New to the group

Hi, I've been pulling my hair for over 10 years now since I was about 12. I had therapy when I was a teenager but didn't respond well to this at all. Over the years I've always done it but it's been in waves as to how bad it is, I managed to not pull much wedding last year but ever since then it's been getting worse and worse and now my hair is at one of it's worse points ever, I have massive bald patches covering the back of my head and one of the front sides. This is usually hideable by wearing my hair certain ways but it's even beginning to show through those now. I've never managed to identify triggers, sometimes it's because of stressful moments, something's it's just because... For no reason... I'm at my wit's end and it is massively affecting my self esteem and self image. I used to pull my eyelashes and eyebrows too and managed to stop for the most part, partly I think because the regrowth is a lot quicker so it doesn't take as long stopping to see how nice they can be without pulling.
Any advice would be so truly welcome as I am hating the way my hair looks right now.


  • Hello there! I'm new to the group as well. I'm 50 years old and have been a Puller for about 37 years 😬 I wish I could say I have all the answers by now, but I do not.
    The only success I've had so far is to stop pulling my head hair while driving in the car. But home pulling remains a struggle for me every day. I used to think it was monthly, and coincided with when I should be having my period (I'm post hysterectomy, so I don't actually have a period anymore, but I still feel the monthly 'low energy & crabbiness'.)
    Lately I've been pulling NON-STOP, every chance I get. It seems so satisfying. The feel of each particular hair shaft feels like I've got the "right one" and it feels good to pull it out.
    Crazy stuff I know, but the only advice I can give is, the more you are aware of your condition, the more you tackle it head on, the better off you'll be.
    My small success for the today...... As I composed this post on my phone for the last 15 minutes or so, I have not pulled a single hair πŸ€—
    Good Luck to you and stay strong. You are not alone!!
  • Yes menstrual cycles can actually have a big impact on urges to pull. My advice would be to keep a detailed journal, logging your mood, energy levels, where you are in your cycle, where you are physically etc and how much you feel like pulling or do pull. It can be great for seeing patterns that you might not otherwise see and then you can begin to take steps to retrain your brain.

    You might notice that you pull when you look in a mirror, or when you're sat watching TV. It might be a particular day of the week that's worst, or you might identify times when you don't want to pull at all and can examine why. Whatever it is that makes up how the condition manifests for you, you can use that against it. Keep fidget aids or motivational post-its on the sofa or in the car. Program a reminder on your phone to go for a walk when you get home from work if you would usually collapse and pull. Set yourself a challenge, so when you get the urge to pull, you'll set a 15 minute timer and sort out your letter rack, clear out a drawer etc.

    It isn't quick or easy or turn things around, but it is possible and you can make great leaps in less time than you'd think if you can stick with it.

    Best of luck :star:

  • I agree with you Michelle. Fidget tools have made a huge difference with my intermittent successes. I use my Fidget ring in the car all the time. But sometimes on a particularly bad day, I catch myself fidgeting with one hand while I pull with the other! If I'm lucky, my daughter will be with me and remind me that I'm defeating the purpose of the Fidget.
    If Fidgets are your strategy of choice, I recommend keep looking until you find the one you like. Not all Fidgets are the same. But you'll know when you get the right one. It just FEELS right, and it's fascinating that you can't keep your hands off it.
    My latest challenge is to remember to pick up my Fidget when I'm in a trigger zone, BEFORE I start pulling. Pulling always feels better than Fidgeting, and once I get going I don't really WANT to stop and transition into a healthier activity.
    In a pinch, I've also used bandaids in the tips of my picking fingers. This helps quite a bit too, but I feel like such a toddler! I guess that's what this journey is: Starting from square one again and retraining your thought process. So happy I found this forum. Relieved to know others struggle just like me and in not the only weirdo in this world πŸ™ƒ

