Trichotillomania is when a person has a compulsion to recurrently pull their hair out from the root. This can not only be their hair on their head, but their eyebrows and eyelashes too. Occasionally some may also pull their pubic or other bodily hair out also. This is generally done by hand with their fingers, but they can use tweezers as well. Another issue relating to this condition is that sufferers can constantly suck on their hair, or chew it. This can lead to them having hair ingestion, which can in extreme cases require surgery.

The person suffering from this condition will feel a strong compulsive urge to pull their hair out, this then creates a build up of tension until the hair is pulled. Once done it is a release and relieves the tension for them. It is thought that it is an addiction, and can be a way of relieving stress and anxiety. However it is also a cause of embarrassment to them, and they then try to disguise the hair loss. This can be by wearing hats to disguise and cover it.

Trichotillomania can make a person feel unattractive due to the hair loss, in turn this can cause sufferers to have very low self-esteem. They can suffer feelings of guilt, and shame. This can lead to isolation. It impacts on their daily life at school, work as well as socially.