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What is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania – The Facts

What is Trichotillomania?

You may have heard of this disorder before. However, you’re likely to know it by the more frequently used name – hair-pulling disorder.

Trichotillomania is a form of OCD in which the sufferer experiences strong urges to pull hair from their body, especially from the scalp.

Today, we’re going to look at some of the causes and treatments for trichotillomania.


There are multiple possible causes of trichotillomania, including the following:

·         A chemical imbalance in the brain

·         Hormone changed caused by puberty

·         A form of self-harm*

·         A reaction to trying to deal with stress and anxiety

·         Addiction (once they start doing it, they can’t stop)

Any of these could be the cause, as could a combination of them.

If you find you’re pulling your hair out, you should see a GP to help you determine the cause and rule out hair loss by other reasons instead of pulling.

*You should see a GP for any of these causes, but please seek help urgently if you think this is the cause.

Hair Loss

As a result of the constant hair-pulling, those affected will often have some form of alopecia.

Trichotillomania induced alopecia is often completely reversible, and permanent hair loss is rare.


Trichotillomania usually gets treated using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).

CBT focuses on using habit reversal training to help you avoid triggers and find support. For times when triggers are unavoidable, it teaches you to replace the behaviour with something less damaging – such as squeezing a stress ball.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from trichotillomania, be sure to show your support.

While undergoing CBT, why not check out our blog “4 Ways to Style Super Thin Hair” to help find how to make the most of your current style to boost your confidence.

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