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17 Useful Tips From Trichsters That Will Help You Deal With Hair Pulling

Top tips from trichsters themselves.

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the best tips or products for dealing with trichotillomania.

Trichotillomania is a type of "impulse-control disorder" which leads to people pulling out the hair on their head, eyebrows, eyelashes, arms, or other places on their body. It can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, increased anxiety, and other negative emotions.

In addition to seeking professional help, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, here are some tips from people with trichotillomania about how they deal with hair pulling.

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

1. Grow your nails or wear acrylics so it's difficult to get a grip on your hair.

"Getting long fake nails actually helped me. Having these nice nails made me not want to ruin them and when looking down at my hands as I get the urge to pick reminded me not to.

"This doesn't work for everyone but it is something to try as it can even be harder to pull out the hair with long nails as you can't get a good grip on your hair." – hayleyp49d3a0961

2. Start a new hobby that keeps your hands busy.

"Knitting has helped immensely. I have been knitting since I was six and keeping my hands busy making beautiful things has been really beneficial.

I am working on four different projects at the moment and it keeps me distracted." – Jane Glicini, Facebook.

3. Or keep a fidget toy with you, and play with it when you get the urge to pull.

"The fidget cube, there are five different activities to do with your hands and it distracts you from reaching for your hair, it helped me a lot." – megm4a50c5921

Get it on Amazon, £10.99.

4. Download a habit tracker app on your phone.

"I use an iPhone app called Productive. You can list tasks and mark them off on a daily basis.

"It helps me to see how many days in a row I've not pulled. I also find that I pull mostly when I'll watching tv and I'm not sure why. This app is also very helpful and remembering other tasks too." – amymm2

Get it for free on the App Store.

5. Or invest in a Habit Aware bracelet.

"My Habit Aware bracelet! It vibrates when I go to pull!" – ginevrap2

Buy it on the Habit Aware website from £97.

6. Pull the fur from a pillow instead of pulling your hair.

"I've struggled with trichotillomania since I was 14 – I'm now in my 20s. I've tried so many things. I found that I'd like to pull the thick kinky hairs out.

"One of the most effective methods I've found was buying a decorative pillow with faux fur on it and pulling hair from that whenever I was home. I also can't recommend hair, skin, and nail vitamins enough!" – megaloaf

7. If you have patchy or non-existent eyebrows because of over pulling or plucking, then create new ones with makeup.

Instagram: @thebrowgal

"I swear by BrowGal's eyebrow brush and eyebrow pallet. It gives enough coverage to look natural but at the same time hides the bald spots on my eyebrows."– ashleyshlyk

Buy a BrowGal starter set for £57.

8. And help regrow your eyebrows and eyelashes with MaryKays brow and lash growth gel.

"I found MaryKays brow and lash growth gel and it has seriously helped me so much! It's about $40 so not cheap, but so worth it. Once it got so bad that I was bald I was determined to stop so I decided to invest in the gel and try to stop picking because I spent the money.

"I still occasionally have rough days, mostly went I'm anxious or doing homework or quizzes, but my eyebrows have become so much better." – Molly Becker, Facebook

Buy it from the Mary Kay website for £27.

9. Invest in a spinning ring for when you feel anxious or feel the urge to pull.

Instagram: @charlotteswebuk

"Spinny rings! Whenever I noticed I was pulling I would just swish it around my thumb. It's also helped me during times of panic." – ellec9

Get a spinning ring on Amazon for £25.

10. Or treat yourself to a thumb ring or a piece of jewellery you can play with to distract yourself.

"I bought a thumb ring off of Amazon. I noticed an immediate change. I would pick at the ring or play with it to keep my hands occupied! It also helped with my anxiety." – stoudtalexa

Get yourself thumb ring on Amazon for £9.25.

11. Wrap bandages or medical tape around your thumbs so you don't feel the texture of your hair.

"I've had trich for six years and one thing that helps a lot is putting medical tape or bandages on my thumbs.

"It helps you not feel the texture of the hair." – emmaf416e64ba1

12. Or if you don't like the look of bandages or tape, try Lee Tippi micro gel fingertip grips.

"These bad boys keep my fingers out of my hair plus they are inconspicuous at my office job." – halino22Get yourself some Lee Tippi micro gel fingertip grips from Amazon for £8.60.
Lee Products / Via

"These bad boys keep my fingers out of my hair plus they are inconspicuous at my office job." – halino22

Get yourself some Lee Tippi micro gel fingertip grips from Amazon for £8.60.

13. Wear a weave to protect your hair, and stop yourself pulling.

"I wear weaves when the pulling gets bad to reset and to give the follicles a break so that they do not become too damaged." – misslaurynn

14. Or get a complete new hairstyle, like an undercut.

"My undercut!! I don't have the guts to shave it all off - I like my hair most of the time. But getting SOME of it short enough to leave alone has helped." – Bonjour612

15. Changing your the colour of your hair can give you an extra boost of confidence.

"Dying my hair blue has been the most wonderful thing to curb my pulling. It homogenized the texture, so individual strands don't feel out of place when I run my hands through my hair absentmindedly.

Plus now I have badass mermaid hair and it's done wonders for my confidence." – brith4778049bb

16. Talk about your problems and share your experiences with other trichsters.

"What helps me the most is sharing my experience with this disorder and reading others' stories that are just like me.

There's nothing quite like having an actual person tell you that you are not alone. – sarav43539078e

17. Most importantly, don't forget to celebrate the victories!

"Keep track of how many hours you haven't pulled. Then, when your hours turn into days, celebrate those. It is so, so important to celebrate the victories, however small or seemingly insignificant. It gets better, I promise."


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Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.