Your hair does more than just protect your tender and sensitive scalp from the elements around you, it also works to improve the way you look and boost your confidence to face the challenges of daily life. While a lot of us struggle and scramble to keep our hair in peak condition, there are some people who fail to give their hair the care that it needs to maintain a healthy, lustrous shine. Even worse, there are some who suffer from compulsive hair pulling which is, more often than not, against their actual preference.
The truth about compulsive hair pulling
Take a closer look at the people around you and you’re bound to spot a person or two sporting a wig. Although some of these people wear wigs simply for aesthetic purposes, there are some who have wear wigs to hide the truth behind a common problem that plagues thousands of individuals in our society today.
Compulsive hair pulling is defined as the incessant need to pull out hair due to a plethora of different factors. There are lots of reasons that could drive a person to pull out their hair – including mental dysfunction, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and trichotillomania – and often, these conditions push a person to pull out their hair to the point of balding.
It’s easy for those on the outside looking in to simply suggest that a person stop pulling out their hair, but for those who suffer from compulsive hair pulling, it’s easier said than done. The purpose behind the hair pulling is deeper than many of us are aware of, and so resolving the matter can require much more than just will power and determination.
How to end compulsive hair pulling?
Contrary to popular belief, ending compulsive hair pulling takes more than just resolving the matter at the surface. Understanding the underlying factors that cause hair pulling can greatly improve a person’s resolve to resist the urge, and with time and practice, will end hair pulling disorder all together.
1. Identify triggering events
Not everyone who suffers from hair pulling disorder performs the act every waking hour; others are simply triggered by feelings and events around them to pull their hair. For example, a person who becomes anxious when faced with the need to speak in front of a crowd might start pulling their hair out as a way to relieve the stress and anxiety. That said, it’s important to identify any triggering factors or events that could lead to hair pulling. In this way, an individual would be much more capable to identify when a hair pulling incident may occur, and thus formulate the proper solution to prevent it. If your hair pulling is triggered by an event or feeling that you’re able to resolve, seek to find a solution for the underlying reasons.
2. Keep a journal
A journal is an ideal way to keep track of hair pulling occurrences which can help a person note progress in resolving the matter, but it also helps in that it allows an individual a better way to express repressed emotions that could be causing the hair pulling.
3. Find an outlet
Whether it’s a new hobby, a sport, or an interesting pass time, it’s always healthy to find an alternate way to express your emotions. Engaging yourself in activities that soothe you and make you feel relaxed can greatly reduce the chances of pulling out your hair. Whenever you do feel the urge to pull, be sure you have your outlet accessible to you so you can divert your emotions there instead.
4. Inspect your hair and scalp
Sometimes, compulsive hair pulling is caused by an irritation that can be resolved with medicated soaps, creams, and lotions. If an underlying emotion or anxiety is not responsible for the hair pulling, consider looking into your hair’s health. Some people can completely end compulsive hair pulling by simply improving the health of their hair and scalp.
5. Maintain fistance from triggering events
If you’re able to determine a factor in the environment that is responsible for your hair pulling and resolving the matter is out of your control it would be best instead to distance yourself from the occurrence. If a person is responsible for making you feel like you need to pull out your hair, it’s ideal to simply maintain your distance from that person. In the event however that you can’t just keep away because they’re present in work, school, or even at home, it would be best to resolve the situation by talking with that person and resolving the issue from the root.
Some people find that relaxation and calming techniques work best for them when they feel the need to pull their hair. Once you sense the urge is strong, take a deep breath and calm your mind and your senses. It also helps to develop an internal escape that you can think of to help you remove yourself from a stressful situation. By constantly practicing this, you can train yourself to eliminate the need to pull out your hair and become more apt at responding calmly to anxiety inducing situations.
Do you know someone who’s suffering from compulsive hair pulling? Have you ever had to deal with this problem? What did you do to resolve it? Help us help others by sharing your story in the comments section below, and let’s start a conversation.
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