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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)

Steve Bressert, Ph.D.

Steve Bressert, Ph.D. is an author and retired as a professional in clinical practice. He has been writing about psychology and mental health issues since 1998.

APA Reference
Bressert, S. (2019). Trichotillomania Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Oct 2019 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Oct 2019
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