    Thanks for all the good advice and space to vent my troubles!
  • Hi I am new to the group. I been pulling my hair out since I was 10 I am now 27 I stopped when I was 17 until about 18 and started again and I just can't STOP i have tryed everything and I am at the last straw I hardly go out as I feel so embarrassed about my hair I hate it
  • Hi I am also relatively new on the forum - although, I have been lurking around quietly and reading for a few months. I find the comments sooo sooo helpful and supportive here I keep coming back and re-read the same post over and over again and draw strength and inspiration from them. I am a scalp puller for 8 years. I am currently on the coaching programme with Neo. I am working hard to fight those pesky urges every moment, using barrier methods, oil, silicone finger covers, Yoga, relaxation recordings, buddy support, vitamins, diet, exercise - you name it. I think my biggest achievement is, I am getting more and more aware of my urges, times and places when they are highest and learning to surf them. My hair is very short and have bald patches on my crown, and on the sides. I wear a wig to work and when going out, or bandanas/hats for exercising.
    I enjoy reading your supportive comments. Love and PF vibes to all!
  • I just joined today! I don't pull my hair out but I have quite long hair and I pull and wind my index finger through my hair until it knots slightly at the bottom and I can't stop doing it over and over. It's bad as I'm in a choir and perform quite a lot. To stop it I have to wear my hair up but I'm not great looking and it's a shame I can't wear my hair down. It is not stress relief, because my stomach is in knots when I do this. I do it in the car all the time, and all the time when my hair is down. I've done it for about 7 years now and my index finger end joints now have arthritis because of it.
    It started at a stressful part of my life when I had little money and I used a cheap hair dye kit which really dried my hair up. My thinking was to keep "combing" my hair with my fingers to stimulate oil to go down the hair. I did it over and over and then it just became a habit I can't stop. I hate it. I've tried telling myself to snap out of it, but I just have to wear my hair up to stop because I can't seem to do it on my own.

  • Welcome aboard, Alt. Hair knotting is definitely part of tric. I am so sorry you have this problem - ease up on yourself. Please don’t expect to snap out of it - recovery is a slow and caring process. You will get there more easily if you can learn to be self-compassionate.

    Love and pull freedom,

  • Hey Viktoria
    Its really wonderful that we can empower each other to get through this and no matter what we are all in this together. You should be very proud of yourself for understanding your urges and reflecting on them. That is the most important. I am also struggling with actually saying 'No this needs to stop' especially when I'm at my lowest. But eventually I stop. Somedays its more pulling of the hair but somedays its lesser. What really works for me is taking pictures of my head where I pull because it shocks me how much damage I can do to myself and I kind of just hold back. It works sometimes but other times I just give up.
    In the beginning of this month, I hah pulled for a few days continuously and then realized I had patches and so I excessively oiled my hair and made sure its greasy so I couldn't pull. Plus I massaged my hair by myself and kept myself more relaxed. So I guess that helped me.
    You got this and you're doing a fabulous job.

    Hey Alt,
    I don't know much about knotting the hair but like Michelle has said earlier, it might be better to figure out when you don't knot your hair and are more calm. How do you handle those situations and when we get urges to do what we do, we gotta remember the days we dont do it and try to reflect that energy.

    Lots of love to all of you.
    Let me know how it goes.


  • GirGir
    edited November 2020

    Hey Jess, from what I understand everyone who has this condition sort of awakens to their triggers and overcoming their urges at a different time. As we all have slightly different reasons for what we use the behaviour for. The biggest thing I can recommend is therapy. I know you said you didn't respond well to it. I had therapy CBT and it was fine but it didn't help with my Trich really, I had to find a specialist which was @Neo from this website. The NHS therapist actually recommended this website and I signed up.

    Before that I was pretty much in the same boat as you, I had interlace systems twice and nothing was helping. It was a nightmare. It took speaking to someone who knows about the condition to help me with it.

    For me through therapy I discovered that accountability is what makes the difference between me pulling and not (I have a post on this forum for this purpose). You will have something you need to find that stops the behaviour maybe it will just be getting really truly sick of pulling. It's different for everyone but there is something, maybe a combination of things, but they exist. You just have to unpack whats going on in your mind. If you can do that alone amazing, if not please consider therapy.

    For your hair condition I really find Collagen (vegan collagen is available) and Biotin supplements very helpful for strong and healthy regrowth. It will make growth quicker also a scalp massager which is like really cheap can help a lot.

    For hiding the damage I invested in some really trendy hats lol I have a collection of really cool ones, you can get amazing head wraps and stuff. Make it a look! But I actually wish I had enjoyed wearing wigs more. If you check out some black hair blogs you can see some really amazing wigs. My hair is too thick and long to comfortably wear a wig now, but I would have loved to try some crazy colours and find different textures. You can be beautiful and cool looking without hair. Its deff a state of mind.

    Also have you tried subliminals?
    This is a search on youtube try some of these. (drink a lot of water while you listen it helps them to work)

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