Trichotillomania: The difference a great stylist can make

Trichotillomania: The difference a great stylist can make

As most of my regular readers know, my oldest daughter suffers from an impulse control disorder (ICD) called trichotillomania (trick-oh-til-oh-may-nee-ah). She pulls out her own hair compulsively, and often, without any cognizant thought to do so.

She has pulled her eyelashes and eyebrows for years, but about 8 weeks ago, she moved up to pulling out the hair on her head.

The damage she’d done to her lovely, curly/wavy hair was dramatic and dreadful. I knew that she needed a haircut, badly, but was really concerned about taking her to our regular chain haircut place.

I didn’t want to explain to them what was going on in such a public setting and possibly mortify my already sensitive girl.

The main goal in helping her through this valley is NOT to shame her. Explaining her trichotillomania to strangers in front of her is a really bad idea.

There are several friends in my area that cut hair; most of them are quite talented at their craft. There is one, however, that is not only a great stylist, but she’s a Christian, part of my own church family, a friend, and someone that regularly reads this blog.

I wasn’t going to have to do any explaining to her.

With the kids out of school again today, I contacted Val (on Facebook, you can find her at Hair by Val if you happen to live in the Joliet/Shorewood/ Plainfield area), and she had two openings today.

My oldest went first.

Her hair, even though recently washed and brushed, was a mess; fuzzy new growth in the areas she’d pulled from before, broken short chunks where she broke the hair off right in the middle of the strands, uneven areas, and long scraggly areas that were out of control.

Val took her time, shaping and framing, creating a look for my girl that encouraged her beautiful curls, evened out the broken off areas, and angled (naturally-looking) around the short, wispy new growth.

My oldest’s hair was absolutely adorable when Val got done. I cried. I am still tearing up thinking about how great my girl looks now.

No, hair doesn’t make the person. However, a middle school-aged girl with a wreck for hair doesn’t feel much confidence, either.

This road of battling trichotillomania is challenging enough. If Val and I can give her back some of her confidence through a great haircut, then we will do that.

That’s the difference a great stylist can make.

I will never take my girls back to an overworked, underpaid, overly-distracted, big chain haircut place again.

To all of my stylist friends, and especially to my dear friend Val, thank you.

Thank you for making all of us feel just a bit better about ourselves and for giving us your best when we may need it the most.

God bless all of you!

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

James 1:17 (NIV)

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Do you have a great stylist? Thank him/her here in the comments, or come to the Facebook page (click here) to comment and like the page.

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