How do I stop compulsively pulling my beard hair?
April 30, 2007 10:39 AM Subscribe
I've always had a problem with pulling my beard hair out similar to other people's problems with biting their fingernails. This sort of behavior also runs in my family. What can I do to stop?
posted by JacksonEsquire to health & fitness (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Almost since I've been able to grow facial hair, I've had a problem with pulling it out. I tend to do it in small areas until it's almost completely bald, and then move onto another small area. From what I've heard, my habit is similar to fingernail biting. A few things/quirks about it:
1. It runs in my family. My oldest sister has a problem with pulling out her head hair, and my middle sister has a problem with pulling out her eyelashes. I asked my parents about it and supposed my father used to pull out his mustache hair, but just grew out of the habit.
2. I tend to have the biggest problem of it when I'm idle. For example, It's especially bad at work (I'm an engineer, mostly in the office) while my mind is working but my hands are free. Both my sister's pulling habits are related to stress and anxiety, but I don't think my habit is. The only common exception is when I get stressed out while driving.
3. I'm completely oblivious about it while I'm doing it. All of a sudden I will snap out of "the zone" and realize there's a pile of beard hairs on my shirt.
I've tried just keeping my hands busy, but since it's an unconscious thing, I'll unknowingly stop what I was doing and start pulling it. Also, I've gone beardless a couple times (for a week or two) in the past few years, and during that time, I didn't do anything to "replace" the beard-pulling habit (such as pulling on other hair).
I know that I could see someone about it, but I'd rather avoid spending the time/money on what is essentially a cosmetic issue. My oldest sister's habit got better when she saw a psychiatrist about her high anxiety and almost bipolar-like behavior. However, like I said, I don't think my habit is linked to anxiety.
Is there anything I can try to help curtail it? Is it common for it to run in the family? Why do I do it in the first place?