Big Brother star Nikki Grahame's trich reveal

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image: Nikki Grahame Official

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Television personality Nikki Grahame from Big Brother UK fame has revealed for the first time that she has been secretly battling a compulsive hair pulling disorder for 20 years. Trichotillomania affects everyone differently and any area of the body where there is hair can be targeted. For the majority of people the scalp is the target area, but for may it can be the eyebrows, eyelashes or even hairs on the limbs or pubic areas. Because plucking of the eyebrows is a common aesthetic practice, the onset of a clinically significant disorder is often missed. For Nikki, the impulse to pull out her eyebrows started at around the age of 10 and she reports that in her teen years she pulled just about every day. Nikki's eyebrow pulling has been so severe that she has permanent patches where hair can no longer grow.

Celebrity Reveals Matter

Trichotillomania is affects up to four per cent of the UK population, mainly women. Although widely experienced, it often goes un-diagnosed because of the lack of awareness of the condition. So celebrities like Nikki who come forward about their struggles has a positive effect on raising awareness about trichotillomania and also destigmatizing the condition so that others will seek help. The effects of permanent hair loss can negatively impact the individual's self esteem and the inability to stop engaging in pulling is often a source of great shame and embarrassment. Celebrities have the additional challenge of being in the public eye and scrutinized and judged by the media. According to Nikki, she couldn't step outside the house without using an eyeliner to fill in the gaps in her brows but has now had semi-permanent treatment to transform the appearance. Other celebrity women who have come forward about having trichotillomania includes American actress, model and T.V personality Olivia Munn, as well as The Only Way is Essex star Samantha Faiers. Samantha experienced the compulsion to pull her eyelashes and therefore had to use false eyelashed to hide the damaged caused by her pulling. These women are beautiful, successful, but most of all brave for telling the world about their struggles and giving hope to many other women out there who can relate to their struggles.

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