During class one day looking around the room bored out of my mind.
I looked up and noticed my top eyelashes were latching on to the bottom ones.
Getting pretty annoyed I begin rubbing them to try and detach them. I tried stretching, curling and even scratching them to get them the way I wanted.
Then it happened... I held on to that eyelash that was giving me problems... and yanked it out.
I felt a jolting pain, but not as bad as I thought. I felt relief knowing that something that was bothering could go away by removing the problem.
I didn't pull my eyelashes again for a while after that, The thought of the pain really discouraged me from doing it again.
I have bad allergies, so my eyes tend to become very dry and itchy especially during the spring. I wake up sometimes to find my eyelashes stuck to each other.
Another boring day at school, but this time with allergies. They would itch, stick to each other, or even fold down and touch the surface of my eye. I couldn't take it anymore, so... I just yanked it out!
But not just that one, I decided to yank out the others. I pulled and pulled, and to my surprise... I didn't even think about the pain it was causing me.
I began seeing bald patches on my eyelashes, which made me start becoming conscious of what people thought so I would hide them the best way I could. I thought of anyone finding out about my situation scared me more than anything.
I was very anti-social, I sat in the back of the classroom, didn't participate in group assignments, never let people get too close to me, and avoided attention. Even knowing that, I would still continue to pull out my eyelashes.
I started to hate myself, not having a girlfriend, or going out to parties. I was even asked out a couple times, but turned them down because I was so conscious of them knowing about my problem.
I knew I had to grow them back.
I started doing research on what I was going through to find that my problem had a name, Trichotillomania: Which is a compulsive desire to pull out one's hair.
Knowing this I decided to read up as much information I could to fix the problem. I experimented with a few different solutions and read up on others having the same problem as me. With enough will power and understanding I was able to grow my eyelashes past a length I'd never gotten before, But it did not stop me from pulling them right back out.
Here is the problem...
Hair pulling of any sort can be linked to the same compulsive action as nail biting.
The moment you decided that a problem can be solved by simply pulling out your hair (or in my case, eyelashes). You program your unconscious mind to react in a compulsive matter.
This is why it is so hard to stop. Your unconscious mind has decided that any stress can be relieved short term by simply pulling out your hair. This is the same analogy as an itch, your brain unconsciously solves the issue with a compulsive action to scratch it. Most people even scratch while they are asleep.
Depending on how long you have been dealing with trichotillomania, it can be next to near impossible to resolve with traditional remedies.
There is a solution... Hypnosis
Since the issue is on an unconscious level, Hypnosis has the ability to re-tune your mind to not associate stress with hair pulling, but to redirect the stress into something less harmful.
The problem is that Trichotillomania is not a common problem, so there aren't millions of websites giving you the solution. After months of research I finally stumbled upon a track that I knew might solve my problem.
I would listen to this mp3 track on my Ipod before I go to sleep for days. I started to notice that my urge to pull my eyelashes were a lot less, and eventually I just stopped all together. Within 5 to 6 weeks... They were back!
I finally gotten my confidence back! I would volunteer to go places, I could talk to people and make eye contact, I would even sit down with a group of people. Life was normal!
I felt that I had fixed my problem, so I stop listening to the hypnosis tapes for months. Everything was still normal until stress had came back into my life hard. Eventually without noticing it I was back to pulling out my eyelashes. Only this time I was able to stop myself before it got worse, and I knew exactly what to do.
I remembered what the hypnosis tape taught me, I gathered all of my research, and I put them together...
Here's 20 of the things I did to grow them back, and keep them!
1. Clip your fingernails whenever possible..
I find that doing this helps you remember not to pull them
2. Don't try and remove the thought of pulling out your hair or eyelashes
The unconscious mind is very powerful. Removing the thought won't work since the mind will just do it anyway without you thinking about it.
3. Continue Being Confident
You should never think that having your hair back makes you confident. Working on building your confidence can make a great change in your life.
4. Whenever you're alone and bored, think about somebody always watching you...
Many people do not pull their hair when others are watching (I never did)
5. Don't place your hand close to your face when bored
This makes you tempted to pull.
6. If you are stressed, Sometimes absolutely nothing works to stop out pulling your hair! Here's what you do:
When you're not doing anything, trap your hands under your legs or in your pockets to prevent you from pulling your hair.
7. Remember... It can take 5 to 6 weeks for your eyelashes to grow back (not sure about hair?).
Thinking that it will take forever to grow your hair back will tempt you to start pulling again, so always tell yourself that "It's not going to be long".
8. Find a new habit with your fingers
I find that doing different things help substitute for pulling out your hair, For example:
- Brushing your hair
- Playing with a stress ball
- Taking deep breaths when stressed
- Making a beat with your hands
or anything you can think of ...
9. Sometimes talking with others about works...
Letting people know of your problem could help in your journey to solving the issue. Don't be afraid to let others in. They are there for you
Breathing relieves stress. If you are stressed you are more likely to pull out your eyelashes.
11. Think of your goals for when your hair grows back...
Maybe you want to start dating or to be more social. Whatever it is keep that in mind.
"Less stress pull less"
Exercising can be another form of dealing with stress that doesn't involve you pulling out your hair.
13. Get out of the house
Hair pulling can be linked to you being indoors all the time. So get out and do something productive, take extra shifts at work or just take long walks.
14. Add lotion to hands, and coat your hair with petroleum jelly.
15. Drink more Water
Dehydration can actually cause hair loss. Crazy stuff!
16. Never get to a boring point
Always try to find something to do so you won't be tempted to start the habit
17. Find another source of relief.
Sometimes I find that when I have an itch near my eyes I tend to pull my eyelashes I guess to justify the itch. Here's what you do...
*With the backside middle part of your index finger, gently stroke the part of your eyes that have the itch. This will give relief to the itch and also give you a nice sensation while doing it. This will tell your brain that pulling out the problem is not the way to rid the itch. (This can also work for hair-pullers as well)
18. Fight the temptation!
Practice stopping yourself from pulling by feeling the temptation and keeping your hands still for long periods of time without touching your hair.
When you think of hypnosis, Don't think of the old pocket watch, count to three and snap fingers trick. This type of hypnosis just relaxes you clears your mind, which they then will give you simple harmless suggestions.
This site Uncommon knowledge has a great mp3 track on hair pulling. I believe this track is the reason I stopped pulling my eyelashes.
Stop Hair Pulling will gently re-educate your unconscious mind that compulsive hair pulling is no longer a desired behavior. And so, that hand will stay where it is, instead of creeping up to that hair when you're not looking.
20. Think of other ways you can stop pulling your hair
I'm giving tips on how to stop, but that doesn't mean there isn't more.
Comment on this blog, How did you stop yourself from pulling out your hair?