Ep Seems Great, 10 Year Trickster

How's it going guys? Long post, gonna vent. By the way this website seems great, probably the largest Trich support group I've found yet. Anyway, I've been pulling my hair since about 7th grade I believe, and I'm a junior in college now.(I'm pretty much an exclusive scalp puller). I'm not entirely sure why I started doing doing it, maybe it started out as some sort of curiosity but I remember being almost fascinated by the habit when I started. I don't know how else to put it. My parents divorced when i was young but I don't remember starting pulling as a direct result of any anxiety. I just did it because it felt good I guess. I remember the first few hairs, how it seemed so innocent at first, never really expecting it to snowball(hairball) to this point. I remember pulling out the full root on the base of the hair for the first time, and subsequently figuring out a strategy to get the full root out just about every time. The trick is to gently tug at it a good 15 times, then go in for the kill.
I don't remember anyone making any remarks towards me about it until after 8th grade. I was down the ocean with my friend and before we went to bed one night i was watching tv with his dad in the living room, plucking a hair every now and again thinking he didn't notice. I was taken aback when out of nowhere he said, "If you don't stop pulling your hair out, you're not gonna have any left". I said something awkward like "yea" or "I know" and that was that. I should've listened to him. He never mentioned it to me again, nor did his son. I got teased that September in school for having a bald spot, but I've received relatively little flak for it up until this point.
Probably the lowest stage I've been in with trich has been the last few months. After going the longest time feeling pretty confident with my self(man I sound like a wimp), I was at work about two weeks ago now I guess, and one of the newer employees yelled across the room "you need rogain" I felt a burn in the pit of my stomach and knew exactly what he was talking about, except I wasn't really balding. I tried to just ignore him, (I was collecting papers out of a desk)hoping he'd shut the hell up and not attract anyone's attention, but he just said it like two more times and I'm sure everybody heard.
There's just something about being a 20 y.o that appears to be balding that kills you, especially when you know you're not balding, and it's your own damn fault. I know the feeling of looking at all the 'normal' people walking with perfect, spotless hair, probably not being able to imagine the anxiety I feel on a day to day basis. So that was a little dramatic but you get it. I just want to feel normal again. I stopped pulling for almost a year I guess, from the 2nd half of my senior year in high school to the end of my freshman year in college. Right when I stopped pulling towards the end of 12th grade my confidence immediately shot up, I felt proud that I had accomplished such a task an even got a prom date. I remember a girl running her hands through my hair in 2011 and just thinking how awesome it felt to just let her do what she wanted, and not worry about her noticing patches or whatever. I remember thinking in that moment, "I'm not going to start pulling again. I like how this feels too much. I'm not going to let this end"
Well obviously as I said before, I started pulling again and now with some self reflecting, all the stories on here and good old fashioned embarrassment, I feel more motivated than ever to make a legitimate effort to stop. For good.

I've considered buzzing my head to give me like a month long rehab period. Does anybody have any knowledge of a method such as this and if it works?

All replies are appreciated. This can only be easier for all of us if we just talk about. I'll keep monitoring this thread.
rocknasty rocknasty
18-21, M
2 Responses Dec 5, 2012

How's it going? Thanks for the comment on my story. I haven't been on here in a while, so thats why i took so long to get to you. But anyways, I have good news, contrary to 90% of what we read on here. I stuck to my guns and made a full concerted effort to stop puling, and at this point I've made it almost 2 months without pulling a SINGLE hair from my scalp. Well, this story was posted on Dec 5th, and I didn't actually stop until like Jan 4th i believe... lol, but as i said, its Feb 18th, and I haven't taken a single hair since then. It was really hard the first 3 days I'd say, but its definitely, definitely, definitely something that you can beat. You have to look at it as a conscious decision, and then use your willpower to not perform that conscious decision. I just kept telling my self, "ok, if I pull, I have to put my hand on my head, find a hair, grasp the hair, then use my strength to pull it out" all of this wasn't subconscious for me, I knew i was taking these 4 steps every time I pulled and just said "ok, I wont perform these steps. If i put my hand on my head, I wont search for a hair" and so on.

Looking at it in this manner will really help you, and as with kicking any habit, the hardest part is always the first few days. I'm telling you, you just have to get past that initial hump, then the whole thing becomes ASTRONOMICALLY easier after 4 days maybe. I waited a month after quitting pulling to get my hair cut, and I'm currently rocking a short "bieberish do" trimmed around the ears. I think it looks wonderful and the spots on the sides of my head have filled in and when the lady at the cuttery showed me the back of my head In the mirror i was very pleasantly surprised. Its been a couple weeks since my haircut and I think I look pretty good!

Sorry to gush kind of but I just want to say you can beat this! Trust me I felt as down as you probably do but don't give up! I started wearing a beanie to work (we work outside) and as soon as I got my haircut I stopped rocking the beanie and got a few compliments. It felt great. I just want to say don't accept your fate with TTM! I don't mean to sound negative but thinking about just accepting wigs forever seems so sad to me. YOU CAN BEAT THIS. Just take it one day at a time. It's a conscious decision to pull. 4 steps. Don't perform the 4 steps and you will beat it. You will.

I am 21 now and ive been pulling since i was six years old. I have to admire your strenght to have been able to stop for a lenghtly amount of time. I went almost a full year of no pulling, but another move as a teenager, new kids in a small town stressed me out and i started pulling again, and they noticed. I tried everything to cover up the spots including some crazy pullover hairstyles, lucking they were deemed cool and trendy for a while until the spots grew. I was in a low place and one day i told my friends i was gonna shave my head and u bet i did. It wasnt easy as a girl to show up at a new school with no hair, especially when i was working my way up the deemed popularity ladder. Either way, the hair grew back and because i had shaved it, it was all the same lenght and density so i had less of an urge to pull ( i always went for the more curly or waved hair as my targets). It worked for me until it grew to about an inch and then i could run my fingers through it and feel some of the wave coming back. I started pulling again but decided to cut my losses and start wearing a wig. Easy cover up, going on five years now. I know it is only a temporary solution for myself but i am currently taking the steps to ditch the wig and let my real hair out. In your case though, being a male i would say shave it, not completley but just at first to get all of your hair the same lenght and then trip it so it is just short enough that you cant wrap your fingers around it. Another tip, throw out the tweezers, i am a concious puller and if youre anything like me when i get the urge im gonna find a way to pull whether i want to or not. I hope this helps. Im new to this site but feel free to msg back whenever u want, i wanna kick this thing for good this time.