Hair pulling solution

Trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder) - NHS

Trichotillomania, also known as trich, is when someone cannot resist the urge to pull out their hair.

They may pull out the hair on their head or in other places, such as their eyebrows or eyelashes.

Trich is more common in teenagers and young adults.

Symptoms of trichotillomania

People with trich feel an intense urge to pull their hair out and they experience growing tension until they do. After pulling their hair out, they feel a sense of relief.

A person may sometimes pull their hair out in response to a stressful situation, or it may be done without really thinking about it.

Most people with trich pull out hair from their scalp, but some pull out hair from other areas, such as their:

  • eyebrows
  • eyelashes
  • genital area
  • beard or moustache

Bald patches on the head may have an unusual shape and affect 1 side of the head more than the other.

Trich may cause feelings of shame and low self-esteem. Those affected may try to keep their condition to themselves.

Causes of trichotillomania

It's not entirely clear what causes trich. It could be:

  • your way of dealing with stress or anxiety
  • a chemical imbalance in the brain, similar to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • changes in hormone levels during puberty

For some people, hair pulling can be a type of addiction. The more they pull their hair out, the more they want to keep doing it.

When to see a GP

See your GP if you're pulling your hair out or if you notice that your child is.

You should also see your GP if you or your child has a habit of eating hair. This can cause hairballs to form in the stomach, leading to serious illness.

Your GP may examine areas where the hair is missing to check that nothing else is causing the hair to come out, such as a skin infection.

If your GP thinks you have trich, you may be referred for a type of treatment called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Treating trichotillomania

Trich is commonly treated using a type of CBT called habit reversal training.

This aims to help you replace a bad habit with something that's not harmful. Treatment usually involves:

  • keeping a diary of your hair pulling
  • working out the triggers for your hair pulling and learning how to avoid them
  • replacing hair pulling with another action, like squeezing a stress ball
  • loved ones providing emotional support and encouragement

Antidepressants are not are not usually prescribed to treat trich.

Things you can try yourself

Here are some tips from people with trich that may help when you feel the urge to pull your hair:

  • squeeze a stress ball or something similar
  • form a ball with your fist and tighten the muscles in that arm
  • use a fidget toy
  • wear a bandana or a tight fitting hat, such as a beanie
  • come up with a saying that you repeat out loud until the urge to pull passes
  • take a soothing bath to ease any stress or anxiety
  • practise deep breathing until the urge to pull goes away
  • exercise
  • put plasters on your fingertips
  • cut your hair short

Getting support

It may also help to open up about your trich to people you trust, as hiding it can sometimes make your anxiety worse.

Many people who have learned to manage their trich say that speaking to others about the condition led to a reduction in hair pulling.

The charity Trichotillomania Support has information on treatments and self-help advice.

Page last reviewed: 29 January 2021
Next review due: 29 January 2024

50 Ways to Stop Pulling Your Hair – TLC Foundation for BFRBs

Many of these have helped me achieve my 9 weeks pull free.

*  = I have tried these methods.

