Trichotillomania: Everything You Need to Know

Trichotillomania: Everything You Need to Know

Having the irresistible urge to pull out one's own hair is called Trichotillomania (TTM). It is most often associated with the pulling out of hair from the scalp but can extend to any part of the body including the eyelashes, eyebrows or anywhere else that is accessible. Trichotillomania - also known as hair-pulling disorder - can result in bald patches on the scalp making social, academic, and occupational activities a challenge.

Once considered an impulse control disorder, Trichotillomania has now been classified as an obsessive-compulsive disorder that more than 280 million people live with in the world today, with women being twice as likely to receive the diagnosis as men. Children can also experience TTM.

Symptoms of Trichotillomania

As with any obsessive-compulsive condition, those with trichotillomania will likely try to conceal this habit. Symptoms include:

  • Irresistible urge to pull at hair, especially the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or pubic areas.
  • A sense of pleasure when the hair is pulled out.
  • Biting, chewing, or eating pulled hair (trichophagy).
  • Noticeable hair loss such as shortened or thinning hair or patches of baldness.
  • Playing with pulled out hair.
    • Some individuals with TTM will also have urges to pick at skin and bite their nails.

It's important to note that TTM can vary from severe and chronic to mild and occasional.

There are some practical steps those with TTM can take to remedy the appearance of thinning hair or bald patches associated with TTM.

Treatments for Trichotillomania


Thinning hair or bald spots associated with TTM can be remedied with wigs and are not invasive. These solutions are also immediate, compared to lengthy treatments so you'll feel great immediately.
Today's wigs are more advanced than those of the past and can provide you with immediate added confidence with low maintenance and flexibility.


As with wigs, extensions can provide beautiful results with very little time and effort and there are many different styles available. Adding volume and length to your hair is a great way to conceal the affects of TTM.

Laser Hair Therapy

Involves the use of low-level laser technology to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles, improving the texture of the hair and inducing regrowth, with minimal side effects.

Hair Restoration Systems

Topical Treatments - sometimes used in conjunction with additional treatments - can help your hair regrow and become thicker and fuller.

Risks Associated with TTM

Repeated pulling out of the hair can result in many different things, including:

  • Infections of the skin or at the root of the hair.
  • Permanent hair loss.
  • Gastrointestinal problems (in cases of trichophagy).
  • Lower self-esteem.
  • Increased isolation.
  • Difficulty navigating through school, work, or social events.

The first step towards healing from TTM is to receive the best treatment for yourself and, as with any such condition, this can be very unique for each individual. Ask questions and get to know the possibilities so you can commit to the right treatment options for you.

Treatment for Trichotillomania

There is no known cause for TTM although some experts have reported that those with the condition are commonly experiencing some other condition such as depression or anxiety that compels them to pull out their hair.

Meanwhile, if you or someone you love is working through healing, there are plenty of ways that New Image Hair Clinic can help to augment their treatments. Whether with the use of fine, high-quality wigs or more in-depth, permanent treatments, we can help you restore your self-esteem with an array of products and services.

We invite you to contact us today to see how we can work with you to get you feel better, stronger, and more powerful.


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