43 years in hiding

Me and my 4 sibling all have suffered from Trich. Is Trich genetic? I was told years ago that my maternal uncle had trich in his teens & 20/30s. Our family kept this secret for years.
ME- 43 years since Trich started, hair pulling.
OLDER SIS- wears wig since she was 16 years old, hair pulling
OLDER SIS-pulls eye lashes out only
OLDER BRO- Ten years of hair pulling(deceased)
YOUNGER BRO- Ten years of hair pulling (deceased)

I am a successful lady who suffers when I am alone and full of anxiety. Not sure why I started, or why my siblings started. It's not a coincidence. I am convinced it is part of our genetic make-up. ANY THOUGHTS? Thank You...


  • Hi Sandra, welcome to the forum, & well done on taking the first steps to write on here. This is a great community with lots of help on here, so hopefully you’ll feel happy and comfortable to write again.

    I’m a Mum of two, am 35 yo and started pulling my lashes at the age of 11. My longest PF stint was this summer (60 some odd days.) I’ve been slipping up a lot lately, and as my coach reminded me, it shows you that the monster can lie dormant and then pop up! We always need to be on it, and have the tools at hand to help us. I can highly recommend getting in touch with a coach (if you haven’t already) on this coaching.care page. I’ve been in therapy for over a year, and yes, I do slip up, but where as before coaching, I’d rip out all my lashes, now it’s only 3-5 max and that’s not every time (I think it’s fair for me to reflect and say it’s definitely helping me.)

    Trich can be genetic, but remember your self worth isn’t related to how many hairs you have. I keep reminding myself of this lately too. I really try and accept that it’s the condition that makes me pull, not “this or that” and it’s the monster that steals my lashes, not me. Hope this helps, and thanks for sharing your story.

    Keep in touch,
    Lisa x
  • Hi Sandra,

    I'm a hair puller (legs and bikini line), cheek biter and skin picker (everywhere!).
    My younger sister is a hair puller (scalp).
    My youngest sister is a skin picker (chest).
    Both parent are hair pullers (head and beard).

    I definitely believe there's a genetic component to it. My 4 year old is showing signs of being a skin picker.

    There's an interesting article about genes here:


  • Welcome aboard, Sandra

    Yes, I think we have fairly established that in many cases, trichotillomania is genetic. There are some people who simply have a trauma and then begin hair pulling but most people can trace someone in their family who had an impulse control problem or a BFRB.

    Love and pull freedom

  • I have suffered over 43 years now since Junior High maybe 50 talking to others with it is the only help I have found over the years rl catches up and I think I"m ok and back to pulling. I just want my hair back and it to end. Stress is part to how bad it can get

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