Trichotillomania is a psychological condition where an individual compulsively pulls out scalp hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard hair, or body hair unconsciously.
Certified trichologist and Advanced Trichology founder William Gaunitz, FWTS, has worked extensively with clients who are diagnosed with trichotillomania.
He shared with Forbes Health that he’s even interacted with clients who did not fully understand why it was happening because they did not realize they were pulling their hair out.
Unlike other types of hair loss where there are distinct patterns, the primary symptom of trichotillomania is an unexplained and totally out-of-pattern irregular-shaped hair loss typically on the scalp that could include eyebrows, scalp hair, or facial hair. This can be noticeable breakage or hair loss in the areas of concern as well as other compulsive hair behaviors including chewing on hair or eating their hair.
Trichotillomania stems from an obsessive-compulsive disorder that is complicated by stress factors, genetics, and lifestyle factors.
Recently researchers have discovered a link between low vitamin D3 and genetics that may increase your susceptibility to the condition. Additionally, people who unconsciously play with their hair such as spiraling their hair around their finger, rolling it up in a ball, or putting hair in their mouth may also have a higher propensity for trichotillomania.
Trichotillomania can be maintained with regular counseling and potential medications. If you suspect you may be experiencing trichotillomania, reach out to your primary care doctor to help get referrals to appropriate specialists.