Trichotillomania Support

The Trichotillomania Support forum has been restarted. Perhaps, like me, you remember what a tremendously supportive place the old forums were, with professional advice and true friendships forming.

Excited to get chatting again with old trichotillomania friends, or keen to meet new ones? Come on! Kick start our new forums by telling YOUR story.

For my part, I am Max. I started pulling beard hairs out at 18 and carried on for a long time. I have been pull free for 5 years and still find my hands searching for sharp, new facial hairs. If you have any good tips for me, do let me know and I will do my best to do the same for you.

Best regards,



  • Hi Max,
    I'm Louise and I first remember pulling out my hair at about the age of 11. I pick a strand, play with it for a bit then yank it out. In recent years my pulling has escalated to include eyebrows, arm/leg hairs and also other people's hair (chest/beard etc) if given the chance.

    I've tried to stop but can't. Fortunately I have a lot of scalp hair so it's not really noticeable, but I have hardly any eyebrows left.

    kind regards


  • Hi max and Louise,
    Iv been doing it for a few years on and off but its gotten a lot worse in last few months and now I cant hide the bald patch, wear a baseball cap most of the time.. started CBT this week for other issues but based on what I read, think I will mention it in next weeks appointment. Its good to know theres others out there, looking forward to supporting others when I know more.

    Best regards


  • Hi all,

    I'm happy to see other people are using support groups, this is the first time I have decided to try and reach out to others suffering with trichotillomania.
    I also have bald patches on my scalp, I've been pulling for 5 years now and it's gotten to the point where I am struggling to find a way to cover the patches as they cover a very large area on my head, it has affected relationships and led to me avoiding dating. Luckily I have long thick hair where I have hair left, but the patches are very noticeable. I am doing it on a daily basis and am really struggling to stop myself, even when I am aware I am doing it. I have noticed that the days where I am in a better mood, feeling motivated and keeping busy/ have a sense of purpose are the days when I am less likely to pull and have found keeping a diary of my moods and thought processes when pulling/pull-free has been enlightening.
    Currently having CBT but I feel like the focus is on anxiety and it hasn't made a dent on my hair pulling so far.

    Kind regards :)

  • Hi everyone, I am Aisha.
    I have been into hair pulling since i was 11 and now i am 19+. I'm finding it really difficult to stop pulling my hair and i have a huge bald patch on the sides of my head. Unfortunately my hair isn't very thick to cover the bald patches so, i need to use a scarf to hide it. I haven't got many friends. I like to stay alone. I haven't gone or asked for help these years and to be honest i knew about the disorder Tricotrillomania just an hour ago or so. None but my family knows about this. It's really hard to find a good Psychiatrist here in Bahrain. I am happy to know that I'm not alone in this. I don't know much about this but i wish to get cured
  • Hi Max, ffflover, CJS, Aisha and Carls,

    Thank you for posting and welcome to the website. Your support is so much appreciated. I can't tell you how great it is to see you guys.

    Carls, I hope the CBT goes well but would just point out that even though CBT often does help people to stop pulling, if you give up using the techniques, there is a likelihood of relapse. Research shows that ongoing support works best, so make sure you have friends you can talk to and keep posting here! please ... we need you.

    Aisha, I'm not touting for business but just wanted to let you know that at www.trichotillomania, the treatment is available on Skype, and we are all pull free ex pullers so we will understand.

    Also there is a free e-book for you to download at and it is by yours truly. I'm now over 15 years pull free and it does tell you how I did it.

    Love and pull freedom

  • Hi max and everyone else

    I have been pulling for 25 years. I have never been pull free since i started at aged 13. At first it was very severe. I had hardly any hair no eyebrows etc. Over the years i have learned how to pick and hide it really well. I pick then i chew off the roots. Sounds awful wheb u actually say it but i get so excited when its a big root. I cant imagine ever being pull free.
  • Hi Manicpanicchick

    I completely understand what you are saying about getting so excited when you find a big root. Even after 15 years pull free, my mouth still waters at the thought of that juicy root. I have found alfafa sprouts really help with that craving, as well as having 2 protein shakes every day.

