As many as 1-3 per cent of the population compulsively pull out hairs – mostly from the scalp, eyelashes or eyebrows. Trichotillomania is on the increase with ever more cases reported on an annual basis.
The presence of Trichotillomania is believed to be severely underestimated because professionals often do not inquire about it. Patients may experience such shame with Trichotillomania that they hide their hair pulling, suffering silently and feeling terribly isolated for many years before seeking treatment.
Some people may pull hair during one period in their lives, only to have it stops as quickly as it started. However, for many others, it is a recurrent problem that will resurface again if left untreated.