Trichotillomania - What has helped?

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Lucinda asks four of her Trichotillomania clients what has helped them the most as they've fought to stop their hair pulling.

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Transcription of Conversation - Trichotillomania - What has helped?

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I mean for me I needed to do something, something had to change. The thought of a wig just filled me with horror, just like putting my hands up and saying I've lost the fight. A wig was just not where I was gonna go, so to have a system that was part of me, if you like, it was mine, it wasn't coming offf at night and I was completely in control of how it looked - the color I had, the style I had, how long, how short, was it going to be wavey, was it going to be curley, straight, whatever. It was absolutely my control and my decisions, with obviously advice which has been helpful, I have to say. That was really really good, and obviously the barrier system which if you can't touch it you can't pull it, is a help as well, definitely.

For me just having the ability to go out looking normal, and to style it differently, from day-to-day is great. I think for me personally the biggest help I think, to get me to where I am today which is pull-free, has been obviously having an Intralace system which has allowed me to come somewhere and almost like reset, every time you come to the studio you reset and you think to yourself, right this is me another six weeks or whatever and I haven't pulled, it's another little hurdle you've overcome. Psychologically it just sort of reminds you, obviously not being able to touch your hair as well is an enormous help but I also, Lucinda you recommended to me a food supplement, an enzyme, called NAC, and from the very day I started taking that I never touched my hair again - that's over two years ago. And I really do feel that for me, not necessarily for everybody, and I know that there have been studies done that have been very successful, that has been an enormous help as well. So I think that everything combined, I don't think there's one mystery, miracle cure, I think if you have a lot of holistic things going on, and everything working together will put you in a good place and that's where I feel today with it

I think the Intralace has helped in quite a few ways: you can't get to it number one, you can't get to your worst areas easily, and also I think it gives you more confidence and you think, 'Oh, well, I'm not going to ruin all this good work - I've put a lot of time a lot of effort into looking like this', and it gives you a bit of confidence a bit of a kick up the bum, to not do it, and also the physical tightness of having it tightened is like a reminder, it's not constant like I don't even know I've got it on hardly anymore, especially in the early days it's a bit different, a bit new, and although it's part of yourself it's there and you know it's there, and you feel yourself thinking, right I can feel it all the time and it's a reminder for me not to pull my hair out.

For me it first of all the freedom to have different colors and different styles every now and then, but what I loved when I first came here as well is that you sort of said 'bring along a picture of what you'd like to look like' and I mean most salons if you said to a hairdresser 'I'd like to look like Farrah Fawcett' or whatever they'd start laughing and say but you haven't got that sort of hair - who do you think you are to want to look like that. Yeah, it's what is your dream, bring it along and we'll try and achieve it for you. And so you get that first of all and then secondly once you've got your system integrated with your own hair, what my routine is basically is that I get up I get into the shower, I wash it, I don't even bother to blow dry it sometimes 'cos I just let it dry naturally and it looks natural, and nobody ever looks at me and thinks 'that's wierd, what's going on there', because it just looks like your normal hair - in a pony-tail and off I go. It's just like my ordinary normal everyday hair.

And looking after it's the same

Absolutely. I bought it, I paid for it, it's mine!

I think I would echo that, I mean I don't have the Intralace any more because I've successfully come out the other side, but certainly for me having had it done, as well as that fabulous blank canvas that you can have whatever you want done and nobody can stop you from having it, the time that you get back - I think we would all agree that we would spend hours shujjing, camoflaging, pinning up, pinning down, spraying, brushing, moussing, you name it, we would do everything. You don't have to do that when you've got an Intralace, you just have normal hair! And that is just fabulous, you gain so much more time.

And then just wash, blow-dry, I can straighten it, I can curl it, scrunch it, I can do whatever to my Intralace that I can do to my normal hair. So much so that sometimes you forget it's there and just get on with it.