**  = These tips have helped me the most.

  • Wear a bandana to bed. *
  • Make a sticker chart. Every day that you go without pulling add a sticker. Hang this sticker chart in a room where you pull the most.**
  • Reward yourself after several days (or hours) of being pull free.*
  • Be patient with yourself.*
  • Join a support group.
  • Talk to another person with hair pulling.*
  • Wet down your hair. This will make it really hard to pull out your hair since it will be slippery.*
  • Learn what your body needs instead of pulling. Is your body tired, hungry, sleepy, and excited, etc? Then tell yourself out loud what you need and go do it.**
  • Stimulate your senses. Many of us that pull like the sensation that comes with it. Instead of pulling do other things to stimulate these such as washing your hair, brushing your lips on dental floss or string (if you rub the hair on your lips), and massaging your scalp.*
  • Avoid caffeine right before bed. Often bedtime is a time when a lot of people pull. By using caffeine you keep yourself up longer and it heightens anxiety.*
  • Buy a fidget toy.*
  • Find other things to do with your hands such as knitting, crocheting, or cross stitch. *
  • Wear a hoodie to bed as a barrier to pulling. *
  • Go see a psychologist that performs cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Try hypnotherapy *
  • Make small reasonable goals. Such as I will not pull for the next three hours. Then keep increasing your time.
  • Look at your hair in the mirror everyday with your hands behind your back. Stare into the mirror until the anxiety to pull has lessened. This is called exposure therapy and it does work! **
  • Look in the mirror every day to see how much its grown. Be proud of your hard work. **
  • Brush your hair instead of pulling*
  • Have a positive attitude**
  • If you pull some hair do not beat yourself up about it, just try again.
  • Use the saying "every hair belongs on my head" and repeat this over and over until the urge to pull ceases.*
  • Make yourself busy, too much downtime can be dangerous.*
  • Help others, which in turn will help you.**
  • Read everything you can on the internet about trichotillomania and the treatment plans to deal with it.*
  • Watch shows and documentaries about trichotillomania to learn new techniques.*
  • Wear perfume on your hands so that you will realize when your hand is going up to pull out your hair.
  • Name the hairs you want to pull out. It sounds silly but for some, it works.
  • Spend less time in the areas of your house that you pull in.*
  • Keep a journal of your feelings.*
  • Find a hair that is laying around your house and stare at it daily. For many people, the sight of hair can trigger hair pulling. By staring at a piece of hair everyday you are exposing yourself to the anxiety that follows. This will eventually cause the anxiety to lessen.*
  • Also read textbooks about the anatomy of hair.
  • Play with silly putty *
  • Take a long bath to ease the anxiety.**
  • Wear a wig the entire day, until you go to bed. Then put on a bandana. ( Only use this the first two weeks or so, then trust yourself enough to take it off)*
  • Take good care of your hair. Appreciating the hair you have will provide you with the courage you need to grow more. This means you should brush your hair daily, wash it at least once a day if possible, and respect that it belongs on your head. *
  • Put your tweezers in a cabinet until you need them for grooming, not trichotillomania. If you use tweezers a lot you may need to throw them out and only buy new ones when you have your Trichotillomania under control.* You might also try freezing your tweezers in a bag of ice.
  • Imagine your life without trichotillomania and with hair.**
  • Place lotion or gel on your hands so it's hard to grasp the hair you want to pull.
  • Place notes that say "NO" or inspirational sayings about stopping hair pulling in places where you normally pull.
  • Wear a rubber band around your wrist to snap every time you want to pull.
  • Wear a bead bracelet to fidget with.
  • Lift weights. Your arms will be too tired to want to pull.
  • Pet an animal. Sometimes just running your hands through a pet's fur can stimulate the same sensation that you need in order to ease anxiety.*
  • Meditate. Practice Mindfulness.
  • Take pictures of your bald spots and post them where you usually pull. When seeing these pictures you will not want to pull since bald spots are frightening.
  • Tell your friends and family to tell you to stop if they see you pulling.*
  • Spread the word about Trichotillomania. Sometimes telling other people about our condition helps us want to change it.*
  • Last but not least learn to love yourself. Only then can you start to heal. **

TLC Author

No items found.


Lindy Hahn

BFRB Community Member

Self Help Strategies

Permanent hair removal

For most women, the presence of hair in various parts of the body is a big problem. What women of fashion do not go to so that their skin is always smooth and attractive. But is it really possible to get rid of hair permanently? To date, this has not been confirmed by any scientific study. However, there are many ways in the world that allow, if not forever, then for a long time to remove unwanted hair. Depending on the type of skin and the amount of vegetation, the most suitable method is selected. Also, the choice of one or another type of hair removal largely depends on which part of the body is being treated.

Perhaps there is no such girl in the world who has not undergone a hair removal procedure at least once in her life. The variety of hair removal methods is so wide that everyone can choose the most comfortable and effective. In addition, some methods of hair removal, with some experience and funds, are successfully practiced at home. These include waxing and sugaring. But some methods of hair removal involve the use of special devices. In fact, such hair removal is a kind of operation, therefore, it requires proper preparation from the patient, and from the beautician - high qualifications and ability to handle the equipment. These methods of removing unwanted hair include:

  • laser hair removal;
  • photoepilation;
  • electrolysis;
  • elos epilation.

