There are many things that I could do instead of pulling. A lot of the time I just pull anyway, I have vowed to work harder to use strategies that I know help.
What have you found helpful? It would be nice to try some new things and have a running list of ideas that have helped other trichsters. We have to put our minds together.
1)tape/bandaids/or finger condoms on the fingers I pull with
2)bandana on my head
3)fiddle toys-tangle, putty, squishy balls -anything that feels cool
5)change what I am doing
6)move around people
8) deep breathing or relaxation exercises
10)cold cloth on my eyelashes when irritated
11)wash my hair with denorex or apply scalpicin for itchy head
13)review reasons why not to pull
14)and most recently-blog about trich
One fear I have obsessed about is that my hair, lashes, and/or brows will not grow back. In a quest to find answer, I fond the following information most helpful.
According to the book “The Hair-Pulling Problem A Complete Guide to Trichotillomania” by Fred Penzel. There is a huge section on hair growth charts and facts. If you haven’t picked up this book I highly recommend it for understanding more about trich.
According to the book, Eyebrows Average Daily Hair Growth Rate Female is 0.16 mm.
Average Daily Rate of Hair Growth by Age and Area- Young Adult Eyebrow 0.14 mm. Mature Adult 0.16 mm.
Time Required for Eyebrows Regrowth of pulled Hairs by Age and Area- Young Adult 65 (days). Mature Adult 56 (days).
Time Required for Regrowth of Pulled Hairs by Area and Sex-
Eyebrows Female 61 Days.
According to the book, although there is not a chart on eyelash growth, it should be noted that eyelashes are the slowest growing hairs on your body, with a daily growth rate of less than 0.16 mm. The follicles tend to go into a telogen, or resting phase following removal of hairs. Also note that these are merely average figures. The actual amount of time it takes for your hair to grow back may differ from the time spans, as hair growth can be affected by many different factors.
According to the book damage beyond re-growth could only occur if infection is in the follicle, this can lead to permanent scarring of follicles, preventing further hair growth. This is more likely to happen as the result of picking at the skin with implements such as needles or tweezers to get at hair roots or ingrown hairs. A hair shaft grows from the papilla, and as long as the papilla has not been seriously damaged or destroyed, hair will continue to grow.
In the 20 years I have battled trich, I have tried so many strategies, treatments, and therapies. Nothing has worked as I am still here pulling out my hair. I think I had sort of given up hope of ever truly being free from this. I had come to a level of acceptance. Now after years of passivity, my will is renewed. I have promised myself to fight the urges with all that I have and use every resource I can get my hands on. I have a tool box filled with ever strategy that has ever helped, knowledge of new treatments I plan to try, a positive outlook, and this blog. I am going to try to write about my battle, to share my story with anyone who wants to listen. I’m going to be honest. I’m going to force myself to address the reality of this situation for probably the first time. Maybe this time I can beat it.
I remember exactly where I was the first time I started pulling out my hair. I was 6 years old and in first grade. I woke up in the morning with my long eyelashes stuck together so I began to pick at the goo. As I cleaned my lashes, I accidentally pulled one out. The sensation was surprisingly pleasant. This became a morning ritual, I would wake up and clean my eyes, allowing myself to pull out just a few lashes that were stuck together. Before long, I found myself sitting in class pulling on my lashes without knowing when I had started. I hoped no one had noticed and vowed to stop this habit. Well that was 20 years ago, and I am still here pulling. These days I pull out my eyelashes, my eyebrows, and hair from my head. I’ve become an expert in makeup, as I started using eyeliner in third grade. I’ve mastered the art of not letting anyone get to close to me because I’m so ashamed of what I do and am embarrassed by what they will see.
I commit to an honest expression of my battle with trich. If I can help even one person in doing so, then this page is worth it. We must accept that trich does not define us and we can choose how much control it has over our lives. Yes it may affect our hair and appearance, but we can still lead full happy lives. For years I thought trich ruled my life, but I have come to see there is more. Anyone who truly cares about you will look past it and see you. They will love you and support your battle. If you are not ready to tell anyone else, let me be your partner because we are in this together.