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Trichotillomania - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania also known as hair pulling disorder can be a hindrance to a person’s psyche. The mental health disorder makes it irresistible to recurrently pull hair out from the eyebrows, scalp and other body parts, despite wanting to stop. Pulling out hair from your scalp can often leave bald patchy spots, which cause a lot of distress and can hamper work or social functioning. People affected with trichotillomania often try everything to hide the hair loss. Some people affected with trichotillomania might have a milder form of this disorder which can be managed well. In others, the hair pulling urge gets compulsive and is overwhelming. Some treatments are there which help people reduce pulling their hair or even stop it completely. If hair pulling becomes compulsive or you are embarrassed of your looks because of the disorder, then consult your doctor. People often think of trichotillomania as a habit, and nullify it as a mental health problem. What causes trichotillomania is not known. Like most complicated disorders it probably stems from environmental and genetic factors.

The following factors increase predisposition to trichotillomania:

Age- Trichotillomania generally develops during or before the early teenage years. Often it is a lifelong problem. Infants may also develop urges to pull their hair, but this generally is mild and gets cured without requiring treatment.

Family history- Trichotillomania can be hereditary as genetics might increase the chances of having this disorder.

Other disorders- Those having trichotillomania might be affected by other disorders like OCD, anxiety and depression.

Stress- Trichotillomania might get triggered due to stressful events or situations.

A lot more women seek treatment for trichotillomania as compared to men. This might be attributed to the fact that women in general seek medical help more than men do. Girls and boys are equally affected by this disorder in their childhood.


Trichotillomania negatively affect your life in many respects. Complications might include:

Problems Functioning- Embarrassment due to hair loss might make you avoid job opportunities and social activities. People having trichotillomania wear wigs, wear their hair differently or sport fake eyelashes. Some might abstain from intimacy, fearing that the condition will get revealed.

Emotional Distress- Many individuals having trichotillomania admit feeling embarrassed, ashamed or humiliated. They might have anxiety, depression or poor self-esteem.

Hairballs- Consuming your own hair might result in a matted large hairball formation in the digestive tract. Over the years, it might result in vomiting, weight loss, intestinal blockage and ultimately death.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required
Hair pulling Low self-esteem

Popular Health Tips

10 Ways To Manage Trichotillomania Effectively!

Trichologist, Mumbai
10 Ways To Manage Trichotillomania Effectively!

Trichotillomania is a condition that urges a person to pull out hair from eyebrow, scalp and other parts of the body. This can lead to bald spots and several other complications in the body. Compulsive hair-pulling often starts in the teenage years.

Trichotillomania coupled with depression can lead to social and work-related impairment in a person. Hair-pulling, therefore, is a serious condition that a person should get rid of. Here is a list of 10 ways to manage trichotillomania effectively:

  1. A plan to stop trichotillomania: It is important to notice when the urge of pulling the hair starts. Once this is being identified, it is time to interrupt the chain of feelings and listen to positive reminders in the head. Keeping a journal to note down the timings of hair-pull can help to identify a pattern. The time chart can then be used to keep one engaged.
  2. Eliminate stress: It has been found that stress plays a pivotal role in hair-pull. It is, therefore, wise to prepare a list of activities that can cause stress. Once the list is prepared, each activity can then be analyzed individually and tackle accordingly. Thus, hair-pulling can be avoided.
  3. Muscle relaxation: This is another method to release stress and refrain from trichotillomania. All it requires is to tighten the muscle for 5 seconds and then make the muscles loose. It reduces muscle tension and relaxes the body.
  4. Think positive: Negative thinking is certainly one reason for hair-pull. Refraining from the fear of failure, negative thinking, too-much critical thinking etc. can help a person stay away from tension and eschew the habit of hair-pull every now and then.
  5. Try Exercise: Various studies have shown that regular exercise regimen can go a long way in cutting down the tendency to pull hair. With exercise, the body produces an increased number of endorphins. The latter is believed to be the hormone that results in positive thinking.
  6. Get sleep: Getting enough sleep is another crucial step towards eliminating Trichotillomania. Eight hours of sleep is crucial for the body to function properly. It fuels the body with enough energy and positive thought to sail through the day without having the urge to pull-hair.
  7. Talk it out: It has been found that talking it out can help a great deal to reduce the tendency of hair-pull. It makes sense to talk to close friends, family, and relatives about the apprehension and other negative news that may be bothering an individual.
  8. Consult a health professional: A doctor is the best bet when the disorder has been persistent for a long time. He can give sound counsel on the ways to cope up with the disorder and chart out a plan to get permanent relief from the condition.
  9. Medication: If a doctor feels that the condition has surpassed the state of habits and lifestyle changes, he might prescribe drugs to reduce the symptoms and get relief from depression, anxiety, fluctuating emotions resulting in less pulling of hair. Some of the common medicines that are prescribed by medical professionals include Olanzapine, Fluoxetine, and Aripiprazole.
  10. Find a support group: For those who are not willing to take a bet on doctors and medications, one best way to eliminate this condition is to join a self-help group. They act as a learning center and can greatly help to cut down the habit of hair-pulling.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2756 people found this helpful

