Self-Caused Hair Loss

Traction Alopecia is due to too much tension on the hair with braids, elastic bands and hair extensions. This type of tension can also break the hair shafts, not just pull hair out at the roots.

Hair loss can also be self-inflicted. Trichotillomania is the OCD that involves pulling hair, eyelashes or brows out by the root. About 2% of the population is afflicted by this condition at some time or another. It is definitely stress related and is considered an anxiety disorder. It has been cured by counseling, behavior modification therapy, and even homeopathy. None of these treatments work for all who are afflicted. There is much shame associated with this condition, particularly if the results of the pulling are obvious to others.

Then there is hair loss due to thermal and chemical burns that can damage or destroy hair follicles. Hair styling with the excessive use of heat often results in breakage or loss. Aggressive grooming, harsh products, and excess chlorine from pools and hot tubs are also responsible for damage and loss of hair.

A movement therapist shared with me that when she was a little girl her mother left her with her grandmother while she took a job to support them. She felt so abandoned and angry that she refused to let her mother brush or comb or touch her hair again. But she always loved to have her grandmother fix her hair. It was a way to punish her mother, denying her that intimate nurturing. As she recalled this experience, she suddenly realized that her 3 adopted daughters, who all fix each other’s hair, will not let her, their new Mom fix their hair. Not yet.

You may be one of the fortunate individuals who have never dealt with any of these issues. Or perhaps you have made peace with your challenges and moved on. Unfortunately, the relationship that too many people have with their hair is full of pain, sensitivity and frustration. The emotional scarring can be profound. The reason I am bringing these issues to light is that these traumas can be successfully addressed with body-oriented psychotherapy and holistic hair therapy.

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