Eating Hair Disorder (Tricophagia)

There are people who might pull their hair and other people’s hair. This is known as trichotillomania. But there are also some people who might chew their own hair and even eat their hair. This is known as trichophagia. In some rare cases people who suffer from trichophagia will also eat the hairs of other people. This is considered to be a compulsive psychiatric disorder in medical field. This is the disorder which can also be related to trichotillomania.

In this disorder the person will not pull their hair instead they will eat and chew the hair and swallow it. The hair which is swallowed will stick in the stomach and will cause a lot of problems like diarrhea and cramping. It will come out through vomiting. When more hairs get stuck in the stomach then this will lead to the formation of hairballs. Sometimes surgery is necessary to remove these hair balls which are caused because of trichophagia.


This disorder can be caused by imbalance in the chemicals that are present in the brain. Also some stressful events can trigger eating hair disorder. If this is the cause then it can be treated with some antidepressants and also by arranging counseling for the person who suffers from it.


There are no particular symptoms which are related to eating hair disorder. The only thing is that swallowing the hair might lead to problems like gingivitis, vitamin deficiencies and gastro intestinal blockage due to hairballs. The people suffering from trichotillomania may sometimes eat their hair too and so trichotillomania can be considered to be another symptom for eating hair disorder. If any person is noted with the symptoms which are related to the disorder then necessary treatment should be administered after proper diagnosis.


The treatment which is recommended for the eating hair disorder will be similar to the one which is recommended for the impulsive control disorders. This disorder is believed to be caused by the imbalance in brain chemicals and so treating it with some drug therapy and psychotherapy is best. This disorder should be treated medically if there are more problems which are caused because of eating hair in great amounts. This can either be done surgically or with medication.

The hair balls which are formed in the stomach due to the eating of hair will cause many problems and sometimes they might also lead to death so immediate treatment should be administered. The eating hair disorder is more dangerous when compared to the trichotillomania so the disorder should not be taken lightly. The necessary treatment should be administered as soon as possible after consulting a doctor.

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