Trichotillomania is a hair loss condition and compulsive disorder in which a person pulls out their own hair. This kind of hair pulling can occur to the point that hair loss is noticeable to other people.
Loss of hair is obviously the first and most evident sign of trichotillomania, but what are the other symptoms? Identifying the following symptoms in a suspected sufferer can help your GP or trichologist diagnose the condition properly and distinguish it from other hair loss conditions.
A person with trichotillomania may experience:
• The irresistible urge to pull hair
• A feeling of tension before pulling hair, or when resisting
• A sense of satisfaction, relief or pleasure after giving in to the hair pulling impulse
• Bare patches on the scalp or skin where hair has been pulled out
• Other compulsive body-focused behaviour such as chewing hair, eating hair (trichophagia) inspecting hair roots and excessive playing with hair
The condition is occasionally difficult to diagnose properly because sufferers feel ashamed of their urges and attempt to hide their symptoms and behaviour from others. These people often wear hats, wigs and scarves to try to hide their hair loss.