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Chaetophobia (from Greek khaitē meaning "loose, flowing hair") is the fear of hair. This fear could be the result of a negative experience with hair and/or a hairy person. The anxiety starts when the person remembers an experience whenever they are near a person with an excess amount of hair. Hair loss can be a trigger to this phobia, such as men going bald.
Some sufferers fear the hair on their own bodies because they think it is dirty or unattractive. They may fear things such as dandruff or head lice. Because of these, the phobia could be a spin-off of germaphobia, the fear of germs. They become obsessed with removing every hair on their body. This fear is often hygiene-related and sufferers feel uncomfortable in environments such as salons where hair is detached and on the ground. Some fear loose hair in their food or on furniture even if it is their own.
Sufferers may often fear animal hairs, such as hair from the pets. As a result, sufferers may not want pets in the home.
Intensive therapy and/or medication may be used to treat anxiety associated with phobia. Support groups and self relaxation techniques are sometimes effective in treating the fear.