It is a compulsive hair-pulling disorder that can lead to permanent hair loss on the head and can also affect eyebrows and eyelashes. This can be quite painful for the sufferers who often believe it’s ‘just their fault’.
This condition may be a learned disorder; therefore suggesting it can be unlearned. The skin itself, or skin in which hair grows may be conditioned over a long period of time. This time can be over a person’s entire lifetime causing the person to not know its origins or can arise within as little time as a year. This conditioning seems to cause the perception of pain to be changed into pleasure. There has been notice of similar behavioral patterns within a family, suggesting genetic origin.
Frequent hair pulling can traumatize the follicles on the head and can then lead to permanent hair loss. This permanent hair loss can make it difficult for recovered trichotillomaniacs to return to a normal life once cured, but new treatments can help these patients regain a natural look once again.
Eyelash transplantation, where a new surgical procedure can create new living and growing eyelashes by transplanting hair from the scalp into the upper eyelids. Another new method of treatment is that of eyebrow transplantation. This is a delicate single-follicle transplant procedure that recreates the eyebrows by imitating the unique growth characteristics of the original hair follicles. The last method just discovered to be highly effective is that of Follicular-unit extraction which is a minimally invasive, micro-surgical hair restoration procedure that uses tiny donor sites to transplant new follicles into balding areas of the scalp.
All in all, there is now great new hope for the sufferers of this condition and hopefully people will never have to endure this affliction again once successfully treated.