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Can Hair Pulling Be Cured?
Hair pulling has been cured in many instances.
It may not have a “one cure fits all” but there’s definitely articles to support people being cured of their hair pulling.
I share a lot of these articles on my FB fan page when I find them.
Trichotillomania Has Been Cured With Different Methods
It really just depends on the cause, but there are multiple success stories of people being cured of trichotillomania. Below are some of them and the links to those resources.
I plan to keep this as an on going list, the more I find, the more I’ll add to it.
I do believe that you need to believe that you can overcome it and with that positive mind frame, you can move forward into looking at the different solutions that have worked for others.
NAC is a Supplement That Has Been Known To Eliminate Hair Pulling
N-acetyl-cysteine, N-acetylcysteine, N-acetyl cysteine, and N-acetyl-L-cysteine are all designations for the same compound, which is abbreviated as NAC.
The U.S. Library of Medicine reports,
“…NAC may exert a therapeutic effect on psychiatric disorders allegedly related to oxidative stress (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) as well as psychiatric syndromes characterized by impulsive/compulsive symptoms (e.g., trichotillomania, pathological nail biting, gambling, substance misuse).”
There is a REAL medical study that shows significant reduction in hair pulling as a result of using this supplement for a period of 9 weeks.
There is another trial that showed significant improvement after 12 weeks:
“But a paper published this week in the prestigious Archives of General Psychiatry offers a simple new hope for trichotillomania sufferers. In a small trial of 50 hair pullers, more than half of those who took an over-the-counter antioxidant called N-acetylcysteine, which is available in pill form at mainstream stores like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe, had improvement of symptoms after 12 weeks, compared with 16% of those taking a placebo.” (source)
NAC is available on Amazon and in local health stores.
I’m taking it now, I started out with 1200 mg a day (the dosage on the bottle).. you can read my full review of NAC here.
How much NAC to take varies from person to person, in an adult study of a 28 year old 40 year old woman, 1200 and 2400 mg was what was given:
“reported two cases of trichotillomania that responded to treatment with NAC. In the first case, a 28-year-old man with both nail-biting and trichotillomania responded after four weeks of treatment with NAC, at a dose of 1200mg/day. In the second case, a 40-year-old woman with trichotillomania responded after 10 weeks of treatment with NAC, at a dose of 2400mg/day.”
Do you have to take NAC with food?
I take NAC with food.
I almost always take supplements with food and water because I do have a nervous stomach.
“…it’s not necessary to take without food because one is not targeting the blood-brain barrier, and it’s not necessary to take with food unless one experiences stomach upset from NAC or vitamin C if one chooses to use it as well.” (source)
I have been taking it for nearly ten weeks and I have seen noticeable improvement.
Cod Liver Oil
How is your Omega 3 intake? Fish oil has been reported to cure trichotillomania and other behaviors in some individuals.
This woman’s daughter was cured of hair pulling when she added some fish oil daughter’s diet:
“He also said that she was Magnesium and Omega 3 deficient and suggested that we put her on a fish oil supplement. Apparently Omega 3’s are the “coating” for the electrical wiring in the brain for children. She was not getting enough, but now she is!!! I also have her on an excellent liquid multivitamin and a Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc supplement.”
This girl started taking Cod Liver Oil (which is rich in Omega 3 and Vitamin D) and she says her hair pulling and tics were gone!
I’ve recently come across a blog that is actually called, How I Cured My Hair Pulling!
This gentlemen goes into depth about how he used probiotics to help him overcome trichotillomania.
He had read an article about how our gut bacteria and mental health are associated and how probiotics had helped the people in their study.
“Those who had consumed the probiotic drink showed significantly lower brain activity in the neural networks that help drive responses to sensory and emotional behavior. ”
Science Daily reports that the probiotic bacteria has the potential to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorder:
” This three way communication system is known as the microbiome-gut-brain axis and these findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the communication between the gut and the brain, and suggest that certain probiotic organisms may prove to be useful adjunct therapies in stress-related psychiatric disorders.” (source)
Changes in Diet
No one wants to change their diet but it’s definitely something that needs to be looked at.
‘Looking at someone’s diet can provide major insights into eliminating the urge to pull.’
It is estimated that around 95% of the serotonin in our body is stored in the gastrointestinal tract; which means gastrointestinal function is essential for maintaining an appropriate neurotransmitter balance. (source)
I’ve read articles online of different people curing their trichotillomania with diet changes.
- Removing gluten and sugar would be a good place to start looking.
- Adding lots of water and removing any sugar drinks and sugar substitutes would be an area to improve.
I saw significant mood and energy shifts when I would eat carb heavy foods with sugar and gluten in them which would then increase the chances of my hair pulling.
Consider keeping a health diary or food journal. You can track how your handling any supplements or medications you’re taking which is also beneficial.
We are what we eat.