Each of them has its pros and cons, but it is safe to say that hardware types of hair removal are much more effective than traditional ones. They give a longer effect, allow you to process large areas of the body, while there are no ingrown hairs. When carrying out such procedures, cosmetics are practically not used, which reduces the risk of allergic reactions to a minimum. It is also worth noting that during hardware hair removal, the effect is directly on the hair, without touching the skin. Thus, it is practically not damaged, which cannot be said about hair removal with wax or sugar paste. In addition, waxing and sugaring are quite painful, accompanied by redness and irritation of the skin. Hardware hair removal practically does not cause discomfort to the patient, during the procedure, only a slight burning sensation and tingling are often felt.

The beauty industry does not stand still. What professionals can’t come up with to help fashionistas around the world permanently remove unwanted hair. Every year there are more and more new hair removal methods that promise to rid women of unwanted hair on the body once and for all. Already existing methods of epilation are being improved, which are becoming more efficient and comfortable. Among the variety of procedures, laser hair removal remains the most popular. Laser hair removal is well known to all fashionistas. It is one of the most effective, convenient and affordable, therefore, having gone through this procedure once, many beauties no longer cheat on it. Of course, laser hair removal cannot permanently get rid of unwanted hair, but it can significantly slow down their growth. Each new procedure reduces the thickness of the hairs, they become noticeably smaller. Laser hair removal is suitable for all skin types. All these features explain why most girls prefer this hair removal.

Solve the problem once and for all.

Various hair removal methods

In an effort to solve the problem of unwanted hair, beauty industry experts are developing new methods of hair removal. Some of them are not practiced in all countries. Let's take a closer look at popular methods:

  • Shaving. The easiest and most painless way, but also the least effective. Already on the second day after shaving, the bristles break through, and the hair becomes stiffer and darker. In addition, this method damages the skin. Deciding to get rid of hair in this way, you risk cutting yourself, and this problem is even less pleasant than unwanted hair.
  • Hair treatment with depilatory creams. Fast, painless, but also ineffective. In essence, this method differs from shaving only in that you do not need to use a razor. In addition, many drugs cause allergic reactions.
  • Epilation of hair with wax or sugar paste. It is one of the most popular and widespread procedures. It gives a fairly long-term effect, but if the manipulations are carried out incorrectly, the hair begins to grow into the skin. In addition, this type of hair removal takes a long time, is unsuitable for some skin types, does not solve the problem of vellus hair, injures and irritates the skin. Do not forget about her pain.
  • Laser hair removal is permanent hair removal (actually for several years) using a laser.
  • Photoepilation. The procedure involves irradiating the hair growth zone with thermal energy, which is converted from light energy.
  • Electrolysis. Electrical energy converted into heat destroys the hair follicles.
  • Elos epilation. It is a symbiosis of light, laser and radio wave energy. Perhaps this is the only type of hair removal that allows you to get rid of unwanted hair of any type and color.
  • Qool epilation. Similar to a laser procedure. Its difference lies in the selective effect of the laser directly on the hair, while the skin remains intact.
  • AFT epilation. During the procedure, a pulse of infrared radiation selectively affects the hair follicle.

On the one hand, such a variety of procedures should make it easier to choose a method, but on the other hand, it makes you wonder what kind of hair removal to use after all. Be that as it may, almost all the procedures that you will be offered in the salon will allow you to get rid of unwanted hair for a long time. Experienced specialists will advise you on all your questions, tell you about all the pros, cons, contraindications, and warn you about possible consequences. This will help you decide which epilation is most comfortable and effective for you.

Laser epilation. Permanent hair removal?

