Sunday, January 10, 2010

Eating hair and feeling depleted

I haven't been blogging much out of sheer exhaustion. I seemed to really crash after Polly's first surgery, to rally again, to start to focus on all the aspects of our lives instead of just brain surgery, all the while knowing the next surgery is looming and my attempts at catching up just aren't happening.

But my question today is about Evie. She likes to eat hair and now that her hair is growing out a bit she is eating her own. As it is she walks around with a chew tube necklace for her oral fixation and that has helped a bit. Just wondering what you would do? I want her hair to's so pretty. It's not long enough to pull back.

But I don't want her to eat it.

Although it means she is pulling everyone else's hair a lot less these days.



  1. Kayla eats her hair, too. It's so gross having those stiff, sticky ends. Blech. I try to put it in piggies most of the time now, but she figured out she can just pull the hair ties out!

  2. Maeve does too and it drives me crazy! We do pull it back, but eventually it falls out and in her mouth it goes. We just keep telling her no and moving her hair, time out, loses tv time... all to no avail. Hopefully she'll jsut grow out of it. We have asked ST and no one seems to have any suggestions. Sorry! But we know how you feel!

  3. When Angela was 3, her hair was down to her butt. I always kept it pulled back, and we never had an issue. Then all of a sudden a switch was flipped, and she was OBSESSED with it. Finally, when she was 5, I decided the stress just wasn't worth it and cut her hair short. I've tried several times over the years to grow it out, and just about the time I can *almost* pull it back, she starts obsessing over it again. I hate seeing her with short hair, but the obsession was driving everyone else crazy, and she was constantly in trouble for messing with it. 13 ...I think she's past it! She has a friend with SUPER long hair, and Angela loves it. She keeps saying, "I want hair like Sophie's." I told her we could grow it out, but only if she leaves it alone. I had her bangs all grown out and everything, but cut them a few weeks ago because they were a problem, but she's leaving the rest of her hair alone, and it's getting longer. ALL THIS TO SAY Sometimes, the more attention you bring to the problem, the more they focus on it. If it were me, I'd just keep her hair short and work on other, more important issues. And when she's older, and understanding more, try growing it out again.

  4. thanks everyone! good advice. I probably should just cut it short and like Leah said focus on all the other stuff going on with her.

  5. Gillian, Nina does that too. I figured it has to do with the fact that their hair has always been short? Nina eats my hair the most (well, she tries to) and she will find hair even from a brush and eat it. Then she decides it is gross and she will not take it out herself. We have to get it from her mouth.
    She is also obsessed with hair being "pretty" for her and Ellie and Nichole. She can get pretty worked up over it.

  6. It could be related to her oral fixation or it could be trichotillomania (the compulsion to pull out or chew one's hair obsessively - it's related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Often, trichotillomania is related to stress and/or anxiety and it can be used as a soothing tool (like sucking one's thumb). If you (or anyone of the other commenters here) have any questions about it, feel free to email me.

    If you want to grow Evie's hair out long, my best suggestion is to keep as much of it as you can in pigtails away from her face until it gets long enough to pull back into a ponytail. You could also try a headband to keep hair away from her mouth. Otherwise, just keep it short enough so that she can't chew on it. Hope this helps!


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