Hair Pulling Disorder

Hair pulling disorder (also known as Trichotillomania) is characterized by excessive and repetitive pulling of one’s hair from one or more parts of the body. Officially classed as an “Obsessive-Compulsive related disorder” (DSM-5), this type of self-grooming behaviour is considered a Body Focused Repetitive Behaviour (BFRB). BFRBs are characterized by excessive and repetitive self-grooming behaviours, resulting in damage or physical injury.

Hair Pulling Disorder Screening Tool

Take our confidential and free hair pulling screening questionnaire:

Do I have Hair pulling disorder?

  • Do you pull hair out of your head?

  • Do you pull your eyelashes and/or eyebrows?

  • Do you pull out hair on your arms and/or legs?

  • Do you pull out your pubic hair?

  • Do you pull hair elsewhere in your body?

  • Do you pull out hair when you are anxious or depressed?

  • Do you pull out hair when you are bored?

  • Do you pull out hair when you are engaged in other activities? (i.e., watching TV, talking on the phone, using the computer, at a movie theatre, during class, while driving).

  • Are you often not aware that you are pulling your hair out, and only realize it after some time has passed?

  • Do you have noticeable bald or thinning spots where you pull you hair?

  • Do you use hats, make-up, and/or clothing to camouflage my hair loss?

  • Do you avoid going out because I am embarrassed or ashamed about my hair?

  • Do you often pull in the morning before work/school?

  • Do you often pull at night before bed?

  • Prior to, or during a hair pulling episode, do you often feel a sense of tension, itching, tingling, or pressure?

  • Do you often feel powerless to resist the urge to pull your hair out?

  • Do you often get a sense of relief, gratification, and/or pleasure when you pull your hair out?

  • Do you also pick at your skin to the point of causing damage to your skin?

  • Do you also do other self-damaging behaviors (i.e., cutting, burning, head banging)?

  • Are you significantly distressed, anxious, and/or depressed about you hair pulling?

  • Is your hair pulling interfering with you relationships and/or with your academic or professional functioning?

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If you answered Yes to any of the questions above AND it is causing distress or interference in your life, you may have hair pulling disorder. However, a registered psychologist can make a more accurate diagnosis. Consider getting in touch with us for a complete and thorough evaluation.

Other examples of BFRBs

Some individuals experience more than one type of BFRB. When these behaviours cause noticeable hair loss or skin damage, or to the degree of impairment (including avoidance), it may be time to seek professional help.

Think you might have Hair Pulling Disorder?