The Student Room Group

I keep touching my scalp

Whenever I’m working (doing my school work) and I sit at my desk, I realise that I’m always touching my scalp and scratching it. It’s not itchy at all, but I don’t know why I keep doing it. It makes my hair go greasier quicker because I keep touching it. My long hair also used to be really thick but it’s gone thinner over the past few months and I’m not sure if it’s because of this?
The only time when I genuinely stopped touching my scalp was when I got my acrylic nails done - I didn’t touch my scalp for weeks! But straight after that, it began again. It makes my hair go greasy within a few days after washing it. How can I prevent myself from doing this?
Reply 1
It sounds like some kind of tic you've developed. Is this the only repetitive action you've noticed or have you noticed you are doing other things repetitively? if it's only happening when you are doing your school work it may have come on due to stress. Manicuring your nails as a detterrent might actually be one way of breaking the habit until you feel you are past the stressful period. It might also be worth seeing you practice nurse or GP just to talk to someone about it.
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
Whenever I’m working (doing my school work) and I sit at my desk, I realise that I’m always touching my scalp and scratching it. It’s not itchy at all, but I don’t know why I keep doing it. It makes my hair go greasier quicker because I keep touching it. My long hair also used to be really thick but it’s gone thinner over the past few months and I’m not sure if it’s because of this?
The only time when I genuinely stopped touching my scalp was when I got my acrylic nails done - I didn’t touch my scalp for weeks! But straight after that, it began again. It makes my hair go greasy within a few days after washing it. How can I prevent myself from doing this?


Hello 👋 I am Lee. I am a hairdresser and I only started training because I was aware that it felt amazing.
I am an addict currently not working from having a breakdown. My late diagnosis sent me into a state of trauma, exhaustion, ended up not coping.
I remember being with some one school and she was delicate with her pencil case and I remember feeling that same feeling.
(weird I know)
I believe you could be craving emotional support.
As we grow we are still the child within. My mother wasn’t a loving tactile mother the only time I felt love from her was when she played with my hair.
The reason why I mention this is because I am now living on my own and I had a habit of playing with my hair and my hair is fine and I was so like you playing until it was greasy.

Then I realised I was playing with my hair because it was a comfort like a safety blanket. I truely believe I was anxious and trying to comfort myself Like I felt as a child, at the time everything seemed unmanageable and scary.
Unfortunately my mum is a full on covert narcissist so if you know then you know nothing at all that I did, said and behaved was ever enough. I craved her emotion empathy for me just being me!!

(I wanted my mummy) sounds like you just want to be loved and that is beautiful!!
God bless you xx
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by Makro
It sounds like some kind of tic you've developed. Is this the only repetitive action you've noticed or have you noticed you are doing other things repetitively? if it's only happening when you are doing your school work it may have come on due to stress. Manicuring your nails as a detterrent might actually be one way of breaking the habit until you feel you are past the stressful period. It might also be worth seeing you practice nurse or GP just to talk to someone about it.


Hi, this is the only thing I do repetitively. I’m not sure if this also counts, but I pick at my acne/ acne scabs or even small spots on my body. I don’t know why but I can’t help it.
Reply 4
I can completely relate to everything you’ve written- i’ve been suffering from this for YEARS and again like you the only time I cannot do it is when i have my nails done. It is so very frustrating because you don’t even realise you are doing it, it defo comes on with stress though! sorry no help just letting you know you aren’t alone x
Reply 5
Hi Anonymous

I identify with what you are doing. It sounds to me like you have Dermatillomania, which is a compulsion to pick at your skin. I have it and scratch and pick at my scalp and at spots and blemishes on my body. I also have the related condition of Trichotillomania, which is a compulsion to pull out my hair. In my case this is mainly my eyelashes and eyebrow hairs. It is a reaction to stress in my case. Please talk to your GP about it. There are also online help groups which can be very supportive.

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