The Haircut That Changed This Trichotillomania Sufferer's Life


Since childhood, editorial and portrait photographer Jillian Clark has suffered from trichotillomania, the irresistible desire to pull out one's hair. For years, though, she didn't even know that her condition had a name. "I didn't realize it was a disorder until I Googled 'pull out my hair,'" Clark shares in our video, above. "People don't realize it's a disorder — they think it's a yucky habit, and it's not."

Clark reveals the toll that "trich," as the condition is known, took on her as a child: "Growing up with it is so hard, because you want to be pretty, and you're destroying what makes you 'pretty' in the eyes of the public." She also shares the move that redirected the course of her life: When Clark was 18, she shaved her head — not to make a fashion statement, but to remove temptation. Now, almost three years after her first shave, Clark is learning how to see her body for what it is by turning her lens on herself. "I never would have photographed myself when I had hair," she says. "The hair had to come off, and then I wanted to find out who this new person was."

Watch the video above for a glimpse of Clark's journey from self-doubt to confidence.

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