Need to stop plucking hair (Trichotillomania?)

BrannockBrannock Registered User new member
Nose, back, eyebrows, (very rarely, beard). I'll occasionally notice a hair that's a little too long, too straight, or too thick, etc. And then, I *really* want to pluck it. If I get the root with it, I get a very distinct feeling of victory, a wave of relief. Usually, it's an eyebrow once a week or two—but it's a couple of back and nose hairs a day. For the back, it's not a big deal. But the nose is a big problem. I have extremely sensitive nose hairs to begin with. When I can feel them being irritated (by like, perfume, aerosol scents, the laundry aisle of a grocery store, dust, dirt, etc.), I go into a wet, sloppy sneezing fit. As a result, I keep a couple of handkerchiefs on me at all times.

Well, as nose hairs grow back in, and they're in the stubble phase, it can cause a near constant state of irritation. Also, there's a non-zero chance plucking nosehairs is lethal.

So, I'm trying to stop. Mayoclinic suggests "habit reversal training," which they describe like so:
Habit reversal training. This behavior therapy is the primary treatment for trichotillomania. You learn how to recognize situations where you're likely to pull your hair and how to substitute other behaviors instead. For example, you might clench your fists to help stop the urge or redirect your hand from your hair to your ear. Other therapies may be used along with habit reversal training.

I've also seen people suggest things like touching one's own elbow, etc. The problem I'm having is that these suggestions don't provide any type of relief / release / pleasure, and I'm having a hard time trying to think of something that would.

Wondering if anyone else's overcome a similar situation or has any suggestions.


  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    Have you tried snapping a rubber band on your wrist?

  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    For nose hairs, just get a good trimmer and keep them trimmed, daily if need be. I'm the kinda if person who picks and fidgets, and if it gets bad it keeps snowballing. Like I have had eczema my whole life but I find if I can not scratch it, it goes away fast. But my mind is very satisfied by the act of scratching it. I started wearing metal free belts to help stem the start of eczema outbreaks so I don't tempt myself to mess with it. I also used to chew my fingernails, but now I keep them extra short to curb it. And I used to lick my lips a lot so they were always chapped, so I used to keep lip balm on hand that wassn't my favorite flavor as a reminder not to lick lips. Eventually broke that habit. And the last one is I always mess with my hair, twiddle and 'cracking' the hair between my fingers. It's extremely calming but not good for your hair. Is still do this but it's really not that bad.

    Eyebrows seems normal, as long as you don't overdo it. Back hair plucking, while a little unpleasant to think about, is ok too. If you really want to stop fiddling with it, go get waxed or try to shave it down. For myself, removing the tempting act keeps from feeling tempted to start. That being said they make fake pimple popping trays, they may have fake hair boards you can buy to satisfy the plucking itch.

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  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    The only thing that works for me is a combo of distraction (rubber band works but so do things like fidget cubes, etc), medication, and exercise.

    Even then it's not foolproof in times of stress for me.

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