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15 Strategies to Stop Hair Pulling On Your Own!
I’ve been able to stop trichotillomania on my own using a combination of strategies.
I share a lot of this information on my Facebook fan page when I find it but I thought writing a blog post about all these different methods I’ve found would help put everything in one easy-to-find place.
A lot of these methods are going to work together and some of them are stand alone.
What do I mean by that?
In order to stop trichotillomania on your own, you may need to do a few things or you may only need one.
There are methods mentioned that work together to bring the desired result while some of the supplements and other techniques listed might be all you need.
I’m going to keep updating this list when I find more methods that work.
Are You Self Monitoring?
Taking a look at diet, moods, pulling behaviors and environment, is a great way to connect patterns that might be working against the body and mind.
I would write down all sorts of things and then take a look back at them to see where I was at risk of hair pulling and WHY!
You’re basically going to put yourself under watch for awhile and write things down.
After a week or two, you’ll start connecting those trigger points because you can look back and see them in writing.
I wouldn’t have been able to stop pulling my hair on my own without knowing this information.
It took me awhile to figure out exactly what needed to be monitored, I started out with some basics and as I kept writing things down, I figured out what else I needed to look at.
My first therapy journal didn’t include diet or sleep but as I got going a few weeks I realized that I really needed to take a look at what I was doing to my body.
Food is our fuel and sleep helps your whole body function properly – so looking at those things helped me discover areas of weakness.
Are You Aware?
My biggest issue was I was pulling without realizing it.
In order to stop trichotillomania, I had to become aware of what my hands were doing.
I would pull out my hair, figure out what I did and then hate myself.
It was a vicious cycle because I really did want to stop and I would make a commitment to myself to stop but my hands never got the memo.
Self monitoring is a bit impossible if you don’t even realize when you’re pulling your hair!
By the grace of God, I found a solution, I found these habit detecting bracelets that buzzed me every time I put my hand in the “wrong” position.
Once I was aware of where my hands we’re, I was able to self monitor a lot better.
Awareness is also about knowing yourself, your surrounding and your behavior.
When you know where your hands are and you have a heighten awareness to the situations that trigger you – it makes it easier to stop pulling your hair on your own.
Retraining Your Brain
Once you’re aware of your hair pulling you’re going to want to work on retraining yourself to do other things.
I had to buy all sorts of fidget toys and find distractions for myself so I wouldn’t pull my hair.
I would keep these different fidgets with me and when my hands wanted to go to my head, I would stop and make them do something else.
There are a million fidget toys, I’m always discovering new ones and what appeals to one, doesn’t always appeal to another so you’ve got to experiment a bit with what you like best.
The thing about diverting your attention is that it becomes automatic after a few months of repetitive motion.
There’s a retraining that start to happen, I know this from personal experience.
It took a few months but after awhile of repeatedly changing my behavior, my mind started to remember that action.
The reason I like the Keen bracelets I bought is because once they buzzed me, I learned to divert my attention right away to something else and then it became a new habit.
Managing Your Stress & Anxiety
Once you’ve been monitoring yourself for awhile, you will see what situations to avoid.
Boredom? Specific Relatives? Sugar? Exhaustion? High Stress Zones!
The things that put you in a vulnerable position to pull, are the situations you want to avoid.
For me, there were certain times of day when I would sit idle and those were the times when I was most vulnerable.
There are definitely people who can drive me up the wall (and I avoid those people at all costs).
I had to distance myself from a friend of 10 years because her negativity and demands on me were too much to bear.
Do what’s best for you! If certain people stress you out, distance yourself the best you can.
If you can’t avoid a certain situation – it’s time to start preparing your mind and body for those times.
A better diet, more sleep, talking to a good friend, reading encouraging books and scriptures – these things can help take your anxiety levels down in trigger situations.
Prepare yourself ahead of time by making sure you’ve taken care of your physical and emotional well being.
What Does Your Sleep Look Like?
How well do you sleep?
