Trichotillomania – More than Just a Bad Hair Day

Hairpulling – Bad hair day? More like a bad hair life!

I’m sure we have all heard of the saying ‘Having a bad hair day’….

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What about ‘Your hair is your crowning glory’….

or even ‘I felt like tearing my hair out’….

Society puts a lot of pressure on people, especially women, to look good and feel good. Hair is seen as a big part of that looking and feeling good picture. But hair is only a very small part of our make up and it does not define who we are.

I’ve had my fair share of comments about my hair over the years, as i’m sure many of you have, and i’ve dealt with the comments in various ways. I will share a few of them with you …….

–I was at a function with my husband. I had spent a long time choosing the right dress, putting my make up on, and doing the best i could with my hair. This guy i had never met before walked over to our table and after the introductions were made, he turned to me and said ‘What happened, bad hair day’. I just sat there not knowing what to say and wishing the ground would swallow me up..

I took a rather large gulp from my wine glass and excused myself without saying a word. That one remark ruined my evening and a major pulling session was guaranteed when i got home…….

–After getting my first wig fitted i was feeling quite good about myself. Yes my hair was nearly non existent but at least no-one could see it. When i saw a friend after getting the wig her words to me were ‘what the heck have you done to your hair’ Now she knew i had a wig so why say that. I held my head high, told her i had a wig and felt great then carried on down the street. Again a pulling session occured when i got home and my confidence in my new hair was seriously dented…….

–A discussion that took place a few days before my wedding was probably my proudest moment as far as handling hair disasters go. I was on my way home from a shopping trip when i bumped into a friend i hadn’t seen for a while. We got chatting and of course i couldn’t wait to tell her about my upcomming wedding. She asked all the usual questions and inevitably the conversation turned to my hair and make up. Doesn’t every bride-to-be have a few hours of pampering before the big event. No, not me. My hair was not in a good state by any stretch of the imagination so having my hair donewas out of the question. (to this day my wedding photo’s are in a box because my hair looks terrible) I decided there and then to tell her i had trich and that i was going to do my hair myself. To my surprise she didn’t look shocked. She simply said she had never heard of trich and said it must be hard to live with. We got into quite an in depth discussion over coffee after that and to this day she is a very dear friend…….

Not everyone i’ve told has been quite as understanding but i refuse to hide a part of who i am from anyone and if they don’t like it or can’t deal with the uniqueness of it, it is their problem not mine. I have learned to accept that trich is a part of my life, even if it is just a small part. I choose to keep positive supportive people around me. I beat myself up enough over the years i don’t need anyone else to do it for me…….

We all have our stories to tell and we all have our ways of dealing with awkward situations. In the early days of my own trich journey i would say anything but ‘i pull my hair out’. Now i am happy to tell people and hope to educate them a little while i’m at it. Now i know you are probably thinking it is easy for me because i am pull free and it is not immidiately obvious i have hair loss, but i still find it difficult. Being pull free doesn’t mean i no longer have trich. It simply means that i control it rather than it controlling me. I have permanent damage and my hair is still short but it is better than it would have been if i had continued to pull. I still have the same insecurities, the same fears of being seen as weird and the same ‘i feel ugly’ days, but i don’t let them control my life anymore, or at least i try not too…… .

People without trich have bad hair days too. They may not last as long or be as intense as the ones we get but they have them. My daughters are always complaining that their hair doesn’t sit right or they wish it was curly or a diffent colour. It used to bother me when people with great hair complained. ‘Try living with my hair for a week’ i would think. But they have as much right to be upset about their hair as i have. Now i try and focus on the good things in my life rather than that one negative. I have a husband and four kids that love me no matter what. The rest of my family are supportive. I have loads of friends who accept me warts and all. I have a job, my own home and relatively good health. That is a lot more than some people have and i am grateful for all of it. We may have had bad hair lives up to this moment but it doesn’t always have to be like that. Look at the positive things in your life. Surround yourself with positive people. It may just be the start of a pull free life but even if it isn’t, you will be a much happier person because of it…….

Love and happy pull free vibes to all,.

Michelle xxx