Hair Pulling
Upper Hutt
How To Make It Stop For Ever

Hair Pulling ends with just one simple visit

How to make your habit vanish like magic

Hair Pulling

Stop pulling your hair right now!

There is a new way of dealing with hair pulling. A way that actually works. Something that will let you stop forever, easily and quickly.
Now you can get rid of it You have wanted to for years. This new method removes the anxiety that drives hair abuse Trichotillomania. No more anxiety driven picking, pulling, scratching, eating.
Forget the habit ever existed Wouldn't it be nice to just sit and think, and not have your hand move up on it own? To be able to trust yourself not to start again. Well, you can now forget all about it.
The best thing you have ever done This small investment will transform your pride in your appearance. You will look back on this, years from now, and know it was the right thing.
You've tried everything else  You should have done this years ago. Book today and get it ended!

Have not pulled my hair out three weeks today and am battling a bit with the nails but they are certainly looking better - am thrilled about the hair. And so is my husband! – thanks Ingrid

Hair Pulling FAQ

What is hair pulling?

Hair pulling is a repetitive behavior problem. It varies in intensity from an annoying habit to a serious compulsive disorder. The majority of people have minimal to mild urges to pull.

The medical term is Trichotillomania.

It includes hair biting, eating, picking, twirling, plucking, chewing and other forms of hair abuse.

Most people pull the hair on their scalp. Some people pull out eyebrows, eyelashes, beards or body hair as well or instead. Some people like to chew the follicle end.

Is it dangerous?

Occasional hair pulling is harmless. But it can have distressing side effects. Overuse can leave noticeable bald patches. These can be embarrassing. The skin can get infected.

Some people invent special hair styles to cover it up. Other people are careful where they pick. It is always where clothes or long hair will hide the damage.

What are signs to look for

Thinning hair

Odd bald patches within healthy hair

Bleeding among the hair

Ritualistic hair behavior in stressful situations

Pulling hair and threads from dolls and fabrics

Reluctance to show hair in intimate moments

Symptoms of trichotillomania

Constant pulling, twirling or tugging hair

Unable to stop despite trying

Build up of tension when you try to not do it

Sense of relief after doing it

Not noticing you are doing it

Playing with the pulled out hair

Try to hide it from others

Is all hair pulling the same?

Some people choose to do it. It relieves stress. Some people enjoy complex rituals of finding, selecting, pulling, playing, eating.

Other people don't even realize it's happening. They sometimes find loose hairs and don't remember how they got there.

Some people find it erotic. There are websites devoted to erotic hair pulling. They like someone else pulling on their hair, not pulling it out.

When does it happen?

It is usually triggered by lack of stimulus. It often starts unnoticed when driving, reading, watching TV or relaxing. Or it happens in specific situations, like boredom.

Some people choose to do it, and enjoy it.

Others do without even noticing. For example, leaning your head on your hand may start it. Or you do it only when talking to customers, or when faced by the boss.

Can I stop it?

Yes, although most people find it very hard to.

There are several ways to manage hair pulling. Most people can learn to stop completely.

It is often not taken seriously. Hair pulling gets dismissed as trivial, like fear of spiders. People can't understand why you don't stop it. You get very little sympathy, even though it’s not your choice, and you are trying hard to stop.

What is BFRB?

Body Focused Repetitive Behavior is a term that includes all self-grooming habits. Any voluntary actions that damage your body. This includes actions like nail biting, thumb sucking, skin picking, and cheek chewing. And lots of similar body focused habits.

Why do people pull their hair out?

Hair pulling is a distraction from stress. You do it for the same reason that people bite their nails or smoke cigarettes. It is something to do to stop you from thinking about something else.

You can sometimes stop pulling for weeks or months. But it always starts again. When the stress comes back, the hair pulling comes back.

And the failure to stop makes you feel bad, and adds to your anxiety. It becomes a cruel cycle. Stress makes you pull your hair, and pulling your hair gives you more stress.

What is the origin of hair pulling?

Hair Pulling starts as a response to stress in childhood. When you were little, you learned that pulling your hair stopped you feeling so stressed. You then did it every time you felt stressed. Then it became an automatic habit.

Is it due to an addictive personality?

Addictions are a response to stress. Some people describe themselves as having an addictive personality. This may be true, but the addictive personality doesn't come out of nowhere. You are trying to deal with the stress by doing the addictive actions.

You may or may not be aware of the source. These feelings are always from some trauma in childhood. This is either a single incident, or continuous stress. It might be sexual abuse, bullying, or feeling rejected and unwanted.

These implant feelings of worthlessness, fear, anger, anxiety and things like that. Everyone is different. But these feelings are always there, in the background. Any time you have a quiet moment, watching TV or driving, these feeling surface again. So you start the 'addictive' behavior.

