Self-Induced Hair Loss
But that is not all there is. Did you know that there’s actually a form of self-induced hair loss? That is hair loss that you can trigger for yourself anytime.
The implications of this hair loss type are behavioural in nature and end with you, causing extensive damage to yourself. Stopping this self-inflicted hair loss is also a complex process. Much cooperativeness and willpower from the individual are necessary to overcome the condition.
Trichotillomania: Main Form of Self-Inflicted Hair Loss
The most common cause of self-inflicted hair loss is a psychological disorder called trichotillomania. In simple terms, the condition consists of the patient needing to pull their hair as stress- and anxiety-control mechanism.
The constant pulling ends up tearing the hair out from the hair follicle. The hair will regrow from there at first. But continuous pulling from the same hair follicles for long periods of time will damage it permanently. Thus, the hair will no longer grow from that particular hair follicle any longer.
There has never been an exact reason or trigger determined to cause this condition. Psychologists acknowledge that traumatic events that lead to constant stresses and anxious states are the bases for it. Thus, making the condition akin to a symptom stemming from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In all the patients, the condition manifests the same: They will begin to pull their hair compulsively with varying levels of strength. The pulling eventually plucks the hair off, which causes diffused patches of hair loss at the areas affected.
Psychologists agree that the condition manifests more to people with high levels of neuroticism. For this reason, the condition of trichotillomania is more common in women than in men, since the former are more prone to being neurotic.
Trichotillomania patients not only pull the hair from their heads. Research has found that they are likely to go for their eyebrow hair, pubic hair, and hair from the rest of their body—in that order.
Surprisingly, they are rarely prone to pulling their facial hair. This is due to the fact that most of the afflicted are women and, therefore, have very sparse facial hair, if any at all.
In contrast with the other causes of hair loss, trichotillomania is a psychological condition. Thus, there’s no magic pill to treat it. The treatment consists of therapy sessions focused on behavioural modifications for the patient.
Talking with the patient, understanding the reasons that compel them to pull their hair, and observing the moments in which it happens. All these will provide the therapist with the information necessary to come up with a custom-made treatment to stop the need for hair pulling.
One particular option for long-time patients is to supply them with a hair system. The hair system will cover the balding, allowing the hair to grow beneath it. The patient will pull from the hair system without risking damaging their remaining hair while the therapy proceeds.