Of all the existing methods for removing unwanted vegetation on the body, it is laser hair removal that allows you to remove body hair, although not forever, but for a very long time - from 5 to 7 years. This procedure also has many other advantages:

  • Virtually painless procedure.
  • Does not damage the skin, does not leave scars and scars.
  • Long-term effect after a course of procedures. You will not get rid of hair forever, but your skin will be smooth for 5-7 years.
  • The procedure does not take much time.
  • This permanent hair removal procedure is suitable for owners of both light and dark skin.
  • The list of advantages includes the optimal cost of the procedure. In many ways, the price depends on the size of the treated area. The larger the area from which you want to remove hair, the more expensive the session. Also, if you want to get a really high-quality result and the longest lasting effect, you need to take a course that consists of several procedures. Taking into account all the advantages of the laser method, we can safely say that this hair removal procedure is worth the money.

Top 7 Best Hair Removal Methods in 2022

Smooth, soft and silky skin is every woman's dream. Since ancient times, beauties have sought to get rid of unwanted vegetation on their bodies. Therefore, in pursuit of the ideal and attractiveness, the weaker sex even today uses any methods, often neglecting their health and safety in the process.

Folk recipes and wisdom, advice from girlfriends, low-quality preparations and often cruel, "barbaric" techniques are used. Inexperienced women injure themselves in search of an impeccable appearance, wanting to get the desired result as quickly as possible.

But there are those who prefer proven and safe methods. But are they all that effective? How to choose the right method for yourself and how long will the result be noticeable? What to do in order not to make a mistake in choosing and not harm yourself? Let's find out below!

Unwanted hair removal: is it necessary?

Undoubtedly, the fight against body hair is a personal choice for everyone. But beauty standards and fashion trends dictate their rules to us in this regard, and self-confidence, comfort and personal hygiene prove that hair removal is a necessary procedure.

In this article, you will learn about the most common and reliable types of unwanted hair removal, as well as their nuances and disadvantages. We will find out for sure the best way to get rid of hated hairs with minimal costs of both finances and time. And also find out which method suits absolutely everyone without exception!

7th place - shaving machine

And the first on our list will be hair removal with a razor. This is the most common and easiest way to get rid of body hair, especially at home.

This type of shave is popular due to its affordability, simplicity and wide range of razors. Today, machines of various shapes, models, sizes and even colors are available for sale. At the same time, many types of machines are additionally improved with non-slip handles, floating heads and rubberized, high-quality blades.


The advantages of hair removal with machines include: the convenience of the method, its sufficient safety and practicality, saving time. At the same time, even the most fashionable types are distinguished by a reasonable price and serve at least 2-3 years. There are no special contraindications for using the machine.

Disadvantages : short-term result (hairs begin a new growth phase as early as 2 days after the procedure), skin irritations, less often cuts. Also, this procedure leads to the development of ingrown hairs. The hairs become coarse, bristles appear. After the machine, the hairs also darken, thicken and begin to grow more actively and extensively.

Summing up , we can say that hair removal with a loom is the easiest method available to everyone. But at the same time, its effectiveness is very low and not long-term. After the procedure, you will find injured, overdried skin, inflammation and other rashes.

6th place — epilator

In sixth place we have an epilator. Hair removal with this miracle device is also a convenient, fast, but, unfortunately, painful process.

Buying an epilator, you can get rid of unwanted body hair on your own with a good result, but the effect will also be short-lived - only 1-2 weeks, depending on the physiological characteristics of your body. After all, the essence of the operation of the epilator is simple: the machine captures the hairs and pulls them out by the root, so the effect of such a process is much higher than that of the machine.

At the same time, it should be noted that good models with a cooling function are not a cheap pleasure. One plus - a quality device from a trusted brand will serve you faithfully for many years. One thing: be sure to clean the epilator well after each use and be careful with the cord. Often, it is poor-quality care and storage, a broken power cord that lead to device breakdowns.


Pros: long-term result, smooth skin without ingrown hairs. Also, hair and bulbs become thinner, less noticeable. The epilator is convenient to use both at home and on vacation, trips. A wide range of models, good functionality and power. The ability to treat any area on the body from unwanted hairiness.