Healthy Hair: 7 Habits to Keep it!

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Panipat
Healthy Hair: 7 Habits to Keep it!

Healthy, luscious hair is what everyone wants. But for maintaining healthy hair, a good brand of shampoo is not enough on its own. One needs to inculcate certain habits and avoid other ones in order to keep their hair healthy.

Here are 7 tips to how you can keep your hair healthy. Read on more to find out all about it. 

  1. Regular Haircuts: Avoiding regular haircuts is actually detrimental for healthy hair. In order to grow long hair regular haircuts are much needed as otherwise the ends would split and dry. Regular trimming reduces the chance of breakage and split ends and you should go for a trim once every 6 to 8 weeks.
  2. Keep it natural: Keeping your hair in its natural way is the best way to keep it healthy. Although doing that during the week could be a problem if you have long hair, specialists recommend that you keep your hair 'on rest' during the weekend. This includes letting it dry naturally, not using styling products and avoiding using headbands or tying up your hair in ponytails.
  3. Scalp care: If regular shampoo use is not stopping you from scratching your head, consult a doctor. Itches tend to traumatize the scalp, which weakens the roots of the hair follicles.
  4. Eat healthy and take in a lot of protein: Eating healthily and making sure that a healthy amount of protein finds its way in your diet is another sure shot way of maintaining healthy hair. Iron is another mineral required, which helps you to maintain those luscious locks.
  5. Try avoid hot tools: Blowing your hair dry sure makes it dry faster, but it also takes away the natural moisture making it dry. If you have to use blow dryers, use them at a cooler setting and turn them at a lower velocity. This might take more of your time but it keeps your hair healthy as well.
  6. Deep condition: Go for a deep conditioner once every week as this keeps your hair both hydrated and healthy.
  7. Wear hats: If you are going out in the sun a lot, wear hats as they prevent the scorching heat of the sun from sapping all the moisture from your hair. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.
2802 people found this helpful

Hypothyroidism - Symptoms + Homeopathic Remedies

BHMS, MD-Homeopathy, PGPC - Preventive Cardiology
Homeopath, Delhi
Hypothyroidism - Symptoms + Homeopathic Remedies

Hormones are chemicals produced by the body for optimal functioning of the various body systems. The thyroid produces thyroxin which controls body metabolism, and reduced levels affect metabolism. Deficiency of Iodine is the cause behind it as it is required by the body to produce thyroxin. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disorder is another cause.

Some common signs of it are extreme fatigue, intolerance to cold, constipation, puffy face, hoarseness of voice, increased cholesterol level, weight gain, muscle and joint pains and aches, altered menstruation and depression are some of the common symptoms. 

Homeopathy has some very good remedies that are aimed at managing the person as a whole and not just the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

  1. Calcarea Carbonica: The most common and popular homeopathic medicine, it is useful in patients who present with the following symptoms.
    • Intolerance to cold
    • Fat, flabby, fair person
    • Excessive sweating on the head
    • Peculiar food habits including craving for eggs, chalk, pencils, lime,
    • Aversion to fatty food substances
    • Constipation i.e. first part of stool is hard followed by softer stools
    • Excessive menstruation, prolonged and occurs earlier than the regular date, almost always associated with cold feet
  2. Sepia Officinalis: Another significant remedy, Sepia is used when the patient has the following symptoms.
    • Weak, pale yellow, tend to faint easily in cold temperatures
    • Extreme intolerance to cold, even in a warm room
    • Irritable, indifferent
    • Significant hair loss
    • Excessive menstruation, occurs earlier than schedule, along with a bearing down feeling that the pelvic organs will pop out through the vagina, and so she always prefers to sit cross-legged
    • Constipation i.e. stool is passed out as small balls that is painful to pass
    • Craving for pickles and acidic food stuffs
  3. Lycopodium Clavatum: Symptoms of patients in whom Lycopodium will be used are as follows:
    • Emotionally irritable and physically weak
    • Yellow face with blue circles around eyes
    • Excessive hair fall
    • Craving for hot foods and sweets
    • Gastric troubles with excessive flatulence
    • Acidity that worsens after eating starchy foods, especially in the evenings
    • Constipation with hard, painful, incomplete stooling
  4. Graphites: Presenting symptoms where Graphites is mainly used include:
    • Obesity
    • Intolerance to cold
    • Depressed emotionally, timid, indecisive, weeps listening to music
    • Bloated, gassy abdomen
    • Chronic constipation with hard, painful stooling process
  5. Nux Vomica: The patient in whom Nux Vomica can produce wonderful results presents with the following symptoms:
    • Cold to the touch
    • Extremely temperamental, gets offended easily, extremely sensitive
    • Chronic constipation with scanty stools and a chronic urge to pass stools
    • Gassy, bloated feeling in the stomach
    • Desire for alcohol, caffeine, and other stimulations; fatty and spicy foods
    • Prolonged excessive menstruation

