When actress Olivia Munn revealed her struggle with anxiety so severe it causes her to pull out her eyelashes, many of her fans were taken by surprise. With her good looks and enviable career, it’s hard to believe someone as successful as Munn has been dealing with a compulsive hair-pulling condition called trichotillomania (TTM) since the age of 26.
In an interview with Self magazine in 2014, Munn opened up about her battle with the condition, which affects roughly 1-3% of the U.S. population. TTM is considered an obsessive-compulsive, body-focused impulse control disorder that involves repeatedly pulling out hair from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body. Although the severity of hair pulling varies, many people with trichotillomania have noticeable hair loss. They may experience bald spots and missing eyelashes, eyebrows or body hair.
TTM is associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety. For Munn, it’s an ongoing battle, but hypnotherapy and healthy eating are her weapons of choice. She was quoted in U.S.A. Today saying, “OCD comes from a place of needing to feel safe. I had it growing up, having had a little bit of a tumultuous upbringing, moving around a lot with a mixed family with five kids. When I got on TV and had to open myself up to the world, some of that anxiety came back up. I just didn’t want to let anybody down.”
The actress said in addition to hypnotherapy and a healthy diet, she has learned to cope with her disorder by wearing false eyelashes. Although, for many people suffering from trichotillomania, the solution isn’t so simple. When compulsive hair-pulling results in large bald spots on the scalp, it becomes difficult to conceal. Often, TTM sufferers feel shame and embarrassment, which causes them to avoid social situations and physical activities that may reveal their hair loss such as swimming, exercising (especially outdoors) and going to salon appointments.
Currently, there is no cure for TTM, but there are several ways to manage the condition. Hypnosis, healthy eating and stress reduction techniques like breathing exercises and meditation can help. Talk to your doctor about any trichotillomania questions you have and discuss your options for treatment.
Hair Club offers a comprehensive suite of proven hair loss solutions that have helped many clients suffering from TTM. With more than four decades of experience, we are true hair loss experts with empathy. Our 1,100+ licensed cosmetologists and specially-trained hair loss experts understand the emotions surrounding hair loss and are committed to supporting you through every step of your hair restoration journey.
Imagine how your life could be different with a full head of hair. At Hair Club, we understand that it’s about more than just the way you look. Call us today to schedule your free, private consultation with a hair loss expert and find out which solution can boost your confidence by giving you the hair you’ve always wanted.