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Since starting this blog I have come across so many cool products and resources that have helped me stop pulling my hair on my own.
I didn’t want to use medication because I’ve been down that route and it personally makes things so much worse (and it’s freaking expensive, what if you don’t have insurance, right?)
I’m going to make a list of the natural ways I’ve put a stop to trichotillomania in my life.
Start Tracking Your Pulling
There are certain things that I would track every single day and that was what helped me pinpoint the triggers making things worse.
It was a combination of things, insecurities, stress, fear, bad diet, lack of sleep, etc.
Trust me, when you start writing this stuff down, you’re going to see the patterns in your life that could be changed, I was shocked at the data.
Tracking my pulling patterns was powerful because I could see the who, what, where and when in my daily life that triggered pulling.
Being able to go back and see the patterns has helped me come up with ways to divert my attention.
Writing things down kept my hands busy and it allowed me to reflect back on each day and move forward in victory.
Wear Keen for Awareness
I have been wearing Keen bracelets from HabitAware for over 6 months and they are my best friend.
They are not just for Trichotillomania, they work for any habit you want your hands to stop.
What they do is make me aware I’m doing it.
I would do a lot of my hair pulling subconsciously unaware of what was going on.
Keen has helped me become aware when I’m doing that by buzzing my wrists when my hand is in the position to pull.
When I feel the buzz, I’m aware that my hands are doing what I don’t want them to do and then I divert them to do something else.
It’s taken me months of repetition but I am finally doing this on my own even when I don’t have the bracelets on.
I am currently taking NAC and I have to say it really has worked for me.
It wasn’t an instant transformation but in about 9 weeks I saw a significant reduction in my hair pulling urges.
I had read several success stories of how this product helped other people with trichotillomania.
NAC is a natural supplement that has been reported to take away the urges associated with Trich.
“Recently several reports have indicated that N-acetylcysteine, a glutamate modulator, could be effective in reducing symptoms of trichotillomania. It acts by restoring the extracellular glutamate concentration in the nucleus accumbens, decreasing its levels, which seem responsible for the pathogenesis of compulsive behaviors, and therefore, trichotillomania.”
This is the brand that I’m using, although I’m not sure that matters, the thing that matters most is that you give it TIME to work.
The thing with NAC is it takes awhile right? It’s not an instant magic pill so be patient.
There are other areas that helped me stop trichotillomania before I ever even tried NAC.
Take a Look at Your Diet
Once I had been keeping a journal for awhile, I could see certain foods that we’re causing me to want to pull more.
I didn’t want to change my diet.
I avoided this for months and worked on other areas first like reducing stress but at the end of the day, I really needed to look at the stuff I was putting in my body.
I had read from a therapist that diet and sleep were major players in our mental and physical health.
I did some research and decided that I would go with the Keto diet because it seemed to have the most positive feedback when it came to helping people with mental clarity.
I’ve basically stripped all SUGAR, processed carbs and foods out of my diet and I’m left with meat, veggies and lots of good fats.
I’ve definitely seen improvement in my overall health and as far as mental clarity, I do find that intermediate fasting while on Keto has really made my focus better.
My urges are not nearly as bad when I’m this diet and I sleep better as a result.
I’ve always know that sugar makes me feel like crap but for some reason I still would go for it.
I had to wait until I was ready to make a diet change, so don’t feel bad if you’re reading this thinking, “I can’t do that!“
I was totally feeling that for months, all year in fact, but I finally started praying about it and later I felt strength to attack this area of my life.
It wasn’t instant for me but I do see the benefits of eating better and making this diet change.
I think just eliminating refined sugar and processed foods has made a huge improvement on how I feel overall.
I could see any diet where you took out the crap being good for someone with trichotillomania.
Get More Sleep
Getting more rest helps the body to function the way it’s intended to function.
Lack of sleep has been a really big trigger for Trichtoillomania in my life because the less sleep I get the more anxious and stressed I become.
