Natural treatments and essential oils for trichotillomania (hair pulling)

If you have noticed that your child or a member of your family or friends pull at their hair and eyelashes they could actually be suffering from a medical condition known as Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania (sometimes known as ‘trich’) causes individuals to pull out their body hair (eyelashes, eyebrows, hair from the scalp, pubic hair or hair on other parts of their body).  While seemingly a bizarre condition, Trichotillomania actually affects around 4-6% of the population from around the world.  No one really knows the causes of trich, but it is thought that there are genetic foundations that are then triggered because of stress, trauma, hormones or the individual’s natural difficulty in managing stress. The condition is closely related to other similar body-focused issues such as dermatillomania (skin picking) and nail biting, and often the individual will also exhibit these behavior patterns.

Hair pulling and children

Hair pulling, and other related conditions, often arise in childhood, whether early childhood or as the child reaches puberty and goes through hormonal changes that can trigger Trichotillomania. While hair pulling affects more women than men later in life, in childhood there are an equal number of boys and girls that show symptoms. Often the condition disappears by itself, but if it gets rooted in the child’s behavior patterns it can become a lifelong condition. Therefore it is important that parents stay vigilant if they see their child pulling out their hair, eyelashes or eyebrows.

What to do if your child or loved one has trichotillomania

Firstly, do not make a big deal of it. Wait a few days and see if it’s just a passing phase. Most importantly, do not shame, ridicule or punish the child for pulling. Depending on their age you will need to explain clearly that the child actually has a medical condition, reiterate that it is not their fault and assure them that you are there to help and support them.

Secondly observe their behavior and try to identify when they pull.  Then work with the child to help them understand when they pull. Self-awareness is the first step to curing hair pulling, so you will need to be self-aware for them and then teach them how to be self-aware for themselves.

Then, if you feel that the behavior is starting to become rooted in their normal everyday life, reach out to a therapist. It t is very important to find a therapist that specializes in Trichotillomania. If you end up with a therapist that is not familiar with the condition it can have disastrous effects. Make sure to interview the therapist first to ascertain their experience with Trichotillomania and specifically Trichotillomania in children.

Finally put in place a serious of natural remedies and activities. There are many activities and methods to help children with self-awareness, meditation and journaling. These will be keys to the child’s success in tackling Trichotillomania.  Get them something that they can use as a substitute behavior. Giving them something to do instead of pulling is a key element of cognitive behavior therapy. Using a natural product, like a mixture of essential oils for Trichotillomania has the double effect of soothing and healing as well as giving the individual something to do instead of pull.

Natural treatments for Trichotillomania

While medication is an option, there are many natural methods for dealing with Trichotillomania that should be tried first. Doctors who do not understand hair pulling often prescribe medication. But medication does not treat the condition itself. Since the origins of Trichotillomania are not clear, a medicated response has little foundation and is often a failure. What does have the best results are a mixture of self-awareness exercises, behavior modification therapy and using natural ‘medicine’ such as essential oils and plant essences.

Essential oils for Trichotillomania

Essential oils and plant essences should also make up a part of any Trichotillomania treatment. Essential oils for Trichotillomania have healing properties that reduce urges and itchiness related to Trichotillomania, as well as properties that encourage circulation and hair growth. They are also effective aids in any behavior modification therapy by giving the individual an action (stroking on the oil) to replace the pulling. Combinations of essential oils for Trichotillomania that are known to have healing properties such as essential oils from the Mediterranean area (thyme, rosemary, lavender, basil, olive, citrus) are powerful agents for any Trichotillomania treatment. These oils have medicinal and antibacterial properties, stimulate circulation and soothe the areas. Each of the essential oils for trichotillomania has its own properties and strengths, so a combination of many is the most effective.

Be careful when purchasing essential oils; many add chemicals and dyes. Check the origin of any essential oils – all oils should be organic and not have any chemicals added.  A mixture of oils that are already mixed specifically for Trichotillomania, such as Trich Stop Oil, is a good choice as they are all-natural, child friendly, have the right oils and their proper dosage, have discreet packaging, and is an economic choice since you don’t have to purchase lots of different oils. In addition these solutions are also accompanied by manuals and exercise books which show you how to use the oils and give other methods in order to get the most out of a home-based, all natural Trichotillomania treatment.

Support for your child that suffers from Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania treatment can be a long process. Explain that to your child, as well as what the condition is and show them that you will be there through thick and thin to support them. Keep the lines of communication open and encourage them to be kind to themselves. Join associations and connect with others who suffer from Trichotillomania so your child will see that he or she is not alone, nor crazy. Most importantly keep a positive and honest outlook and give them hope that it is possible for them to get control of their hair pulling.

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Sarah Palmer
Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!
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