So, I kept my hair shaved completely for a bit. The last time I shaved it was roughly a week and a half ago. Now that my hair's had the chance to grow back a bit, how is it doing?
It's a bit tough to tell yet. My hair grows pretty quickly, so the spots that were completely bald are starting to fill in, which is great! Unfortunately, as anyone who religiously plucked their eyebrows can tell you, hair just kind of stops growing back if you're persistent enough about yanking at it. Plucking gives way to traction alopecia, which gives way to damaged follicles and scar tissue. Eventually, those plucked-bald spots just stay that way.
Is my hair growing back?
I have a few places that are most likely not going to fill in completely, but that's okay -- I kind of knew that going in. I can't quite tell the full extent of the damage, though, because hair that has been pulled out takes a bit longer to grow back than hair that's just been cut. So, even though my pulled spots are growing back, it's going to be a solid couple of weeks before I can really figure out what I need to do in the future.
This spot is right along where my part was, and one I pulled from frequently. It's going to take a long time to grow back, and, even then, may not do so completely.
Do I still want to pull it out?
I do still feel the urge to pluck sometimes, but it isn't nearly as strong as it was back when I was able to indulge it regularly. It's easier for me to identify triggers now -- like boredom -- than it was when I subconsciously resorted to hair-pulling right away.
Interestingly, I've caught myself developing new ticks in its place. Most of them are actually odd little behaviors I used to do as a child, before I began pulling my hair.
Is this curing my trichotillomania?
I don't know. Honestly, I'd be very surprised if shaving my head "cured" it -- trichotillomania is a notoriously difficult issue to treat, even by professionals. That said, even if shaving doesn't get rid of it entirely, having very short hair is allowing my poor head to heal and letting me exist without constantly worrying what my hair looks like. Even if I'm not cured, I'm still benefiting from having shaved it!
Worse comes to worst, I may just decide to keep it very short.
What else am I doing, besides shaving my head?
I have a bunch of other strategies I'm using to help my hair and scalp be healthier and control the impulse to pull and pick at my hair. I'm most likely going to break some of those up into their own posts so I can go into greater detail, but they include:
- Redirecting the impulse onto other things.
- Using a special hair potion to help my hair grow back stronger.
- Meditating to help control my stress levels.
- Habit-breaking spells.
- Using bamboo silica, biotin, and zinc.
Even though I haven't been able to see a huge difference yet, I'm feeling pretty good about my decision!