One form of self-induced hair loss is more commonly known as Trichotillomania and occurs when a person begins sub-consciously pulling at and worrying their hair. The result is usually patchy or diffuse thinning of hair across the scalp and the condition affects around 2-3% of those suffering from hair loss. It can be an unnerving condition, as the sufferer is often unaware of their actions and may be seeking alternative causes for their hair loss.
The condition can affect children and adults of both genders, although the majority of cases in adulthood tend to be women.
Varieties of Trichotillomania
Trichotillomania usually presents itself the same way, as it stems from an obsession with hair. The main symptom, found in the majority of cases, is a repetitive pulling, twisting or tugging on the hairs of the scalp. However, depending on the severity of the condition other symptoms may arise.
In some sufferers, the compulsion with hair extends to other body parts. Of those suffering from Trichotillomania, it is estimated that 50% will obsess over their eyebrows, 30% of cases affect pubic hair and 20% body hair.
Slightly surprisingly, tugging at facial hair is the least common symptom, presenting in only 10% of cases. The latter may be a reflection of the prevalence of Trichotillomania amongst women, as compared to men. For a comparison, Trichotillomania of the scalp is reported in about 70% of cases, making it the most common symptom by a long way.
Self-induced hair loss can also be accompanied by Trichophagia. This is when sufferers chew, or in extreme cases, actually eat their own hair. Trichophagia can cause serious complications, as eating hair is damaging to your digestive health. Swallowed hair irritates the stomach and can lead to various gastrointestinal complaints, including ulcers and digestive upsets. Trichophagia presents itself in just under half of Trichotillomania cases.
How is Trichotillomania treated?
Unlike most other hair loss conditions, Trichotillomania is regarded as a psychological condition and therefore any long-term successful treatment will usually involve some time spent in therapy. This will help sufferers understand the underlying causes of the condition and equip themselves to take action.
Trichotillomania is a non-scarring, non-inflammatory form of hair loss, and in most cases hair can be recovered once the tugging habit is beaten. However, in a small number of extreme cases that last a number of years, the hair follicle can be damaged beyond repair, resulting in permanent hair loss.
There are several practical steps you can take to combat the results of self-induced hair loss, and the Belgravia Centre has an excellent track record in helping Trichotillomania sufferers to regain their hair. One of our most revolutionary therapies has even become a TV star – featuring in a BBC 4 documentary on the condition.
This treatment consists of a hair integration system, which combines with your own surviving hair to flawlessly cover up the appearance of Trichotillomania. Not only does it mask the physical symptoms, it also prevents sufferers from further attacking the damage area. This allows natural hair to grow back and prevents irreparable damage to the scalp, while helping the sufferer break free from their habit of self-induced hair loss. The system is non-surgical and is tailored to fit each individual’s condition, whether you require just a couple of strands integrated, or your self-induced hair loss has left large patches of baldness. As part of our non-surgical hair replacement system, The Belgravia Clinic offers unparalleled aftercare, helping you learn to look after your new hair and ensuring it is kept in its best condition.
Non-surgical hair replacement can be used to treat Trichotillomania even in the most severe cases where permanent hair loss has occurred. For less severe cases, Trichotillomania can be treated with medication. Once the habit of inducing hair loss is broken, the follicles should naturally begin to regenerate, so medication is aimed at giving them a helping hand to grow back as healthily as possible.
Our team of treatment advisors can also advise you on the best hair care products for you during the re-growth period or post non-surgical hair replacement. If you are worried about losing your hair to self-induced hair loss, then contact the Belgravia Centre today for a no-obligation consultation or fill out our online diagnostic form.