Unusual Types of Hair Loss: Trichotillomania

Aside from male pattern hair loss, and female pattern hair loss, there are some other more unusual types of hair loss which we will take a look at.

Trichotillomania is considered an Impulse Control Disorder similar to kleptomania (stealing) or pyromania (setting fires). Basically, people feel an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, strand by strand. An estimated one to three percent of the population suffers from the disorder, although it’s hard to be sure of the exact numbers because many people with the disorder go to great lengths to hide it. Those that suffer from the disorder describe a mounting of tension and/or anxiety that is relieved when the hair is pulled out.

We have many types of treatment options for people to regrow their hair, but in the case of trichotillomania, the sufferer must first stop pulling out his or her hair before trying to regrow it. Different treatments are available to help the trichotillomaniac including prescription medications, cognitive behavior therapy, and other types of psychotherapy.

Additional Problems Associated with Trichotillomania

The person with this disorder is at risk to have some other problems associated with it. For example, those who spend hours doing the repetitive movement can develop repetitive movement injuries to the hand or wrist like carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, the scalp is quite traumatized by this pulling-hair-out action, and skin infections are not uncommon.

Some people with trichotillomania also eat the hair that has been pulled out. This action can create another giant problem which is a “hair ball” in the stomach or intestines. Humans are not designed to digest hair, and the hair ingested will over time form what’s called a trichobezoar. This hair ball can cause vomiting, weight loss, and in severe examples, a complete digestive obstruction.

We can help you regrow your hair with medications, low-light laser therapy for genetic hair loss, or even surgery, but in the case of trichotillomania, the underlying cause of hair loss must be addressed. We strongly encourage you to discuss this with your family doctor and seek out some help for a totally treatable ailment.

We also have some products like Keratin Hair Fibers that can disguise the hair loss while you are recovering. Let us help you.

If you have any questions about treatment for hair loss or any of our products, we encourage you to call us directly at (844) 280-4680.

Back to blog