Daughter has started pulling out hair.

by Rachel
(Tennesee)

My five year old daughter has recently started pulling out chunks of her hair throughout the day. She told me that it feels good to her to do it. She is so tactile defensive that this behavior seems especially strange to me. Simply brushing her hair has always been a major ordeal!


Her OT told me to increase her heavy work activities as a preventative measure. I also have heard that it is not wise to draw attention to it, so I try to distract her when she starts to do it and don't talk with her about it anymore. In addition I'm trying to pinpoint any new stress that may have caused this. I suspect the new therapy for her eating habits could be a cause, but not sure.

Would love to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience, or has any suggestions! It's really frustrating because we really seemed to be making progress.. until now.

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Mar 15, 2013
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Trich
by: Anonymous

My daughter has been pulling her hair out since she was five, it ceased for about 2 yrs then came back again and she is still pulling now she is 15 yrs old.She also has aspergers syndrome we don'tknow if theres any link between the two. It is very hard seems to be no cure for it.

Jul 20, 2010
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hairpulling
by: Anonymous

Wow, Im looking up information on my son who is 12, and now I find this. I have a 19 yr old daughter who has been twisting and pulling out her hair for years. She does it all the time, could get her to stop for a few years with a rubber band on her wrist that she would snap, but it was only a temporary fix for her. Now that she is in college it has resurfaced.

Feb 09, 2010
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Thanks
by: Rachel

Thank you so much for your feedback! It helps so much to know I'm not alone.

Feb 08, 2010
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{{hugs}}
by: Anonymous

I doubt you'd get a trich dx at this age. This could be a phase she's going through. It could be, as you said, a response to therapy or diet change.

Our daughter has been pulling her hair since 13 months. She's now four. The intensity ebbs and flows. The biggest tip I would give you is to just take a deep breath. At the end of the day, this is not the end of the world. She'll still be your beautiful little girl - with hair or without. It's so hard. Believe me, I know.

Other than that, the advice I've received has been to be very calm in your interaction with her about it. We've tried a variety of different tactics (telling her not to pull, putting a hat on her, ignoring it). None have been entirely successful (meaning that she still is pulling). We're currently attempting to have her stop sucking her thumb as these two behaviors seem to go together. She's now allowed to pull her hair and suck her thumb as long as she wants/needs but she has to do so in her room. It hasn't decreased the *damage* I've seen on her pretty little head, but it has decreased the amount I've seen her suck and pull. We've been trying this new tactic about a week. I remain hopeful. At this point, it's got to be her choice. She's got to own whether or not so wants to continue doing this or not. I can't control it.

I really think you're going to find so many kids do this. For a variety of reasons (attention, sensory, soothing, true trich). Don't take to heart all the possibilities or dxes. You know your kid. If your daughter already has a SPD dx, then I would take the advice of your OT. They're going to be the best resource in that department.

Big hugs!!

Feb 08, 2010
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Think it is Trichotillomania
by: Rachel

Yes, it does appear to be Tricchotillomania, which is an OCD behaviour. I'm still trying to accept the SPD diagnosis so this is tough to digest! I wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience? And who should I turn to now besides the OT? Thanks for the input.

Feb 08, 2010
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Daughter has started pulling out hair
by: Anonymous

Look up Trichotillomania.

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