My neighbor is in his 50s with no known history of hair loss until about 5 years ago when he first noticed he was developing gray hair. He had his wife pull out every gray hair he could see daily, and it could’ve been as many as 20-30 hairs a day over the years! His daughter researched the condition of trichotillomania and does not feel he fits the diagnosis as the pulling was not done by him.

He claims he is not compelled or driven to have his hair plucked, and that as soon as he realized he was visibly thinning, he had his wife stop doing it. At that time he began to color his hair at the suggestion of his daughter. He states there has been no plucking for the past 2 years now and he has more hair on his head now than 2 years ago, when the plucking was stopped.

This sounds like maybe trichotillomania by proxy (like M√ľnchausen syndrome by proxy, a well known phenomenon)… but I’m not sure that would fit either.

It usually takes quite a few “pulling sessions” to produce the traction required for permanent hair loss, often over years. So if his hair has regrown over the past 2 years, it sounds like he was lucky that the loss wasn’t permanent.

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Balding Forum - Hair Loss Discussion