    We are all here and completely understand. I remember when I too couldn't imagine ever being pull free but even if you don't ever get to that space, you can still have a wonderful and happy life.

    We are on your side and you are definitely not alone. I pulled for 27 years, so you have two years to go before you beat me. ;-)

    If I can do it, you can too.

    Love and pull freedom

  • Hi everyone,
    My name is Bailey and I have been pulling for two years now, and it has only continued to escalate since I started. I also pick at my scalp often and try to have large pieces that have blood in them, because of how it tastes. I also pick off the roots of my hair and eat them. Picking makes me feel dirty and I am constantly covered in my own hair. I'm good enough at hiding it so I don't have huge bald spots, but there are sparse areas. Whenever I think I've stopped for a week or two it just picks up again. I'm 16 and I notice is happens most at school when I'm concentrating or when I'm nervous. I've tried stress balls etc and they just don't work. It feels like my scalp almost hums for my to pick and pull.
    Any help or support would be great.

  • Hi, I joined this group last nite... so fed up- I’ve been pulling for 27years now- eyebrows and eyelashes... mine does seem to be worse about 10 days before my mentrual cycle and I started pulling when my menstrual cycle started at age 17... I wear false lashes and see my lashes growing... they get really long then I pull them out! And I search for hairs on my face that I can pull at too... I’ve got tattooed/hyperpigmented eyebrows now... it was getting so embarrassing drawing them in... I go into a trance and can be at it for hours- such a waste of my time!!
    Has anyone tried supplements... I’ve been reading up about inositol recently...
    Please help, very unhappy- hate these strong urges :-(
  • Hi guys - you can contact our team for advice here:

    And there's more info for scalp and eyelash pulling here:

  • Hi all, I am new to this group. I have been pulling my scalp hair for over 22 years now. I can completely relate to all of these comments. The hair on the crown of my head is missing and I am finding it increasingly difficult to disguise it. It seems to dominate my life and everything I do. I am hoping I can pick up lots of helpful tips and advice. It is really good to speak with like-minded people.

  • Hello everyone. Ive been pulling my hair out since I was 15.. it started with me pulling tangles out and then actually yanking strands of hair out.. now it’s so bad my scalp bleeds and I have bald spots.. when I don’t pull my scalp feels intensely itchy in one place.. I only feel a small relief from hurting my scalp and pulling the hair out
  • I’ve been pulling my hair out since I was 3, I’m now 32. I’ve tried everything I can think from CBT to very expensive hair pieces at a salon called Lucinda Ellery in London. I’m now using a wig to help me. I completely cut all my hair off last January and it is growing back, I’ve got hair now in places where I never did, it’s not completely where I wanted it to be by now as I have had my lapses, but I’m so glad I took the plunge and went for the wig!
    I get married in April so that was my aim to have all my own hair for my wedding, I’m a bit disheartened that I haven’t got to where I want to be be but my god it’s such an improvement!
    I’m going to keep checking this site for tips to help me keep going.
    I can relate to every comment I read on here and it’s quite comforting to know I’m not alone! X

  • Hi everyone

    You're definitely far from alone. This condition is far more prevalent than you might imagine. We have over five thousand members of the entire Trichotillomania Support organisation. Lucy, well done for your huge improvement.

    You're all winners - you can do this, just keep reassuring yourself that you are always going to be bigger than a health condition.

    Right now my urges are bad, but I'm resisting. Resisting is much easier for me because I am over 15 years pull free but I still have urges, just rarely nowadays.

    I have no more willpower than anyone here, so if I can do it so can you guys.

    Lets see what you can do!

    Love and pull freedom

  • Hi Lucy and welcome! I’m 32 as well :) Well done on all the progress you’re making. It’s ok to have lapses but to keep on going and recognising the overall improvement you’re making is fab! It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”, you’re doing great.