These are commonly used remedies; however, a detailed discussion with a homeopath is essential to zero in on the remedy that will work best for you.

5657 people found this helpful

Hair Transplant- 5 Things When It's A Must

Trichologist, Mumbai
Hair Transplant- 5 Things When It's A Must

Hair transplant is a surgical procedure where hair is surgically implanted on the head. You can opt for this procedure, if you suffer from hair loss and bald spots on your head. The surgery comprises of shifting hair follicles from one part of the head to another. Mostly, hair follicles from back of the head are relocated to the balding areas.

The reasons when you can opt for a hair transplant are

  1. Involutional alopecia: It is a form of alopecia where the hair growth tends to decrease due to ageing resulting in thinning and shorter hair. The follicles remain in the telogen phase (resting phase) for an extended amount of time. You may opt for a hair transplant surgery to correct this disorder.
  2. Male pattern baldness (Androgenic alopecia): Androgenic alopecia is a condition which is characterized by a gradual receding hairline, especially along the temples. This is caused due to the testosterone hormone being converted in to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which causes shrinking of the hair follicles. If you are affected by male pattern baldness, then you may opt for a hair transplant surgery.
  3. Female pattern baldness: Females may also be affected by baldness which is characterized by loss of hair from the top of the head and gradual thinning of hair. It may lead to self-esteem issues; so opting for a hair transplant surgery is recommended.
  4. Traction alopecia: This type of hair loss occurs due to exertion of external pressure on the hair which may cause it to fall. If the hair does not grow back then it would result in a bald patch. Thus you may opt for a hair transplant procedure if you suffer from this disorder and experience loss of hair.
  5. Trichotillomania: This is a psychological condition where a person pulls out his/her hair. If excessive hair is lost resulting in bald spots, then you may opt for hair transplant surgery. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.
2668 people found this helpful

Weight Gain in PCOS

BHSC in Dietetics, Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Science and Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Weight Gain in PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Polycystic means “many cysts,” and PCOS often causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. PCOS affects one in 4 women.

What are the causes behind it?
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, doctors believe that hormonal imbalances and genetics play a role. Women are more likely to develop PCOS if their mother or sister also has the condition.
Overproduction of the hormone androgen may be another contributing factor. Androgen is a male sex hormone that women’s bodies also produce. 

PCOS Symptoms
PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS that one patient experiences can be very different from the symptoms of another patient. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, you need to have a thorough checkup to determine if you need PCOS treatment:

  • Irregular or missing menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist
  • Skin problems, including skin tags, darkening skin and acne

Does PCOS increase weight?
The answer is a ‘YES’. Most PCOS patients are overweight and are asked to exercise which helps control the symptoms but a lot many people have a completely normal body type.

What are the risks associated with PCOS-related weight gain?
No matter what the cause, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Infertility
  • Endometrial cancer

Many of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack than women of the same age without the condition.

Benefit of Weight Loss with PCOS

Modest weight loss will not cure PCOS, but it will help. Weight loss can restore the normal function of the ovaries and result in normal hormone production. This may, in turn, lead to improvements in symptoms of PCOS, such as excess hair growth, acne or scalp hair loss.

