Coiling your hair round your finger and pulling it in a circle — also called hair twirling — is a reasonably frequent behavior.
Twirling your hair is a part of a gaggle of behaviors referred to as “fidgets.” Kids, particularly, could twirl their hair as a approach of self-soothing to calm anxiousness, wind down earlier than bedtime, or just take care of boredom.
The behavior of twirling your hair can merely be a nervous behavior, however there are occasions that it may be an indication of an underlying well being situation.
Twirling your hair can even damage your hair, leading to knots, break up ends, and hair breakage.
Hair twirling can have some unwanted effects. These could embrace:
Hair twirling can escalate from a nervous behavior or a childhood distraction to a body-focused repetitive habits.
There’s additionally a perception that hair twirling habits can result in trichotillomania. It is a psychological well being situation that causes an amazing urge to tug out your individual hair.
If you happen to’re an grownup with a hair twirling behavior, it’s attainable that it merely carried over from childhood. It may be a symptom of one other situation.
Physique-focused repetitive habits
Perhaps you began your hair twirling behavior whenever you had been a small little one and simply by no means stopped.
Hair twirling can alleviate boredom and likewise make it easier to wind down whenever you’re feeling drained.
If you happen to are likely to solely twirl your hair whenever you’re preventing to remain awake throughout a gathering, or whenever you’re streaming your favourite present in your PJs, it could possibly be that you just’ve all the time had the behavior.
And except your hair is changing into broken or falling out, there’s no should be involved.
Symptom of tension
Your hair twirling may need began in childhood or adolescence and developed into one thing you do whenever you’re anxious.
If you happen to twirl your hair whenever you really feel nervous or whenever you’re dealing with intrusive, anxious ideas, that behavior could be a symptom of an anxiety disorder.
Signal of obsessive-compulsive dysfunction (OCD)
Hair twirling generally is a signal of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
When you’ve got different signs of OCD, your hair twirling behavior could be part of your situation. Different signs of OCD embrace:
- upsetting ideas or impulses that repeatedly happen
- repetitive acts or “rituals” that briefly relieve the stress and anxiousness
- signs that final greater than an hour per day and intervene with day by day life
However hair twirling by itself isn’t sufficient to counsel a analysis of OCD.
Hair twirling in kids could begin as a coping mechanism for stress or fatigue throughout the toddler years.
Because it’s laborious to precise difficult feelings or management your environment whenever you’re a baby, typically the physique takes over and creates a bodily coping mechanism as a substitute.
Is hair twirling a symptom of autism?
Hair twirling is a type of stimming, or self-stimulation. Different examples of stimming embrace:
- biting your nails
- drumming your fingers
- jiggling your foot
Stimming isn’t all the time associated to autism, however some stimming behaviors may be associated to a analysis of autism. Repetitive behaviors linked to autism typically embrace:
- flapping palms or flicking or snapping fingers
- bouncing, leaping, or twirling
- pacing or strolling on tiptoes
In circumstances the place a baby has been recognized with autism, hair twirling can grow to be a damaging habits that must be addressed.
However hair twirling by itself isn’t sufficient to counsel that your little one must be evaluated for autism. Read about autism symptoms in young children here.
If hair twirling is affecting your little one’s well being, there are some strategies you need to use to interrupt the habits.
Mittens at bedtime
Placing child-safe mittens on at bedtime may help toddlers to cease twirling their hair as a approach of self-soothing earlier than bedtime.
In case your little one’s hair has been broken by hair twirling, you could wish to handle the issue by merely giving them a brief haircut.
With out hair to twirl, your little one could have a tough time self-soothing for a few days. However by the point the hair grows again, the behavior needs to be gone.
A fidget device can present the distraction and reduction that your little one seems to be for, with out damaging their hair.
There are units out there manufactured from imitation hair that your little one can twirl as they loosen up throughout the night.
If you wish to cease twirling your hair, the remedy you select will depend upon the rationale that you just do it.
Listed below are some methods to cease twirling your hair as an grownup:
- Busy your palms with one thing constructive, corresponding to knitting or crocheting.
- Brush your hair as a substitute of twirling it.
- Take excellent care of your hair to lower the need to tug it.
- Study different stress-relief strategies, corresponding to mindfulness or meditation.
- Converse to a psychologist to seek out out if cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may assist.
- Create small objectives (corresponding to not twirling your hair for two hours at a time) and reward your self for assembly them.
- Sleep sporting a baseball cap, beanie, or hoodie to keep away from twirling whilst you sleep.
- Take into account anti-anxiety remedy.
- Cut back your caffeine and sugar consumption.
If you happen to’re noticing that hair twirling is having a adverse influence in your or your little one’s well being, it’s best to search recommendation from a physician.
If you happen to or your little one are experiencing hair loss from this behavior, it’s best to search help. A common physician might be able to refer you to a psychological well being skilled when you or your little one want one.
Individuals twirl their hair for plenty of totally different causes.
Generally, the behavior develops in childhood and easily doesn’t go away. Different instances, twirling your hair generally is a symptom of an underlying well being situation.
A physician can provide remedy choices if twirling your hair is affecting your or your little one’s day by day life.