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What are some ways you have covered up your missing or bald areas?

In this blog post I will be responding to a question from my guided journal, My Trichster Diaries. Please feel free to share your answer in the comments below.


Due to the fact that trichotillomania, the hair-pulling disorder, physically alters one's appearance it is no surprise that many people in the community rely on other means to hide what they're missing to blend in. Thankfully, the beauty industry is now filled with endless tools people in the trichotillomania community can use but 20 years ago there were slim pickings.


Eyebrow Pencil


I first started pulling out my eyebrows and quickly knew I needed to cover them up somehow. The questions and ridicule I received from my peers made me want to stay in my room all day and never go back to school again. My mom thought it might be worth a shot to use one of her makeup pencils to draw them on.


I remember thinking they looked ridiculous but much better than having none at all so we started drawing them in daily. I still received questions and ridicule from my peers but other girls my age were starting to experiment with makeup so it wasn't completely out of the ordinary for me to respond, "Oh, I'm just playing around with makeup!"


At one point, I wanted ownership of the eyebrow pencil and asked my mom if I could start drawing them on myself. I'm not sure why it mattered so much to me but it did. I could never draw them on as well as she did which caused a lot of frustration but I was an independent girlie nonetheless!



Fake Glasses


As the eyebrow "issue" was being dealt with I started pulling out my eyelashes and ended up pulling them out completely. Uh oh! Another thing for my peers to become curious about. I mean, I don't blame them. They had never seen anyone else who pulled out their eyebrows and eyelashes. There were bound to be some questions.


My mom thought fake glasses would distract others from seeing that my eyelashes weren't there while also being a physical barrier to keep me from pulling. We went to our local department store and tried on a ton of different styles. We landed on a pair of blue aluminum glasses without prescription. Instead of my peers asking, "Barbara, what happened to your eyelashes?" I was now asked, "Why are you wearing glasses? Do you need them now?" I would take what I could get and that felt like a win.



Thick Headbands


As the eyebrow and now eyelash "issue" was being dealt with I started pulling out the hair from my scalp at the beginning of my hairline, right above my forehead. Isn't trichotillomania great? You would think that after I pulled out all of my eyebrows and eyelashes the disorder might want to relax a little bit but to me and my family's dismay, it kept getting worse.


Once again my mom came to the rescue with thick headbands I could wear. I must've had 33 different headbands that I could choose from; all different shapes and sizes, textures and colors, it was amazing! Well... until the moment one of my peers decided to yell across the room, "Ew! Barbara, you wore that headband during P.E. I should rip it off!"


Bangs


After the comment about my headband, I went home and asked my mom if she could cut me bangs like hers. She was a licensed hairdresser so I trusted her and thought she looked pretty with her bangs. I believed bangs would make me look pretty too.



Black Liquid Eyeliner


When I experienced my first relapse in high school, black liquid eyeliner saved my life! It was the perfect way to cover up my missing lashes, especially when I had absolutely none. Everyone wore makeup. I wasn't standing out by any means. I also was in my emo era so it worked perfectly!


Not trying to brag but I got so good at applying liquid eyeliner that I could do it in a moving car. I guess that's what happens when you feel like your life would be ruined if you were seen without it.



Hair & Eyelash Extensions


I'm combining these two because they were short lived. I used my mom's synthetic hair extensions to change up my look in high school but they also helped add thickness to my hair. I had pulled out so much on my left side that I had to switch my part. I don't think anyone noticed but they did notice that my extensions weren't blended. It was a hot mess! I had fun with them though.


That same year I went to the nail salon and asked about eyelash extensions. I thought because they would be professionally done that I would like them and they would look natural. They didn't look natural at all! I had nothing for the lashes to adhere to so it looked really weird. I pulled them off before falling asleep the same night I got them.


Eyelash Strips


When I relapsed with my eyelashes in 2020 I was teaching at the time and I didn't want my students to notice. When I used Zoom it was no issue but once we were back in the classroom, I began using eyelash strips that I could glue on in the morning. Those eyelashes became my security blanket! Not only would I wear them to work, I'd wear them to sleep! I didn't like how I looked without eyelashes and wearing them made me feel beautiful again. No one at school ever noticed my missing eyelashes, they just thought I started wearing makeup.



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