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All about trichotillomania

Moderate case of trichotillomania. Severe cases can result in complete baldness.
Moderate case of trichotillomania. Severe cases can result in complete baldness.

Trichotillomania is an obsessive-compulsive related disorder which causes an individual to pull out his or her hair. Left untreated, a trichotillomania sufferer can end up with large patches of missing hair all over the entire body, not just the scalp. This disorder has been on the rise in recent years, and even though modern science has few concrete answers as to its cause, there are many effective treatments for sufferers.

The first step towards treating the problem is to join a trichotillomania support group. Since trichotillomania is relatively obscure and rare compared to other hair disorders, a sufferer may find relief in simply knowing that they are not alone. Shame often fills the lives of many trichotillomania sufferers, and a support group can show the individual that there is nothing to be ashamed about. There is no more shame in pulling out one's hair than there is having diabetes, depression, anxiety, or any other medical condition.

There are a few salons that specialize in serving trichotillomania clients, and these salons are better trained to deal with this disorder than the typical salon. These establishments offer several treatment options, such as hairpieces, wigs and extensions. Thanks to current technology, many of these wigs and hairpieces are virtually indistinguishable from naturally growing hair. With proper care and maintenance, a custom-made hairpiece will not only disguise the bald spots, but will allow the hair a chance to grow back beneath the hair prosthetic.

Most hairpieces are attached using a surgical-grade adhesive which is safe for the skin and allows the hairpiece to remain firmly attached to the head for 4-6 weeks. Unlike wigs, hairpieces allow the wearer to live a full and active life; they can swim, shower, and even play sports. A trained hair replacement stylist can even change the color and style of the hairpiece as often as the wearer wishes. Because the hairpiece is bonded to the scalp, the trichotillomania sufferer will be unable to pull his or her own hair, allowing the natural hair to grow back undisturbed.

When it comes to wigs, extensions and hairpieces, prices can greatly vary depending on the quality of the hair. Natural hair, for example, costs much more than synthetic hair. There are also price variations between the quality of human hair used to make a wig or hairpiece. European hair, for instance, costs more than Indian hair. Because of the wide range of options and prices, it is always necessary to have a full and thorough consultation with a hair replacement specialist.

Without treatment and emotional support, sufferers of trichotillomania can be forced to live with their affliction for several years. However, I am proud to say that by using the above-mentioned treatment methods, many of my trichotillomania clients now have a full and healthy head of their own hair and have beaten their compulsion to pull out their hair. You may have to travel in order to find a salon that specializes in treating this disorder, but when it comes to beating trichotillomania, it is always best to seek the advice of stylists who are trained to handle the matter with compassion, empathy, and skill.