HIF Syndrome, but not in a good way

HeatherNicoleHeatherNicole Posts: 1,316Registered Users
Hey ya'll

I'm having a serious problem. I can't stop picking in my hair when it's natural. I've been natural for well over a year and this is my main problem. I don't squeeze it cause it's soft i literally pick in it, find knots and pull them off until they break off. It's hard for me to go more than 5 minutes without doing this and I know it can't be healthy for my hair. It's growing, but not gaining any length because I destroy the ends. This is really starting to become embarassing too because everyone (my friends, family, boyfriend, even my classmates and professors) know I do this. When I get up to leave from sitting anywhere there's usually hair on the ground. Has anyone ever had this problem or have any ideas to fix it? I'm really sick of this terrible habit and would like to stop so my hair can actually grow and be healthy. The only times I don't seem to do it is when 1. My hair is straight 2. My hair is wet 3. My hair is pretty and I know I can't mess it up. But none of these happen often enough to for the habit to be broken I'm open to any suggestions.
Thanks
Heather
Thick coarse 3c/4a prone to dryness.
Staples
Aphogee 2 Step treatment
Generic Biolage Conditioning Balm
Tigi MM Conditioner
Creme of Nature Shampoo for dry hair
KCCC
Denman D3
Giovanni Direct Leave-in
SheaMoisture Leave-in
http://public.fotki.com/MsHeatherNicole/

"Make it work!"- Tim Gunn

Comments

  • callipygiacallipygia Posts: 31Registered Users
    I completely understand!

    I've been natural for a long time, but I didn't know how to wear it down until a few years ago. Once I started wearing it down, I liked to twirl my coils around my finger. I noticed that (not as a result of the twirling) there were knots at the ends of my hair, and through my twirling, I would pull/break the hair until the knots were ripped out! There are little balls of hair all over my house, and even at my friend's house. It's so embarrassing! My friend moved his couch and there were little hair balls everywhere behind it because I used to twirl my hair and put the ripped out ends behind the couch!

    I've noticed that I stop twirling my hair when I'm busy doing things. I mostly do it when I'm reading, watching tv, or doing other sedentary-type things. My hair would be sooooo much better if I could just stop playing in it/ripping it out, but I don't know how to stop!

    Maybe you could try wearing your hair up, or try keeping yourself and your hands busy so you're not ripping your hair out all the time. I'm not sure myself how to stop this because I do it, too, but I just want to let you know that you're not alone in this.
    3C/4A...I'm not sure. I'm part Polish, Swedish, Swiss-German, and half Liberian with a crazy hair type.
    pw: bunny
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    If it's to the point where you find significant hair on the floor it could be

    Trichotillomania -- impulsive hair pulling (of any hair anywhere on the body)

    Check out:

    http://www.nmha.org/infoctr/factsheets/92.cfm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichotillomania
    My blog - http://suburbanbushbabe.wordpress.com/
    My FOTKI - http://whatsnew.fotki.com/suburbanbushbabe/
    comic-p.jpg

    Playing with my hair is a hobby. Fluffy, fine natural 4a. Goal= Healthy, beautiful hair that retains its length.
    Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    HeatherNicole, that's a bad habit of mine too :(

    I am studying to be a psychotherapist (i'll have my degree in July!!), and one way I've learned to break bad habits or negative behaviors is by replacing them with positive ones. Also, positive reinforcement for NOT doing the behavior works good to. It's kind of like behavior modification. For example:

    In order to stop cutting my hair (I was cutting split ends and knots several times a week!), I set a goal. The goal has to be attainable and measurable. So, I said that if I didn't cut my hair for the whole week, I could buy a new pair of shoes on that Saturday. The reward doesn't have to be monetary things...it could be anything you enjoy...watching Law & Order, going out to a nice resturant...anything, just as long as you deprive yourself of it if you engage in the behavior for that week. YOU HAVE TO STICK TO IT, or it won't work. Record your goal and your results...turn that into a habit :D

    Or, everytime you go to pull at your hair, find something else for your hands to do. I pick at my cuticles and bite my nails (alot of our neg. behaviors are products of anxious energy). So instead of doing these things, I'll get on NC.com or eat sunflower seeds. Simple distractions work great and if you're consistent you'll look up and a few weeks may have passed where you didn't pull at your hair at all. The longer you go the less desireable the bad habit will be.

