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Tati tiger , 26 Oct 2011

Hair root eating disorder

I need help before I go bold !! Help me out !! I'm 15 and I have been pulling out my hair and eating the root, for 3 years now . I stop and then continue . I am a girl so , I don't want to end up bold. Does anyone else do this?? If you ever did and u stopped , feel free to reply and give me some advice on what to do . - thanks , Tati tiger =^_^=
25 Answers
October 27, 2011
I am 27 and did this when I was about your age. It started with picking split ends in school and then eventually it was pulling the hair out. First I would find the hairs that felt course and enjoyed the feeling of it coming out, then I noticed the root and did the same as you! I did get a bald patch :( and had to where a hairband and was so embarassed, I knew it was so wrong and eventually I just stopped, however Ive found as I stop one picking habit I just start a new one! I think there is so much more to it than just a bad habit, I feel my picking must be down to anxiety and if Im really honest some family issues I have. I've only seen this forum/website for the first time today and Im amazed at how many people have the same crazy habits I do but its also made me realise that I should speak to my doctor about it as it really isnt normal. I think a bald patch is a big scare I hope you dont get to this point like I did, I think telling your family is a good idea if they realise what your doing they will challenge you when you do it then you will ge fed up of them telling you to stop. Good luck
Tati tiger
October 29, 2011

In reply to by ihatepicking

Tati. Thanks , it kind of gave me a bit of relief that I'm not the only one who does this. I was looking in the mirror and yes I am developing a bold spot -____-. I'm scared to tell my parents . I have been in therapy before because of family issues as well, but it didn't seam to help . I pick my bellybutton as well and it worries me as well. Is there anything you can advice me to do to calm my habits? If so , feel free to write back :) -- thanks Tati .
December 15, 2013

In reply to by Tati tiger

Hey, I just want to say that you shouldn't be afraid to tell your parents, I know that it's scary to tell them but if you have a disorder, they will have to learn to understand that. I'm 16 and I've had Trich since I was in the 3rd grade ... well thats when I noticed it. When I was in the 4th grade I had to wear bandanas to school because I had bald spots and I was really embarrassed by it. But, I promise you that you're not alone. (I sometimes eat the "roots" too) It's a really hard habit to break, and I have yet to break it still. :( But I do have some methods that help ease the irritation your scalp feels which creates the urge to pull. It doesn't stop it completely, but they help alot. Wear a toque or bandana to bed. Also, alvera oil/gel or calamine lotion also work. If you're considering putting calamine lotion in your hair, make sure you aren't going somewhere in public :P It's more for at night, or lazy stay home days. :P Hope I helped you a bit. Also, there is a youtuber on youtube named beckie0 She suffers through trich too, I don't think she eats the roots of her hair but she pulls it out, and she talks about her trichotillomania and she is really good at showing that you're not alone. :D
August 04, 2022

In reply to by ihatepicking

I am 18 ,will the hir grow back? . I pluck more than 200 per day i think or more  I can't stop my hand sometimes my hand  automatically going to pluck how can i stop. anyone can give me some advise ? 

November 13, 2011
Hair pulling is called trichotillomania. Eating the hair is called trichophagia. Like you, I didn't eat the hair, just the white "sheath" around the root. I believe the white sheath is the product of the sebaceous glands. It is skin oil mixed with dead skin cells, I believe Anyway, I like the texture of it in my mouth. If you eat the whole hair, that can be really dangerous because your stomach can't digest hair, so you could get hairballs like a cat! I always hated the product of my sebaceous glands because it made my skin oily and gave me zits. Recently, though, I have learned that that stuff is really good for your face. It not only keeps you from getting wrinkles (which you're probably not worried about yet), it also is a natural protector and kills bacteria. Teenage zits come from hormones. There isn't a whole lot you can do about that except get put on birth control (which I haven't tried). I used to have a whole lot of little to medium-sized bald spots all over my head. It made it really difficult to find a place to part my hair where the bald spots weren't obvious. I even resorted to coloring them in with an eyebrow pencil, smudging, and then hairspraying the hair so it was basically glued to my head. Not exactly flattering; it was the last stop before wig-ville. Now I am on prozac 60 mg. It isn't a miracle drug, but it indirectly helps. I was depressed too, and the prozac helped me be in a better mood, which in turn got me out of the house and gave me less time to pick / pull hair. Also I had less self-hatred because once I was in a better mood I was able to make a few friends. Now I still pull every now and then, but it is a LOT less and I'm not self-conscious about my hair anymore. I can flip it over without wondering what's showing. I am a "focused" puller which means I only pull my hair in front of the mirror in a really intense, determined state. When it comes to picking my skin, I like to be in front of the mirror when popping a zit so that I get to see the "payoff," but I pick scabs absent-mindedly while watching TV, reading, etc.. Some people pull their hair this way...just on the sofa or on their bed while they are bored.
Tati tiger
November 21, 2011

