The clinical and theraputic name for hair pulling is Trichotillomania. This is usually an extremely embarrasing and addictive habit to reduce then stop. It often then triggers a gradual or even total isolation from mixing and socialising via: education, work, family, friends, sports, leisure, activities, potential partners, etc. Just like many other habits this is often a distraction and calming influence in response to present anxiety, stress, or even past negative or traumatic experiences.
Some clients pull hair so often and tightly, that they end up with small or very large bald patches. These are often created on the top of the head or in other places on the scalp, that can be covered up with remaining hair. Sometimes the habit becomes so severe that camouflage is no longer possible to do. Some people also even pull the hair out of their eyebrows or eyelashes or also even from inside their nose.
Problems that can arise trying to cover-up and camouflage the increasingly bald patches are: windy weather, wet rainy weather, hat blowing off, friends playing pranks, swimming, leisure activities, fitness, gym, drama class (having to get changed in front of other people), wedding (being a bride or a bridesmaid), having to wear a crash helmet, running out of hair products, feeling stressed or panicking or avoiding partner or children or family members touching the bald patches, visiting hairdressers.
To summarise, although the effects of pulling hair is to create calm and distraction, it unfortunately creates more emotional pain, stress, panic and embarassment. Again, like many other challenges on this website, hair pulling or Trichotillomania usually has early 'Root-Causes' connecting to past fears, anxieties and traumatic or abusive memories. From our experience of many clients, we find that hair pulling or Trichotillomania (similar to eating disorders) often creates a way for an over-controlled or stuck client to gain control, via how and when and if to pull your hair.