  • Hi guys. I’m Veronica and I’m 24. I’ve been pulling since I was about 5. It started with head hair but quickly moved into just eyelashes. A few years ago I randomly stopped pulling. I’m not sure why, but all of a sudden everything just became really manageable. Now I barely ever pull. The only thing I’m really struggling with is that having eyelash extensions on is very triggering. I don’t pull anymore, but then when I get eyelash extensions, it triggers my OCD and I feel the need to pick them off or I get really panicky and uncomfortable. I love having lash extensions and I feel like I’ve earned them after finally being able to overcome my pulling, but they just trigger pulling. I know it seems easy enougn to just say ‘well don’t get lashe extensions then,’ but I really like having them, and I don’t want my OCD to be a reason for not getting them. I want to work through being able to have them on and not feel that anxiety to pull them off. Especially because it takes my natural lashes out too, so I’m left with barely any eyelashes after I pick them off. I’ve been doing CBT and I only have about 2 sessions left. It did help, and it does help, but this past session was just really difficult. I wasn’t able to use my resources or skills to prevent pulling and I took all of my extensions off. I have barely any eyelashes now and I feel like crap about myself. I’ve learned to accept myself without lashes, and it’s not that I think I’m ugly or anything, it’s just that I feel like such a failure, and it’s going to take a while for them to grow back, so until then I have to be reminded every day that I failed at fighting the compulsion. I’m just feeling like crap right now. I wish I didn’t have to feel like this.
  • Hi random, I know it's so, so hard when you've had a slip up, but try to remember how well you did in between. It can feel like you're always failing, but the opposite is also true - you also keep getting back on there and doing your best. Hope things are better now.

  • edited July 2020

    Hey everyone

  • Hi everyone,
    I am new to this platform and it is really heart warming to know that there are people out there going through the same struggles as I am and it feels really good to know that there are people who have overcome Trichotillomania.
    I started pulling my hair when I was 14, just a year before I entered high school and here I am at 23 and I still am unable to tackle the urges.
    Immediately after seeing that I had bald spots and lots of hair lose around my bed, my mother took me to see a dermatologist and I started taking homeopathy treatment for hair growth. The homeopathy treatment did not stop me from pulling my hair but it stimulated hair growth and that kind of helped me to reduce the pulling. Through my high school I remember being pull free for atleast 2 years but in my 12th grade I got an eye disease which made me lose 60% vision in my right eye for about 4-5 months. During this time I did not go to school and I used to get severe headache and that was when the hair pulling started again and it became very severe. I was on steroids for a while so during that time hair growth was faster than usual but that did not reduce the pulling at all because I was still in pain and still had vision loss. It took a while to get my eyes back to normal but once I did the pulling reduced but never stopped till date.
    I found out that a condition like Trich existed about 4 years ago because it got mentioned in one episode of Grey's Anatomy and that was the first time I heard about Trich. So I googled it and I found out that there were so many people going through the same thing but more than being relieved I was terrified of what I had read and that I had no control over it. For me finding out that I was head deep into a health condition was what freaked me out further more. I tried doing some of the tips they suggested but all of it worked only for a few days. I started to pull more because of the anxiety that I had this condition.
    So I decided to tell someone because it was suggested to be a good let out to talk about what you are going through and I told my brother, figured he is the most sensible person who is closest to my age but I got the WORST reaction possible from him. He dismissed it to be something merely a habit and that he had it too when he was in high school and that it went away in a year for him. He told me I need to change my own habits and that no one can help me. I was devastated as hell but decided to give it another shot and I told my boyfriend at that time. He told me that he does not know how to deal with someone with emotional instability and said that I should take a break from our relationship to figure this out. So we did, we took a break for 2 months and after which he told me that he wants to break up with me and I honestly do not remember why till date. At that point I was completely broken down and that was when I started drinking, going to night clubs, partying. I did have a few pull free months during that time because I was mostly hungover but the whole burden of being affected by Trich became lost and I gave in. I never made an effort to stop my urges even when I realized I was pulling. This went on for about a year and my urges for pulling had reduced because I focused on drinking, right from the afternoon after my classes at college were over for the day.
    In my final year I decided I want to take my life seriously and figure out my future and that was when I stopped drinking. It was hard but once I tried to become sober the pulling started again but this time I did not let it take the best of me. I took up a very challenging internship during my final year and I worked my ass off and even started getting paid for it as a part time employee. After graduating I joined the company full time and the workaholic that I became compensated for the hair pulling but it never stopped. The frequency of my pulling had reduced but I have never been pull free since.
    I quit my job in January of this year because I wanted to explore a different path and just a few weeks later I met with an accident and I had to have a knee surgery. The last 3 months have been very difficult because I have been in so much pain and the hair pulling distracts me from my leg pain. I am unable to make it stop and it has rapidly intensified. Plus with the lock down it is much harder to go out for some fresh air.

