Trichotillomania- Hair Pulling

Updated on December 18, 2006
T.B. asks from Sewell, NJ
8 answers

I have a 2 1/2 year old girl who is a very good child. At 8 months she starting pulling her hair when she got tired. Well she still does it and we have to keep her hair as short as possible. I have read a lot about it and it is almost as if she uses it as her blanket. She totally loves hair. She sucks her thunb and takes the hair and rubs her ear, nose, mouth. We have tried giving her a doll with hair so she stop pulling her own until she woke up one morning with a blue finger from hair being wrapped around it.She will actually crawl on the floor when she is tired trying to find a hair. I asked her why she does it and she says "I just love it". She does not do it out of anger like some it is only out of comfort. I don't know how to get her to stop pulling her hair. Can anyone give me advice?

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answers from Johnstown on

Well this might not be the advice you are looking for, but I used to do child care for UCP, and most of the little ones that I watched did the same thing.... I would contact a doctor who specializes with this kind of behavior issues. I wish the best for you!! If you need ref. let me know!

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answers from Philadelphia on

My son did this and I found out that is hac be hereditary. Come to find out, my neice used to do it as well but she pulled her eye brows out.

Our ped. told us to keep his hands busy. You did the right thing by getting her a doll. Sorry her fingers got tangled up. Try a stuffed animal that is very furry, like a lion with a mane or something similar. Or try a baby blanket with a satin edge or one of those taggie toys

They have the satin tags all over them that kids love to play with. Try not to draw attention to what she is doing when she is pulling her hair, simply hand her something to keep her hands busy without drawing attention to the fact that she is pulling out her hair.

I hope she can stop. My son hasn't done it is a while.



answers from Washington DC on

I actually have this condition but it is extremely well managed now. I was almost all bald most of my early years and would do EXACTLY what your daughted does. My parents ended up making me wear mittens and hats tied tightly to my head at night, they also bought me dolls with long hair to try to distract me. It may help some. There are also medicines that she can take. I know mine went in stages (my hair, then my eyelashes, then when i was older i got obsessed with plucking body hair, but now i only pull out hair when i am super stressed and no one would have a clue I ever had this problem). It does get better, just sit down with your pedi and brainstorm (hugs) mama



answers from Philadelphia on

Wow, I heard of kids pulling their hair out like that. Have you tried talking to her ped?



answers from Philadelphia on

I thought I was the only one that had a child that did that, it is nice to know I am not the only one. People use to look at us like we were freaks because my daughter would pull her hair out and put it around her binki. Your daughter will grouw out of it. I kept taking her hands gently away from her hair and saying (I sounded like a broken record)stop pulling you hair it will hurt. We did it every single time, after a while she did stop. It seemed like it took months for her hair to grow back in that spot. We also discovery that alot of my daughter's problem with pulling her hair was from trama, I don't know if that is the case for you, I just wanted to throw that suggestion out there.
Good Luck,



answers from Pittsburgh on

I cant give you advice on how to get her to stop. But the reason why I am writing you is because I have a 2 year old little girl to and she has the same problem as your daughter the difference is instead of her playing with her own hair she is obsessed with everyone elses hair she is constantly playing with it. She wont go to bed at night unless she plays with my hair she will litterally cry for it. Anyway sorry that I cant help you but I just wanted to write you its nice to know that my child aint the only one that does that cuz I was starting to worry to. Well take care.



answers from Scranton on

Hey T., wow...sounds like quite the dilemna you have on your hands. It sounds to me like you have tried many good ideas. If you think it is comfort related, maybe you could try giving her a blanket (you said it's kind of her "blankie", right?). Get her a really soft furry blanket, and maybe that will help. The only other suggestion I have is to look into it online. Try to find a Trichotillomania web-site, and educate yourself more on the topic. Maybe if you get some understanding of why she does it, you can help her stop!? Just a suggestion, although as I already stated it sounds like you already have tried some great ideas. If that doesn't help, maybe talk to a pediatrician about it and see what advice they have:) Good luck.



answers from Lancaster on

My daughter pulls out her hair with brushes because she loves brushing hair. The doctor said try giving her something else to comb like a cornsilk cabbage patch kid, it worked. Maybe if you give your daughter one she will pull the dolls hair instead of her own.

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