Sleep is what gives our body rest and allows it to replenish itself for another day, when I don’t get that replenishment, I’m a bear the next day.
Fighting off urges to pull my hair when I’m tired doesn’t even happen, I give in because I’m too tired to try to divert my attention to something else.
Don’t let lack of sleep be the reason you pull your hair out.
I used to take melatonin to help me with my sleep but I found that it would only help me fall asleep, not stay asleep. 😫
I started taking CBD oil not that long ago and that has knocked me out nicely.
Sleep is ridiculously important to your bodies replenishment process and it plays a vital role in your mental and physical health.
Reduce Your Stress
Definitely look at your diet, sleep and stress levels together (another reason I say tracking this stuff in a journal is important).
Eating better and sleeping more reduces stress and anxiety.
If I can reduce the stress in my life – I don’t want pull nearly as much.
Whenever I feel stressed, tired or insecure – I want to pull my hair to cope with it.
I’ve been battling anxiety, stress and insomnia for awhile and ever since I started taking it, it’s a night and day difference.
There are a lot of ways to reduce stress:
- Taking natural supplements
- Taking time for self care
- Reading uplifting scriptures
- Sleeping more
- Removing toxic relationships
- Avoiding situations and places that make you anxious
- Eat less sugar
Put a Barrier Between Head and Hands
There are all sorts of barriers that I use to put between myself and my scalp.
For my fingers: Band-aids, press-on nails, finger tap and rubber grips are all good.
For my head: Beanies, hats, wigs and skull caps are good barriers for the head.
At night, these skull caps are really tight and make a good barrier.
If you have long enough hair, you can braid it really tightly so that you can’t get in there.
If you pull from the front, I have found Fitness Fox headbands to be really good.
The trick is to get something between your hands and your head to make you aware so you can divert yourself to something else.
Another great reason to wear your hair in some sort of cap or beanie is because you can’t feel it.
If you can’t feel it, you won’t want to touch it.
I know that is very true of me, if my hair isn’t touching my neck or my face – I don’t even notice it to pull it.
Barriers are great for awareness and for stopping Trichotillomania dead in its tracks because you can’t pull what you don’t feel.
Now that you have a journal that helps you know what your triggers are you can learn to divert your attention to other things!
Fidget toys are really great distractions to use and there are so many of them to choose from.
I have a fidget toy for just about everything, I’ve even got some on top of my pencils now.
Having something else to divert your attention too is very important.
The more you learn to divert your attention to something other than hair pulling, the closer you become to retraining yourself.
When the Keen bracelets buzz me to make me aware – I immediately try to find something else to divert my attention.
Once you do this enough times, you’ll eventually reprogram yourself naturally to do something besides pull your hair.
Hair pulling is a coping mechanism for a lot of people, if you can find a good mechanism to divert your attention too, you can reduce your hair pulling by whole bunches and bunches like I did.
Find a busy activity that you can divert your attention too.
Growing up I didn’t just develop Trich as a self coping mechanism, I had many others.
I was a cutter, drug user, I had eating disorders and I was an overachiever in the worst ways.
I had no self worth, self love or self esteem at all.
It wasn’t until I came to know the Lord, and my identity in Christ Jesus that I was able to learn to self love.
I went through most of my life hating myself and it really wasn’t until I got a firm grasp on how much God loved me that I was able to overcome the drug use, eating disorders and self harming.
Overcoming Trichotillomania has come down to me being able to love myself enough to know I don’t deserve it.
When I love myself it makes doing all the above things a lot easier.
I do them with a happier heart, knowing that I’m loved and valued.
Love is a huge motivating factor in any life.
Most songs, I would say probably 95% – love is the motivating factor? Right?
I mean love conquers all isn’t just a cliche statement, it really is the truth.
When you can learn to love yourself, despite yourself, it’s empowering in a mighty way.
I’m not just pulling crap out of my ass to make you feel better, you genuinely are loved and blessed!
You have value and learning to love yourself and who you are is a huge part of stopping Trichotillomania naturally.