How long does hair pulling last?

Sometimes it can last a lifetime. In very young children it tends to come and go on its own and only last weeks or months. In adults it often goes on for months/years, and then stops for long periods. And then it starts up again until the next gap.

There is no way of predicting when it comes and goes.

Are there risk factors associated with Hair Pulling?

A family history of anxiety related issues.

Being female - much more common in women

Age. It starts most often in the Teens and pre-Teens years

High stress relationships

Unavoidable stress at work or home

It often occurs along with more severe disorders such as depression and OCD

Why is hair pulling so hard to stop?

Hair pulling is a symptom of deeper issues. When you address the deep issues, you take away the reason for pulling. The habit goes away.

Hair pulling is a symptom, not the problem.

The anxiety is always there, ready, waiting to come out again. For example, it is common for women to stop hair pulling on the lead up to their wedding. And for a few months after that, they don't even think about it.

But once the excitement passes, the old feeling re-emerge, and the habit comes back.

Can I Substitute another behavior?

When your hair pulling is almost automatic you can substitute a different behavior. Something to do instead of pulling.

This is the Azrin Technique. Every time you are start to touch your hair, you do something else. It could be squeezing a stress ball. Or flicking a rubber band on your wrist.

Over time the substitute response becomes automatic. It replaces the hair pulling.

Are there physical methods to control it?

Wear a tight fitting head covering

Wear your hair short

Practice circular breathing when under stress.

Wrap plasters around your fingertips

Interrupt the worry cycle with vigorous exercise

Or try a nice warm bath to ease your anxiety

How do I stop it when I do it automatically?

Keep a stress diary. Learn when and in what situations you do it. By observing patterns, you may be able to isolate exactly what it is that triggers it. You can then identify the best way to deal with it.

Ask friends and family to call attention to it when they see you doing it. That way you will become hyper-aware of doing it. You can then notice what is causing it, and do something about the cause.

Tell other people about your problem. Bring it out into the open. That often helps to reduce the shame, the need to hide it.

Can I manage it by Visualization?

Some people have found this works. You visualize situations where you would normally experience stress. You rehearse not responding. You experience yourself behaving in a new way. A way that stops you from abusing your hair.

Visualize yourself in different situations. One might show you how good you will look and feel with perfect hair. Another might make you unhappy with anything less than perfect hair. Or super sensitive to criticism about your hair pulling. All these work to alter your perceptions of yourself.

You think of your hair as an asset. You see it as a vital part of who you are. You think of it as something to be loved and looked after. You protect it like a precious child. It becomes a source of pride. That gives you the motivation to not spoil it.

Does meditation and mindfulness help?

Relaxation reduces stress. Stress is what starts your Hair Pulling.

Learn a de-stress relaxation method. So you can go into deep relaxation anywhere. This prevents stress building up to levels that will trigger your habit.

Repeat a positive affirmation or mantra

Does psychotherapy help with hair pulling?

It has a consistent success rate. Psychotherapy can find the source of the anxiety and remove it. This can take many forms: CBT, counselling and hypnotherapy.

What online sites are useful?

UK Health Service

Mayo Clinic

Teens Health




Hair Pulling and Childhood Anxiety

I had a very memorable client today. He told me that he had trichotillomania, hair pulling. He said that he was constantly pulling hairs out of his beard and picking at his nails. He couldn’t stop and he needed to stop because it was threatening his job.

From previous experience I know that hair pulling is associated with anxiety. I asked him when the anxiety had started. He told me that he had been anxious all his life. So I asked him to tell me about growing up. He had grown up in a religious family.

His father was in the military, strict and verbally abusive. He was a perfectionist for whom nothing was ever good enough.

My client described an upbringing of constant anxiety. He had been sexually abused by an older stepbrother. I asked him at what age this happened. He said that he was three years old when it was discovered. Eventually his stepbrother was institutionalised.

I pointed out that at three years old you have no memories, and so the sexual abuse, if it actually happened, would not have affected his behaviour. I said it was much more likely that his parents had told him about it and expected him to behave badly.

He told me that he’d spent much of his childhood on Ritalin. He was forced to take handfuls of pharmaceuticals every day until he went to high school. Then he just refused to take any more.

Lifetime of Therapy

He described an endless round of psychotherapists, counselors, guides and advisers. Most of these were faith-based. A few helped, most did not. He had been to group therapy, face-to face therapy, art therapy, meditation: you name it, he’s been to it. He had spent thousands of hours in therapy.