    Today I have decided that I want to start trying to go pull free. I started doing guided meditation a week ago and it has really helped. I have also started taking care of my hair and I cut bangs for myself, which means I have very less hair to cover the bald spots and hopefully that helps me not pull more of my hair.

    I hope you all are doing great and are safe during this time.
    I know I have rambled quite a bit but it feels really good to let it out. I even pulled some out in the nervousness of typing this.

    Have a great day.

  • My battle w/ this is going on 15+ years now, off and on. It grew out of acne, which I took Accutane for. Then as I began shaving, I discovered ingrown hairs, and that a hair could curl up and live inside your face under a zit. I became obsessed with popping them when they occurred, and any time I saw a potential in grown hair, I picked at it. Worse when I did shave & missed a tiny hair, I would be obsessed with removing it. When I do grow out my beard, which can still happen (more on that later), when I feel acne under a hair, I pick at that. I become enraptured finding hairs with puss follicles on the end, or acne inside. I’ve been taking biotin a lot over the past few years which does let the hair grow back. Now, I feel like ive hit rock bottom in my mid 30s with a new child. I don’t want him to see me like this. I think its anxiety driven, but I also take meds for ADD/ADHD which I think make me more anxious, tense. Its truly an idle hands are the devils play situation. I don’t want my child to see my face all picked over with hair missing and welts/wounds. Ive ordered some new topical products & pills to grow the beard back and even it back out. I know it’ll even out soon. I know that the sun will heal the scabs on my face, but you know skin cancer is a thing. This is my rock bottom, writing this and joining the forum. I need help. Ive tried stress balls and fidget toys, to little success. I need to break the sensory feeling of pulling a hair out of my face / popping a pimple. Any advice would help

  • I always thought I was the only one in the world that had this problem. I started pulling my eyebrows and eyelashes out over 20 years ago. I thought it was because I was in an abusive marriage and have high anxieties. I stopped after the divorce and I was so happy when the hair grew back but I just started again because I can't stand the feeling of mascara on my eyelashes. I was relieved to find out that not only am I not alone but there is a guilty pleasure in pulling and picking. I stumbled on this website and have found some good tips. I feel that either not wearing mascara or washing it off prior to watching a movie may tend to help me. I also feel that when I drink too much alcohol, I lose my sense and strength and pick more. Then I wake up hung over and upset from the self sabotage.

  • This fits any self-harming addiction........"Some things are hard to stop but harder to live with!"

  • edited September 2020
    Hi everyone,

    Here some tips that might help!

    Usually hair pulling comes from anxiety, so it is nice to self analyze what usually makes you anxious and be less self-demanding on these aspects: lets accept we can not always do everything as good as we would like to.

    Tip 1. Wear gloves always you can. Mostly while reading/ studying/ watching sth. Latex gloves are confortable, you can clean them as you wash your hands and u can still use your phone with them.
    If you need them in public and you dont want to tell about the real reason, just say that you are using some cream for your hands.

    *When you have the craving of hair pulling: with your gloves on, softly massage the area that triggers the pulling. You can also do this with coconut oil before washing your hair. The massage will stimulate hair growth and calm down the cravings.

    Tip 2. Do at least 10 minutes of mindfulness/meditation per day. You can look up on youtube: "body scan mindfulness" and pick up the video you like the most.
    Exercise, yoga or walking during the day can also help a lot.

