I started picking my split ends when I was in 8th grade. I remember reading a Gossip Girl book where Serena Van Der Woodsen, recently returning to NYC from a boarding school overseas, sits in class and picks her split ends. Huh, interesting. At the time, I wanted to be just like Serena which only led me to this thought process:

1. She was in class

2. She had hair

3. She had split ends

All of those things applied to me! So I put the book down, picked a piece of hair, and that’s where it all began. It became an obsessive habit after that. I’d be in the car with my mom and all of a sudden she’d slap my hand away from my hair. One memorable Thanksgiving dinner she warned me that if I picked my split ends at the table she’d personally take scissors to my hair and chop it off. Good one, Mom.

I blew off her “bluff” and continued to pick my hair. While I was innocently sitting on the living room couch a couple hours later, my mom sneaked up on me, with a pair of scissors, and chopped off a portion of my hair. We didn’t speak for days.

Mom: 1, Taylor: 0

But as luck found it, there’s a disease out there for people who obsessively pick at their hair, and I have it. It’s called Trichotillomania, and it actually exists. Although both of my parents and all my friends highly doubt I actually have this disease and just use it as an excuse, I disagree. It’s not that I want to pick my hair, it’s just that I have to pick my hair. I know it’s bad for me, I know it makes my hair appear more thin and brittle than it should, but I just can’t stop.

After the Britney Spear’s post went up this morning, a friend offered up some advice for Britney: a hair therapist. Forget getting a therapist for me and all my problems, she was right: both Britney and I need a therapist…for our hair. A quick search of Google yielded little to no results. I’m talking about sit-down-on-a-couch hair therapy, getting to the root (pun intended) of the problem. Or maybe I need real therapy, who knows. According to the Wikipedia article about my disease, Trichotillomania will only lead to pyromania and kleptomania; and I don’t even like fire.

So please, devoted readers of TheGloss, if you have any friends, friends of a friend, or distant relative of someone you once knew in high school – send them my way. Me (and my hair) need all the help we can get.