I’ve dealt with trichotillomania/hair pulling disorder since I was eleven years old. I’m fifteen now, and I’m recovering better than I have before, hopefully this time. However, I know there are many, many people of all genders, all over the world who are still in the very rough parts of the disorder.
In fact, 1% of US citizens deal with trich. That may seem very minor, but if I have worked that out correctly (fingers crossed I have, maths is not my strong suit), that’s roughly three million one hundred eighty-nine thousand people. And that’s just in the US alone.
So, if you are one of those people, whether you’re in the states or not, here are a few ways that I have dealt with trich.
Some of these may also help if you’re dealing with dermatillomania (skin picking disorder.)
1) Making your hair look niceI’m naturally blonde, and my hair is curly and untame. I used to really love it before I started pulling it out, then whenever it was unbrushed, unwashed or plain messy, I would get itchy and uncomfortable. Looking good isn’t the main part of life, but once I dyed my hair a colour I liked and styled it how I liked it, I felt much less tempted to pull it out, simple because I felt it looked nice and belonged there.
2) Fiddle with other things
I found almost anything in proximity helped - hair ties, blu tac, pen caps, rubber bands. Anything you can roll between your hands. You can also buy things online like putty and fiddly toys that can help satisfy the need to tug and twiddle things.
3) Don’t look at things online related to hair
This might seem stupid given that is an article about it, but I found that videos online to do with hair often made mine feel so much more present. I could be watching a TV show where someone gets a haircut and suddenly I’ll have an itch to pull.
Looking at people who have recovered online can inspire you. I found before and after images of people who were nearing being bald to having amazing, lovely hair really made me determined to get better and love my hair.
Find (or even draw or imagine) a picture of your ideal hair. Then, use that as a sort of goal. So, whenever you go to pull, remind yourself of the hair you want, and eventually you can have such hair. For me personally, I want blue hair, and to get an undercut. I can’t currently have it because of school limitations, but I am determined to do it when I leave next year. I’ve grown my hair back enough to be able to do it, and it was probably my main reason for trying to recover.
I really hope this helps those of you dealing with trich and I wish you a well recovery.