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Stews720 , 20 Mar 2019

Why can’t I stop

I hate the way my hair looks. I naturally have very thick long blonde hair, except for the entirety of high school I have no idea what my hair *really would look like. I started pulling the 5th grade, and I’m now a sophomore. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years of this. I’m so sick and tired of covering up and stressing and I want this to go away now. I want to try and grow some hair in before my prom. Please someone tell me anything to make this go away, I have no self esteem anymore. At this point I’m probaby bald around 70% of my hair and my parents will not let me get a wig so I need to stop immediately.

1 Answer
May 08, 2019
Hello my dear!

I empathize with you so much- during high school I pulled almost all of my hair and it was so so crushing. I felt awful about myself.

I have struggled with trich for a long time- it started around 12 and I’m 27 now. But I feel like I may finally be making some headway, and my hair is starting to look really nice.

I think trich is basically a downward spiral- it comes from a place of self-harm or self-deprecation and then also feeds back into the cycle when you feel extra sad about how your hair looks.

What has helped me: self-love.

To battle against all the shame that trich brings, use allll the self-love tools you can. Read up about self-love, listen to podcasts on experts on this kind of thing. I recommend the “Broken Brain” podcast. Lots of helpful info on the ways the body and brain are connected.

It’s kind of a bigger monster you’re facing- not just the action of using your fingers and hands to pull your hair out- it comes from somewhere deeper in your system.

Using affirmations has been tremendously helpful in reprogramming my brain from patterns of shameful thinking.

I didn’t realize how much I would say to myself during the day, small things all day long inside my head like “oh god I’m such a failure”, “of course this would happen to me”, “fml”, “you’re so stupid”, “you’re so slow”, etc etc. I would say horrible things to myself all day long.

If you’re the same way- try to notice when you say these things to yourself. And every time you hear yourself disrespecting yourself- take what your brain said to you and correct it: replace “you’re so stupid” with “you are capable and smart!” Etc. Seems absolutely ridiculous at first- but it HELPS. Seriously.

The other thing I’d say- be endlessly patient with yourself. Progress will take a little while- but, it will happen. Your hair WILL start to look better- and given a years time will look great! Be patient, believe in yourself, love yourself every day. Forgive yourself over and over- never react with anger. Always react with love and kindness to yourself, even when you might be feeling super sad about the way your hair looks.

My routine to stop pulling now is this- I notice my hands and sometimes even look at them (for some reason this grounds me). I place them gently, flat on my head and tell myself some loving affirmations: “it’s okay”, “I love you”, “I love my hair”, “I deserve love”, “I am capable”, “I am strong”, “I can do this”- whichever of these resonates with me that day. Simultaneously, I take three deep breaths- 4 counts in, 4 counts out. If I need to breathe longer I will. Then, I try to refresh my surroundings- stand up if I’m sitting- get out of the room- move on to the next thing. I find I pull when I’m avoiding something I need to do- even if it’s simple, so sometimes I take that opportunity to make a to do list, or if I know what I’m putting off- to try to get it done, or take one baby step in the direction of getting it done. Or- if you have someone you can talk to- opening up to them. Letting someone know you feel frustrated or anxious and leaning on some support.

In high school and college I’d pull a lot while doing homework. Even now when I’m working on something I tend to pull. What has helped me- doing work around other people- friends who are also working on something. Going into homework with a plan- taking a moment to map out my course of action or even setting a timer for different subjects.

Also- even though at times it has made me feel ashamed- keeping others that I trust aware of the fact that I don’t want to pull- has helped. My mom, siblings or my boyfriend will sometimes just pull my hand away from my hair (gently) or bring attention to the fact that I’m pulling. Even though I usually blush or feel a little bad about it, it’s also reaffirming to know other people care. If you’re lucky enough to have some people in your life who you can trust like that, consider letting them know what you’re going through.

Email me if you want to keep in touch! Trich is so isolating... I feel like I am finally making some breakthroughs :)

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