What is so rewarding is when a client recovers from Trichotillomania. This article is about a client's experience and her testimonial regarding her Trich recovery... She now has grown her own beautiful hair, and no longer pulls. I know our services are helpful since we receive many physician and therapist referrals
Client "A's" name will remain anonymous she was asked me to share her journey with others, in the hope to help. Client "A" entered our salon with total hair loss, at the top of her head, from pulling. We opted to tie in a hair system to cover the top of the head. She was experiencing stress at school, family pressure, and pulling out her hair offered her a sense of control only to feel desperate after pulling.
When her hair system was first applied, she needed several two-week check-ins because she was trying to get under the hairpiece and pull her hair. In the beginning, she was not confident that her hairpiece was working for her. At every consecutive visit, we coached her to go with the flow since her hairpiece created a barrier that was meant to help stop pulling. The first few months were challenging, but by the fourth month, she was paying less attention to her hair. The hairpiece served as a reminder to "not" touch her hair.
At consecutive full-maintenance visits, she witnessed two to three inches of hair growth under her hair system. She was amazed at how well it was working and made a personal decision to trust the process. She loved how the hair system looked on her, once her bangs grew out, we left her bangs out of the system, highlighted them, and created a "money piece!" I could see her confidence grow while she enjoyed the look of her hair.
A year later client "A" entered her high school senior year, she was concerned about college the following year, thinking of wearing a hairpiece and leading an active life. We made a pact that over the next year we would work together to grow in her own hair. If the plan did not work we would try again, with no pressure. We evaluated her hair the summer before college, amazingly she had approximately eight inches of her own hair! That summer was our opportunity to remove the hair system to see if she could stop pulling. I added pull-thru hair extensions to the sides of her hair to create a blend from her short hair to natural hair. Hair extensions also provide a barrier since clients do not pull on them. At the end of summer, she had long hair! We were both excited to see how beautiful her own hair looked. She went off to college with a few hair extensions and no hair system. She would visit every 3 months, I would check in with her, and she told me that her hair was too beautiful to pull on.
She is now a senior in college, I see her a few times a year to highlight her own beautiful hair! At a recent visit, I asked her what made the difference? Below is what she said in order of importance to her.
1). Once her hair grew she did not want to pull and start over.
2). While wearing the hairpiece she paid less attention to her hair and focused on stress management.
3). She attends therapy to help cope with her anxiety.
4). She loves to help others with the same condition.
5). She embraces college life and no longer wants to be in the pulling cycle.
I share her experience, with her permission, to inspire others with Trichotillomania. There were many helpful efforts at play, but it can be done. If you are a mother reading this, know that your child can have the same experience as client "A." It takes commitment and compassion from everyone.
Have you found a way to stop pulling your hair? Please help others by sharing your experience below.
Note: Unlike Alopecia Areata, fungal infections, thinning hair, and other autoimmune diseases where balding spots or female pattern baldness where you lose hair, Trichotillomania is a disorder, and the hair loss is physically removing hair follicles. Our approach considers the full spectrum of hair loss, but our approach to Trichotillomania is unique and specific with the aim to build stronger hair.