I have a nervous tic where I pick my beard, will it grow back?
March 29, 2015 2:21 PM   Subscribe

I have a nervous tic where I pick my beard, it used to be full and lush and now is not. I stopped after some bald patches and realizing what I did, will it grow back or am I SOL on this?
posted by geoff. to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Plucked hairs will grow back. It'll take a little while, but they'll be back. Good work quitting picking hairs!
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 2:32 PM on March 29, 2015


It will grow back. You might want to look up trichotillomania for some advice on coping techniques to cut back on picking at your hair. I've found that finding something else to do with my hands helps--I have a fidget ring and I knit.
posted by angelchrys at 2:35 PM on March 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've got a couple of tiny patches on my upper lip that won't grow back, but that was after a nasty incident with a car and some asphalt. Mostly it grew back. If your face isn't covered in scabs, I reckon you'll be fine.
posted by pompomtom at 2:38 PM on March 29, 2015


It'll grow back. There might be a little bit of scarring that might not even be noticeable.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 2:46 PM on March 29, 2015


Will grow back. Try using an oil to make it softer and you might pull less out. Recommend argan oil but ymmv
posted by parmanparman at 2:48 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


It depends. It may not grow back and you need to be prepared for that. I have trich and wear a beard. I have patches. They will never grow back. It's been nearly a decade. If that happens to you, you will need to deal with it or else the cycle will repeat. You can get help for this. Memail me if you want.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 4:08 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


It should grow back if this is a recent thing. However, with repeated plucking, you can kill hair follicles and regrowth will never happen once the follicle is dead.
posted by quince at 4:44 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The dietary supplement N-acetylcysteine seems to be effective for addressing "grooming disorders" like hair-pulling (trichotillomania), skin-picking (dermatillomania), and nail biting.

Repeated plucking may traumatize a follicle so the hair never grows back — many people know at least one women who's over-plucked her eyebrows for so long that they never grow back — but it's not a guaranteed result.
posted by Lexica at 4:54 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anecdotally, I pulled out most of my eyelashes when I was six. Several times. It was an experiment--I was trying to figure out how many were blonde at the roots. My mother was traumatized. Repeatedly. Sorry, mom.

I have plenty of eyelashes. I feel like beard hairs are less sensitive than eyelash hairs but, not possessing a beard I have no idea.
posted by skyl1n3 at 9:32 PM on March 29, 2015


It depends. It may not grow back and you need to be prepared for that. I have trich and wear a beard. I have patches. They will never grow back. It's been nearly a decade. If that happens to you, you will need to deal with it or else the cycle will repeat. You can get help for this. Memail me if you want.

I have one area that I focus on the most and it's thinner than the rest of my upper lip (though it may well be that I focus on that area because it was always thinner). There are one or two other ares I would hazard seem to grow in less than they did, but with a full beard I don't see patches, so I don't measure it closely.

For me me it took years (2-3?) to develop -- I've had a goatee for 20 years, and low grade trich for about 15, but my goatee is pretty presentable. By low grade I mean that I can go weeks without any picking.

Unequal hair length seems to be the trigger for me (aside from work stress), so when I start bothering an area, I trim back using clippers on the shortest setting, and having everything a uniform length seems to relieve the desire. But my hair also grows quite fast and is thick, so it's a pretty easy solution for me.
posted by 99_ at 10:06 PM on March 29, 2015


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