Trichophilia is a paraphilia in which one becomes sexually aroused by, or is extremely fond of, human hair (usually cephalic); this may be of hair in general or different hairstyles, hair color, texture, or sheen.
Arousal may occur from imagery and physical contact of hair, this includes head hair, pubic hair, and axillary hair. Head hair arousal may come from from watching or touching very long hair — for example waist length hair and longer, red hair (freckle fetishim), hair over face, wet hair, etc.
Among paraphilias, trichophilia is unique in that for some, it has strong associations with time and place of the sexual development of the paraphiliac. There is a subculture among both gay men and heterosexual females (and bisexuals of both genders) who fetishize long-haired males, some finding males without long hair completely unarousing. The demographics of trichophiliacs particularly attracted to long-haired males - including a large number of persons born in the 1960s who became middle aged adults in the 21st century - suggests that ambient culture and fashion during the time of their early childhood and also around the time of puberty development may have contributed to the strong preference, especially among those whose personality attraction is to "rebel" types. Younger women of the early part of the 21st century - a time during which Japanese manga and anime became extremely popular, have also shown signs of this fetish owing to the unusually long hair on males in a great deal of this art, particularly that originating in the 1980s and 1990s. The difference is that the middle-aged trichophiliacs became attracted to something considered at the time to be daring and edgy, something classically worrisome to parents as it was seen as a symptom of lessened masculinity in the conservative populations; the later generation of long-haired male fetishists associated this look with very trendy, popular, socially-acceptable Japanese media featuring "bishonen" - or "beautiful boys", so totally different cultural associations have likely been made with their object of desire. It is no longer considered as strange for males to grow their hair long in present times, as compared with the mid-20th century. However, it is rarer in Japan than in America, which may explain why Japanese fantasy comic books and graphic novels feature so many men and boys with long hair.
Aside from the cultural significance of long hair, trichophilia is also possibly related to the presence of pheromones - chemicals which excite one when inhaled, given off by persons in states of arousal from the skin around hair and from under the scalp. Short hair, having less surface area, can accommodate less accumulation of pheromones and other body scents associated with sexual attraction.
Some fetishists may find they have a strong dislike for pubic and/or body hair but a strong attraction to head hair. Likewise, some fetishists find themselves attracted to body hair but not head hair. Specific hair types can be found as a fetish, not just hair in general.
Closely related to trichophilia is haircut fetishism. This involves sexual arousal from the cutting of hair. It may also include arousal from the touch of scissors and clippers to the body.
- Trichotillomania (TTM) or "trich", which is an impulse control disorder characterized by the repeated urge to pull out scalp hair, eyelashes, beard hair, nose hair, pubic hair, eyebrows or other body hair. It may be distantly related to obsessive-compulsive disorder, with which it shares some similarities.
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