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Dear Hair Loss

GET YOUR ANSWERS STRAIGHT FROM AN EXPERT

Partner Content HPIHair Partners

Article by Kimberly Vaughn

Photography by Provided

Dear Hair Loss,

I’ve had Trichotillomania since I was 9 years old, at the time I felt alone and wondered if there were other kids like me. I had a hard time finding resources for Trich. and for hair solutions. I later on met a lady who had female patterned baldness and wore hair, this intrigued me, I had NO idea this was an option. I wanted to know everything about the process. Questions that I had: Where do I begin to look for hair solutions? How is it done? Can I do everything normally (play/work out, wear a ponytail, ride a rollercoaster)? But my biggest concern when I decided to start wearing hair was “How do I explain my new look to my friends or others who know me?”. Dear Hair Loss what would your advice be for someone so young with these questions?

Dear Krissy:

Trichotillomania (hair pulling) is an extremely complicated repetitive behavior. The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors shares; about 1 or 2 in 50 people experience trichotillomania in their lifetime. It usually begins in late childhood/early puberty. In childhood, it occurs about equally in boys and girls. Hair pulling varies greatly in its severity, location on the body, and response to treatment. Without treatment, trichotillomania tends to be a chronic condition; that may come and go throughout a lifetime. The following link can be very helpful https://www.bfrb.org/learn-about-bfrbs/trichotillomania.

Advise to a loving care provider whether a mother, father, grandmother, brother, etc….be empathetic and listen! Those going through this behavior need our support, they do not need harsh judgmental sentiments, such as “just stop”, “you can control this if want to”, “don’t think about it”, etc. Your sweet little has a behavior that is either inherited or can be the offset of their temperament, environment, age, and/or family stress factors.

Yes, “wearing hair” as you mention or adding a hair enhancement to cover or conceal the picked/pulled area of the scalp can be extremely helpful. Understanding the reason’s leading to the behavior is where I recommend everyone to begin! Below is a local Nashville resources to consider:

www.nashvillepsych.com

Lastly, the answers to your questions are below:

  1. How is it done?  Many options exist. The enhancement can be attached directly to the skin or hair around or directly on top of the trigger areas of pulling. Yes, many times this is a multi-area treatment.
  2. Where do I begin to look for hair solutions?  Select hair replacement studios treatment trichotillomania.  Do your research, visit the studio, ask for personal references. If the studio has experience with this behavior, they should be more than willing to help you begin this journey with you. 
  3. Can I do everything normally (play/work out, wear a ponytail, ride a rollercoaster)?  Yes, is the simple answer! Solutions are available to help you maintain your “normal” life as you choose! 

This behavior is a rollercoaster within itself, the more you embrace and acknowledge this, the more at peace you can become with yourself and your new hair! 

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