Well, hey guys! Today I wanted to talk to you about something a bit more serious today, lets dive in deep shall we?
Today’s blog post I wanted to speak out about my trichotillomania story… which is kind of a big deal, to me at least, because I never have publicly. I feel like from my POV over the past years I would have really loved something like this to be out there for advice, education and help.
Before we dive into anything I’d first like to say because this is my trich story I will be focusing on how and why I suffer from it. I say this because each case is different but all really have one similarity definition. I will have more links for more education at the end of this though 🙂
What exactly is this long fancy word trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania, or trich, is an OCD or ICD (very debatable and depends on your case) illness with the strong desire to pull out one’s hair. It can be self-diagnosisable.
The reason behind the action itself can be anything because everyone is different, however for me it is mainly because of anxiety, sadness, or stress. Since I have much more anxiety than the normal it makes it a bit worse. Sometimes I’ll be really stressed about a situation on the scene or it’ll be a long time coming. The motive I have in my mind is that I’m perfecting something or it just brings relief. There really is multiple scenarios and reasons as for the motive but these are the main. As for where I pull, I tend to pull out my eyebrows and lashes.
This seems weird I know. I mean, who would pull out their own hair? Isn’t that painful? But understand in some cases we don’t even realize we’re doing it. You could call it a more severe bad habit like biting nails when nervous but more serious.
How did you know you had Trich?
It all started when I was 12. My mom and I noticed that my very thick brows were beginning to become very patchy. I was as confused and curious as my mom, the question was “were they falling out and why?” This was a question that was tossed around for years and it wasn’t until I was 16 during a physical we talked to my doctor about it, the first question she asked was “do you pull them out?” I grew defensive and immediately said no, because even at this time I had convinced myself I was not the cause of it. It’s amazing of what you’re mind can convince yourself with enough shame and guilt.
In the back of my mind I knew I pulled them out but I couldn’t figure out why, it was unclear even to me if I did it intentionally. As the test for a thyroid came back negative and dermatologists visits were planned, the realization that I pulled them out myself itched closer and closer to the front of my mind.
There would be times where my eyebrows would be bare, and then my lashes. I remember one night where I was aware of what I was doing and I just knew what I would look like in the morning. After crying and praying that night wishing they would magically grow back over night, in the morning I was faced with a bare face.
During my early teen years you can probably imagine my self esteem going down the drain. Because not only did I not have long lashes like the other girls but they were non existent and I couldn’t wear mascara. I had stares and the question “why do you shave your eyebrows?” that I had to answer with a sigh and say I did not. Why would someone assume you shaved your own eyebrows?
It wasn’t until I was 15 and discovered eyeliner. Oh was this thing my savior I thought. Little did I know this was the beginning of a very unhealthy relationship with make-up. To some extent it made me feel more confident and beautiful because you could barely tell I had no lashes. But boy, I do apologize to anyone who had to see the thick wavy lines on my eyes for a good amount of time. Instead of make-up being fun it was a cover to hide under. This continued for a long time and the only positive thing that came out of this was learning to do an on point cat eye.
But I was still hiding in denial and guilt. I remember a friend calling me beautiful everyday and as much as I desperately wanted to believe him, I thought to myself no girl with no lashes or brows could ever be beautiful. Till one day I came across an old video from a YouTuber I watched. It was called My Trich Story by Arden Rose. I watched this and immediately all the shame and guilt melted away. I wasn’t the only one. This was somewhat normal. In time, my condition settled with me and I grew to accept it as it was apart of me. Pieces like pieces of a puzzle slowly came into place as I grew older. With inspirations and friends to accept me as I was, I began to accept myself. The video by Arden set it in stone that I and it was okay.
Constantly I must remind myself this is who I am. A part of me I don’t particularly like but I learnt to accept that trich is what I have and does not define who I am, and neither does my beauty. I can’t change it and neither can the make-up I hid under. I went on trial with the make-up I used and threw it away. Instead of hiding I began to make myself and itself better.
Sure, I still struggle with self image sometimes, I probably always will. And I go through weeks sometimes months of having fuller eyebrows to where you cannot even notice. Right now I have almost all of my lashes, not so much brows but I’m proud at how far I’ve come.
Is there a cure and way to resist?
There is antidepressants that some people say can help; I personally do not take them and never will but other than that no there is no cure sadly… I do however find exercise to be helpful! I started yoga earlier this year and exercising more and it has helped a bit. To resist, sometimes it is only the desire and goal to have full brows and lashes. You can also someone like your parents, friends or lover stop you when caught on the act but for me it doesn’t work like that. There is a treatment however to help faster and healthier growth that I do try to apply every morning and night. I’ve found that applying Castrol or coconut oil with a Q-tip helps. But I mainly use a serum from Rimmel London called the Lash Accelerator.
For those of you suffering with the same, I am here to talk about anything and answer questions you may have. Try some of the oils and serum I mentioned and maybe it’ll help 🙂 It feels really good to talk about this and I’d also like to give just a little thanks out there to my friends who could always make me feel better ❤ Also, Arden did another video about her trich that I was so happy to see and it probably pulled the last string for me to post this! I’ll link it below.
Education, Stories + Inspirations
An Honest Chat About My OCD – Arden Rose (very educational)
Everything Trich (Also a free online test you can take to see if you have Trich)
And as always here is a few extra motivational songs for you xo
Times are hard, but this too, will pass.
Much Love, Yasmeen