celebrities Sara Sampaio, a Victoria's Secret angel who has trichotillomania

I’ve had trichotillomania for about two years, as you all probably know by now. You can read more about my story here. Research shows that 1-2% of the population has trichotillomania. I was surprised to find that there are many celebrities who are also afflicted with the hair pulling disorder. It makes me feel empowered knowing that I’m not the only one. This post is a reminder that trichotillomania affects all kinds of people.

Olivia Munn celebrities trichotillomaniaOlivia Munn

The American actress opened up about her compulsions in Self magazine. Pulling her eyelashes out began when she was 26. She notes that her anxiety and hair pulling increased when she was on TV again.

Olivia attributes her anxiety to her verbally abusive stepfather. She also talks about the stress of frequently moving as a child, due to growing up in a military family.

Sara Sampaio celebrities trichotillomaniaSara Sampaio

The Victoria’s Secret Angel mentioned that her eyebrows were sparse because of trichotillomania. This was during a Q+A session on social media, and she was overwhelmed by the response. She received so many messages from fellow trich sufferers that she opened up further on Instagram stories.

Sara revealed that she has been pulling from her eyelashes and eyebrows since she was 15. Her symptoms worsen when she is under stress. In 2018, she auctioned off tickets to the VS fashion show to raise money for the TLC foundation. This is a US organisation supporting those with body focused repetitive behaviours (BFRBs). I love that she has done this, and that she actively works to raise awareness.

Sara has said that showing kindness and support towards people with trich is very important, because it is a disorder that can really affect someone’s self-confidence.

Sam Faiers

She began pulling her hair when she was eight years old. Since becoming famous, she has spoken openly about it. She believes that the childhood trauma of her stepdad going to prison caused her trichotillomania.

In 2016, the TOWIE star uploaded a YouTube video about her struggle with OCD and trichotillomania. In the video, she talks about how she started pulling her eyelashes out to make wishes for her dad to come home, and then she couldn’t stop. Sam even pulled out her lashes in her sleep. She found that seeing a psychologist who specialises in trichotillomania was incredibly beneficial. You can see her vlog here. It’s definitely worth a watch, I love how she speaks about her experiences so honestly.

colin farrell discussing his trichotillomaniaColin Farrell

He confessed to being a “hair puller-outer” in a 2004 interview with GQ. In 2012, he spoke about this as being a childhood habit. He hasn’t really spoken about trichotillomania much, so I’m not sure whether it’s something he still has.

rachel fairburn has trichotillomaniaRachel Fairburn

This Manchester based stand up comedian has had trichotillomania since she was a child. She hosts one of my favourite true crime podcasts, All Killa No Filla.

I got very excited and slightly emotional when I heard her mention it on the show. It was such a big deal to me because I was already a huge fan of the podcast. It was so cool to hear her speaking about trichotillomania so casually!

You can hear her talking about it 14 minutes in on episode 55. I could really relate to her experiences, her mum gets annoyed at her in the same way my mum gets annoyed at me!

Rachel spoke about her trichotillomania when talking about serial killer Cary Stayner, who also has the disorder. (That story is pretty wild if you’ve got some time to kill – and is a perfect example of how stressful childhood events can trigger hair pulling).

Do these celebrities have trichotillomania?

The following celebrities have spoken candidly about their experiences with OCD, and they are all rumoured to have trichotillomania. After a LOT of research, I wasn’t able to find any reliable, direct sources that linked them to hair-pulling.

Charlize Theron

She apparently revealed that her trichotillomania diagnosis on an Australian radio show. She said that she had accepted it and that it’s a nightmare to have this condition.

However, all I could find was that she spoke about having OCD in this interview, and she seemingly hasn’t confirmed any trichotillomania diagnosis. Charlize played a character with trichotillomania in the 2012 film Young Adult, and was discussing the similarities between herself and her character.

It is possible that listeners misconstrued her talking about her own struggles with OCD and the trichotillomania of her character.

Megan Fox

I’m sure that I’ve heard that Megan Fox has trichotillomania, but when I researched it, I couldn’t find anything. In 2010, she spoke to Allure magazine about struggling with OCD, specifically cleanliness.

According to some sources, compulsive hair pulling led her to be hospitalised three times. Although Megan appears in all of the clickbaity “weird health” articles about trichotillomania, this seems to be unconfirmed.

Because she has OCD, I guess it’s not completely unreasonable to suggest that one of her symptoms could be hair pulling.

Justin Timberlake

Some articles claim that the singer was diagnosed with trichotillomania in 2008. He apparently admitted it in “an interview”. After hours of painstaking research, I couldn’t even find any trace of this “interview”. (Ok it was probably more like 20 minutes, but still…) So I don’t think he has actually said that he has trichotillomania.

He has been open about having OCD though, specifically an obsession with lining things up. He also MUST have a certain food in the house at all times.

Katy Perry

The pop star allegedly has trichotillomania. This is seemingly because of jokes about shaving her own head. There isn’t really any more information than this, unfortunately. It is so strange how so many celebrities are rumoured to have trichotillomania, despite there being no evidence for this.

Naomi Campbell, Victoria Beckham, Kate Beckinsale

Trichotillomania rumours follow all of these celebrities around. This is because of minor bald patches that they allegedly have had. None of them have actually spoken about having trich, though.

Their bald patches could be due to many things, such as damage from regularly wearing wigs and hair extensions, stress, or alopecia. I guess it’s best not to jump to conclusions.

“The worst thing you can say to someone is to just stop doing it. If it were that easy no one would suffer from it” — Sara Sampaio

I really hope that you were able to learn something new from this post. Trichotillomania affects celebrities too. If you’re looking for support, there’s more information on the NHS website, Trichotillomania Support UK, and OCD UK. As always, you can reach out to me for advice or a chat! You can do this by sending me a message via my contact form, or keep in touch with me on social media.