There are NO MEDICATIONS a doctor can prescribe that take away hair pulling urges but there are natural supplements that have been known to help people who suffer from trichotillomania.
Many doctors prescribe anti-anxiety / anti-depression medications to us without even really understanding this hair pulling disorder at all.
I have personally been prescribed almost every anti-anxiety medication you can think of because I was desperate to stop pulling my hair.
NOTHING WORKED and my depression only grew. I began to feel extremely hopeless and suicidal and I knew I needed to get off the meds in order to start thinking clearly again.
Trying to wean myself off these prescriptions was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, I don’t wish that feeling on even my worst enemy.
I wasn’t aware at the time there were natural supplements I could take to help hair-pulling anxiety because I didn’t have access to the resources that I do now.
There are some very specific natural supplements that have helped me with me and others with their hair pulling disorder, I’m going to list them below.
Important things to note:
Be patient. It can take weeks, even months to see improvement.
Unlike with pharmaceuticals that can alter your state fairly quickly by masking issues, natural supplements are working with the body to restore and improve overall function, that takes more time.
There are no known pharmaceuticals to help hair-pullers, what’s prescribed today will only treat the symptoms associated with it.
Talk to your health care professional if you have questions. I’m only sharing experiences, not giving medical advice.
NAC N-Acetyl Cysteine
NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is one supplement that shows a lot of promise for people who pull out their hair.
56% of patients in one study showed significant improvement after 9 weeks of using NAC. (source)
NAC shows the most promise in reducing hair pulling but it takes patience! It can take up to 9-12 weeks for people to experience improvement.
You can read more about my experience taking NAC HERE.
Inositol has shown promise in helping reduce the urge to pull hair significantly in a double blind placebo study.
In the study, 42% of the patients saw improvement compared to the 31% on placebo.
Inositol can be found in pill or powder form.
This brand here with 30 billion CFU is mentioned by a poster on Reddit to help with her trich.
CBD oil has shown to have therapeutic uses for conditions that involve oxidative stress. Oxidative stress results from the accrual of free radicals within the body.
Oxidative stress may be involved in the pathophysiology of body-focused repetitive behaviors such as trichotillomania.
The human body has a system of cannabinoid receptors throughout that are involved in a variety of physiological process.
The cannabinoids in CBD oil bind to these receptors and restore homeostasis (balance) to different regions of the brain and body.
Because CBD oil is fairly new to the health and wellness scene (due to the fact hemp was illegal for so long), there’s not a lot of research YET on how it helps people with hair pulling but I personally started taking CBD oil last year I have noticed a lot of improvements over time to my mental state and physical health.
I’ve experienced improved mood, reduced stress, lighter/shorter periods and better sleep, all of which have an effect on my hair pulling.
Cod Liver Fish Oil
Cod liver fish oil contains essential fatty acids and relatively high amounts of vitamin D which have both shown promise in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
A number of people in trichotillomania groups have reported a vitamin D deficiency and said that taking fish oil helped reduce their anxiousness, depressive mood and hair pulling.
Children with trichotillomania have been shown to benefit from vitamin D therapy alone and omega 3’s are considered the coating for electrical wiring in their brain.
Milk thistle has strong anti-oxidative properties that show promise treating BFRB behaviors like hair pulling.
A recent medical study shows that milk thistle significantly reduced the time spent hair pulling in the test subjects.
Reducing Processed Sugar Helps!
Besides natural supplements, I would also like to note that cutting my processed sugar intake significantly helped reduce my hair pulling urges.
Others in our support group have the said the same thing. Cutting processed sugar and sweets is definitely something to consider since we’re talking about natural methods.
Keep a Trich Journal
Keeping a journal of trichotillomania triggers, supplements, and other health-related choices can help reduce hair pulling naturally by allowing you to see what is helping and hindering you over a period of time.
This journal here is a good one because it’s got a positive perspective with lots of affirmations to help counteract negative thoughts and speech.
This process should be enlighting, not condeming and that’s why I think this journal is a good choice if you decide to write things down.
pHARMa Vs Natural Supplements
Pharmaceuticals will only mask the situation but natural remedies can help correct things internally and set the body back on track towards optimal performance.
Anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants have never helped me stop pulling my hair but natural supplements like NAC did!
With all the information we have available to us online, there’s no reason we shouldn’t investigate natural supplements to help hair pulling rather than settling for pharmaceuticals.