Cons: soreness of the whole process, skin redness. Also, you can use the device only on well-grown hairs (3-4 mm), otherwise you risk simply breaking them and enduring an additional portion of pain and discomfort. The epilator needs careful and painstaking care. Best of all, it works from the mains; on batteries, its power and charge may not be enough for all zones. Also, these devices often have problems with blunt blades, power supply and cord. Cheap models are not equipped with useful accessories and features like: cooling, trimmer or facial attachment (used to remove hair above the lip).

Conclusion: device is a good choice, but only if you are not afraid of pain and are willing to pay a tidy sum for a really good model. The effectiveness of the method is average.

5th place - hair removal with creams

Modern technologies and progress bring many new and effective preparations to the beauty market. Hair removal creams are one such remedy. Despite the fact that the first copies appeared many years ago, today more and more interesting and high-quality products are on store shelves. Creams are chosen mainly by inexperienced girls / teenagers, and also as the first remedy for hair removal. And all because such hair removal is very simple, completely painless and convenient.

Hair removal creams dissolve hairs, leaving the skin smooth and soft. However, they are cheap and affordable. The advantages of the method also include a good choice of means, time savings, and good performance.


Creams have much more disadvantages:

  • Short result (hair grows back quickly),
  • Some options cause dry skin, irritation, allergic reactions,
  • Creams can cause burns, they must be washed off with water ,
  • The process itself is time consuming and few like long showers,
  • Hair removal creams should not be used on a permanent basis.

We make the conclusion that the method is not bad, but has many shortcomings. Hair grows back 3-5 days after the procedure. Adverse and allergic reactions are possible. The spatula that comes with the kit is quite difficult to remove the hairs and a thick layer of cream the first time.

4th place - sugaring or depilation

Bioepilation with sugar paste or shugaring is a popular cosmetic procedure these days. Women choose it for its high performance, safety and environmental friendliness. This process is the application of a hot / melted paste to the hair growth sites, and then in the right direction and with sharp movements, the master removes the solution / mixture from the body along with the hated hairs.

The procedure can be carried out independently, but the main thing is to do it in the correct sequence and following all the principles and technologies. Otherwise, you can severely injure the skin and get a deplorable, unsightly result.


Advantages of sugaring : low cost of the procedure. It is carried out both at home and in any beauty salon, clinic. The process does not last long and almost does not cause discomfort. The smoothness of the skin lasts for about two to three weeks. The procedure is hypoallergenic, suitable for both men and women. Sugaring can be done even with some diseases, such as varicose veins.

Cons: embarrassment (not everyone is ready to be completely naked in front of a stranger, even if he is a master of beauty). Often after the session, the skin remains sticky, and there may be inconvenience against this background. The procedure is carried out on well-grown hairs (5-7mm). Manipulations must be carried out correctly, otherwise ingrown hairs and injuries may appear. The procedure is painful and if safety measures are not observed, you can even get burns.

Bottom line: can and should be done, but the result and the process itself can satisfy few. Suitable for people with normal skin and low pain threshold. Get rid of unwanted hair completely will not work.

3rd place — electrolysis

Electrolysis is a modern solution in the struggle for beauty and satin skin. The procedure is carried out only in specialized institutions, clinics and medical centers. As well as exceptionally experienced professionals.

It can permanently rid you of unwanted hair on the body, however, the sessions have their own nuances and few can withstand their soreness.

The procedure of electrolysis is the effect on the hair follicle with the help of an electric current, which is passed through a small thin needle. Then the hair dies. For an excellent result, the procedure is carried out in several sessions, depending on the individual need and the density of the hairline. Sessions are expensive.


Advantages: high efficiency, complete bulb removal. The method is suitable for all hair types (including gray) and ages. The procedure itself, not a session, usually does not take much time.

Cons: pain (not for sissies), hair removal is performed in sessions. Electrolysis is an expensive way to get rid of complexes and shortcomings. With its help, it is difficult to process large areas of skin and in some places (bikini or armpit area) the process is problematic. Therefore, in these areas, as well as on the chest, electrolysis is not performed. If removed incorrectly, the hairs begin to grow in.

There are many contraindications to the procedure: skin diseases, problems with the circulatory system, pregnancy, intrauterine device, gold threads, and so on. If you have skin with poor elasticity and there is a risk of scarring, this method of hair removal is also not recommended for you.