I personally used to sleep like crap but I’m doing a lot better since removing carbs from my diet and adding melatonin before bed.
Sleep plays a big role in anxiety and stress because the body can’t function as it should when it’s lacking proper rest.
Don’t dismiss this because it’s very important that you manage to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Yes, 8 whole hours!
Start Looking At Your Diet!
The foods that we eat play a huge role in our overall health – physical and mental.
A change in your diet could be all that is needed to stop trichotillomania.
Experiment with yourself, take a look at some areas known to cause problems; like sugar and gluten.
A trichotillomania diary like this one can help you keep track of all these things.
Remove Sugar and Sugar Substitutes (at the very least)!
Sugar is an absolute enemy because it increases hair pulling urges.
When I completely wiped sugar out of my diet (all sugar, even fruit sugar) I was able to curb my hair pulling urges dramatically (and yes, I do mean dramatically).
Anytime I add sugar back into my diet (because who can resist it forever) the trich comes back full force.
Remove Gluten From Your Diet
Some people have removed gluten from their diet and reported that their hair pulling stopped as a result.
The Connection Between Trichotillomania in Celiac Disease:
“CD has long been associated with emotional, cognitive, and neurodegenerative disorders
. Studies have reported a history of psychiatric disorders in a high proportion of adults
who were newly diagnosed with CD .
In our case, trichotillomania was more likely due to the behavioral disorders secondary
to CD. This was further supported by the fact that her symptoms improved when she started
a gluten-free diet.” (source)
I’ve removed gluten from my diet because I have found that carbs in general make me feel like crap.
I went on the Keto diet 3 months ago and have noticed a huge improvement in my trichotillomania.
The only thing that really triggers my urges anymore is stress because once I cut the carbs, I stopped pulling my hair for the most part.
Trichotillomania Diet Changes Make a Difference
Read about this woman and the changes she made to her diet, look what a difference a healthy, whole foods diet made in her recovery.
One way to find out if your hair pulling is associated with your diet is to keep a diary of your hair pulling and the foods you’re consuming each day.
A lot of times, self care is avoiding trigger situations, right?
I know there’s people in my life that I’m mentally better off staying away from.
Self is also how I take care of myself as a person.
I’m a busy mom so I tend to run myself ragged between work and home and I need to take some time to myself for self care.
I read early in the morning, I take walks, read books and make sure I have alone time.
I treat myself to nice hair cuts and long baths sometimes.
Because of childhood trauma growing up, I have a lot of insecurities and self care to me also learning to value myself as person.
Right believing will produce right living. When you believe right about yourself on the inside, you’ll begin living right on the outside.
Put Up Barriers
One of the best ways to stop hair pulling is to hide your hair from yourself.
There’s a retraining that happens to you when you’re hands can’t get to your head for long periods of time each day.
I like to pull my hair back and wear headbands.
I have also put bandaids on my fingers in the past because it also helps with my nail biting.
I’m a big fan of wearing thin braids so you can’t get to the hairs. Braids make it so hard to pull.
I almost always wear my hair up unless I’m going out. I pull it back out of my face so that not even one hair can bother me.
For night time hair pulling, skull caps are a great barrier because they don’t come off as easy as a beanie or headband.
Keep Your Hair Clean
Oily hair is my worst enemy because my hands want to go for my head when my head is full of dirt, oils and grime.
Even though washing hair every day isn’t recommended, I do it anyway.
I use a tea tree oil shampoo because it’s very soothing and it’s not all thick and gross like other shampoos that leave a residue behind.
Apple cider vinegar is another thing I use to rinse my head; it’s a powerful kick to the scalp because it helps heal it and clean it.
Just be sure to rinse it out because it can over dry your head which will cause dry scalp (that’s no bueno!).
Dirty hair an enemy because the more build up, the more the urge to pull is there.
Keeping my hair clean is one of the ways I’ve been able to stop hair pulling urges before they start.
NAC a natural amino acid supplement most commonly known helping the body synthesize glutathione, the body’s “master antioxidant.”
