Cognitive

About why we can not stop pulling the hair in their hands


One day, a good friend of mine and a former colleague, a woman whom I respect immensely, told us in the office that she didn’t like people who touched their hair endlessly. Well, you know, there are people who are pulling their hair all the time: they touch it with their fingers, swell it up, scatter it in the air - and all this during a conversation with another person, or during lunch. In general, she was convinced that real women always pick up their hair before they begin to eat, because how can you fully enjoy such an important event as eating, when the hair without end climbs in the face ...

Everyone around us started making consensus sounds, and I, too, would most likely have nodded, if during her inspired story I didn’t understand that the person who pulls her hair endlessly is me.

For me, my hair is protection from stress, spinner, this is my scarf. I constantly touch my hair with my fingers, I stroke them with tenderness and never tie them before eating, and in general I never tie them in principle. For me, the danger of smearing hair with crumbs from food or clinging to a mechanism seems to be less terrible than the prospect of appearing with a tail in front of others. I selflessly raised them and looked after them; I gave them much more strength than any domestic animal or plant. And it seems to me that the reason lies much deeper than in banal arrogance. Anyway, I hope so. So, what makes a man pull his hair? According to one version, old as the world, touching your hair is a manifestation of flirting. “In the“ game ”with hair, namely: straightening it, stroking it, twirling it on your fingers, throwing it back (the strongest of gestures), flirting is expressed, - one user unfamiliar to us from the Quora network explains to us as a seasoned expert. “If several gestures of flirting are clearly manifested in the behavior of a woman, then we can say that she most likely expresses her sexual interest in her interlocutor.” I, as a person who, up to the age of 21, considered a stern look from under a thick bang, as the most seductive gesture, I believe that there is some truth in this. Hair makes a woman beautiful. A friend of mine told me the other day that her father, despite the fact that he lost his hair when he was 23, still straightens his invisible head of hair each time he wants to impress a woman. It seems funny to her, but to me significant.

Although the elements of flirting in our behavior could be preserved in the process of evolution, as a reminder of prehistoric times, yet habits that are not controlled by human consciousness can tell a lot about a person’s attitude to himself, and - no less - about his attitude to around people. I do not wear long hair in order to swing it in front of men, I like long hair, because they visually narrow my rounded, potato-like face. And although they look very attractive, I have no desire to flirt with the staff or with the man at the bus stop, from whom he carries beer, and who tries to talk to me. What other reason might be this gesture?

“We often pull the hair unconsciously. This can happen when we are bored, when we are deep in thought, nervous and experiencing stress - hence the expression “tearing the hair on our head”, says trichologist Anabel Kingsley from Philip Kingsley. “Fingering can be used as a way to soften the experience.”

When we touch our hair, we may feel relief in the state of nervous tension, however, there is a more serious problem: stress can provoke the appearance of so-called body-oriented motor iterations. This uncontrolled reaction lies in the fact that a person begins to pull at his hair (trichotillomania) and chew it in his mouth (trichophagia), pinch himself, pick his nose, bite his lips and cheeks. In the extreme stages of tricylomelania, this nervous breakdown can lead to a deterioration in a person’s overall health, as a result of which complete hair loss can occur. Women suffer from this disorder three times more often than men.

There is also such a social phenomenon as anxiety about their appearance in front of other people. Such a stressful condition arises due to the fear of receiving a negative assessment in relation to their appearance. This question is not so well researched, but you do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that most people touch their hair more because they feel uncomfortable than they want to attract a potential sexual partner. Just as restless parents endlessly call their nanny to find out if everything is in order, whether the child behaves well and does not ruin her nerves.

An additional confirmation that frequent contact with your hair is a sign of a person’s anxiety, is that such a person, as a rule, does not look confident enough. “When a person touches his head, hair or neck, this is an expression of the fact that he feels extremely uncomfortable,” says behavioral psychologist Vanessa van Edwards. “Even if this person is not experiencing, yet such a gesture is an expression of low self-esteem.” Maybe you should still braid your hair in the good old French knot when you go for an interview for work ...

So, we touch our hair, when we flirt with men, we touch our hair, when we are nervous, and do we touch them just to feel them? It gives us the same tactile pleasure as touching velvet, silk, cashmere sweaters. Among the community of women with natural curly hair, there is also a comic concept of “obsessive touch syndrome”. It is expressed in the relentless desire to touch, stroke, shake, play with their African American curls. And since science claims that when we stroke animals, oxytocin is produced in the body (“happiness hormone”), and when other people touch us, we calm down because of this — is it possible to assume that we touch ourselves? to your beloved pet, to thereby cause a surge of positive emotions to themselves and the production of deficient hormones?

But regardless of whether our passion for hair is an act of self-destruction, an expression of shyness, or, conversely, self-love, there is another concern: do we not harm our hair by such actions? “Lightly stroking and fluffing the hair will not do them any harm,” says Kingsley. “But if you touch your hair with dirty or greasy hands, you can get it dirty, and then the dirt will go to the scalp.” Twisting the hair on the fingers can cause it to become tangled. And if you do it carelessly, then the hair can break and even completely pull out. Another ban applies to the split ends of the hair - they can not be pulled (my favorite activity). ”

“Try to match your hair or braid a loose braid,” she adds. “You can also be helped by a rosary or a stress relief ball that distracts you from your experiences.”

Maybe I can make an effort and abandon this habit. Maybe I should get this special ball or get a pet. Or maybe the problem is that I need to raise my self-esteem ...