“Every 28 days your skin replaces itself. Your liver, 5 months. Your bones, 10 years. Your body makes these new cells from the food you eat. What you eat, literally becomes you!”
I know that EFT works for a lot of people and for a lot of different things and it’s often an overlooked method of relief. EFT is also known as “tapping” or Emotional Freedom Technique.
“Two months ago I gave a Introduction to EFT to a small group of individuals who belonged to a “T” support group at “Lucinda’s” in Cheshire. Yesterday I received a phone call from a hair stylist informing me that a client of hers who had been at the class had just informed her that she had not pulled her hair since the class. When and if she had a urge she just tapped and the urge went away.” (source)
I have not personally tried it yet but I read about a woman whose daughter stopped hair pulling using EFT and it’s had me intrigued..
I know there is no one cure for all, but I think trying different natural routes like this is a good idea. EFT is about tapping and speaking over yourself more positive affirmations. I can totally see where that would work for a lot of things.
YouTube has videos of people using EFT for hair pulling, lots of different tapping scripts available there.
There’s even an EFT online course just for hair pulling, this is a real thing people use and it’s something I really feel could help kids and adults.
Stop Hair Pulling With Words
I personally believe in the power of the spoken word.
God created the whole earth by speaking it into existence and Paul himself wrote, I believe, therefore I speak!
Faith speaks what it believes and calls forth the things that are not as though the were.
I read an AMAZING article of one woman who completely overcame Trichotillomania with only 5 words!
I personally have confessed that I was going to overcome trichotillomania and my words have manifested many different things that have helped me to overcome.
I found Keen bracelets, which made me aware!
I started tracking my health in a health tracking journal to pinpoint triggers.
I started doing the inner work by not being so hard on myself, discovering God’s love for me.
Your words can really change your entire situation.
I really encourage you to start thinking about the words you speak over your situation.
Are you speaking positive words into the universe or negative?
“Life and death are in the power of the tongue and those that love it will eat its fruit.”
Even if you don’t believe in God or bible verses, the laws of the Universe don’t change, we attract what we put out there.
So I believe yes, you can overcome with words.
EFT has a lot to do with words, that’s why I believe it’s a very effective method for curing trichotillomania in some individuals.
It may not be instant, it wasn’t with me, but it will come and it will be a great testimony to help others.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is the leading way to treat trichotillomania.
While it’s not a one-size fit all cure, it has helped people overcome trichotillomania.
It’s a series of techniques and resources that help the patient reverse the habit by exploring themselves and their behaviors through a series of exercises.
Through a series of training exercises designed to help someone with trichotillomania change their behaviors naturally.
Hair pulling is an automatic behavior for a lot of us, we’ve been doing it so long we just go to it and it can be reversed and overcome.
What it comes down to is increasing awareness, self monitoring, stress management, controlling the environment, occupying your hands in other ways (especially in difficult periods). When you combine them, it’s very powerful.
I have personally overcome trichotillomania doing something very similar to the techniques used in this kind of therapy.
It’s not instant, it’s a retraining process, but it’s effective for a lot of people with trichotillomania.
I used some of the CBT techniques and exercises like awareness enhancement, self monitoring, stress management, alternative behaviors, and controlling my environment – putting them all together I was able to overcome hair pulling.
I still have some urges, that’s why I’m trying the NAC supplement and I did a massive overhaul on my diet.
I began writing things down.
Lots of things. Moods, foods, sleep patterns, people, places, things.
Self monitoring allows you to see patterns in your behaviors that you can change for the better.
I bought Keen bracelets for awareness, I began using those to help make me aware of my hair pulling.
Awareness is really importnat because once you’re aware, you can work on alternative things to do to occupy your hands instead.
Stress Management & Stimulus Control
This is a big part of why I started a therapy journal in the first place. I had to know what things we’re putting me in bad hair pulling situations.
Whether it was food, diet, people, places – it’s important to be able to manage your environment and stress levels to stop hair pulling.
Keeping a journal helped me figure all that out.
Once I am aware, I divert my attention and hands to do other things.
After awhile it does become second nature.
You can retrain your brain if you keep at it.
I also manage my stress levels and control my surroundings to the best of my ability to keep myself mentally stable. Putting these things together has helped me a lot.
There’s online therapy programs specifically for this sort of thing.
Whether you do this online or give it a shot yourself, it’s definitely
This is one of the most effective therapies for treating trichotillomania.
I don’t even have to go to the doctors office to receive this sort of therapy, it’s online.
There’s isn’t one cause and there isn’t one cure but there’s a TON Of hope!
I hope this blog post shows you that there’s hope for curing hair pulling.
I’m going to keep adding to this as do more research and discover more testimonies and stories of people overcoming trichotillomania.
There isn’t a one-size fits all cure, but there’s definitely ways to overcome it!