What is Trichophobia?
Trichophobia is the morbid and irrational fear of hair and, more specifically, hair loss. People suffering from Trichophobia cannot stand the sight or feeling of loose hairs on the head, clothing, pillow, furniture, etc. This also goes for both human hair (most often their own), as well as animal hair or fur.
Everyone has an equal chance of developing this phobia, or any phobia for that matter. However, certain groups of people, which will be discussed in a later section, are more prone to developing this phobia.
What are the symptoms of Trichophobia?
Depending upon the individual’s mental state, among other circumstances, symptoms of Trichophobia will vary. However, all individuals suffering from Trichophobia do share some common symptoms and characteristics.
For instance, due to their hatred for loose hairs, Trichophobics may seem to be “perfectionist” or Obsessive-Compulsive. Phobias often consume the daily lives of the people who have them. Phobics often become highly upset and/or agitated when presented with the stimulus (hair). A general anxiety or uncomfortable feeling can also be felt whenever loose hair is near.
In severe cases, the sight of lose hair may induce a panic attack, which is a state of heightened anxiety that has its own symptoms. A “racing” heart, weakness, fainting, dizziness, tingling and/or numbness, sweating, chest pain, and difficulty breathing are all common when a panic attack comes on. Some of these symptoms may also occur with the presence of lose hair, even if a full panic attack does not happen.
What are the causes of Trichophobia?
Trichophobia, or any other phobia, can have a wide variety of different causes. However, there are a few more common ones, regarding other conditions.
First of all, there is another condition, most often caused by extreme anxiety as is, called Trichotillomania. This condition is the compulsive need to pull out one’s own hair. All of this missing and loose hair, combined with a state of heightened anxiety, can lead to the phobia of loose hair.
Secondly, other phobias (fear of confined spaces, scissors, razors, etc.) can often lead to heightened anxiety during a hair cut. This anxiety could also cause a false association between the anxiety and the sight of hair or loose hairs.
A third reason why people may develop Trichophobia is the association between hair loss and lowered self-esteem. Often when people experience hair loss, due to aging, disease, medical treatment, etc., they become very self-conscious about what they look like. Any bit of loose hair that is found after the onset of the phobia will drive these people to an extreme panic.
What are the treatments for Trichophobia?
As with symptoms and causes, the most effective treatment will vary by the individual. One of the most common go to options for hair phobia treatment is therapy. Now, there are many types of therapies that can be helpful. For instance, speaking one on one can help with getting to the root of the phobia. Social therapy can help with self-esteem development. Lastly, shock or exposure therapy can help the person be less sensitive to the sight or presence of the feared object.
However, if the phobia is medically based (ex. excessive hair loss), medical treatment is available. Many medications, lotions, and more can help to promote hair growth and health, so that less will fall out. In cases where people are losing hair due to aging or another reason, such as chemotherapy for cancer, wigs or related things are always great options. Various shampoos and conditioners can also be a simple fix for hair loss.
The phobia of hair is one that affects many people for a wide variety of reasons. However, it is important for any phobia sufferer to remember that many treatments are available, and that at least one is sure to work.