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What Does Hair Pulling Reveal About You?

by Abby Leora Rohrer


Trichotillomania has a tenacious addictive quality. Like ALL addictions, compulsive hair pulling serves many uses for the sufferer. Until we understand these we are unlikely to be able to let go of it.  If we happen to find a way to move on without this recognition and understanding of what drives our need to pull we will probably transfer the need to a different and possibly more harmful addictive behavior.

In Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore tells us:

“But, In relation to the symptom itself, observance means first of all listening and looking carefully at what is being revealed in the suffering."

As a culture, we’re always trying to get rid of problems without finding out what’s really going on under the surface. Nobody wants to take a deeper look but there is SO much to learn! A LOT is being revealed when you pull your hair out. You are revealing that you need a way to:

  1. Cope with your unwanted feelings or those you don’t know how to deal with.

  2. Refocus on something more pleasurable and less painful or uncomfortable (non-hair pullers: yes, at first hair pulling is pleasurable without any thought of the nasty repercussions).

  3. Cope that is always available 24/7 whenever you need it. And parents, this coping tool is “FREE” so it’s perfect for a kid to try on and get hooked on!

  4. Have at least one life relationship that is based on non-judgment and unconditional love.

  5. Resolve an underlying negative belief or negative belief system about yourself.  These negative beliefs may stem from old trauma. A high percentage of my students eventually uncover these types of issues along their way to healing trich.

My students also find that compulsive hair pulling meets a great many of their needs, often as many as 25-50 or more! This is another reason why attempting to end pulling without resolving and finding another way to meet these needs is so often unsuccessful.

In my experience, hair pulling is an issue of relationship more than anything else. I fully outline this in Why Won’t My Child Stop Hair Pulling?, which is also an excellent source of information for adult hair pullers to understand origins of trich.

For many, trichotillomania begins for similar reasons that all addictions start, but at its core are your underlying perceptions about yourself in relationship to your:

  •     - family

  •     - community

  •     - world, and

  •     - Self

What's Wrong With Pulling My Hair Out?and many of the needs that you are not getting met in those relationships can be met (though less satisfactorily) through a coping mechanism like trich.  

If you’re a hair pulling woman, you may wish to research TrichotillomaniaFree Women’s University where I teach the deeper lessons of how to stop your self-judgment and hair pulling for good.

If you’d like more help to stop hair pulling you can visit my 123TrichotillomaniaFree web site which discusses my book, What's Wrong With Pulling My Hair Out? It's a great place to begin. It is also available from this website and can be purchased right now using this order link >> What's Wrong With Pulling My Hair Out?

If you’re an adult male hair puller or a woman hair puller without internet access who is ready to commit to your freedom, you may wish to consider the Pull-Free, At Last! System available at www.PullFreeAtLast.com