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For Newcomers
Our Invitation To You

Welcome to Hair Pullers Anonymous.  We are a group of men and women who through our attendance at meetings have learned that we were in the clutches of a progressive illness, and that willpower, emotional health and self- confidence, which some of us had once possessed were no defense against it.


We have found that the reasons for the illness are unimportant. What deserves the attention of the still-suffering hair puller is this:  There is a proven, workable method by which we can arrest our illness.


The HPA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words “alcohol” and “alcoholic” to “trichotillomania” and “hair puller.” As our personal stories attest, the Twelve-Step program of recovery works as well for hair pullers as it does for alcoholics.


Can we guarantee YOU this recovery? The answer is simple. If you will honestly face the truth about yourself and the illness; if you will keep coming back to meetings to talk and listen to other hair pullers; if you will read Twelve Step literature with an open mind; and, most importantly, if you are willing to rely on a Power greater than yourself for direction in your life, and to take the Twelve Steps to the best of your ability, we believe you can indeed join the ranks of those who recover.


To remedy the emotional, physical, and spiritual illness of trichotillomania, we offer several suggestions, but keep in mind that the basis of the program is spiritual, as evidenced by the Twelve Steps. Once we become abstinent, the preoccupation with hair pulling diminishes and in many cases leaves us entirely. We then find that, to deal with our inner turmoil, we have to have a new way of thinking, of acting on life rather than reacting to it – in essence, a new way of living.


From this vantage point, we begin the Twelve Step program of recovery, moving beyond our hair pulling and the emotional havoc to a fuller living experience. As a result of practicing the Steps, the symptom of hair pulling is removed on a daily basis.  This is achieved through the process of surrendering to a Power greater than ourselves; the more complete our surrender, the more fully realized our freedom from the obsession.


Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:


  1. We admitted we were powerless over hair pulling – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to hair pullers and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


“But I’m too weak.  I’ll never make it!”  Don’t worry, we have all thought and said the same thing.  The amazing secret to the success of this program is just that:  WEAKNESS.  It is weakness, not strength that binds us to each other and to a higher Power and somehow gives us the ability to do what we cannot do alone.  If you decide you are one of us, we welcome you with open arms.  Whatever your circumstances, we offer you the gift of acceptance.  You are not alone any more.  Welcome to Hair Pullers Anonymous.



Our Invitation to You has been adapted with permission of Overeaters Anonymous.


The Twelve Steps have been adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc.  

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