Does Trichotillomania Cause Permanent Hair Loss?

Frustrated stressed young woman. Headshot unhappy overwhelmed girl having headache bad day pulling her hair out isolated on grey wall background. Negative emotion face expression feelings perception

Trichotillomania Cause Permanent Hair LossTrichotillomania is a severe hair pulling disorder that is characterized by the compulsive desire and urge for a person to pull out their own hair in clumps or strand by strand in order to endure self harm or induce pain. Many people who suffer from this disorder have no desire to be bald or have bald spots, but they get a sense of gratification from the physical act of pulling out the hair from their head, eyelashes, and other parts of their bodies. This intense urge to self harm has been linked to emotional disorders caused by chemical imbalances in the brain such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, drug dependency, and other emotional issues. In the throes of despair, it may seem like all hope is lost, but the good news is that trichotillomania is highly psychologically and physically treatable.

Trichotillomania TTM/Hair-Pulling Disorder and Hair Loss

The first crucial step when it comes to treating hair loss related to trichotillomania is to get to the core problem and figure out why the patient is pulling out their own hair.

Depending on the severity of the specific case of trichotillomania, natural hair regrowth is possible, but the hair follicles will be in a severely weakened state. Therefore, any hair that does grow back will be coarser, finer, and most likely grey or white. In some very dire cases of trichotillomania, hair loss may be permanent.

While physical treatments such as hair transplants and surgery are viable options for replacing the lost hair, these attempts are futile if the root emotional cause of the problem is not resolved first. It will not do any good to replace the hair if the patient will just continue to pull it out. In fact, this will only enable the habit and strengthen the desire to keep pulling the hair out. That is why in cases where trichotillomania is detected, psychological therapists are called upon in addition to dermatologists and hair experts to help treat the problem.

The first step is to engage the patient in what is known as Habit Reversal Training, which constitutes observing the patient in order to determine what triggers their hair pulling episodes and how they can better manage and control their urges. Usually, therapists will have their patients keep a detailed journal of all of their episodes so that they can determine if there are any obvious or underlying patterns that can help to resolve the root cause of the problem.

Facts about Trichotillomania and Hair Regrowth

Aside from the psychological treatment options for trichotillomania, there are also physical and surgical treatments available that may work in conjunction with Habit Reversal Training. Once the patient has made significant progress with resisting and controlling their hair pulling tendencies, doctors can introduce Rogaine as a medical treatment option.

For those cases that cannot be repaired with medical treatment, hair restoration surgery is another option. Once again, however, this should only be administered once the physicians are absolutely certain that the patient will not undo the repairs and resist the temptation to pull out their hair in stressful situations.

Psychological conditioning plays a huge role in the patient’s mental and physical well being in this regard, but it can be very rewarding once they succeed in conquering their dilemma firsthand. The fact is that trichotillomania is a treatable condition and hair regrowth is possible; however, the sooner this issue is diagnosed, the faster the patient can get the help they desperately need.

Trichotillomania Hair Loss Treatment

The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists has been in business for over 20 years and our specialists have extensive experience with treating trichotillomania and hair loss, administering hair transplants, and hair restoration surgeries. For a free consultation, please call us at (905) 272-0190 or toll free at 1-800-563-3836.

by Ken Robson

In business since August 1, 1986, I am the president and also a client at The Canadian Institute of Hair & Scalp Specialists. Having worked with a team of Doctors and Chemists over the years I have compiled a great deal of knowledge in this area, originally involved with a Pharmaceutical company manufacturing vitamins for the hair loss industry. Years ago I was fascinated by the new developments in this area as my own hair was beginning to thin. Studying Trichology at the Toronto clinic I then opened my own office and have enjoyed it ever since.