What Is Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania is considered to be a body-focused repetitive behavior and falls under the DSM-5 classification of “Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorder.” Sufferers are compelled to pull out hairs from their scalp, eyebrows or eyelashes, often to the extent that the follicles are damaged and hair will not grow back.
The causes of trichotillomania are not fully known. It’s believed that there is a genetic component and that the condition can also arise based on stress, personal temperament and environmental factors. An important consideration is that individuals may repeatedly attempt to stop the hair pulling but be unable to do so.
Trichotillomania in Children
According to the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, trichotillomania usually begins in late childhood or early puberty. This can be a time full of pressure to conform and fit in with the group. When hair loss becomes apparent, children may be ostracized and made fun of for their difference.
It can be especially challenging for older children whose peers might not understand that trichotillomania is an actual medical condition. Teens may accuse sufferers of causing the problem themselves rather than reacting with empathy.
Wigs for Trichotillomania
One solution while children work to overcome the hair pulling behavior includes wearing a hairpiece. Wigs for Kids provides trichotillomania wigs for children at no charge. Our hairpieces are all custom created to fit each individual child’s scalp and are made of donated human hair.
A wig can allow a child suffering from trichotillomania to keep his or her condition private when the child chooses. It can help kids feel more comfortable and confident in participating in activities they may previously have avoided, such as swimming, windy conditions or even doctor visits. In addition, trichotillomania hairpieces can sometimes help children stop pulling because the hair on their head is no longer connected with the sensation of pulling.
Trichotillomania hairpieces from Wigs for Kids are always provided free of charge to recipients. We simply want to help children live their lives and look themselves. If you’d like to apply to receive a wig for your child, you can do so here. Or, consider donating your hair to help a child in need.
Interested in hearing other’s trichotillomania stories? Watch Erica tell her story.