What is Trichotillomania?

What is Trichotillomania?

Too many fears and stigmas presently surround mental health issues. However, today, we are going to rip the “band aid” off any myths, secrets, fears, and misconceptions, by boldly uncovering an important - though often unaddressed and undiscussed diagnosis called Trichotillomania, “TTM,” or “trich.”

While trich presents many serious socioemotional, physical, behavioral, and psychological challenges, we strongly reiterate that it won’t defeat people who suffer from it. Thus, we encourage you to learn why families and individuals should not suffer from trich in silence. We'll also give some basic external maintenance and beauty measures, such as human hair wigs for trichotillomania or trichotillomania hair pieces, to help you get back your confidence and re-store peace of mind. 

It's very important that those who do not have the disorder themselves, remember to treat sufferers from trich as people first, not merely labels, chart notes, or diagnoses. So let's start learning more about trich, like some of its common symptoms and probable causes. This helps us to gain greater awareness of its implications, strives for deeper empathy, and gives you some beauty ideas to help cope with Trich!

Trichotillomania Definition

Based on its complex spelling and pronunciation, Trichotillomania looks more like a word from the National Spelling Bee than an elusive diagnosis. Trichotillomania, also nicknamed “trich” or “TTM,” refers to a mental disorder. It’s also called “hair-pulling disorder,” since it's characterized by recurrent, impulsive, irresistible urges to pull hair from one’s scalp, eyelids, eyebrows, or hairs from other areas of one’s body, despite efforts to stop.

Studies classify it under Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders due to its habitual, often ritualistic nature. Trich.org states that 2 to 4% of the American population, or roughly 2 to 10 million Americans, suffer from it, so it is actually more common than we typically presume.

While its name might conjure images of Trix, that silly cereal rabbit, we assure you that it’s absolutely no joke! In fact, I live with it, like a suppressed secret that severs my heart bit by bit, making me feel absolutely helpless. My precious infant daughter has it at merely 18 months of age, after experiencing persistent ear infections for 15 months before finally having tubes. She likely resorted to hair-pulling to self-soothe her ear pain.

Hair Pulling Disorder

Many experts generally attribute the causes to emotional regulation problems, dermatological issues, and anxiety. For my daughter, it provided a way to manage negative, painful, or uncomfortable feelings. Similarly, trich often develops as a self-soothing, coping mechanism. My beautiful little blessing now has a bald spot the size of a mini Grand Canyon and continues to engage in the habit, despite our best parenting efforts: bonnets (yes, Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie throwback!), gloves, sensory toys, textured infant friendly gadgets galore, etc.

Psycom.net explains that many people often find hair-pulling as an escape or release from deep-rotted anxiety, guilt, shame, boredom, trauma, loneliness, fatigue, or frustration. While experts cannot pinpoint a single, universal cause of trich, they commonly cite a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Yes, more women than men are treated for trich overall (80 to 90% are female, according to Teen Vogue), but boys male teens, adult men, members of the LGBTQ community, and all other lifestyles, backgrounds, cultures, and demographics can develop it.

Solutions for Trich

If I had a dollar for every insensitive stare and odd comment about my daughter, I’d be lounging in Maui right now! Since this blog is not medical or psychological in scope, merely a place to better address, understand, and cope with trich from a fashion/beauty/ cosmetic perspective, we will equip you with ways to “trick Trich” aesthetically and take your life and confidence back, one wig, clip-in bang, or hairpiece at a time!

Wigs for Trichotillomania can have you feeling as trendy and fierce as Katy Perry, Olivia Munn, and Justin Timberlake, three of the most gorgeous celebrities, who also share the trich diagnosis. Emulate them and bring your sexy back! As the most common form of wearable hair, wigs can effortlessly boost your style, self-esteem, and fashion appeal for those with total or substantial hair loss. If you have fine, thinning hair or partial hair loss in certain areas and just need some extra coverage, Trichotillomania hair pieces provide that happy medium and alternative to full wigs. Get the best of both worlds, minus Miley Cyrus!

Next, trichotillomania hair pieces, not a phrase to utter three times without getting tongue-tied, provide extra coverage to conceal any isolated areas of hair loss and project an image of thicker, luxurious, and fuller hair. Think, Fabio but without the spray tan!

So take these tips to “trick Trich” and allow your inner and outer beauty to shine, from why are lace front wigs better to toppersfalls, half-wigs, synthetic wigs, human hair wigs, hair extensions, hats, covers, and more!

Read Next:

Life With Trichotillomania | Colleen's Tell-All Story

Will Wigs Boost My Self-Esteem?


Do you or someone you know have Trich? Tell us your story in the comments below!

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