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Understanding Trichotillomania

Stacey Soble | October 1, 2012 | 10:05 AM

Chances are someone you know—perhaps even a client or two—suffers from Trichotillomania, or Trich, the compulsive urge to pull out one’s one head hair, eyelashes, eyebrows or body hair. Sufferers often feel alienated due to the lack of knowledge about this condition.

HelpMe2Stop strives to educate both sufferers and the public, and serves as a bridge between the sufferers and beauty salon professionals. The organization wants the beauty industry to know that there are many Trich sufferers requesting salon services, but are too ashamed or don’t know who to contact so they can start on the road to recovery.

In honoring Trichotillomania Awareness Week, the not-profit HelpMe2Stop organization is encouraging salons nationwide to host events such as cut-a-thons, special offers, media meetings during the week of October 1-7, 2012.

Recognizing Trich

Like many compulsions, the exact origin of Trich is unknown. It often begins in the ‘tween’ years, but has been found in younger children, and can continue into adolescence, a period in life when appearance is most emphasized. A few of the symptoms include:

An uneven appearance to the hair or bald patches.

Constant tugging, pulling or twisting of hair.

Stubbly areas in the bare/bald spots.

Sense of relief, pleasure, or gratification after the hair pulling.

A sense of shame or guild when the damage is done.

People who have overcome Trichotillomania employ various methods to change their behavior, including hypnotherapy, various medications, natural/holistic wellness practices and salon treatments. People who suffer from Trich often pull only one hair at a time, and these hair pull episodes can last for hours at a time. Trichotillomania can go into relapse-like states where the individual may not experience the urge to ‘pull’ for days, weeks, months and even years.

For more information, contact HelpMe2Stop.org.

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