Everything You Need To Know About Trichophobia

By Nicola Kirkpatrick

Updated November 08, 2019

Reviewer Elizabeth Strong

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Trichophobia is defined by Most Common Phobias as "the morbid and irrational fear of hair and, more specifically, hair loss." Individuals who have trichophobia become extremely anxious, uncomfortable, and terrified by loose hair or clumps of hair. More often than not, this particular phobia stems from the belief that hair is inherently dirty or a gateway to contracting undesirable germs or diseases, as documented by ePainAssist. Due to this extreme fear, people who have trichophobia tend to regard hair with complete disgust.

Indicators Of Trichophobia

In many cases, the irrational fear of hair (or the loss of hair) does not occur overnight. Trichophobia takes time to manifest, and there are usually certain symptoms or telltale signs which present themselves. Additional information from ePainAssist affirms that the hereinafter behaviors indicate a budding or existing case of trichophobia: shaking or shivering at the sight of hair, feeling as though one is losing their mind, experiencing vomiting or other unpleasant bodily reactions, avoiding hair, refusing to cut one's hair, keeping one's distance from institutions which cut or style hair, and/or experiencing rapid breathing or even panic attacks at the sight of loose hair.

Sometimes, trichophobia is merely an unpleasant manifestation of another aspect of one's own life or wellbeing. For instance, someone with a grave fear of loose hair might also suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or identify as a perfectionist. Health cites "overzealous cleaning" and "organization" as two of the top symptoms of OCD. Loose hair can be regarded as "messy" by many people and could, therefore, trigger trichophobia in someone who already takes neatness and cleanliness to what most people would view as an extreme level.

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Individuals who are plighted with trichophobia are often aware of the phobia's considerable irrationality, yet they remain unable to help themselves. ePainAssist moreover states that phobics are advised to seek professional or psychological help if their trichophobia becomes so extreme or intense that it interferes with their daily lives or ability to function properly.

For quite some time, trichophobia has been a source of intrigue as people wonder about what causes it or what heightens one's susceptibility to this phobia. In some cases, individuals are more susceptible to phobias in general if someone in their family suffers from an irrational fear or if they have frequently spent time around people who are phobics. Past traumatic experiences, extreme sensitivity, and other factors can also contribute to a person's likelihood to be impacted by the extreme fear of hair or hair loss.

Treatment Options For Trichophobia

If you or someone you know suffers from trichophobia, the good news is that this fear is very easy to cure. In most cases, psychotherapy and a blend of certain medications are the most viable options. Surprisingly, merely conversing about the fear of hair is also a viable solution that can help as one works to rid themselves of trichophobia.

Neuro-Phonetic Linguistic programming is one of several options that can be used to treat trichophobia. This form of programming prompts the afflicted individual to pinpoint the exact memory or incident which triggered their fear of hair. After this event has been recognized, the person is then encouraged to "float out of their body" and detach themselves from the traumatic experience which engendered their trichophobia. The Nero-phonetic Linguistic program greatly relies on the power of the mind and therefore prompts the phobic to associate their fear of hair as something in the past which can no longer harm them.

Hypnotherapy is also a potential option for those who aspire to overcome trichophobia. While this form of treatment can, in fact, ease the fear of hair, there are no guarantees. Wikipedia states that hypnotherapy is often classified as "unverified." Furthermore, no concrete evidence of its success rate or effectiveness exists at this time and point. While hypnotherapy may work for some individuals, all persons in need are not guaranteed to reap its benefits, which brings us to the next option.

Another form of treatment for trichophobia comes in the form of self-help techniques such as deep thinking or yoga. Both of the exercises above are designed to calm and steady the mind. Like any process, self-help takes time. Those who have trichophobia should not expect their fear of hair to completely vanish after one or even several sessions of meditation or yoga. As the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

Finally, after Neuro-Phonetic Linguistic programming, hypnotherapy, meditation, and yoga comes the consumption of various medications. ePainAssist does not list specific brands; however, before taking any medication, each should consult their doctor or specialist. However, a medication designed to ease the burdens of trichophobia can have certain side effects. This form of treatment should be enacted very conservatively. More often than not, medications tend to conceal the side effects of various fears as opposed to treating the phobias themselves.

Trichophobia Prevention

By definition, individuals who are plighted with trichophobia cannot prevent it in themselves, seeing as the phobia already exists. However, what they can (and should) do is take certain measures to prevent passing it onto others, mainly their current or potential future offspring. As previously stated, one becomes much more susceptible to irrational fears and phobias if they exist in family members or if they are habitually exposed to environments that are full of phobics.

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If someone who is frequently with children or other young people has trichophobia, they should most certainly consult a medical professional. Not only will this help the afflicted individual discover which treatment options are best for them, but they can also significantly decrease the likelihood of children around them catching the phobia as well.

How To Cope With Trichophobia

The fear of hair can be a very challenging and complex phobia to deal with. Although there are many treatment options, the reality is that they will not occur overnight and have various coping methods can be a godsend. Further information from ePainAssist lists self-care, contact with loved ones, sticking with prescribed medications, and working not to avoid potentially triggering situations.

While the first three aforementioned coping methods are understandable, the latter may seem counterproductive. After all, why to place oneself in a potentially upsetting situation, one might ask. Well, the simple answer to that question is this: sometimes, the only way to confront and overcome a fear is to tackle it head-on. Of course, this option should be exercised with thought and potential caution, but if the phobic is around the hair in a controlled environment, they may gradually come to see the irrationality of trichophobia, seeing as hair cannot harm them.

Friends, family members, and other loved ones should bear in mind that this manner of copying takes time. If the afflicted individual is simply not ready, forcing them into a situation where hair surrounds them could make matters worse and stunt their growth to overcome trichophobia.

You Have Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

In many cases and circumstances, individuals who suffer from various fears and phobias may feel ashamed of themselves or view themselves as "less than." While beating up on ourselves can be easy at times, it is important to remember that being afraid of hair, or spiders, etc. is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Every one of us will face circumstances and situations which present a challenge for us to overcome. In some cases, it could be the death of a loved one, a financial loss, a business challenge, or a phobia. We all have something that we are working through or battling, and in some cases, that battle just may happen to be trichophobia.

People who suffer from the fear of hair should never allow anyone to tell them that this phobic makes them damaged goods or less of a person. Furthermore, those who come in contact with a phobic of any nature should display kindness, empathy, and compassion, just as they would expect from other people if they were in the same shoes as the phobic.

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Remember, one of the most important steps to overcoming trichophobia is being around a strong and supportive network of people who have your best interests at heart. Every obstacle, challenge, and the battle becomes significantly less daunting when we have the comfort of knowing that there are other people in our corner. Hold onto the positives and let go of the negatives.

A Final Word

Trichophobia is a fear of hair that many people either have faced or will face. Many individuals who have this phobia may also have other issues, such as excessive fear of germs or may suffer from OCD. Regardless of the underlying reasons for trichophobia, it is not an irrecoverable ailment. With the right professional help, medication, and support system, vanquishing trichophobia is only a matter of time.

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