happy with where she is with Trichotillomania now
don’t remember exactly when my hair pulling started.
I do remember it didn’t start with my scalp – it started, I think, when I was about 14 by plucking the hairs from my big toes – I hated the thought of having hairy toes.
It progressed to my eyelashes, bottom lids only. It just felt nice, and then I didn’t like to see stray lashes, so would pull them out. My best friend noticed and just thought it was odd, but I never spoke to her properly about what I was doing.
The progression to my scalp came when I started revising for my exams at 16, and got my trichotillomania grew progressively worse through my A Levels. I liked the sensations – especially when I found a hair that didn’t feel like it should be there. It was a bonus if the follicle came out too – I’d separate that from the hair, but never eat it as I know some people do.
My brother, who is an awful lot taller than me, would tease me and tell me I was going bald. My hairdresser constantly questioned why I had stumpy bits at the side of my head, as did my Mum when she blow dried my hair. I said it was from me “playing with my hair”, and breaking it.
At Uni, my flatmates would catch me at it, mention I was going bald, and find hair EVERYWHERE.. there was never anyone I felt I could talk to about it. I shrugged it off as a habit.
At about the age of 17/18, I would pluck from my underarms, eyebrows and bikini line – just removing hair from anywhere.
Finally, at the age of 23 I stopped – almost. I got together with my boyfriend, and when I started to realise the relationship was becoming rather serious I desperately wanted a full head of beautiful, healthy hair like I once had. In the back of my mind lurked the thought that if I ever had a wedding day, I would want the hairdresser not to have to compensate for my bald patches or clumpy bits.
For two and half years I have not pulled … from my scalp at any rate. I stil have a small problem with one eyelid, and I can’t ditch the tweezers for my underarms, toes, and bikini line – but they’re generally places where you don’t want hair anyway, so I’m comfortable with that for the moment.
My boyfriend was the first person I ever told about my Trichotillomania, and he’s been amazingly supportive. It’s also helped me to talk to a few of my best friends about it – and they now say they could see I had a problem, but were never sure what to say to me.
Thank you for letting me voice my story – and hope I can be a help to somone else.
Kat (my username on the Interactive Site was Feline)