Even in therapy he was hair pulling. I said to him, “You’ve been to all this counselling, all this therapy, and yet you are still anxious?”. “Yes, I have tried everything. I have tried to stop my racing thoughts but I still get anxious in crowds." He said “I feel that there is something still chasing me”.

I asked him what he felt had helped him. He said that being taught how to go sleep was very useful. He slept badly and often woke during the night. Meditation was also useful. He meditated on a regular basis. I asked them how it was that he meditated a lot, but still had anxiety.

He just looked even more unhappy. I felt that it was a tragedy that this decent young man had been let down by the entire therapy profession. It seemed to me there was very little wrong with him apart from his anxiety.

Looking back, it seemed that most of it was the result of his parents behavior towards him. And all the nonsense labels that various therapists had tried to stick on to him.

Treating deep-seated anxiety

I felt that the best approach would be to tackle his hair pulling and anxiety head-on. Since he said that he had been meditating a lot, and was good at it, I asked him to put himself into trance. ‘Just say the word “yes”, when you are there.’

He proceeded to put himself under. I  deepened the trance. Then I suggested that he focused on this feeling of “something still chasing me”. His expression changed, and it became clear that he was actually experiencing that old anxiety.

I kept on suggesting that he could go deeper into the anxiety, to become more aware of it, to allow it to come out fully. His whole body was showing signs of anxiety. "Become curious about that feeling. Consider its size, its color, its shape. What object does it most resemble?"

Developing the metaphor

hair pullingHe said “it’s a motor”. This surprised me. Most people think of clouds or stones or something fairly general. I was quite happy to accept a motor, so I continue developing it. He said it was about the size of a basketball, it was black, it had moving parts, and it was dangerous.

I asked “what else you know about it?”. He told me it was a Langolier motor. This meant nothing to me, and I wasn’t sure if I’d heard him correctly. He had a very clear image of the motor whatever it was, so I started on the next stage which is to change into something else.

I asked him “what would you like to have happen to this thing?”. He said he wanted to stop it. Then he said he wanted to take it apart. I asked “and what would that mean for you, if it stopped and you took it apart?”. He said “I could rebuild it”.

This wasn’t what I expected, but I pressed on. “And what would it mean for you if you could rebuild it?”. He said “then I would know how it worked”. I asked again “and what would it mean for you when you know how it works?”. He said “then I could be calm”.

This meant he had now established a link between changing the motor metaphor and his desired state. Changing the motor in any way would break him out of his anxiety state.

Changing the metaphor

So I asked him “what would have to happen for that motor to stop?”. He said it couldn’t stop. It was too dangerous. He couldn’t even see it clearly, because it was moving so fast. Even going near it, things could fly off it and injure you.

This was his unconscious mind’s way of keeping away from the feeling. Most likely he had never really addressed the feeling at all at any time in his life, for fear of what might happen.

I then suggested, gently, that possibly some sort of wall, some sort of barrier could go around it. A moment later he said “Ah yes, there is a barrier around it”. I asked him what it was made of. He said “glass”.

So I said, “just allow whatever wants to happen to happen”. After a short time, He said “it’s filled with water” with a sense of surprise in his voice.Then he said “it has frozen”. And now I can see it clearly.

“It’s a very clever intricate machine”. And he began to describe in some detail. He was clearly thinking of some real machine, and not some vague metaphor. This was very puzzling to me, but I kept on with the therapy.

I asked him what he would like to have happen to it. And he said again “I want to take it apart”. So I gently suggested he begin taking apart. And he described in excruciating detail exactly what he was doing. He was taking tiny screwdrivers and removing the screws.

Each screw was carefully bagged, colour-coded, labelled and laid out. He described taking each bit apart, laying it out, taking sketches and photographs so that he would know how to put back together again.

Destroying the machine

And he was constantly remarking on how clever and intricate and well-designed it was. He was filled with admiration for the working of this machine. This actually wasn’t what I was trying to achieve. I needed him to destroy the machine, not fall in love with it.

So I made more suggestions about what to do with the machine. Eventually he said ” I could build something different with it”. So I encourage them to think about using just a few parts to make something useful. He seemed very taken with this idea.

He said he could make something for everyone and they would find it useful. I said “and you can be proud of that, can’t you?”. “Oh yes,” he said “but then everyone would start arguing about where the idea came from and try to patent it would cause a whole lot of arguments”.

So I then spent some time trying to assure him that it actually would work out well. I then checked to see if all the parts had been used. “And is there anything left of that machine?”.

Destroying the dangerous part

He told me that there were many parts left. There were sharp and dangerous and couldn’t be touched. I asked him what he was going to do with them. He said he would bag them up and put them away. This was not what I wanted. I wanted him to destroy those dangerous parts.