Therefore, having decided on this procedure, carefully select the place and the master. Otherwise, you risk losing money, and get upset from a bad experience, and in the worst case, get scars and pigmentation.

2nd place - IPL

Photoepilation is an innovative solution for removing unwanted hair. The method is applied successfully and effectively to almost all parts of the body. Under the influence of a broadband beam of light emitted by a flash lamp, the hairs and bulbs are not only destroyed, but also brighten, since this technique primarily affects the melanin that is inside the hairs.

At the same time, under the influence of heat Also under the influence of light, collagen production is stimulated inside the skin, which leads to an overall improvement in the condition of the skin and to their elasticity.


The method is considered the safest and most painless. This is because the beam of light does not affect the skin for long and its power is selected individually for each person, taking into account the characteristics of his skin, light type and general sensitivity of the body. The procedure is complex and consists of several sessions. Complete hair removal after the procedure occurs within 5-10 days.

Advantages of the method: incredible results and complete hair removal, in the event of the appearance of individual hairs, they become very thin and almost invisible. The procedure is safe and can be used on such delicate areas as: face, armpits, bikini area. Photoepilation is indicated in the fight against pigmentation, spider veins, as well as for photorejuvenation. IPL hair removal is very effective for hypertrichosis, hirsutism and hypersensitivity. Large and hard-to-reach places can be processed in this way.

Cons: procedure has a wide list of contraindications, so before visiting a specialist, you should study it in detail and consult with a doctor. Also, do not do photoepilation for tanning, tattoos, permanent makeup, gold threads and in areas where you have neoplasms and nevi. If the procedure is carried out incorrectly, burns, cancers (if the beam of light hits sensitive areas) may occur. Also, before carrying out the procedure, you should learn and conduct a phased preparation for this process.

As output one thing is clear: the method is effective, but not suitable for everyone. Differs in high cost and long preparation for the process.

1st place — diode laser

Hair removal with a diode laser is a real “gold standard” in cosmetology and medicine. This method combines not only high efficiency, complete absence of pain, but also significant time savings, high comfort and hygiene. Due to the wide range of laser exposure, the method is used to treat vascular pathologies, as well as for a stimulating and bactericidal effect. Therefore, a diode laser is the best assistant for acne, as well as in the fight against pigmentation and for rejuvenation.

The laser is suitable for all hair types and ages, however, the fastest and most visible results are achieved with dark, coarse hair. In the process of laser treatment of the skin under thermal influence, the hair shaft and bulbs die off. The procedure is carried out in several sessions. To reduce discomfort in the process, the master uses special gels and cooling.


The advantages of the method include its incredible results, safety and ease, as well as the complete absence of pain and side effects (if you initially have no contraindications to the procedure). After using the laser, the skin is rejuvenated, not injured. A full session does not last long, even if hairs are processed in hard-to-reach areas, and it also does not require complex and lengthy preparation.

Of the minuses of , it is worth highlighting the high cost of the method, the presence of certain contraindications. Also, the duration of the course may increase for people with blond hair and thin skin. Sometimes there may be discomfort when removing hair on the face and in the bikini area. All devices must undergo enhanced sterilization, so you should carefully choose a specialist and a place. Complete hair loss does not occur immediately, but within 2-7 days.


Summarizing all the above, we can say for sure that today there are a lot of methods for dealing with unwanted hair and imperfections. And many of them are actually effective and work. But with all this, it is worth choosing procedures for yourself carefully and taking into account all the characteristics of the body.

It is also clear from the analysis carried out that it is diode skin and hair treatment that is considered the highest quality, safest and most enjoyable. It guarantees complete hair removal in the shortest possible time, suits almost everyone and does not create health problems after the course. And most importantly, your comfort, beautiful and well-groomed appearance from this type of laser is really worth the money.

And finally, we remind you once again how important it is, even with diode hair removal, as well as other simpler methods of dealing with unwanted vegetation, to conscientiously and responsibly select a master and his office. Never settle for home visits! It is dangerous for your life and beauty!

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