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My daughter is going bald!!!

My 28 month old daughter started pulling her hair out after her sister was born 8 months ago. The doctors say that it is an anxiety disorder. She does it while sucking her fingers while going to sleep and any time she is stressed as a "safety blanket" of sorts. the doctors say that we should shave her hair off in order to break her of the habit or else the constant pulling at the hair follicles will cause them to die, thus she would have permanent bald patches.She has short blond hair and on one side it is only a few centimeters long while on the other (right side...she pulls the left) she has 5 inches or so.

Would you buzz your daughter's hair off in order to save it (the hair follicles) from dieing? know that I should but it makes me so sad to think about doing it...we have tried everything else to make her stop and she won't.


Asked by Mrs.Mack. at 3:49 PM on Dec. 30, 2009 in Kids' Health

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Answers (9)
  • wow...we have a lot of dramatic mamas on's not uncommon for children to pull their own hair like that. you wouldn't bring your child to a psychologist for sucking their thumb or a pacifier would you? That's ridiculous! Just shave her head! Hair grows back and she'll probably have kicked the habit by then. If you needed to see a psychiatrist (which is absurd for a two year old who is just learning to speak!!) your ped would have recommended it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:09 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • what else have you tried?

    Answer by shay1130 at 4:01 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • taping mittens on her hands, hats, popping her on the butt, telling her not to do it over and over, sleeping her in our bed to make her feel safe, substituting hair for a fuzzy blanket to pull on...we've tried it all...

    Answer by Mrs.Mack. at 4:03 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • sounds like you have tried everything...have you told her "dont do will make your hair come out"..can she understand that? If you feel like you have done everything i would listen to the docs...her hair can grow back once she gets over the problem

    Answer by shay1130 at 4:06 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • if its an anxiety issue though then you will have to watch for other problems..if she doesnt have her hair to pull at anymore she could start picking at her skin or doing something else

    Answer by shay1130 at 4:08 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • She sucks her two middle fingers as well, but she has done that since she was born. Other than that she is very intelligent and well rounded. She plays well, is very loving, uses the potty every time...just a normal two year old. I'm a SAHM so I notice everything.

    Answer by Mrs.Mack. at 4:11 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • i read that she does it while sucking her fingers and going to sleep...perhaps she is not ready for bed. Do you put her to bed too early...and she is whiney about it? Maybe this is her way of fighting it?

    Answer by shay1130 at 4:17 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • I agree this is obviously caused by anxiety. The reason she does it more when falling asleep is that is when most people do "self soothing" behaviors...

    I would see a specialist for children with anxiety honestly. I would want to avoid meds so look into maybe some type of occupational therapy, play or behavioral therapy perhaps.

    Also maybe shaving her head would not be a bad option for a few months. I don't know what is right or wrong with regards to that. If it was my kid I would probably do it if they already have ripped out most of their hair.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:23 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • What I think she has is called Trichotillomania and it's a disorder that causes people to pull out their hair and even happens in very young children like your daughter. I would see a child psychologist if you haven't met with one yet and have them work on a plan. Shaving her head was already recommended by a psychologist and not just a pediatrician, then I would take their advice and shave her head because they have probably dealt with this before and know the most effective treatment.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 7:11 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

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