Trichotillomania: Why Stress In Your Life May Lead To Hair Loss


Do you have irresistible urges to pull out your hair? Do you have so much stress in your life that the only solution is to do so, contributing to hair loss? If you do, you may have trichotillomania

About 5 to 10 million people in the United States suffer from trichotillomania (about 3.5%), as do 1 to 2 percent of the world’s population. In this post, you’ll learn more about what trich is, what causes it, and what kinds of people suffer from this disorder that leads to hair loss. 

What Is Trichotillomania? 

Feeling the urge to pull out your hair is very common. You’re upset with your kids, you’re studying for a test late at night, or you’re stuck in traffic for the umpteenth time. For some reason, when you have stress, you reach for your hair to pull it out, thinking that’s going to help something. 

However, having an urge to pull out your hair is not by itself trichotillomania. No, trich is a mental disorder, a condition where someone chronically cannot control the urge to pull out their hair.(1) The hair is usually on the scalp, but it can also come from the eyebrows or other parts of the body. 

Sufferers usually have the desire to stop but are compelled to continue. The compulsions are so strong that they are successful in pulling hair out of their body. Of course, this hair loss can lead to even more discomfort, social stress, and work failure. Trich sufferers often do whatever they can to cover the bald patches on their bodies. 

What Causes Trichotillomania? 

Researchers and experts have not reached a consensus on the cause of trichotillomania.(2) However, it’s likely it comes from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It’s also quite possible that it’s rooted in a change within your brain pathways, a neurochemical alteration.

First, you may have the disorder if someone in your family—especially a parent—suffers from the disorder. There’s evidence that genetics can play a role. 

Second, some environmental factors seem linked to trichotillomania. The most prominent one is the experience of stress. Anything from family, work, and social stress can lead to the disorder.

Who Suffers From Trichotillomania?

About 3.5% of the American population suffers from this mental disorder. Most of the time, it’s developed in children ages 10-13.(3) It slightly favors females more than males, although because baldness and hair loss is more acceptable in adult men, it’s difficult to know exactly what the gender breakdown is.

For most people, trichotillomania lasts anywhere from a few months to two decades. It also happens that the problems can come and go, with the symptoms worsening, improving, going away, and then recurring. 

If you feel like you may be suffering from trichotillomania, Custom Hair is here to help. Contact us today by clicking here.

Photo Credit: 1388843 Via Pixabay