.case for everyone, but in my case, I had nothing to lose!

both NAC and Vitamin c can be found at health food stores. Nac lowers your vitamin c as a side effext which is why you are suggested to take 2 tablets with the 2 nac capsules.

Hope this helps someone like it did me!

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