Annette pulled her hair out throughout her school years

Nobody understood me

I’m Annette and all through school I would pull out my eyelashes. It started with my fringe and I ended up pulling out all my hair before long. I wore a wig for most of my life, which resulted in me being withdrawn and upset at work. I’ve missed out on promotions because of lack of confidence.

I didn’t understand why I had this strange compulsion and the more I pulled my hair and eyelashes, the less I liked or understood myself.

And I had endless eye infections. My mum took me to the doctors but even they could not work out what was wrong with me.

When I asked my sister, “Why do I pull out my eyelashes?” she just laughed and said “Because you’re a sicko”.

I started to draw on my eyebrows when I was just 13. My family never understood why. Nobody understood, not even me, but I was the only person who knew I was pulling. Plucking and pulling.

I so needed to talk to someone. So one day I pulled my best friend aside and told her “I can’t stop pulling out my eyelashes and eyebrows”. The next day everyone was laughing at me behind my back and I lost my best friend.

I never told anyone after that and whenever I went out I would have to spend ages first getting my waterproof make-up exactly right.

I’d been pulling for 25 years when my kids insisted we get an internet connection at home so they could do their homework. When everyone was out, I started learning to use the computer. The day came when I typed “help me stop pulling out my eyelashes” into Yahoo. This website came up and I decided to try coaching. I didn’t think it would work for me, but I knew I needed to tell SOMEONE, anyone … I just needed to talk. Pull free just didn’t seem like me, so I told my therapist I didn’t care if I became pull free or not, but I just wanted to talk about the guilt and the shame of lash pulling.

I emailed her every day and gradually I started to understand the disorder.

That was four years ago and I haven’t pulled a lash or hair in four years. Sometimes you just have to act spontaneously – we trichsters think things through too much.

I’ve recently been promoted and would never have DREAMT of applying for such a high-powered job until I started the 40 day intensive course to stop hair pulling; this is the highest I can go in my current field.

Pull free IS who I am. Trichotillomania was just a disorder, it was never ME.


Read about some of our members and how they 

have grown to manage, and in many cases, 

overcome, hair pulling.

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Accounts of people with trichotillomania

The BFRB blogs and experiences described in this section may be disturbing so don’t read on unless you’re sure you are up to it.

how can I stop pulling my hair out

Adam Alpa Anna
Anne Angela Annette
Athena Caillin Caroline
Carrie Cathy Christine
Clarkie Cleo Donna
Ellen Faith H
Holly Iris Jan
Jane Jason Jayne
Jess Jo Joanna
Joanne Kat Kati
Kristina Krystal Laura
Lisa Lisa W Louise
Lucy Mairen Mike
Neil – OCD Patience
Robin Sandy Sara
Shannon Terri Tracey
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