October 1st through 7th is Trichotillomania Awareness Week. Unfortunately, many people, including some hair stylists, have never even heard of it. That is why it is so important for people to understand what trichotillomania is how you can raise awareness.
What Is Trichotillomania?
Those who have trichotillomania will compulsively pull out their hair, often resulting in bald spots. Roughly 1-2 percent of the population have trichotillomania, and it is more common in females than in males. This hair pulling may occur anywhere on the body, but the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes are the most common areas. It generally starts in the preteen and early teen years, between 9-13 years old. It may also be accompanied by biting, chewing, or eating the hair that the individual has pulled out. The person may also play with the pulled-out hair or rub it across their face.
Individuals with trichotillomania may face negative feelings, such as stress or tension, prior to trying to pull out their hair. They may also pull out their hair when they are feeling bored. After pulling it out, they may feel pleasure or relief. The positive feelings that come after the person has pulled out hair may encourage the person to continue the behavior. Often, those with trichotillomania have attempted repeatedly to stop pulling out their hair, but they have been unsuccessful in stopping the habit.
Do People with Trichotillomania Consciously Pull Out Their Hair?
That depends on the person. For some people, it is an automatic action. They will pull out their hair without thinking about it while doing everyday tasks, such as reading, talking, or watching television. At other times, it might become a focused, ritualistic task where the person thinks through the hair pulling. This may include looking for a specific type of hair to pull out or pulling the hair out in a specific way. For some people with trichotillomania, they engage in both automatic and focused hair pulling.
What Are Some of the Ways a Person Can Get Help?
People with trichotillomania may need medical, mental, and physical help. Medical and mental health deal with the symptoms. If the person has depression or another mental condition, counseling and medication may help the person to deal with the mental condition better, which may help the person to find other ways to deal with negative emotions rather than pulling out their hair. Those who eat their hair may also have digestive issues, which may require surgery or other medical attention. Physical help comes in the form of wigs, hair pieces, and hair regrowth treatments, which help cover or restore hair in any bald spots or areas where hair thinning is caused by the person pulling out their hair.
Why Do I Need to be Aware of Trichotillomania?
It is important for you to know about trichotillomania so you can help others to understand it. If you have it, helping others to understand it can help them to better empathize with you. Even if you are not dealing with it yourself, there's a good chance that a family member, friend, or at least a friend of a friend has dealt with hair loss due to trichotillomania. The more people who understand trichotillomania, the greater the chance that those with it can feel accepted by others.
The good news is that if you have trichotillomania or you otherwise are facing hair loss, your hair loss does not need to be permanent. We can help you. At New Look Institute, we understand that everyone faces a unique situation when it comes to hair loss and that there is no one perfect hair replacement solution for everyone. We have wigs, hair extensions, and hair regrowth options. We take an individualized approach with our clients to determine the best hair replacement solution for each person. Your plan will fit your lifestyle, budget, and hair loss needs. Contact us to schedule a free consultation where we will go over all available options for you.
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