hair pulling in children

Children with Trichotillomania & School

Childhood Trichotillomania and School

Perhaps the biggest problem with school for tricsters is not the hair pulling itself. Social anxiety is a symptom of the disorder for many children. The biggest problem children with BFRBs face in school is the organizational challenge the tricster faces. Will he or she have the right equipment and homework, or even arrive on time, to the right place?

Facing Trichotillomania in School

Sensitive children are often marked out for bullying, and a child with trichotillomania may know what he or she should say to the bullies, but not be able to say it in the spur of the moment.

Most children with Trichotillomania have problems in school, which seem not to be related to the disorder. However, tricsters are very sensitive individuals, often not best suited to large groups of children. Pulling often starts when children change from a small junior school to a big high school.

A child with trichotillomania and/or other BFRBs may have learning difficulties which are difficult to detect. He or she may have problems concentrating for long periods of time, and medication commonly handed out for trichotillomania DO make these attention problems worse. If your child has been diagnosed as having ADHD AND Trichotillomania, this could be an example of the clinician not understanding the complexities of Trichotillomania and its attention related problems.

Children with Trichotillomania and School

It is a good idea to tell your child’s school, although we suggest you obtain the child’s permission. Ask which teacher they trust, and go along together, to talk to the school. Show your child that asking for help can be beneficial and is not a sign of weakness. Ask the teacher to look out for your child in particular, because they will need extra support. If the teacher says they don’t believe in treating children differently, explain that your child IS different and needs appropriate care. Be prepared to stand your ground. No teacher should EVER draw the class’s attention to a child’s pulling, and if they do, this is grounds for complaint not only to the head teacher, but higher if necessary.


Someone for YOU to talk to, helping you not to pass your own distress about the child hair pulling on to them.  We can write letters to your child’s schools or doctor, indicating how best to help people with this condition. One request we can make is to suggest that your child be allowed to wear their BFRB bracelets to school, or we can inform their school nurse or doctor the best ways we have found to treat the condition.  Our BFRB specialist is sometimes called to speak to a school nurse in person or to give a talk to a particular NHS committee. 

We sell a pull free kit via and valuable time is accrued on video calls to individuals to help them directly.  Appointments are made via the button on the right hand side of the web pages.

Trichotillomania in schools

Don’t try to protect your child from stress, but do try to minimise conflict for your child as much as possible, listen to after school stresses and ask, “What’s the best thing you could do to resolve that?”.  Show faith in the child’s ability to solve problems for themselves. Show trust and make sure your child has a variety of interests and people who will listen even if they don’t understand.

Updated 16 January 2021. Review 16 January 2023.

hair pulling in children, case studies


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