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Guest Post On How Rosa Successfully Stopped Pulling Out Her Own Eyelashes and Eyebrows!
I feel blessed that I was able to have Rosa tell her story on the blog.
Rosa Vaguez has successfully stopped pulling out her eyelashes and eyebrows and they’ve grown back so full and beautiful that I really wanted her to share her success with us.
Be blessed and encouraged.
There’s always hope.
How Old Were You When You First Started Pulling Out Your Eyebrows and Eyelashes?
I believe I started pulling my eyebrows around 6 or 7.
I’m guesstimating it based on old photographs where there were tiny bold patches on my brows.
Then there was a time a stopped only to start full blown at the age of 14.
I have no recollection of when I started with my eyelashes but it was sometime after I started pulling on my eyebrows.
Right before high school I pretty much had no eyebrows or eyelashes remaining like that for the most part until my early 40’s being well over 30 years of suffering what is known today as hair pulling or clinically known as Trichotillamania.
Do You Know Why You Would Pull Your Eyelashes and Eybrows?
As a child I had no idea why I did this and it may have been something I’ve done without realizing it due to stress or nerves.
I had a very stressful childhood being bullied in elementary school for hair pulling, having a first generation immigrant parent and likely not conforming to bullies requests.
My home life was very stressful as well having a parent who had a mental illnesses.
Although my parents loved me and did their best one of them was always working while the parent at home had an un-diagnosed personality disorder causing me a great amount of additional anxiety and made me grow up well above my years.
Unfortunately there was a great amount of emotional and some physical abuse I experienced as well.
Even if it wasn’t a healthy option it kept me afloat in life.
As I got older I fell into the trap of thinking this was my plight in life and dealing with it when all my attempts failed.
I pretty much pulled for any and all reasons – boredom, stress, anxiety and perhaps because I didn’t want lashes or eyebrows for some time.
I had thick eyebrows as a child and was bullied for having thick brows even before I was bullied for having drawn on brows.
In respects to peers I couldn’t win.
And I was horribly emotionally and physically abused by a parent that I think I kept pulling because it was the one thing I can control.
The parent with the personality disorder mistreated me terribly and perhaps it was a way to get back them.
Sometimes I wanted no eyebrows or eyelashes so my makeup would look more in symmetry with no hairs.
I have read somewhere people with trichotillamania tend to develop great make-up skills and end up in the make-up industry.
This is no surprise to me since we have to learn how to make ourselves look as normal as possible.
I tried to accept it saying I liked it better without brows and lashes but in my heart I’m certain I never liked it.
What Did You Do To Stop Pulling Out Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows?
I have tried a number of times in my life to stop pulling my eyebrows and eyelashes and failed miserably.
It wasn’t until I came across a Facebook Support page when I had my first born child I realized how many young children were afflicted with this disorder.
I was fearful my child would acquire this by watching me pull or even seeing I have no brows or lashes.
I think it was because of my little one that I reconsidered possibly being pull free.
Furthermore with my child growing up I didn’t want my affliction with hair pulling to stop me from having fun adventures with my child like with water activities which are common living in the Southern US.
I considered microbladding but thought I should try growing my brows out to see if they would come back.
If I was strong enough.
I thought after 30+ years of pulling them out they wouldn’t return but I had to find out.
To my surprise my eyebrows grew in beautifully and my lashes are still growing in.
I’m no stranger to being aware that my disorder had a name because I first heard about Trichotillamania as an undergrad psychology student in the late 1990’s.
I heard there was little to be done as far as treatments go for Trichotillamania from a professor as an undergraduate.
I would periodically check online to see if there’s anything new to learn about the disorder but after awhile I gave up looking into it until I learned about the Trichotillamania Learning Center.
It was there that I learned about many effective resources and treatment to help me.
I thought doing both at once was too difficult.
After 3 weeks of putting 100% effort into it I noticed I was stopping pulling brows as well.
To my surprise my week 8 of a 16 week program I was managing being pull free much better.
I wasn’t perfect and slipped up but was able to learn strategies to stop.
My hair pulling was minimal and I eventually stopped completely during my online treatment and have stayed like that for nearly 9 months now.
I have a whole perspective on the efficacy of TrichStop and online counseling services like them but that’s for another article.
I started using cold pressed castor oil at night on my brows and lashes.
I never tried NAC because my earlier General Practitioner wasn’t too comfortable with my using it.
However, I have a new doctor now who is waiting on lab work to see if NAC is a good idea for me now.
