Trichophobia (Fear Of Hair): What Is It, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment And More

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There are certain bad hair days wherein we lose our hair badly; we can see fallen hair on chairs, workstations, clothes, and everywhere else! No one likes seeing or touching fallen hair on surfaces, but when this condition takes the form of fear, it is known as trichophobia.

Trichophobia is an excessive and persistent fear of hair, this fear also includes head hair, but usually, it revolves around seeing or touching fallen hair on clothing, furniture, washrooms, and other places. For example, in most cases, a brush covered with hair triggers trichophobia.

In this blog, we will be taking a deep look at what trichophobia is, its signs, symptoms, causes, treatment, and more. So, let’s get started! 

What is Trichophobia?

Trichophobia is an excessive and persistent fear of hair. It can be triggered by seeing or touching fallen hair on surfaces such as clothing, furniture, hair brushes, washrooms, and other surfaces.

As of now, trichophobia is not listed specifically in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) however, the symptoms and causes of trichophobia meet the diagnostic criteria of phobia. Other related phobias can be:

Related: What Are Irrational Fears? Examples, Signs, Causes, And More!

Fear of contamination: Mysophobia

Fear of illness: Nosophobia

Fear of animal hair: Doraphobia

Fear of loose or detached hair: Chaetophobia 

Fear of disease of the hair: Trichopathophobia 

Symptoms of Trichophobia

Trichophobia may vary in people and can show in the form of different symptoms depending on the level of severity. Below listed are some of the common symptoms of trichophobia: 

Emotional Symptoms of Trichophobia

Disgust feeling 
Extreme panic or anxiety 
Sense of dread 
Feeling out of control or powerless 
Need to escape from the situation
Sense of impending doom 
Feeling of unreality 
Sense of impending 

Physical Symptoms of Trichophobia

Cold or hot flashes 
Heart palpitations or increased heart rate 
Rapid breathing 
Difficulty breathing 
Pupil dilation

Other Symptoms of Trichophobia

Excessive cleaning 
Panic attack
Feelings of choking or dying 
Social avoidance 

Causes of Trichophobia

Like other phobias, the exact cause behind the development of trichophobia is still not known. However, researchers and psychologists believe that trichophobia could be developed due to factors such as fear of disease, fear of getting contaminated, trauma, fear of getting old, and other related specific phobias.  Some people are obsessed with cleaning and during this obsession; they might also develop this phobia. 

Trichophobia in some cases may exacerbate a condition known as hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania). Trichotillomania can be identified by hair loss caused due to constant pressure or pulling of the hair.

In some extreme cases, people with trichophobia keep on pulling the hair out because they believe that the roots of hair contain foreign particles that can only be removed by pulling. Below listed are some of the contributing factors of trichophobia: 

Negative Experiences: Negative experiences related to hair pulling and fallen hair can result in the development of trichophobia. 
Modeling: Modeling theory in psychology is based on an idea that changes in cognitive, behavioral, or emotional status after observing someone else’s results or behavior associated with that behavior. 
Genetics: Genetics plays an important role in the development of specific phobias. Trichophobia can be associated with fears related to illness, contamination, or disease. 
Disposition: People with temperament issues are at an increased risk of developing phobias such as trichophobia. 

Diagnosis of Trichophobia

If you think you or your loved one might be experiencing or struggling with trichophobia, the first step you need to take is to understand the level or severity of symptoms. If the symptoms are mild, know that trichophobia is manageable with the right and effective self-help strategies. 

However, if the symptoms are severe, unmanageable and constantly interfering with the quality of life, it is important to connect with a mental health provider. In order to be diagnosed with trichophobia or any other type of specific phobia, it’s important to meet the diagnostic criteria listed under the DSM-5: 

Symptoms must be excessive and unexplainable 
Symptoms must be seen right after getting in touch with the source of fear (such as fallen hair on surfaces) 
Avoidance is observed right after getting in touch with the source of fear followed by extreme distress or panic
Symptoms must be present for more than six months and must interfere with the overall quality of life or ability to function normally in routine
Symptoms must not co-relate with the presence of other mental health conditions such as Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorder, or stress. 

To connect with a certified and experienced mental health professional, click below: 

Treatment of Trichophobia

If you or your loved one is diagnosed with trichophobia, here are some effective options for treatment that can help: 

1. Therapy 

Therapy is known to be one of the effective and permanent solutions for treating phobias. Below listed are some of the commonly used therapies for treating phobias such as trichophobia: 

Exposure Therapy 

Exposure therapy is the first-line treatment for all kinds of phobias including trichophobia. This approach includes gradual and continuous exposure to the source of fear along with some relaxation strategies to help the client manage panic or anxiety caused by the source of fear in a safe environment. 

Systematic Desensitization 

Systematic desensitization therapy is effective for treating phobias, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and others. It usually involves three steps such as deep muscle relaxation, creation of fear hierarchy, and working of fear through exposure. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is one of the most common therapy techniques used across the world, it helps in addressing negative or unhelpful thoughts, behaviors, or feelings that contribute to phobia. The therapist helps in replacing such negative thoughts with positive and helpful thoughts. 

2. Medications 

Generally, medications are not prescribed for trichophobia. However, a therapist might prescribe some medications based on the severity of symptoms such as anxiety, panicking, or other physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, headache, or dizziness. Anti-anxiety medications generally prescribed are selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), or beta-blockers. 

3. Alternative Approach

Alternative treatment approaches such as acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, ayurvedic, or herbal blends might be effective in treating the symptoms of trichophobia. 

Coping Strategies for Overcoming Trichophobia

Self-help strategies can be effective in treating symptoms of trichophobia or other types of phobias. Self-help or coping strategies can be used for mild and severe symptoms. Below listed are some of the effective coping strategies for trichophobia: 

1. Try progressive muscle relaxation 

If you’re attending therapy sessions, you might be aware of progressive muscle relaxation techniques. Herein, you can also add deep breathing, visualization, coherent breathing techniques, or alternate nostril breathing techniques to seek additional benefits. Such techniques help in reducing anxiety-related symptoms and help in relaxing your mind and body from the anxiety response. 

2. Stick to healthy routines 

Eat well, get enough sleep, and keep moving your body can be your full-time mantra to keep anxiety-related symptoms away. Whenever you’re free, focus on the present moment, allow yourself some time to get into the practice of self-care, and take good care of your mind and body. 

3. Face your fears slowly

You can follow some of the techniques of exposure therapy at home such as gradual exposure, looking at images, or management of feelings. In cases of extreme panicking or anxiety, connect with a mental health professional.  

4. Develop a support system

In order to manage symptoms of anxiety, phobia, or others, connect with a network of people struggling with the same issues to seek some advice, active listening, and appropriate care. 

What is trichophobia?

What is the difference between chaetophobia and trichophobia?

What is the fear of animal hair called?

What is hair OCD?

I hope this blog helps you understand everything you want to know about trichophobia. For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms. 

Thanks for reading! 

The post Trichophobia (Fear Of Hair): What Is It, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment And More appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

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