My 18 month old is pulling her hair out

Raquel - posted on 02/06/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Help! I can't get my 18 month old to stop pulling her hair out! She is now half way bald. I have tried every hairstyle you can imagine. I have tried wrapping her hair up at night. Nothing has worked. The pediatrician doesn't seem to be concerned at all. She mainly pulls her f
hair in the car, when she goes to bed, when she wakes up or when she is consoling herself. I don't know what to do. She will be completly bald soon.

Have any other mothers gone through this?

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Colleen - posted on 02/06/2010

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I have a friend who pulls her hair out and has done it most of her life. She has a bald patch which she has to have her hairstyle tailored to cover.



It is an impulse compulsive disorder called Trichotillomania. In most cases the habit serves as self-stimulation and is a positive experience for the person. Some people find it soothing in times of stress and it helps to restore calm. It usually starts as a random event and then becomes a bad habit if not linked to a pschycological complication like lack of self esteem (which I don't think your daughter is old enough to have).



There is no known cure for it other than trying to replace that habit with something else or trying hypnotherapy and other alternative therapies. I can only suggest that you find a soft blankie or toy that your daughter likes and then try to encourage her to hold or rub it between her fingers everytime you see her go for her hair. It may or may not work but worth a try.

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Laurenr789 - posted on 07/25/2016

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Hi Erin - I am having the exact problem to a tee with my 18 month old. I was hoping since this post was a bit older you could give me some advice and let me know of any tips. Thank you!

Erin - posted on 05/13/2010

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I know exactly what you are going through. My daughter was born with a head full of hair. By her 15th month check up, she was completley bald on one side and she was eating it. The pediatrician told us she had ttm and there really wasn't anything we could do about it because she was so young. We were concerned with her getting "hairballs" so we shaved her head for about 6 months and then let it start to grow back. We thought we broke the habit, she has a head full of beautiful brown hair now that is so thick and full of curls. She turned 2 in February of this year. A few weeks ago she started it back again. She also sucks her thumb and this time she is pulling it out on the opposite side. She has a bald spot about the size of my fist and it appears to be getting bigger. I am almost thinking about shaving it again, but the rest of her hair is so beautiful, I just can't do it yet. If too much more of it is gone, I will, i am scared she is still eating it, we find it in her diapers. If anyone has a better suggestion than shaving her head, please let me know!!

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