A Kid's Guide to Hair Pulling

Featured Image for this article: two young children smiling

Written by two youth members of the BFRB community, this insightful article helps kid's navigate their BFRB journey.

Hair pulling or trichotillomania is when you pull out hair over and over. It can be any of your hair, but most people pull from their head or eyelashes. It can be worse sometimes and better sometimes.

It can start at any age, but we both started when we were around 7 years old. We pull mostly eyelashes, but sometimes other hair.

If you have it, some people may tease you. Some people may think that you are weird. It is very aggravating to keep pulling when you want to stop. You often wish you could be like everyone else.

We have found out that it is not as bad as it seems at first. You feel better when you learn to talk about it. It helps to remember that everyone has something weird and this is just my quirk. It also helps to look on the bright side and keep a positive attitude about life.

We try to keep telling ourselves no (sometimes it works). We think about how we want to look. We try to keep fidget things around to keep our hand busy. It helps to be around other people because we try harder not to pull when there are people around. We also do things to distract ourselves, like playing outside or doing art.

Things Parents Can Do To Help:

  1. Let me handle it. Help me when I ask you to.
  2. Get me things to fidget with.
  3. Don't keep bringing it up all the time.
  4. Ask me if I want reminders when you see me pulling. Maybe we can work out a funny reminder that won't make me feel like I disappointed you.
  5. Help me with a positive motivation plan so I have good goals to work toward.
  6. Help me get information and the right people to support me.
  7. Help me tell the people that I choose to know about this.

Things Parents Do That DON'T Help:

  1. Scolding or yelling when I pull.
  2. Punishing or spanking when I pull.
  3. Spying and prying.
  4. Telling other people like family or friends without asking me first.

Shelly and Krista can be contacted by sending email to caar@netcommander.com 

Self Help Strategies
Hair Pulling