What is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania (TTM, also known as hair-pulling disorder) is characterized by the recurrent pulling out of one’s own hair. This may occur from any part of the body where hair grows and may vary over time. The onset of hair pulling in trichotillomania most commonly occurs during the beginning of puberty. Trichotillomania is associated with distress and may potentially cause irreversible damage to one’s hair.


Trichotillomania consists of repetitive, uncontrollable pulling of one’s body hair. Hair pulling often occurs with scalp hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows. However, hair pulling may also occur at different bodily sites. Some less common areas where hair pulling occurs includes the axillary, facial, public, and peri-rectal regions.

Treatment for TTM

Habit Reversal Training (HRT) and certain types of medication have been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Trichotillomania.

The primary behavioral treatment approach for Trichotillomania is HRT combined with stress management and behavioral contracting. Treatment begins with self-monitoring of hair-pulling episodes as well as monitoring the feelings and situations that are most likely to lead to hair pulling. Youngsters are then systematically taught a new behavior (for example, squeezing a ball or tightening their fist) to use whenever they feel the urge to pull. Relaxation training and other stress management techniques are also used to cope with hair-pulling urges.

Learn more

Please see the Resources page for recommended reading and informative links.

Our Research on TTM

To participate in our research to help us learn more about this disorder and how best to treat it, please fill out our intake form or contact us at (443) 287-7157.



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