In reply to by Ellen

Tati. im glad to hear that this helps out my skin in a way but terrified to think i can develope more bold spots.. i hope i dont.... so far i have two ,the size of a nickle ,in the middle of my head and its embarrising... i can help but to think baddly about myself for doing so and not being able to stop... i have tried to stop but its such a need... im a bit confussed ... do i go to my docotor to get teated fro this disroder or were doi go..??? And what what excatly is teh prozac for ?
July 24, 2012
OMG! I had no idea that this was a REAL disorder, I thought I was the only person doing this! I've been pulling since I was in the 4th grade I'm now 21! Idk what triggered me to start, my mom took me to the doctor bc she noticed I had patches in my hair. I didn't tell my mom or the doctor I was REALLY going bald because I was pulling out my hair and eating the roots! He told my mom I had a fungus and it was causing my hair to come out in patches smh! I'm so ashamed of this my mom ended up cutting all my hair off in the 5th garde and I had to wear a wig to school ...YES a wig! It was soooo embarrassing I got picked on all the time!! I wasnt "scared" of any of the kids or anything I actually wanted to kick all of their asses but I was afraid that my wig would come off! Now I just wear extensions which I am okay with but I really want to stop pulling! My boyfriend even asks me why don't you ever let me see your real hair. I've stopped pulling before but when my hair grows back I start pulling again.... It's pretty sad! My hair is horrible its uneven and I have bald spots all throughout my head! I'm just going to shave it all off and start over and just HOPE I don't get the urge to pull again!
October 14, 2012
Please help me I'm bawling right now my mom says I with have my hair cut short if I don't stop I'm almost 16 and its always my left freehand what can I do!?!?!?!?
December 31, 2012
Hello everyone as you know I suffered from trictillimania for over 16 years. i may able to help Im from toronto and as i was watching tv i saw a hair salon in boston MA where they help with hair pulling by adding a hair piece. i can give you the website it has helped me!
March 18, 2013
Worried of losing your attractive looks due to dullness of hair? Start using any of the essential oils for hair as all of them are capable of repairing the hair damage and bring back the natural shine.
pig girl
November 14, 2013
It will be okay I am 9 and have trichlotomia which is whenever you get nervous yo tend to pull out your hair.the BEST thing to do is to see a therapist for tips.
Unknown 54
February 07, 2017

I am a girl I'm 12 years old I started when I was 7 years old and stoped when I was 8 years old and started again when I was 9 years old my parents got divorced when I was about 7 and she started seaing someone new she broke up with him and started seaing someone new again when I was 8 a few months later I turned 9 and it all started again every through out those years my mom would just yell at me every morning about it other kids including siblings called me mental it made me fell horrible sense I was about 9 or 10 every summer it stopped and every winter it startes up again my mom says I'm older now I can control myself but she just doesn't understand I can't when I was 9-every year so far I go to the doctors and they diagnose me with PANDAS last year they found out I am am a carrier of PANDAS I'm not 100% positive but I think that it's very rare for carriers to get rid of it if you know please let me know I have lost hope of ever getting rid of this I have had it for 6 years someone help

August 17, 2018

I'm 14 and I've been pulling for 3 yrs. I have all sorts of caps and I sometimes wear a wig. When I pull I eat the root. For me it's a habit because I have OCD. I also do it whenever I'm feeling nervous or need something to do with my hands.

November 24, 2018

I'm 17 and Ive been pulling for over 5 years. I wanna say it really is so hard to stop but you can do it. There was a period where I could just sit there and pull for hours on end, when I would finally stop there would be a huge pile of hair around me. I remember when I "officially" stopped pulling a few months ago, I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror and just cried for nearly 72 hours straight. I suffer from severe depression and anxiety (which my mom didnt realize until afterwards) which made stopping so much harder but becaude of my huge bald spots I just starting despising myself and wishing I could disappear.

Anywho I want to say that yes, stopping is so hard and honestly doesn't feel worth it at first because hair takes kinda a while to grow back and pulling is so tempting but it really is possible and once you start seeing results its so relieving.

If youre in the process of stopping I would recommend waiting until theres a fair amount of regrowth and then cutting your hair to about a half inch longer than the regrowth. It makes regrowing bald spots a lot easier because the hair is kin of the sake lengthy even if its shorter than you want. Another benefit of cuttig it is it gives you more volume to work with. Fair warning if you do this and you've pulled on top it can make the top regrowth a little more noticeable. Its not a huge issue but I did this and although it was the best thing, I'm so glad I did it, the regrowth on top does stand on end occasionally. If you hair spray it down or flip the hair over the sticky outy pieces though its no worry.

I'm sorry I rambled on about this, I hope somethig is helpful.

