It might seem like another simple thing that the #naturalhair community has found some acronyms for to make it appear bigger than it actually is but trust me, this is something that may become a hinderance to your natural hair journey. You might be thinking, ‘How Yem? My hair comes out of my scalp so how can this obstruct hair growth?’
In addition to causing frizz and ruining countless hairstyles, HIHS has the potential to cause breakage. I am guilty of constantly pulling and tugging hair strands consciously and unintentionally. For a while I didn’t think much of it till i realized that the crown area of my hair looked thin. I was constantly pulling hair out of my scalp and some strands would break off and some would come straight out from the root. This till today does give me a good sensation when the hair is slowly coming out of my scalp.
After watching Layla’s (Fusion of Cultures on YouTube) video on Trichotillomania, I realized that what I have is not a normal urge to pull my hair out. There is nothing normal about enjoying the feeling of hair being pulled out of your scalp. Listening to her talk about her urges to pull her hair out made the light bulbs in my head grow brighter and ring louder.
By definition, Trichotillomania (TTM), is also known as the hair pulling disorder. It is an an impulsive control disorder characterised by a long term urge that results in the pulling out of one’s hair. People who suffer from TTM most commonly pull hair on the head and around the eyes. The disorder may run in families and pulling may be triggered by anxiety. People usually acknowledge that they pull their hair. Trichotillomania most commonly begins in childhood. Women are more commonly affected than men.
It’s safe to say I do not have TTM however knowing this information helped me see and notice a behavioral pattern I was forming and was a wake up call to stop. I don’t have anxiety and I’m not stressed. I love self diagnosing myself yes, but this time I am in the clear. I used to pull my hair when I was bored or absent minded. To add to that, the fact that it was easy for me to control and stop this habit showed me that if I had TTM I had a slight touch of it.
People have been reported to pull handfuls of hair and clear the whole eyebrow. I am not in this boat. I used to pull my hair while I was absent minded like I mentioned but the more time I spent trying to be cautious of my bad habit, I realized that I would normally be triggered by an itch on my scalp and it was always the crown area that I have sensitivity in. I worked on my sensitive scalp using oils and my scalp regimen that you can find on my current regimen page. Those urges are gone.
HIHS may be as simple as just twirling your hair for some but if you are one who is pulling all your hair out, do some research and decide if it’s something to worry about.