There are numerous studies and testimonies of it curing people of their trichotillomania completely.
The amount of NAC varies, there are published medical studies showing different amounts working for different people.
You’re probably going to have to experiment with yourself and most of all BE PATIENT!
NAC should be taken with Vitamin C to prevent oxidation.
The length of time it takes for it to be effective varies, some studies suggest 9 weeks while others saw significant reductions in as much as 12 weeks.
Inositol aka Vitamin B8
Insoltol has been known to help people with trichotillomania.
Insoltol is disccused by Fred Penzel, Ph.D. in the book the Hair Pulling Habit because it helped his patients suffering from trichotillomania.
It’s been known to help with OCD and panic disorders and is usually the next step after trying NAC.
How’s Your Gut Health?
Probiotics are good bacteria for the gut. Gut microbe are critical to our overall health.
Everything going in our gut directly affects our mental and physical health so it makes sense that people have reported being cured of Trichotillomania just by taking these.
Probiotics are fairly inexpensive and totally worth a try!
There are even drinks in the grocery store now that have probiotics in them, there’s no excuse not to at least try and see if it helps?
I believe firmly in trying every natural method you can when it comes to stopping trich because you just never know what’s going to work for you!
There are a lot of things that disrupt our body and the way it was intended to function and it could be something as simple as restoring your gut health that stops your hair pulling!
Cod Liver Oil
It’s funny because I remember this stuff from old TV shows and I really never thought about it much until I read articles of people saying it stopped their hair pulling urges!
It sounds so gross but the medicinal properties are really quiet incredible.
Cod liver oil contains a high amount of vitamin D and DHA, both play a critical part in overall mental health.
There are resources and articles online to support that adding cod liver oil to their diet cured their trichotillomania.
Are you getting enough vitamin D and DHA in your diet? If any at all?
Cod liver oil – it’s not just for your grandmas cupboard anymore!
EFT aka “Tapping”
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is often an overlooked method of relief.
EFT consists of tapping points on the body and speaking more positive affirmations over oneself.
When you think about it, how many of us say negative things about ourselves our circumstances?
I’m guilty of it myself.
EFT when used consistently, is very powerful, and it’s 100% natural!
There are stories of people being cured of their hair pulling by using only EFT.
It’s definitely worth a try!
If you don’t think anything is going to work, you’re right and if you think that something might work, you’re right.
I personally didn’t know how I was going to stop or even where to begin a year ago but I kept speaking positively about my situation and the situation improved.
There’s an article that I share a lot with people because it had such an impact on me when I read it for the first time.
This woman had tried everything she knew to stop trich and then her therapist told had her speak to speak 5 words over herself!
“I don’t pull my hair anymore!”
What are you speaking over yourself?
One of the reasons I see EFT as a good solution to try consistently is because you are always speaking positive affirmations over yourself.
Start speaking by faith what you want too see happen in your life.
That was the starting point for me, I just stopped with the will power and started confessing by faith that I would overcome.
And you know what? I have. Trichotillomania doesn’t rule me anymore.
I started working through my therapy journal, becoming aware of what my hands were doing and then redirecting myself to do other things. It was in the redirection of my old habits to new habits that my brain started to make the connection on its own. I managed my urges through a better diet and less stress – it wasn’t instant like for me the lady who spoke 5 words but it’s a starting point!
Start speaking life into the situation and then start trying the different ways mentioned above to stop hair pulling on your own.
You Might Also Like:
- 1 15 Strategies to Stop Hair Pulling On Your Own!
- 2 Are You Self Monitoring?
- 3 Are You Aware?
- 4 Retraining Your Brain
- 5 Managing Your Stress & Anxiety
- 6 Start Looking At Your Diet!
- 7 Self Care
- 8 Put Up Barriers
- 9 Keep Your Hair Clean
- 10 NAC Supplement
- 11 Inositol aka Vitamin B8
- 12 How’s Your Gut Health?
- 13 Cod Liver Oil
- 14 EFT aka “Tapping”
- 15 Speak Life