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DaniA , 11 Oct 2012

Scalp picking and hair loss

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with hair thinning/hair loss due to scalp picking? I guess I'm mostly just wondering if the scalp will heal and hair growth will begin again if you can master the urge to pick/scratch the scalp. I've been a scalp picker/scratcher for about ten years, and I've recently noticed that my hair is getting a little thin in the front. I can't tell if it's because of my picking and scratching, or if it's because I'm getting older. I do have a few gray hairs, and I know women can get thin in the front, but it really freaks me out to think that I could have caused this to happen to myself. I'm making a serious effort for the first time to conquer this compulsion, and I'm just wondering if anyone else has any experience that they can share. Thanks. It's really encouraging to find forums like this. I'm hoping to find the strength to get past this.
5 Answers
October 12, 2012
Hello! I'm a (former!) scalp picker. I've been quitting for almost a month now. I picked more at the back of my head than the front, but I do know that the hair around my pick spots was gone. I had two large areas I picked easily for a decade, and I'm happy to report that my hair is growing back already! :)
October 12, 2012

In reply to by olivegreen

Thank you so much for your reply, that's really great to hear! If the thinning of my hair is just due to genetics and aging, then I'll make peace with that, but it's so encouraging to hear that if it is indeed due to my picking, that there is a chance it will grow back. That's truly powerful motivation to stay dedicated to stopping this self-destructive habit. I was terrified that it would be permanent, and that I would be balding before my time. I've made half-hearted efforts to stop before, but I'm really committed this time. Yesterday, I was immediately aware every time I started to pick and made myself stop. I haven't had the urge so far today, and I'm hoping to stay strong. Since I mostly pick subconsciously, I'm trying to stay more self-aware and be able to confront the urge head-on rather than wait until I've started to do it and then stop myself. Thanks again for your response. It's really encouraging to hear. And this forum is fantastic, it's really nice to know that I'm not the only one. I feel like you hear about trich and skin picking, but not so much about other body focused repetitive behaviors. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one scratching at my scalp or rubbing my skin. And it's even more comforting to know that it can get better and that I have the strength to stop <3
October 12, 2012

In reply to by DaniA

Hi! Wow, thanks for your response. You are being a great motivator for me, as well! Your story and mine are very similar in many ways. I also thought my hair loss was probably permanent. What I'm figuring out now is that the body has an amazing ability to regenerate if we give it the opportunity!! :) I'm happy to hear you're fully committed to quitting. I've also made half-hearted attempts in the past, and they have never panned out. This time I am also committed! Keep up the good work, and we both do have the strength to stop. It's great to know we're not alone, right? xoxo
November 17, 2012
I cannot believe there is actually a forum where I can discuss my scalp picking. I am 52 years old and began picking at my scalp about 4 or 5 years ago. The only thing I can attribute my starting to pick is the hysterectomy I had in 2008. Not sure if that has anything to do with it but, I haven't had a traumatic event. I keep telling myself I'm going to make myself stop this crazy habit but the next thing I know, I'm sitting in front of the television picking at a scab on my head and making it bleed. I currently have about 4 sores that will not heal because I won't stop picking at them. My hair has begun to get really thin where I pick and I have always had very thick hair. I know you guys can't stop me from picking however, just knowing I'm not the only one doing this, helps more than you know.
September 15, 2016

I'm so happy I'm not the only one with this problem. Started when I was 13 and stopped. After the passing of my great grandpa in 2013 I started again in was 18. My grandmother passed in May 2016 and it has doubled since 2013. My hair has thinned out so much from picking the scabs and dandruff spots. It is still only day 1 of stopping but I hope I can get support from this forum thank you guys you're all so strong hope I can hear from you guys to see your progress after 4 years.

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