    Tip 3. The most important tip: be kind to yourself and dont punish yourself whenever you dont fulfill your own expectations.

    If hair pulling interfere in your daily life, always visit a psychologist.
  • Thank you for the tips Leyre!

  • I'm new here. I started pulling my eyebrows and eyelashes out 2 years ago. I dont know why it started but it has. I just pulled most of my eyelashes out yesterday and im feeling really down and hate myself right now
    Im happy to see there are other people out there who have the same problem as me
    This is been really good to get off my chest, I've only told 1 person and my family keep badgering me to stop. I keep explaining to them that I just can't but.. i give up
  • Hi everyone
    My hair pulling started when i was 16 years old. And now i have been struggling with this for last 10 years. Initially it was not so severe but with time its getting worse.
    The max i have gone pull free is for 2 months.
    For a long time , i could not find what was issue with me and only recently i have found out that there are other people who are suffering from same issues as me. Most of my family and friends cannot understand why i pull my hair out(even i cant) . And at workspace i have been teased for having my hands always in my hair. Reading stories of people who have overcome this does make me helpful.
    Although i don't have any bald spots yet , but the fact that i can waste multiple hours in a day pulling out hair makes me guilty and restless.
    I have realised that boredom does trigger my hair pulling behaviour. I am working to manage this and hopefully will be successful in the same.

  • Welcome PS, and best of luck on your journey. There's lots of advice and support here on the forum and on our website :)

  • Hello Fellow Pullers. I wanted to write an update on my progress (or rather, lack there of) and I couldn't decide which discussion thread to add to! I didn't want to be a big 'downer' on those celebrating their own recent Pull Free Successes. I am so proud of them all, and find everyone to be so inspiring. But that being said, I'm in desperate need of a 'vent' session and want to get some of my recent failures off my chest. Maybe if I can let go of some of them, I can start with a clean slate (again).......
    Just a quick recap, I'm 51 and have been pulling for just shy of 40 years. Wow. I think in my very first post on this forum last year, I may have said that I had been pulling for 27+ years. But as I do the math again, it's closer to 40. How depressing. But I digress......

    Every day I have good intentions. Kinda like every day I promise myself I'm going to leave earlier for work and not be late......but then every day I fail. I tell my daughter that I'm not going to stop trying, just because I fail, but at this point, it's almost like an inside family joke. Everyone knows I'm going to be late, so therefore not too much is ever expected of me. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that pulling hair (scalp/eyebrows/eyelashes/nose/pubic) makes me feel better, and in that respect I'm not sure I WANT to stop completely. But when I look over the damage I've done the next day, it's THEN that I'm disappointed in myself and can't believe I'm a grown woman allowing this thing (TRICH) to get the better of me!

    I have tried many barrier methods (bandaids, gloves, hats, etc) and Fidget toys galore (cubes, rings, sensory brush, scalp massager and most recently a very handy fidget 'snake'). All these things work very well at first, but I either lose interest in them, or get lazy and don't put in the extra effort soon enough before my urges start.

    I will admit, since becoming more aware of my disorder, I do pull LESS than I have in previous years. I can sometimes go anywhere from 1-5 days pull free, but I always have to start over and start up again. My record is about two weeks, but at that point, I was thinking about NOT pulling so much, it was the ONLY thing I thought about. It was almost less stressful just to allow myself a pull session, than it was to continue to fight the urges.

    What is very interesting to me is ALL the reasons WHY I pull. I used to think is was only due to stress/anxiety/worry. But I'm discovering that this disorder is not that simple. Here's a description of my recent weeks & relapses.....

    Stressed, worried & anxious: I've been working on a monthly project that I'm responsible for completing at work as a part of my job duties. I cannot continue or start the new month until I finish the last one, correctly. I have been working on February's project since the first week of that month. It was very difficult to complete along with my other daily duties, and was very frustrating when I could not 'solve' the problem. Every 'pull night' seemed like a direct result of my daily job stress.

    Relieved, relaxed and reviewing: FINALLY this past Friday, the February project was completed correctly and I could move on to March. So relieved now, I felt that as I reviewed the past weeks in my brain, I almost needed a "reward" for all my hard work! The stress was now over and it was time to make myself feel pulling.