    So maybe to start out, you can set a goal of not ripping knots out, one day at a time. Write it out on a sheet of paper with a calendar under it, and put it on the fridge. If you go the whole day without engaging in hair pulling, you can have ice cream, if you do, no ice cream. Make sure it is something you really really like and would be dissapointed about if you can't have it. Or think of something you enjoy that you can engage in during the day when the urge strikes, like picking up a book, or even your cell phone to call your mom or beau :D
    The more days you mark successful on your calendar, the more motivation you'll have to continue and after about 6 consistent weeks, you should be great!

    hth
  • HeatherNicoleHeatherNicole Posts: 1,316Registered Users
    Thanks ya'll for the the positive feedback. I am familiar with trichotillomania and I don't have that, but thanks for trying help me out with that explanation. Glad to see I'm not alone on this. As for wearing my hair up, that doesn't help. I pick at it more because that's how I normally wear it meaning it's not pretty that day. Curlynikki congratulations on graduating in July and good luck. Thank you for your suggestions. I actually thought of a few of those myself. I think though that since I know when i don't do it, I will just try to convince myself that i'm in one of those states. I'll convince myself that my hair looks pretty so I can't mess it up or... if I pull in it I'll make it look worse.
    Anyways, I'll let you guys know how much progress I'm making with this whole dilemma. Once again thanks for the awesome advice. :)
    Thick coarse 3c/4a prone to dryness.
    Staples
    Aphogee 2 Step treatment
    Generic Biolage Conditioning Balm
    Tigi MM Conditioner
    Creme of Nature Shampoo for dry hair
    KCCC
    Denman D3
    Giovanni Direct Leave-in
    SheaMoisture Leave-in
    http://public.fotki.com/MsHeatherNicole/

    "Make it work!"- Tim Gunn
  • dsg-girlycurlydsg-girlycurly Posts: 343Registered Users
    I have a similar problem. I've always had this problem and my mother has always told me that it was my nerves. I use to sit in class and pick in one place (usually around my hairline) until that place was clean-bald and then move to the next place.

    Sometimes I have more control over it then other times it depends on whats going on in my life. I'm much to vein to let it get to the point where I have bald spots so I've learned how to control it to a certain degree. It use to be a concentration aid (as a child in school) whereas now I believe it some sort of control (or lack thereof) issue (I know it's wierd). At any rate I've notice that I can control it however it is something (and urge or appetite - like an old ediction) that I'll always have to resist and until now one of my very own secrets faults or vices if you will. God I love this site!!!!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    4A&B -- Henna and the entire Essential Balms product line; lately Carol's Daughter honey mimosa & black vanilla leave-in. Staple products are SheaMoisture, Aubrey Organics and Trader Joes Norish Spa conditioner, ACV and IC Fantasia Gel. I'm also Mixtress (I love making my own hair concoctions :glasses9:)

    Be encouraged -- Cuzz Fuzz is what it Duzz!!

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w184/dsg373839/
  • PsychePsyche Posts: 90Registered Users
    Hey ya'll

    I'm having a serious problem. I can't stop picking in my hair when it's natural. I've been natural for well over a year and this is my main problem. I don't squeeze it cause it's soft i literally pick in it, find knots and pull them off until they break off. It's hard for me to go more than 5 minutes without doing this and I know it can't be healthy for my hair. It's growing, but not gaining any length because I destroy the ends.

    Aaagh I have this problem too. I do it in one section mostly and that section is broken off. I started spraying my hair with conditioner and water everyday and that took most of the knots away but I still kept picking at my hair. So I finally put twist extensions in, now I have no choice but to leave my hair alone.

    Thanks for sharing those suggestions curlynikki. I'll have to try the positive reinforcement trick for my other bad habits.

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