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Trichotillomania Symptoms

Trichotillomania is primarily characterized by the recurrent pulling out of one’s own hair. Hair pulling may occur from any region of the body — such as your scalp, eyelids or eyebrows. Less common areas where trichotillomania occurs includes pulling out facial hair, pulling out hair from your arms, legs, armpits, or pubic hair. Hair pulling sites may vary over time.

The prevalence of this disorder is approximately 1 – 2 percent of the population. It occurs more frequently in females than males (10:1 ratio).

Specific Symptoms of Trichotillomania

1. Recurrent pulling out of one’s hair resulting in noticeable hair loss.

2. Repeated attempts to decrease or stop the hair pulling.

3. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

4. The disturbance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (such as trying to improve a perceived defect or flaw in body dysmorphic disorder) and is not due to a general medical condition (e.g., a dermatological condition).


Updated for DSM-5. Code: 312.39 (F63.2)

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2020). Trichotillomania Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 1 Jul 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 1 Jul 2020
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