Hair pulling disorder | Trichotillomania

Some people can’t help themselves and pull their hair. This condition is called trichotillomania. The pulling of the hair can cause bald spots on your hair and destroy the hair follicles. What trichotillomania is, what the symptoms are and potential treatment for this type of hair loss is explained below, also we give you tips to try and help you stop pulling your hair.

Neofollics hair growth line


What is trichotillomania?

When you suffer from trichotillomania, you pull out your own hair on a daily basis. This usually happens on your scalp, eyebrows or eyelashes. It often happens on one spot on the head where baldness appears. The pulling of the hair can be caused by anxiety or stress, but it can also appear without any reason, for example if you are bored, calling on the phone or if you are waiting.

Some people cannot resist to combine trichotillomania with trichophagia, which is the compulsive eating of hair. This condition can result in hairballs in your stomach. In the worst case scenario it needs to be treated operationally.

People that pull out their hair sometimes decide to hide it, with caps, hats and other headgear, because they might feel a bit shame on their selves. But you don’t have to, because there are people that want to help you, so you don’t have to resolve this problem no your own.

Hair pulling disorder

What are the symptoms of trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania appears in 1 to 3% of the people in the world. It often appears with woman between the age of ten and thirteen. There can be periods in which it might appear more often than other periods. When even younger people, such as child’s are pulling their hair of it is often likely it will disappear in time.

The causes of the condition cannot be determined as once. It Is likely a combination of mutually influencing biological and educational factors. In short you can decide with the following factors below if you suffer from a hair pulling disorder or that you might suffer from something else

  • repetitive pulling of their hair, it can often happen without any awareness.
  • A sense of relief after pulling out hair.
  • inability to stop hair pulling, despite repeated attempts to stop
  • anxiety and stress related to hair pulling
  • trichophagia, eating of the hair
  • skin irritation or tangling
  • noticeable hair loss or bald patches due to hair pulling

Although there is no obvious solution to hair pulling disorder there are however, people trying to help solve this condition. In 2012 a study took place, in which habit reversal therapy (HRT), plays the main role. It is a type of behavioural therapy and works with several stages. Shortly, we will explain this for you: at first there is an awareness training, after that a competing response training takes place, than there need to some kind of motivation and compliance to keep triggering these people to follow this therapy. In the next phase relaxation takes place, to help reduce stress and associate hair pulling with this. In the last phase a generalization training teaches new skills in different situations.

Other hair loss causes

Not only pulling of the hair can cause hair loss. There are several conditions that can appear on your scalp and hair. The most common causes for hair loss are:

  • Androgenic alopecia this is by far the most common hair loss cause and happens gradually between all ages. Hereditary often plays the leading role in this and is seen as the most important factor.
  • Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack the hair follicles. This results into bald patches in your hair, that can range from small to large. In addition to losing hair on the scalp, some people with alopecia areata lose hair from their eyebrows, eyelashes or other parts of the body.
  • Telogen effluvium is a type of sudden hair loss that results from not using the right products, stress, hormonal changes or an illness.
  • Tinea capitis is a fungal infection that can affect the scalp and the hair shaft. It causes small bald patches that are scaly and itchy, also brittle hair breaks easy, the scalp is tender and the patches look red or grey.

Hair loss treatments

To make it more easy for you to choose the hair loss treatment that suits you best, we made a table with different types of hair loss, causes of hair loss and symptoms of hair loss. So, you can read at a glance what the best solution is for your problem


Alopecia areata treatment

Androgenetic alopecia treatment

Treatment for advanced hair loss

Treatment for moderate hair loss


Often due to an autoimmune disorder

Hereditary hair loss

Extreme hair loss, diffuse hair loss

Hair loss after pregnancy and also a receding hair line


Mostly bald patches in the hair.

A receding hairline and bald spots in men and also thinning hair along the crown of the scalp in women

Losing severe parts of your hair all over the scalp

Losing your hair temporary, because of stress or little medical conditions.


Alopecia areata

Androgenetic alopecia

Advanced hair loss

Moderate hair loss


A hair pulling disorder is also known under the name trichotillomania. Sometimes it appears by young people in combination with trichopagia, which is known as a condition in which you eat your own or other people their hairs. Against bove of these conditions there is not one proven particular cure. But people can try and help with your combat against hair loss.

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