Protect Yourself From Weight Gain

  • Eat Right: A healthy diet low in complex carbohydrates, moderate protein and low fat is important, as this can help regulate blood sugar levels. 
  • Exercise: Start doing low-to-moderate activities like walking or swimming for 30-to-90 minutes per day because exercise (even without weight loss) has been shown to lower or get rid of insulin resistance.
  • Lose Weight: The more overweight you are the more likely you are to be insulin resistant whether you have PCOS or not. Losing just 5% of your bodyweight will help lower your insulin resistance.
  • Avoid Stress: Don’t over stress yourself as it increases the blood pressure level in your body and can’t help to resist with PCOS. So, try to stay as calm as possible.
  • Get more sleep (at least 7-to-9 hours in a day): Not getting enough sleep can also make your insulin resistance worse, which in turn acquires you the weight.


  • Cereals: Barley, quinoa, oats, oatmeal, muesli, bran flakes, whole wheat porridge, brown rice, multigrain bread
  • Pulses: Yellow moong, green moong, chana dal, beans, whole pulses
  • Dairy products: Skimmed or toned milk, soy milk, tofu, paneer, yogurt
  • Fruits: Berries, plums, peaches, oranges, papaya, pears, watermelons, apples
  • Nuts: Walnut, almonds, flaxseeds
  • Vegetables: Carrots, peas, broccoli, lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cauliflower, celery, spinach

    If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.

3175 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I do regular oiling. Even eat healthy but hair fall is going sick.Please suggest me something for that.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
It is normal to lose 50-100 hairs everyday and it will be normally replaced. You should not use shampoo and apply oil on scalp (do not wash it with soap or shampoo 0 and massage. Eat good balanced diet, Multivitamins and Zinc tablets.
2 people found this helpful

Hi my age is 23 and my 40% of hairs a getting white and do not use and alcohol cigarette. I use to avoid junk food oily food and I luv my body so I jst eat well but I do not why but my hairs are getting white and never use and gel. So pls suggest me any thing I can do anything to turn my hairs black again .pls subject me some thing.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Dermatology, Senior Research Fellowship, Senior Residency AIIMS, New Delhi
Dermatologist, Delhi
Hi. Premature greying can be linked to some nutritional deficiencies in the blood. Please get the following tests done and get back to me. Serum Hb Ferritin B12 Zinc Calcium Fasting lipid profile Looking forward to hear from you.
3 people found this helpful

Sir/ma'am, I am 19 years old male, these days I notice there's increased hair fall. I wash my hair daily with soap and daily apply coconut oil. When I rub my hair during shower I can see many hair follicles on slab of soap. This hair fall was not before. But since few days it's increasing. Please do suggest me what to eat so that I shouldn't have hair fall. And how to take care of hair.

MD - Homeopathy
Homeopath, Aurangabad
Hair fall is common now a days. Due to stress and eating habits. And some illness, like anemia, thyroid and hereditary problems. Take following homoeo medicine. Acid hydroflouric 30 (30 ml sbl company). 1 drop 3 times per day x 14 days on tongue. Do not take anything 15 min before after medicine. ALSO use arnica montana Q 30 ml + 100 ml pure coconut oil mix and use before wash twice weekly. Use arnica homoeopathic shampoo take plenty water 3 to 4 liters per day. Eat proper food, carbohydrate, protein, minerals, fruits. Avoid outer food. you may contact me on this site. And check my package and get customized medicines.

Hi I am having hair loss for the last couple of months more than regular. I have not changed my eating habits .Yet every time I oil or shampoo my hair their is hair fall what can I do.

General Physician, Delhi
Hair fall can be due to weather change Avoid washing your hairs daily as it can cause your hair to become dry which leads to excessive hairfall. Washing twice a week is fine. You can use SHAMPOO SELSUN twice weekly. Apply it on scalp leave it for 15 min and wash it off. Keep your scalp clean, avoid them from pollution. You can try these: 1) Boil the dried Indian gooseberries in coconut oil till the oil turns black. Wait for it to cool, and then massage your scalp with this oil. Leave it on for about 20 minutes, and then shampoo as usual. 2) A balanced diet goes a long way in maintaining the overall health, including hair health. To combat hair fall, it is important to incorporate a balanced diet. 3) avoid stress 4) exercise regularly 5) stay hydrated 6) keep your scalp clean. Usually 100 hairs falling in a day is considered to be normal .Hairfall is the most common problem people are suffering from. Hair fall can be due to various reasons like dandruff, thyroid dysfunction, anemia, stress, nutritional deficiency, your skin is also affected because of the same reason listed above. So get yourself investigated to rule out any underlying pathology. To treat dandruff.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Trichotillomania?

The following factors increase predisposition to trichotillomania:


Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice