I haven’t pulled my hair consistently for a year now. Now, I’m not saying I don’t do it but the frequency has decreased drastically. I introduced you guys to my ‘tick’ back in July 2019. Where when stressed, “bored”, or for pleasure, would pull out my hair strand by strand. Now I know you all are wondering what this ‘tick’ may be. Formally known as Trichotillomania or Trich. Never formally diagnosed, I knew this wasn’t normal. My earliest memory of me doing this ‘tick’ was 4th grade. I remember sitting in class splitting ends. Then, splitting ends turned into pulling each strand from my scalp and repeat.
6 years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 21. A chronic inflammatory condition, where the body’s immune system attacks the joints lining, causing bone erosion and joint deformity. With this diagnosis, my doctor started me on a starter drug which is a chemo based drug, causing hair loss in patients using it. 2 years into my medicine journey I started thinning around my temples. Probably only noticeable to my eyes, but of course it freaked me out.
Fast forward to a little over a year ago, these experiences has got me to the point of going through with the big chop. Something unknown, scary but freeing. I wasn’t sure if I would look good with short hair or if it would make my head look weird, but I took the leap and finally cut it in May 2019. Ever since then, I have bee intentional about my hair journey moving forward. So here are 4 tips to help combat your desire to pull your hair out!
1. Cut Your Hair!
I say this because when bored and physically seeing my hair in my face I would end up falling down that rabbit hole and start pulling my hair out. With short hair, I am less likely to fall down that hole. You’ve heard the term, “out of sight out of mind”. Well this same concept goes for that certain ‘tick’. Also cutting your hair can be freeing and for some overcoming that fear is another big hurdle. So when in doubt, cut your hair!
2. Spend Less Time Where You Pull Your Hair Most
I find myself pulling my hair the most when in bed. My focus will slowly shy away from the show or movie I’m watching and I end up pulling my hair for an hour straight, not giving the show one bit of attention. I’ve noticed I do this out of boredom, so finding a spot at home where you can be distracted from the urge to pull your hair can be very helpful.
3. Simply Have An Accountability Partner
Sometimes the tips and tricks you come up with aren’t always helpful. If you live with someone, ask them to become your accountability partner. If they see you falling down that rabbit hole, make sure you let them know to speak up and stop you. It will bring awareness especially if its so bad that you even do it in public. No one wants hair blowing everywhere especially if out at a restaurant. Your accountability partner is your support system so do not hesitate to ask someone who you trust. It will all be worth it.
4. Be Patient With Yourself
Just like anything else you work on in your daily life, this also takes time. I am a year in with my intentional healing from this tick and I still find myself going back. But being more aware of when you do it, what triggers your hair pulling is the first step in the healing process. Nothing happens overnight, so be kind and patient with yourself. This is a journey, it is not a quick fix. Next thing you know you might not ever pull your hair again. Trust the process gurus! It will get better.
This is a list that has helped me this past year, but there are numerous other alternative tips and tricks that you can incorporate to help your tick. Gurus, what other things have you tried that helped you?