Even if my brows and lashes are grown in I still get urges.
I also have done vast amount of research and still reading up on new things in helping Trichotillamania urges.
I’m also reading many books about Trichotillamania and I’d love to do a book review again an idea for a different article.
But I think one of the biggest things that helped me on the road to recovery is to let a few key people into my difficult disorder.
One close friend said absentmindedly “Just to stop!”
Although it hurt my feelings he came back after learning about it apparently realizing it was an affliction and empathetic towards my hardships.
Unlike my family as a child my spouse was very supportive and my key friends really amazed me with their empathy.
I guess having a close support system is key and to remove the isolation of the disorder.
Most importantly is to develop a unconditional love of self and for me putting aside time for myself for spiritual growth.
Knowing God is always there to support me helps enormously.
Getting adequate rest, proper nutrition and drinking plenty water helps.
I also learned not to spread myself thin when taking responsibilities and sometimes having to say “No!”
If I learned anything is to keep away from toxic family members and people.
Having toxic parents like myself may be hard to keep away from but if you can find a trustworthy adult to confide in it may help – teacher, counselor, trusted adult, police officer, nurse, doctor, coach or priest.
Seems like there’s not a one size fit all regarding quick fixes for brows and lashes effected by Trich – or for anything else for that matter.
Everyone is different but I’m sure I hit here on some fundamental things applicable to any Trichotillamania sufferer.
Comes down to how bad you want to get over it and if your ready for a life change.
It isn’t easy because it’s your wishes vs your physical urges but know there’s help for you and not to give up.
I’ve learned prescribed medication & supplements like NAC will do so much.
The most effective treatment is counseling specializing in Trichotillamania consisting of cognitive behavior therapy and habit reversal therapy.
Although many people experience trauma I learned Trich can happen to anyone and at anytime.
Will Eyelashes And Eyebrows Grow Back After Being Pulled Out?
This is a good question and I wondered the same thing.
I learned the body is usually resilient and eyebrows, eyelashes and head hair almost always returns when not being pulled.
People think there is permanent follicle damage when a former pulling site may be in a “hibernation” state.
It seems when a part of the body is repeatedly being pulled from the brain may tell that site to stop or minimize hair growth.
Sometimes it takes dermatologists to prescribe medication to get hair growth to return.
One popular prescription is Latisse for eyelash and eyebrow regrowth but it does come with side effects.
Latisse is also very expensive and side effects many people don’t want to worry about.
I never used Latisse but there are tons of YouTube reviews on it along with tons of cosmetic lash/brow serums available.
Hair growth will only not grow if there is sufficient follicle damage which often isn’t the case but in extreme situations it can happen with decades of hair pulling.
Even if hair does grow a trich sufferer does run the risk of hairs growing in crooked or kinky.
How Long Did It Take For Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows To Grow Back After Being Pulled Out?
In my case in 4 weeks I needed to get brows waxed for a shaping.
In 10 weeks they were completely full.
It may take the average person 1-6 months depending on their individual nutrition for brows.
For my lashes I saw some lash hair sprouting in 3 weeks and it has been growing since then.
I got at least one row of lashes on my lash line by 6 months.
It usually takes a full year for eyelashes to come in fully I hear due to the 3 stage growth cycle.
What Tips Would You Give Someone Looking To Stop Pulling Their Eyelashes and Eyebrows Now That You’re In Recovery?
For me it was accepting my childhood trauma and finding alternative healthier ways in dealing with it.
Not being around the toxic people who hurt me and realizing my self worth as most valuable.
If I learned anything through this experience is that it has nothing to do with hair.
It has to do with ones current state of mind, life circumstances, potential trauma, etc.
Finding the true deep problem troubling a person and addressing the problem in a healthy way – counseling, support groups, relaxation techniques or changing lifestyle habits may potentially help the trichotillamania sufferer.
Sometimes when eyelashes come in they can irritate your eyes and learned warm compresses over the eyes while lying down resting before bedtime helps relieve the itch.
Please take comfort in knowing this is temporary and if needed see an eye doctor if it gets bad.
Sometimes lashes grow in crooked needed a professionals intervention.
Try not to pull rogue lashes on your own but have the pros deal with it.
I would not try to have 1-2 hairs pulled a week.
As that was my personal rule.
Rosa’s Before And After Pictures
This Is Me Now!
Lash Lift, Lash Tint, Brow Tint, Brow Wax