|  Toll-free: 800-304-8018 Call us: 416-363-4228
info@cbtassociates.com

Your path to mentalwellness

Connect With Us

Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania) Treatment

Hair Pulling Treatment

Trichotillomania is an impulse disorder that affects about two percent of the population and is characterized by compulsive hair pulling. The areas where hair is pulled include the scalp, eyebrows and lashes, legs, arms, hands, nose and pubic areas. While it can involve multiple sites, it is most often focused on one or two areas. At times, the pulling occurs in a trance-like state and is described as automatic or unconscious; this is more often the case in younger children who have the disorder. For others, pulling can be very focused and can include rituals (i.e., playing with or eating the hair). While some people report a “pre-pulling” tension and “post-pulling” relief, others do not have this experience at all, or are not aware of it.

This condition is often chronic and difficult to treat and can result in noticeable hair loss which brings associated shame and social or functional impairment. Trichotillomania has been seen in infants, but more often manifests between the ages of nine and 13.

Symptoms of trichotillomania

Typically, hair pulling is confined to one or two sites, but more sites can be involved. The more common sites are the scalp, brows and lashes, face, arms and legs; less commonly, the pubic area, underarms, beard and chest are involved. Episodes can vary in length sometimes going on for hours. The behaviour is often very secretive. When hair loss is noticeable, people often avoid socializing. Attempts to cover or conceal the hair loss can include wearing hats or wigs or using creative hair styles and using false lashes or eyebrow pencils to fill in missing hair. Stress seems to be a large component in this behaviour and when stress is reduced there is often a decrease in the pulling.

Complications of trichotillomania

In some cases, individual eat the pulled hairs, potentially causing gastrointestinal obstruction, which could be a very serious medical complication. Other problems include infection, hair loss and repetitive strain injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment

Several treatments have been used to treat trichotillomania, including habit reversal training (HRT), medications, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Habit reversal training focuses on helping clients to recognize their impulse to pull, to catch it early, and to implement strategies to redirect or interfere with this impulse. CBT (including HRT) has been shown to offer improvement over and above medication alone.


Back
FAQ
Why choose CBT Associates?

CBT Associates is a large, well-established and rapidly-growing network of clinics that provides evidence-based psychological services to children, adolescents, adults of all ages, and couples.

We are a highly-qualified group of over 50 psychologists and psychological associates who provide personalized, compassionate, respectful and discreet treatment with the highest level of... Read More

What is the policy for cancelled or missed appointments?

To help us reliably meet the needs of all our clients, we must ask you to provide 24 hours’ notice when cancelling or rescheduling an appointment. Appointments without sufficient notice will be charged the full fee.

Read More
What is a psychologist?

Psychologists:

  • Are registered healthcare professionals who are regulated like physicians, surgeons, and dentists.
  • Work with individuals, groups and organizations to promote positive change by assessing and treating psychological problems.
  • Are trained to assess problems accurately using psychological tests and semi-structured interviews.... Read More
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychologists are closely aligned with psychiatrists as both are highly-trained professionals. Psychiatrists are oriented toward pharmaceutical solutions (some illnesses in fact lend themselves to medication versus talk therapy, such as severe depression or schizophrenia); while psychologists are oriented toward talk therapy as a solution.

Psychologists and psychiatrists both undertake... Read More

What is the difference between a psychotherapist and a psychologist?

The first important difference between psychotherapists and psychologists is the number of years of education and training required to register by each college. The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario requires members to complete an undergraduate degree that includes 360 hours (total) of training and education. In contrast, to become a psychologist in Ontario the... Read More

View all
connect with us

Please select the TRIANGLE and click the SUBMIT button

416-363-4228