Is this itch real?


I posted here once before talking about how I'm struggling with Trich and unfortunately since then nothing has changed apart from my hair becoming worse. The thing is that I get this itch which I've read on some other posts is also what people feel before they pull. Is that itch real ? Because I have tried to shower more to reduce it (didn't work), used less shampoo and conditioner ( didn't work) and I still get the itch which is so hard to resist pulling from :(

I have always been given the advice of changing the pulling habit to something else but for me there's literally nothing to change it to. I've tried pen clicking, doodling , watching a random youtube video instead, an episode of my favourite show or going to shower when I feel a slight need to pull. Either way I get distracted by the need to pull.

Today I thought I surpassed the urge, I went on pull-free but instead of pulling I was still searching for the hairs that I want because it's such a habit and breaking them without pulling them from the roots. Unfortunately that only went so far until I found a hair that was really rare to find and I pulled it without thinking. I went on to say it's fine and I won't pull any other but I did like 10 minutes later because when you have a taste of what it's like you can't get your mind off of it and you give in. I then went full on pulling mode because my mind just kinda said that's it today's progress is ruined. There's nothing in my mind that I could do apart from my goal to be changed from don't pull your hair to don't let your hands run through your individual hairs.

I hope everyone else is doing better ;(

Xx ~ Yuri


  • Hi Yuri,

    Don't give up on yourself yet kid 😉 Success kinda comes and goes in streaks. Right now I'm going on a 4 day pull-free streak. But two weeks ago, I couldn't make it 4 HOURS without resetting my Pull-free 'clock'.

    And I'm not naive enough to think I'm done pulling forever. I WISH! My streaks seem to follow a monthly cycle. Now I try to concentrate on the times when I feel really vulnerable. Just like you, I'm aware of the urge when it's super strong. I try to fight it for a while, but eventually give in. And just like you, I've tried just "feeling" the hairs I'd like to pull, without actually pulling; but you're right, that only lasts so long before you come across that one 'rare' hair. It's either thicker or 'kinkier' or more brittle than all the other hairs and needs to come out, because it just does not belong!

    I know you've said you've tried some distraction techniques and nothing seems to be working.....yet. DON'T GIVE UP! You just haven't found the one thing that works for YOU. Keep trying different things. The trick is to find an activity (or fidget tool) that gives you 'somewhat' the same satisfaction that pulling does. I know, it'll never be truly the same as pulling. But if you can start your alternative BEFORE you reach for your hair, it just MIGHT keep you (temporarily) preoccupied. If you can keep yourself from initially scratching that first 'itch', you might be able to prevent the domino effect that's sure to follow.

    I've tried numerous different fidget toys. Fidget Cubes, fidget rings, the whole gamut. Right now I use a rubber sensory tool that I found online. It looks like a brush, with rubbery bristles/hairs that I can pull, but they don't actually pull OUT. I like the feel of the individual 'hairs' even though they all do feel the same. It keeps me busy (at least for a while).

    Just remember, just because you pull one hair (or 100 hairs!) doesn't mean you have failed. Flip it around.... If you've been pulling for two straight hours and then stopped....look at it as a success: At least you didn't pull for THREE hours! (And who cares if the reason you stopped was not because of willpower, but rather that your arms went numb! or hurt so bad from hanging over your head because you can't keep your hands out of your hair!) Trust me, I speak from experience. 😉

    Remember, it's not going to get better overnight. It's a very slow journey to change obsessive behaviors. To steal the motto from alcoholics: "Take it one day at a time". And if you fall down, just get back up and start over! (So cliche, I know 🙃) But we're all here to support you now. Share your good days AND your bad. (I notice when I'm typing/posting here on this forum, with two hands, I don't do any pulling.) At least when I get done with my post, I feel like that time I just spent was a success!

    Hang in there & cut yourself some slack. This new year has GOT to be better than 2020!!

    Stay strong & talk soon,

  • @SleepySloth thank you for your reply! I'm 16 and my family know about my pulling because I've had it since I was 8 years old where the bald spots appeared. Ever since then they don't like to be reminded of it, or every once in a while my mom checks my scalp to see if there are any new empty patches. And Everytime I've failed everyone turns against me calling me out for taking so long to just stop. They don't understand that's why I get so hesitant buying stuff like fiddles to see if they would work for me, I don't like the attention I get when I try and do something different to help myself ( like suddenly starting to wear a hat again after 2 months of pull free) my mom just started a conversation about why the sudden need to pull and how many have I already pulled ( making me feel bad for wearing the hat). My only chance would be trying to find one in a shop whilst I'm out so they wouldn't know I bought it :(

    That's great I love your enthusiasm about all of this, really well done keep going! Metoo ever since I made the goal to not touch my hair I've been trich free since Tuesday!! You are so right about trying to stop the Domino effect!! I also am starting to focus on growth in other aspects of my life which I think has started to increase the growth in this area too like trying to find what I struggle with in my studies, trying to make a morning routine, exercising daily like someone here recommended and praying.

    Thank you so much!!! :) 💗

  • Hey Yurisen,

    Thanks for the really great question, and to SleepySloth for coming in and replying while I was being a REAL sleepy sloth and snoozing the holidays away.

    Yes, the itch is real. The THOUGHTS about the itch are not real, though. You get the itch - which I remember so well. I remember feeling like there were insects crawling under the skin of my scalp and eye rims. Then you get the thoughts that pulling will relieve the itch. It doesn't!!! It just continues the addictive cycle.

    There are a few ways to relieve the itch. The best way I found, was to put lots of coconut oil on my hair overnight and wash it off in the morning. The most common reason for itching is dehydrated skin, so make sure you are also drinking lots.

    Some people think a particular type of skin yeast causes the itching, and if you google Anti-Candida Diet, you might find that following that helps you.

    What helped me, was allowing myself to only scratch the itch (on my head) with a pencil or the sharp end of a metal comb. When I was first pull free I couldn't allow my fingers near hairs.

    There is something which dermatologists call The Itch/Scratch Phenomena, which says that when an itch is scratched, it moves elsewhere. I told myself that there was NEVER a good reason for scratching an itch with my fingers and used chicken pox as an example. This really worked for me.

    I have been pull free since 2001 and YOU can do this too.

    Love and pull freedom

  • I forgot to add the reason for the coconut oil - it kills bacteria and has anti-itch properties x

  • @Neo wow thank you! That's alot of really good advice I will have to take. And wow well done for being trich free for that long I think you're my new role model haha

    I have only started itching my scalp using something else today and so far it's going good!! And I now know why I relapsed and will stop doing it so I feel like I'm on the right tracks, again thank youuuuu.

    ~ Yuri
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