    Pulling to relieve pain (especially headaches): Not sure if this works because the pulling is a distraction, or it's simply the sensation the pulled hair creates, that makes my headache feel better?

    Pulling due to boredom: This one always gets me. Just watching TV, my hands always find their way to my head. This is when all my unconscious pulling happens. This session isn't about the way a single hair looks or feels; it's just about the motion that my hands/arms make while I'm busy doing something else (watching TV, reading my computer or phone). This type of session makes me feel the most discouraged and disappointed. If I would have just picked up a fidget toy or put bandaids on my fingers BEFORE I started, I could have saved so many hairs.

    Pulling to "even out" my overall head of hair: This one stems from some very serious OCD issues I have. The same reason I must always end on a zero when I fill up the gas tank of my car. The same reason the bowls in my kitchen cabinet must alternate colors while stacked (no two bowls of the same color should be next to each other; it just looks messy!) And the same reason all my pens & markers in my desk organizer must point in the same downward direction.....I could go on and on. When I say "even out" my hair, I now use both hands to comb through my hair and try to detect strands that are longer than the others. That hair, of course, needs to come out. This was my most recent (lengthy) pull session last night. I did not feel guilty after this one (I never do). This is just something that needed to be done, more of a "maintenance pull" and I actually felt like I had accomplished a task on my To Do list, like cutting my fingernails.

    Along those same lines of OCD pulling, I should add, pulling all single white hairs from my brunette head. They DEFINITELY do not belong, and often are unruly and don't lay with the rest of my hair. In addition to head hair maintenance pulling, I should add browsing for dark or wayward facial hair. Probably one of my favorite alone time activities. Give me a super bright light, a magnifying mirror and a sharp tweezers and I'm in HEAVEN!! A dark lip or chin hair, a stray eyebrow hair not in line with the others, or a single eyelash hair growing in the very corner of my eyelids where it's not supposed to grow; all these situations make me HAPPY that I have found and removed hairs that are out of place, or growing in a way that doesn't 'fit'.

    After rereading all my nonsense here, I'm really starting to believe my daughter when she jokingly calls me a "crazy old lady"! Even though it seems as if I'm justifying or excusing my pulling here, I think this post has been very therapeutic for me. I got a lot of 'baggage' off my chest tonight. I certainly didn't solve mine or anyone else's problems, but somehow I feel "cleaner", and washed of all the heaviness of my recent pull sessions. I'm going to restart my counter and try again. I will always try again. I will never give up. I have Trichotillomania, but it does NOT have me.

    Take care all & talk soon,

    SleepySloth :)

  • Hey @SleepySloth its good to have a vent! I believe you are still making progress. I had years of 'failure' before I had even a little success with my Trich. Its deff an individual journey. Also it is actually an OCD condition. So it makes sense if you have OCD in other ways, this is just body focused. I'm sending you PF vibes, I know you can achieve any goals you set for yourself! <3

  • Hi everyone,

    I am 27 and been pulling and rubbing my eyebrows for more than 10 years now. It got worse over time and I feel like I have tried almost everything but nothing worked long-term and my trich got even worse recently (I don't remember the last time I haven't pulled for one full day... sounds almost impossible to me). That's why I decided to look for a support group. I realized nobody around me really understands this, not even my family or my partner (the only ones I have ever spoken to about it). They think I can "just stop" and calling it a disorder is just an excuse, even though I tried to explain. Reading the posts in this forum is giving me hope that it's possible to get some empathy and even to stop altogether!

    Here are my 2 cents. All the things I've tried (fidget toys, trying to resist the urges and doing something else instead, setting a timer to try not to pull for some time) only had a temporary effect. Therapy has had some benefits, not in terms of the pulling itself, but it has helped me become more aware of my feelings (and trich is a way to cope with feelings, at least in my case). To overcome this I might need to work on myself as a whole - in other words, trich might just be the tip of an iceberg. It's not easy, but I am determined to keep trying.

    All the best,
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