The little-known Hair pulling condition, trichotillomania, affects more people in the UK than bulimia.
· Trichotillomania (TTM) is a psychological and physical condition, affecting 1 million people in the UK
· 4% of the population will suffer with TTM at some stage
· Every GP will have at least 10 TTM patients on a typical list of 1,000
· Every single UK teacher will, at some point, have a child with TTM in their classroom
Women and girls who suffer with TTM have been known to pull out a whole head of Hair. The extremely destructive condition can turn a happy, confident woman into a self-conscious individual who gets stuck in a ‘pulling’ cycle.
‘Hair Fairy’ Lucinda Ellery, the TTM and hair loss expert, who has 1000s of TTM clients explains, “National No Pulling Week is to raise awareness of TTM, showing how common it is and also to let people know that there is help out there and where to find it. So many young women are too ashamed to seek help and I want them to know that they aren’t alone and that there are people and organisations out there that can help.”
TTM is a type of self-harming that is often done sub-consciously, with ‘pullers’ suddenly finding themselves with a pile of hair in their hand and no recollection of pulling it. It is this lack of conscious thought that makes it so difficult for TTM sufferers to stop through their own willpower alone.
Often TTM begins in childhood, with many sufferers starting to ‘pull’ during periods of stress or anxiety. Lucinda Ellery is very keen for mothers or other carers to be made aware of the symptoms in order to catch youngsters with the condition before it does any permanent damage.
The sooner sufferers seek help; the more likely they are to achieve complete hair re-growth.