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Child pulling his hair out
Old 09-21-2019, 03:21 AM
  #1

Does anyone have experience with a child (own or student) that would pull out their own hair? My 7 year old son has a very noticeable bald spot from where he pulled out a chunk of hair yesterday. Pretty sure it happened at school, it was picture day and he said he was nervous about how his picture would turn out. DH and I both have anxiety issues, and this son is definitely a perfectionist/worrier. I thought trying a replacement activity, something like a stress ball, might help for now. Would love to hear about anyoneís experience with this.


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Old 09-21-2019, 03:42 AM
  #2

My dd did this. There's a scary name for it: trichotillomania. Definitely related to anxiety. She paired the hair pulling with thumb sucking, so we decided together to put a Snoopy bandaid on her thumb to remind her. It worked somewhat, but cost a fortune in bandaids! Eventually she outgrew it...now at age 32, she has dreadlocks down to her waist.

The stress ball might help. Wearing a cap might help. Talking about it might help too...just making him aware of what is going on in his head and what he is doing with his fingers when he feels anxious.

If it becomes an intractable issue, there is always counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be successful if he is mature enough to be self aware and discuss ideas and feelings.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:54 AM
  #3

Yes, about 25 years ago. 4th grade girl.
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:07 AM
  #4

Thanks for your experience, I had found the scary name thanks to google. Reading about BFRBs (body focused, repetitive behaviors) I now recognize his nose picking probably falls in the same category and is more obsessive than normal for a 1st grader. The other day I asked what his teacher said when he picks his nose and he said he doesnít do it when sheís looking.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:03 AM
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I e had two students with that issue. Definitely anxiety. One just pulled hair, but the other pulled hair and bit the root end off and ate it. One tried to keep her hair pulled back tight in a bun because that kept her away from the spot she liked to pull from. The other one had a super short hair cut so she couldnít grab the hair.

At least one was in therapy. They both took medication.


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My DD
Old 09-21-2019, 06:10 AM
  #6

did this. It was pretty bad. She had LONG hair. I was finding hair all over the place. When it first started, I thought she was cutting her hair. Ya'll when I say it was bad, it was really bad. She had 2 inch bald spots above both her ears and when it grew back on top, she looked like she had a mowhawk!

She was in fifth grade when she started. We began to notice a pattern. When quarterly testing rolled around, she would do it. We did opt her out of a couple of district tests to give her a break. It was for sure anxiety related. I gave her a ponytail band or a rubberband for her wrist. She eventually used that instead. She kind of popped it and played with it. I did have to have a conversation with her teachers, so they did not take it.
A few years later and we have not had the issue again.
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I had a student
Old 09-21-2019, 12:01 PM
  #7

That pulled his hair. His mom was also a teacher. She sent him to school with a make up brush to keep in his pocket. He played with those hairs and it seemed to help.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:19 PM
  #8

lasflores- Thatís a great idea, thanks for sharing.

Weíre going to watch and keep an eye on it and see if we can find patterns. Itís not like he was picking at them one at a time, weíre pretty sure it was impulsive and all at once. Itís a good sized chunk... itís where menís bald spots are so my very first thought was that he was going bald at 7.
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:07 PM
  #9

my sister did, and i have had a few students. fidgets seem to help to keep their fingers busy.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:03 AM
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My son pulled hair from his head and eyebrows. It was stress related especially during back to school time. He did it more when he was younger and less now that he's a teen. We gave him alternatives to try and made him aware that he was making a noticeable bald spot. I believe it started around age 7 when more testing took place in the classroom.


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