A 32 year old woman, Wendy Clark, was left
almost bald after a 20-year battle with a condition
which makes her tear out her own hair.
She has tried to cover her head with wigs and hair
bands over the years but it got so bad at the
beginning of this year that she had lost 90 per cent
of her hair.
She feels she’s turned a corner on the road to
recovery after having an Intralace System fitted at
specialist salon,the Daily Record reported .
Wendy felt shocked and emotional seeing her
reflection with a full head of hair.
But her treatment at Lucinda Ellery in Edinburgh
has given her a much-needed confidence boost
and has also helped her cut back on her hair-
Wendy, who works in HR, developed
trichotillomania – known as TTM – when she was
aged around 11.
She said: “I didn’t know what it was at the
time and wasn’t really aware I was doing it.
For me it was just kind of a habit that
started, there wasn’t a reason behind it.
“Over the next couple of years, it gradually
got worse until it was hard for me to hide it.
I wasn’t sure why I started pulling, I had a
happy, healthy childhood, it seemed to be a
bad habit I had developed somehow. I
wasn’t aware of it early on enough to stop it.
The longer you do it, the harder it becomes
“It was probably in my late teens when I
discovered that there was a recognised
condition for what I had. I found this out
through internet research but never had the
confidence to admit or seek help as I always
told myself I would deal with it myself. I
only told my closest friends and family and
we never talked about it as I always got too
“People must have noticed but no one talked
about it. For most of my teenage years and
into my early 20s, I was able to cover up
any bad areas by wearing my hair up,
hoping no one would notice.
“I moved to Edinburgh for university at 17,
spent a year in Australia, travelled around
the world living a full and active life and
although I presented a happy, outgoing
exterior and people never mentioned it to
me, I was constantly conscious of my TTM
and anxious under the surface.
“When I was 24, I settled in Glasgow and I
started wearing wigs. I thought it would be a
barrier to my pulling and did make me feel a
lot more confident. Unfortunately it allowed
the TTM to get much worse as I could pull
without having to hide the patches with my
own hair and it got to the stage where I had
virtually no hair left.”
At 26, Wendy finally plucked up the courage to see
her GP and tried cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
She believes conditions like TTM are widespread
and she’s keen to get rid of stigma and offer
She said: “There’s no known cure to date and the
science behind it all is that there are 100 million
people with it worldwide.”
According to Lucinda, many people feel isolated
but are now discovering they are not alone. She
says it’s a genetically predisposed condition and
predominantly feminine. It also mostly starts at
around the age of 11 or 12.