Factoid: Study Finds Students at a Black College Are More Likely to Pull Out Their Own Hair Than People in the General Population

Trichotillomania is a relatively rare anxiety disorder involving pulling out one’s own hair. People who pull out their own hair typically do so during periods of high stress or boredom. Previous studies have shown that 1.5 percent of all males and 3.4 percent of all females have at some time in their lives pulled out their hair.

In the current study, researchers interviewed 252 students at Bowie State University, a historically black educational institution in Maryland. The vast majority of the subjects were African Americans. The results found that 10 percent of the respondents had thought about pulling out their own hair and 6.3 percent had actually done so. More than two thirds of those who pulled out their own hair did so from hair on their scalp. About one third of the students who pulled out their hair did so when they were studying. Nearly a quarter did so when in class.