Tricho­tillo­mania Support Online

Sugar and Hair Pulling

Trichotillomania sufferers may have difficulty in metabolising sugar or glucose. In 1990, Zametkin discovered that the people with A.D.D metabolised glucose at rates 8% lower than those without ADD. There strong associations between A.D.D. and trichotillomania lead us to believe the same is likely to be true of trichsters.

The areas most affected by delayed metabolism in Zametkin's tests, were the regions which control cognitive behaviour, enable the control of IMPULSES, forward planning, action and attention: which may well explain why many trichsters have a strong tendency to procrastinate and have problems with planning.

Our research indicates that trich is stress related. We do know there are emotional and therapeutic factors which need to be addressed before a person can become pull free. Sugar causes a rapid rise in blood-glucose levels followed by a crash as the sugar is quickly metabolised. Stress can increase, when blood sugar levels crash, perhaps you've noticed yourself getting tetchy when this happens?

If you think this is all nonsense, take 3 tablespoons of sugar and observe what happens to your hair, brows or lashes. If it drives you crazy with an urge to pull within about an hour, as it does for me, STEER CLEAR OF SUGAR in your diet! Perhaps you'd rather not take that these people's accounts of how sugar affects their urges:

I've had trichotillomania since I was 8 years old. I am now 28. It has been a significant concern in my life - that goes without saying. A few months back I started to reduce the carbs and sugars from my diet. Literally overnight, I noticed a significant impact on the urge I had to pull my hair out. I have been on several prescribed drugs previously, such as prozac and cloimpramine and they had little or no effect on the ability to minimalize the hair pulling and stress and depression that results. By taking sugar out my diet, I literally went from being in my habitual trance like state of hair pulling, to pulling no more than 1-2 strands a day, sometimes none at all. Up until seeing this info validated on your website, I have not seen anything else substantiate this solution in a more visible way, that reaches the millions that suffer with this and grow hopeless in finding a way to greatly reduce or eliminate trichotillomania from their lives. It was truly an accident that I figured this out, and wish that there was more awareness out there so that others could determine if the way their brains and bodies process glucose has an impact on tricotillomania. Throughout my life I have concealed my hairloss through everything from wigs, permanent markers, hair products and avoidance of situations that would unveil my bald spots (swimming, wind, hats, etc.). My hair has been growing back in nicely . I feel amazed to learn that sometimes the most complicated problems have very simple solutions.


One of my biggest problems has always been a complete lack of energy. It would take me all day to wake up and by the only time I really felt alert it was the middle of the night!!! I would often pull as a method of causing sensation to stay awake. I couldn't take naps in the day because I'd wake up feeling even worse.

Last year, as a new year's resolution, I gave up chocolate completely. I decided I didn't know anybody who had managed a year chocolate free and I wanted to see if I could do it. I managed it, and then by the end of the year I was looking forward to eating chocolate on 1st January. Except then I remembered, I don't do ANYTHING by halves, so I decided not to start eating chocolate again. I also decided that this year's New Year's Resolution would be not to eat ANYTHING with artificial sugars in.

Bizarrely, even after just a few days, I found I would wake up alert. There's no question in my mind, that my brain is affected by sugar, although I've been tested many times for diabetes and found that I don't have it.

The zone-out pulling just doesn't happen any more! I'm FREE!