Supporting a Loved One with Trichotillomania

It doesn’t matter who it is, whether your daughter, sibling, partner, or friend; if they are suffering with Trichotillomania, they need your support, but that in and of itself can be a challenge; even more so if you don’t understand what is happening. For many of us, we try and help by offering advice, but without a clear understanding of the situation, that advice may only frustrate an individual with trichotillomania and that can make them feel helpless.

There are some important guidelines you should follow so you better understand what the person you care about is going through. Trichotillomania is a hair pulling disorder, and this is how you can help them and give them the encouragement that need in a positive way.

  1. If you don’t fully understand trichotillomania, that is okay; just don’t pretend that you do. Just listening without making suggestions or giving your advice can be enough. You can be there for that person emotionally with praises, hugs, and acceptance. There are more individuals affected by trichotillomania than most people think. If someone you care about has this disorder they are not crazy, there are many that fall into a more broad category called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
  2. Believe me, if those with Trich could stop, they would. Many people with trichotillomania hate hearing the question, “Why don’t you just stop?” Asking this question may make your loved one feel that there is something wrong with them. This can lead to more frustration and can exacerbate the situation.
  3. Hair pulling can be a way of life those inflected by it. There will be days when the signs are minimal and others where they are rampant and without warning.
  4. Do not be the hair pulling police! Hair pulling occurs for the most part as something that happens on a subconscious level. By speaking up every time your loved one starts to pull their hair, you might feel like you’re helping, but actually what you are doing is causing more harm. It can eventually put a strain on your relationship, as over time they begin to view you as a negative person inflecting shame and guilt upon them.

The question remains as to just what you should do if you see a loved one pulling. The best thing could be as simple as a distraction. Try handing them a cup of tea. Trying to engage their brain can for many, stop the subconscious hair pulling. Perhaps invite them for a walk. Getting them out or just moving around can often help. Activities like reading and watching TV can be triggers for hair pulling. Playing chess, computer games or anything that involves the use of hand are great activities. Boredom can be a bad thing for those with this disorder, but helping them to be active and getting them interested in things can be a big help to them.

Why am I Bald? What is Hair Replacement?

Receding hairlines are something people have been dealing with for centuries. Ceasar would comb his hair forward to hide his hair loss. A full head of hair has always been associated with being young. Those with hair loss at some point always wonder if anything can be done to restore their hair so they can hold onto their youthful look. For must of us, we have 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles on our head. Scientists have been studying how to re-grow hair, but there is still a lot of research to be done.

The Causes of Baldness

Male pattern baldness is one term used to describe baldness issues. Women also can suffer from this as well, usually referred to as female pattern baldness for women. For men with male pattern baldness, usually this is linked to sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Some people have hair follicles that are sensitive to this particular hormone. This sensitivity can be due to their genetics. Male pattern baldness can run in a family’s history. If you are worried whether you might suffer from male pattern baldness, just go through some old family photos and see if members of your family have hair loss. This can be an indicator of any hair loss you could expect. Hair loss is usually gradual and it starts slowly by first growing shorter and becoming more wispy. There are of course other causes of hair loss.

Hair Loss as a Stress Symptom

Grey hair and hair loss can happen for different reasons and stress is one of them. Our bodies react to extreme stress and one way is through our hair follicles. Every hair follicle has three distinct phases:

  • Anogen: the growth phase
  • Catagen: the transitional phase
  • Telogen: the resting phase

During the anogen stage, your hair may grow a centimeter a month or more. This stage can go on for two to seven years. As your hair follicles enter into the catagen stage, your hair follicles begin to shrink. This will cause your hair to get shorter and thinner. As your follicles enter into the telogen state, your hair will begin to fall out. These three stages are not an uncommon process. Every follicle goes through this same process but not all at once. There is only about 10 percent of your hair that is in the catagen or telogen stage at any one time. Extreme stress has such an impact that is can cause a much larger percentage of your hair to enter into the catagen and telogen stages, which results in you losing more hair than normal.

Leave No Hair Behind

If you have thinning hair or find you wear hats to cover your bald head, then you should know that there are treatments available. At Tosi Hair Replacement Clinic we offer the latest in non-surgical, non-invasive hair loss treatments for both men and women.

Hair Loss: Four Common Misconceptions

Wearing a hat can cause hair loss.
This is not exactly correct as its not as much the wearing of a hat that can cause hair loss as it is the person wearing the hat. Hair loss can happen in two ways, the first being, if the hat being worn is too tight that it constricts blood flow to the hair follicles. This could cause some hair shedding sooner that without what have. Second, wearing a hat for an extended amount of time in hot, humid weather can lead to sebum plugs. Heat and humidity can bring sebum, our own body’s built-in lubricant, out of our scalp. If the sebum has time to react with cholesterol, it forms a plug that can asphyxiate our hair follicles.

Cutting hair makes it grow thicker.
Our hair is thicker at the base than it is at the tip. When you get your hair cut it can appear that your hair is thicker because the tapered ends have been cut off. It is simply an optical illusion and a good hairstylist can create this illusion my making the most of your hair type.

It is possible to increase the amount of hair I have.
This is simply not true. There is a common misconception especially for those that are looking into hair transplants. A hair transplant is really more of a hair transfer. Healthy strands of hair are transplanted from the donor area of the scalp to the areas when the most thinning is occurring. The number of hair follicles you were born with is still the number you have even after a hair transplant. Things like drugs, herbs, vitamins, and good nutrition may make your hair look healthier and thicker but the number if hair follicles you have will remain the same.

Hair loss comes from your mother’s side.
This is not necessarily true. If you are genetically predisposed to hair loss, then it could come from your mother’s or father’s side, and even both. You came into this world with two copies of genetic information that determine whether your hair will stay or if it will fall out. If you get one gene for ‘hair loss’ and another for ‘hair stays’ the hair loss gene will win out and this is because the hair loss gene is the dominate trait. The dominate hair loss gene could come from either your father or mother.