I need help recovering from trichotillomania. Tips?
November 7, 2011 3:34 PM   Subscribe

I need help recovering from trichotillomania. Tips?

Over the past few months, I developed trichotillomania. I don't have dramatic bald patches, but my hair has thinned out in the back, and depending on where I part my hair, there are noticeable tiny patches where the hair is much thinner. I also have broken shorter strands of hair all over the place.

Now that I am recovering and pulling much less, what can I do to help soothe my irritated scalp/help my hair grow back/tame the crazy hair that I do have? Products/tips/other suggestions?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There's nothing you can do to make your hair grow back faster. You may want to consult with a hair stylist to see if there's a cut or style that could minimize the patchy appearance.

Good luck. My sister dealt with it for years--I'm glad you are on the road to recovery.
posted by elizeh at 3:40 PM on November 7, 2011

Take a good multivitamin, and add biotin. I've heard eleventy billion people swear on biotin to hasten/improve growth of their hair & nails. Personally, I found that taking a multivitamin with a small amount of iron helped me much more. Good luck!
posted by kellyblah at 3:50 PM on November 7, 2011

I had trichotillomania as a kid.

Re: Growing back, you just have to wait. And wait. And wait. My hair grows fast, but it still took months for that patch to even start sprouting.

I just wore a hat until my hair was long enough to comb over.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:52 PM on November 7, 2011

You might try Wen. I've never used it, but my mom swears by it, and my dad started using it to help his thinning hair. He's not one to care about his hair, so I trust his opinion more. It is a cleansing conditioner, so you don't use shampoo, and it leaves all the natural oils in your hair. Apparently it's really good at diminishing damage to your hair and smoothing hair follicles.

Another solution might be hats or bandannas until your hair has regrown. A girl in my high school wore a bandanna for several months because she had shaved off some of the hair in the front of her head or something.

And definitely see your hairdresser for a good haircut. S/he should be able to give you a cut that will minimize how noticeable the differences are.
posted by DoubleLune at 3:54 PM on November 7, 2011

I've heard really good things about 100% argan oil for hair, it's supposed to make it softer/nicer/or something like that.

I'm not quite sure I buy into all the hype, but I've always found that oil treatment are very soothing to the scalp, and make my hair behave better, so it might be worth a try.
posted by insectosaurus at 4:09 PM on November 7, 2011

I've heard really good things about 100% argan oil for hair, it's supposed to make it softer/nicer/or something like that.

I like argan oil a lot, but be forewarned that the 100% argan oil (which also doubles as a great moisturizer for your face and body) is meant as a hair treatment that you wash out. If you try to style your hair with it, it will likely look greasy. I speak not from my own experience but of that of a friend. However the Moroccan Oil hair line includes argan oil but has other ingredients and does work great as a styling tool (at least on my thick coarse hair). If your hair is thin you might want to use it sparingly.

I can't attest to this from personal use but some people swear by pre-natal vitamins for hair health. It can't hurt. I think that it's the extra folic acid and perhaps there's some biotin as well.

In the meantime, I think that your best bet is to go a good, sympathetic, stylist who can help you make the most with what you have now and create a style that will grow out well when the regrowth starts in those areas that are noticeably thinner.
posted by kaybdc at 6:37 PM on November 7, 2011

This facial exercise might help stimulate your hair follicles.
posted by peppermintfreddo at 8:11 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

My hair and nails grow very fast and I eat a lot of protein. YMMV, but my stylist is constantly amazed at how much my hair grows between appointments. I don't eat much in the way of carbs, but lots of protein.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:39 PM on November 7, 2011

Well, I don't have a lot of advice for helping the hair grow back, except be patient. But I've had trich for 20+ years, in varying degrees. At the moment, I am doing really well, and I think it's because I've been watching my diet carefully. I cut out carbs, which has levelled out my blood sugar, and the urge to pull seems to have lessened dramatically. I think fluctuating blood sugar led me to pull, a lot of the time.

Taking zinc and multivitamins also helped, both with hair re-growth and preventing pulling in the first place. I also took up knitting, which keeps my hands busy. I still pull in times of stress/idleness/anxiousness/whatever but I'm a thousand times better than when I had no eyelashes and giant bald patches.

Good luck!
posted by indienial at 2:55 AM on November 8, 2011

peppermintfredo, that face exercise site is hilarious and fantastic! Why can't women wiggle their ears? Who knew!?
posted by thinkpiece at 4:20 AM on November 8, 2011

« Older computer careers for the un(der) educated?   |   Best way to record iPhone interviews on the cheap Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.