Otherwise they might come back at some future time and ruin all the good work we had been  doing. I told him he had to get rid of them. And he said “okay, I will give them to some friends of mine”. This would not at all what I had expected, but  getting rid of them that way was as good as any other way.

So the machine had now been dismantled. I reminded him that this meant that he could now change. I asked him “how does that anxiety seem to you now?”. He said “it all seems very distant”. Job done.

Explaining the metaphor

I then brought out of trance and we chatted for a while. He said to me “did you notice that I called that a Langolier?”. I said yes but I had no idea what what he meant by it. He told me that when he was a child he had watched the Stephen King movie with his father.

It had frightened him at the time. The movie was about going to the edge of time and these machines called Langolier continually ate Time. His young mind had associated these machines with some enormous monstrous power that consumed everything and could not be stopped.

Somehow or other he had made a link between that and his childhood anxiety caused by things that he couldn’t stop and had no control over.

That was the metaphor that he brought up from the depths of his unconscious. By dismantling and disabling that machine metaphorically, he had dismantled his feelings of anxiety.

It is very seldom I get such a direct link back to the visualization of a childhood anxiety. But in this case it was very clear how his mind thought of his hair pulling problem, and thought of the problem like this invincible machine.

I made no attempt to address this trichotillomania as he had asked for. Instead, going after the source of the anxiety allowed him to take back control of his whole life. The hair pulling and nail picking will clear up by themselves now.

Success with Hair Pulling

Mr. Mason,
I’m writing to you almost a week after having undergone your hypnotherapy for my trichotillomania and I’m in a bit of shock actually. I’ve not pulled a single hair from my body, not one.

Occasionally I will touch my beard but almost immediately remind myself that “oh yeah, I don’t have to do that anymore”.
It’s more than incredible, it’s life changing and I can’t thank you enough.

Best of luck to you, your work transition, and the ongoing project that is your wonderful home. Thank you again and infinitely.

Tony Cartwright

Hair Pulling: Shame and anxiety

Abby Prollix was a young woman suffering depression and anxiety. She had a habit of Hair Pulling, mixed in with a touch of OCD and perfectionism.

She grew up in totally dysfunctional household. Her mother was violent and angry. Her father spent his childhood in State homes and then the rest of his life in jail. Very violent man. Abby grew up lonely and isolated. Physically abused by her mother. Brought up by her grand parents.

She feels guilty for not doing more for her father.

How to Treat Hair Pulling

Hair pulling is caused by anxiety. I  started by exploring  her feelings about hair pulling. I put into trance, and got her to imagine a situation where she would be pulling her on hair. I then asked her to notice what feelings she got just before she doing the pulling.

Abby got a feeling in her chest. It was like a hand pushing down on her. Trying to reach to grab her. Bigger than her. It was red. When I explored it further it became two hands. There was just the hands, nothing else. The hands were small and had no nails. There were thick.

She had fastened on to something that represented the feeling that caused the hair pulling. I asked "can you imagine those hands being a bit bigger?" She could make them bigger easily. But she could not imagine them being any smaller.

I got her to think about those hands in different ways. "Can you imagine them a different color? Can you make one finger shorter? Can you imagine tickling the palms?" Finally, she was able to make changes that allow them to shrink into nothing. She was very reluctant to let go of this thing.

Clearing the Hair Pulling guilt

When I tested her she said she felt guilty about making  them go away. So I did another metaphor visualization on her feelings of guilt. This time she said "it is like something spread across me." I developed that feeling, and it turned out to be like a blanket or a quilt.

"It's a top blanket  pressing down on me. It is covering my body. It feels shameful." I encouraged her to describe the 'blanket' in more and more detail. I confirmed that it covered the whole of her body. I tried to get her to somehow that it off her. She could not imagine any way that it could be be gone.

So I decided to help her destroy it. I said to her "Think about your feet. Think about the nails on your feet. Think about scrabbling your nails against the blanket. Imagine those nails scratching and tearing at the blanket." Eventually she got a hole in the blanket. I got her to make more holes.

Then I told her "Put your feet into the holes. Rip the whole thing up into tiny bits." She did that. "I feel much lighter." Then I got her to think about the place where that old feeling of shame used to.

"Now fill that place with all the lovely things you remember from your  life. Fill it with love and laugher and good times." She did that "The feeling has gone away. I don't know what it was, but it's completely gone!"

I asked her "Think now about hair pulling. How does that seem to you now?" "I just know that I won't be doing it again."


A personal visit may be more convenient if you  are from the Wellington Region.

Hair pulling Upper Hutt


Online therapy may be a better choice for you. If you don't have anyone near where you are, then you can end you hair pulling through an internet session.


Do it online
Last Updated on 17/11/2022 by Dave Mason
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