May 02, 2020

i'm 13 and i have been pulling my hair and eating my roots ever since i was in the 4th grade and it has been on and off over the years but i figured out a way to not pull it out yes the urges are strong but the key is to not think about your hair and if so just keep a bonnet on and don't touch it look away and resist the urge and as weeks go bye you still oil your hair and wash it as usual keep your hands as far away as possible and as the weeks go bye bald spots are almost gone and no sores or infections sometimes i still struggle but when u put in the work its all worth it

June 28, 2020

Hi guys Im actually shook this is a real disorder im scared to ask for help!! i think i started in year 6 i am now 13! i have been wearing beanies for the last years, i hate it when people pull it off without knowing about my bald patches! i have been lying saying i have suffered from cancer when i was younger scared someone would find out about what ive really been doing. idk how it started either i start doing it then i stop then it suddenly comes back when i bump my head and i pull the hair out and it just keeps coming back!!
Ive read another comment and i thought i was the only one! i dont eat the whole hair i just eat the little follicle around the end. I guess i also just like the texture of it in my mouth! im 13 i have stopped for now but im worried ill start again since ive been getting bullied about it ever since i started secondary and i am known as "bald patch girl!" please someone help me

December 05, 2020

Hello, I started around 5th grade at age 11 and I'm now almost 13 in 7th grade. I first started when my friend told me she liked to pull apart her split ends during lunch. Later in reading class I tried doing so and I found it oddly satisfying. So then one day I pulled out my hair. I didn't know why but I liked it. So I continued to do so until I noticed the follicle on the end of the hair, so I ate it. That's when my serious addiction started. During all periods of school I'd pull and pull until a new bald spot appeared almost every day. One day a lice breakout happened at my school and I asked my mom to check me. She noticed my bald spots so I them confessed to her what I had been doing. Then spring break rolled around and my hair pulling got super serious to the point where I was almost bald. Luckily we were quarantined due to covid and I had some time to try and let my hair grow back. My mom told me a hat would help so I started wearing beanies every day. My hair was really growing back and then I cut my hair to match the length of the parts that were growing. So by the time 7th grade started I looked pretty normal except for the fact that I would use hair spray to plaster the shorter hairs on my head. About a week into 7th grade I got bangs to hide the shorter parts in the front. There are specific hair stylists that give hair cuts to people with this disorder to help hide bald spots and shorter hairs that stick out. I just recently started pulling again and I'm so ashamed of myself, I finally got my hair back basically then I start again. I'm not pulling as much as I used to so you can't really tell I pull my hair out anymore but I'm still super paranoid someone will notice. I started using hair masks to help hair grow faster so that helps, but I'm still struggling with trying not to pull and re-growing all of my hair.

Here's some tips for people who need help :)

Wearing a beanie or hat will prevent you from getting to your hair
Wetting your hair to make it harder to pull your hair because it makes it slippery
Thinking of how you would like to look
Keeping your hands busy at all times/ distracting yourself

So that's my story (kind of, I left out some parts) and some tips for helping! :)

(So I ended up having to re-type this for the 3rd time bc I kept accidentally reloading the website so it deleted my comment and I had to restart.. so it's a little short and it doesn't have everything that I put in the first one bc my fingers hurt but anyways if anyone has anymore questions I'd be happy to help!)

Bardia saremi
February 17, 2021

Hi everyone i didnt know had the same disorder as me and i am a little happy that it isnt only me i am 15 years old and i had the habit of eating the roots of my hairs for 1 year and i still have this habit it started when my mom told me that hairs have roots and i was so curios so i found a hair and saw the end of the hair and i saw that that part's color is diffrent and it shape was a little diffrent from the other parts of that hair i don't know why i did this but i tried too split the root from the other parts of that hair so i chewed tbe root with my teeth and my habbit begun i find it really sattesfying too split the root from the other parts and i dont khow why and i dont want this to cantinue but i cant and i dont even know if its good for someones health or not:(

April 30, 2021

I started pulling hair in October of 2019. It was my freshman year of high school and during that time, I was diagnosed with mild ASD. It’s mainly a communication disorder. So while I was trying to navigate my own brain, stress found a way to get inside. When I pulled hair I noticed the root and ate it. The year before I was picking at the hair follicles on my legs, but I never was able to eat the roots, as the hair wasn’t long enough. Connections were made. I recently had to cut my hair short to let regrowth happen. I had about 12 different bald spots, all the size of a half-dollar. I was ashamed, but it was a cycle when it was happening. Pull, worried about my appearance, pull some more due to stress. Also recently, I have been through a rough few last weeks. I started my old habits again, and my current boyfriend noticed. He’s Ben super helpful in keeping me calm. BIG TIP: It helps you stop if you have someone to advocate for you. What I mean is this- talk to a close friend about the issue (or someone you trust) and tell them that whenever they see you pull or pick, to tell you to stop. They could also tap or signal you. This helps me, because I don’t like to get caught doing something bad. Like if I’m in class and I get an urge to pick or pull, I’m like, “oh dang, I don’t wanna let my friend see me doing this or they’ll get mad.” It helps! If anyone has any questions, feel free to reply. I hope my journey and advice helped!

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