Pulling Out Hair Disorder (Trichotillomania)

Pulling hair disorder is formally known as trichotillomania. A person who has this disorder will always have the urge to pull their hair out of some common places the like eye brows, eye lashes, and scalp. This will generally result in bald patches and loss of hair in these places. This effect of the disorder varies from one person to another. For some it might be mild and for some it might be considerable.


The symptoms which are common for trichotillomania are:

  • Bald areas and loss of hair
  • Repeated pulling of hair
  • Missing and sparse eye lashes and eye brows.
  • Urge to pull hair which will result in satisfaction and relief
  • Playing with the hair which has been pulled out
  • Eating or chewing the hair that has been pulled out
  • Rubbing the pulled out hair on the lips and on the face.

People usually pull out their hair when they are alone or when they are involved in some sedative activity. Later they will try to hide the patches from others when they are in public.


The cause of trichotillomania is not yet known but many believe that it is caused by genetic and environmental factors. Apart from that researchers believe that it is caused by imbalance in the chemicals, which are present in the brain

Risk Factors

People who are between the age 11 and 13, people who have a family history of trichotillomania, people who have negative emotions, people who need positive reinforcement, and people who have other disorders like anxiety and attention deficit hyper activity disorder are more likely to develop this particular disorder.


Trichotillomania leads to many other issues in one’s life like emotional distress, social problems and skin damage and hair balls. In order to get rid of all these complications then the person should get the necessary treatment.


Before recommending treatment the doctor will carry out some diagnosis tests in order to confirm the disorder. Initially the doctor might question the patient in order to learn about their condition. Later the doctor might ask the patient to answer questions in a special questionnaire. Depending on the answers, the doctor will determine the treatment if the person is confirmed to have the condition.


There are many treatments available for trichotillomania. The best one is considered to be psychotherapy.


It is also known as habit reversal therapy. This therapy helps the person realize what situation they are in when they feel an urge to pull the hair out. Also other activities will be used in order to avoid the urge to pull out hair.

Apart from this therapy, some medication may also be prescribed for fast relief from the trichotillomania.

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