Trichotillomania is the compulsive urge to pull out one’s own hair. Sometimes it is accompanied by urges to eat the hair that has been pulled out. This can be present in varying degrees, but from my experience, causes the suffer an obviously considerable amount of stress and noticeable hair loss, although 100 percent of the woman I have known to have it have a piece of their own hair that folds over to hide their habit.
It is an impulse-control disorder that falls under the obsessive -compulsive umbrealla. It generally reaches it’s peak of onset in early adolescence to early teen years and can be triggered by stress, trauma, or depression. The picking and pulling out of hair can not only be on the head, but the eyelashes, eyebrows arms, hands, and pubic areas.
A person afflicted with Trich generally eases tension and stress by pulling out the hair, which results in a release of tension and a feeling of gratification when the hair is being pulled. Although some people with the disorder disagree with this. Some people are not even aware that they have the disorder or that they are pulling out their hair.
Although similar to OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) , there are some differences like age of onset, gender differences, etc,. Treatment is usually supervised by a psychiatrist who can offer different medicines and behavior modification therapies.
How can extensions factor into this?
There are definitely no guarantees when using a mechanical approach to helping the habit of hair pulling. clients have come to me asking for extensions to be put into the pulling area, since it is usually confined to one area of the scalp, in order to relieve the satisfaction they get from pulling-no satisfaction, the urge to pick decreases.
It is required to have at least 1 inch of hair to apply an extension for this case. This method has only worked in about half of the cases..in two cases in particular they attribute the application of extensions to the control of the habit–to the point where the urges decreased significantly over time and the hair was given a chance to grow back in!
Again, this is something I have noticed works some of the time. Extensions can be a useful tool in some cases, but it is important that if you are afflicted with this disorder that you seek help and find guidance with health professionals. A particularly helpful website is www.trich.org .. it is a wellspring of information and knowledge.