Guest Post: 7 Trich-Taming Tricks

*This blog post was written by Jen Deyo, trichster & writer. Though focused on trich, because that is Jen's personal experience, many of the tips here can help you stop skin picking and nail biting!


You are not alone.

There are millions of people who pull their hair. Take a deep breath and read that again:

You are not alone. 

What you are is capable of change. Big change. Change that will improve your life and boost your confidence.

I’m not a doctor, a therapist, or a self-help guru. I’m just a girl who started pulling her hair when I was 12. Now, at 34, I still deal with urges. I have bad days where I pull. But I also have days where I can control the urge through understanding and utilizing the following tools.

But this is not about me. It’s about you.

Your hair, your control, your happiness. Let’s get all that back. Here's 7 ways to get you there. 

It’ll be work, but you’ve got this.

7 Tricks to Take on Trich

Photo by Keilidh Ewan on Unsplash

Photo by Keilidh Ewan on Unsplash

1. Make a Spectacle

If you pull your eyelashes, try a new pair of glasses, even if you don’t need them. There are plenty of companies that sell non-prescription lenses and having a barrier between your hands and your eyes gives you a moment to make a better choice. Plus, it’ll give you a new confident look, and once you’ve got your new full set of lashes, you’re going to want to draw attention to your beautiful eyes. 

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

2. Fidget Away

Keep your hands busy with fidget toys. Dollar stores sell cheap ones that have the sensory attributes you crave. Some toys (such as these) can replicate the sensation of pulling, so stash them everywhere: in the car, on the bedside table, near your computer, wherever.

Photo by Luca Iaconelli on Unsplash

3. Keep it Clean

Keep your face and eyes clean. Makeup and eyeliner can create a dirty/itchy sensation and draw more attention to your eyes. An innocent scratch of the eye or getting rid of a clump of mascara could morph into an hour long pulling session. Trust me. I've been there. Keep these eye wipes in your bag when you’re on the go.

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

4. Mind Your Mantras

I used to think mantras were a bunch of BS. But a therapist suggested repeating “Not helpful” when pulling. It actually reinforced that it wasn’t helpful – pulling didn’t alleviate stress, or solve the problem. In fact, it made new problems and magnified the stress and shame. There is just something about hearing your own voice offer advice that is powerful and effective.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

5. Feel the Feels 

Your emotions are the foundation of why you pull. When anxiety, stress, sadness, or anger bottle up, you pull to release it. Instead, try feeling the feelings. Cry, yell, punch a pillow, cry some more. If you can let yourself feel what you’re feeling, there’s a good chance the urge subsides.

Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash

Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash

6. Be Kind to You!

Keep your behaviors in perspective and be gentle with yourself and your setbacks. Let a pulling episode be just that—a part of your day, not your whole day. It’s a part of who you are, not who you are. You’re not a failure when you stumble, you’re brave because you keep trying. You’re struggling with something—you’re human. Be proud that you want to make a change for yourself. Keep trying. Keep feeling. Keep believing you can change.

Photo by HabitAware

Photo by HabitAware

7. Build Keen Awareness

Think “fit bit” for body-focused repetitive behaviors. HabitAware's Keen bracelet connects to an app that learns your behaviors and vibrates to make you aware when you’re doing them. It learns multiple actions so if you pull hair from different parts of the body, it’s got you covered.



Change Your Mind and Your Mind Will Change

Like the mantras, at first I didn't believe. As a more conscious puller I didn't think a habit awareness tracker was going to be effective. I thought the vibration wouldn't be enough of a deterrent. But after a conversation with Aneela I had a better understanding and decided to give Keen another try. After just a week, I started keeping my hands away from my face even when I wasn’t wearing the bracelet! Talk about the ultimate trick to take on trich and retrain your brain!

I'd love to know what you're doing to take control of your trichotillomania, dermatillomania or other behavior. Please share some of your tricks to "kick trich" in the comments!

About the author:

Jen Deyo is a trichster, writer, editor & entrepreneur from the East Coast (US). She is currently working on a novel about a teenager with trichotillomania. She is also part of the Keen family, having almost returned her Keen for too many false alarms, Jen gave us a chance to help her get set up for success. Thank you 🙏 Jen for giving us that opportunity and taking the time to share your tips for overcoming trichotillomania.

(Most photos courtesy of Unsplash.)

Reflections of a HabitAware Intern

by: Rachel Wong

Rachel is a summer intern at HabitAware as part of the ten-week MacNest program at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. She is a rising junior studying International Studies and Geography.


As part of the inaugural cohort of the MacNest program, I am one of thirteen Macalester students working at startups across the Twin Cities for a ten-week stint during the summer. I was originally attracted to MacNest because of its entrepreneurial aspect. Being a liberal arts college, Macalester does not offer academic courses on business; therefore, MacNest seemed like a great opportunity to take the soft skills that I learned at Mac and transfer them to a business setting. From the list of startups participating in MacNest, HabitAware stood out to me because of Aneela’s personal connection to the cause. HabitAware is Aneela’s trichotillomania story and her journey to create an awareness bracelet. Being on a team where everyone is deeply connected to the mission of the company is very motivating. We are doing work with a purpose. Every small task contributes to the overall success of HabitAware and moves all of us forward.

In my 10 weeks at HabitAware, I have a newfound understanding, perspective and respect for "startups." Establishing a new business takes grit and commitment. It's clear the HabitAware team believes so much in their mission and dream that they are willing to dedicate their life, their time, their energy. They are in business to truly
spread awareness about bodily-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) and the importance of mental health. I admire the people who make this their everyday life because, as a risk adverse person, I don’t think it could ever be me in the future. Not that I'm completely crossing off entrepreneurship off my list - I can totally envision myself working at a startup in the future if the opportunity arises!

Keen insights on shipping Keen

Since I'm the only intern to a four-person core team, I wear many different hats. I began the first week of my internship with website design. Later, my responsibilities encompassed data mining, drafting emails for potential partnerships, and merging Excel sheets. (At one point, I got super excited about discovering new Excel equations to use.)  

But, one of my main ongoing responsibilities is SHIPPING! I have now mastered the entire shipping process for the Keen bracelet, from unpacking the shipment from the supplier to packaging individual Keen bracelets for customers. About three weeks ago, I was tasked with training a new member of the HabitAware team with the shipping process. As the summer intern and the youngest member of the team, I will be honest and say that it was a strange experience as the person with knowledge. Since it was my first time training someone, I wasn’t really sure how to begin but gave it my best shot anyway. In the end, I reached two conclusions/reflections. One, when I am in a place of authority or the person with knowledge, I should be confident in what I know and speak in a direct and articulate manner. Assertiveness remains one of the traits that I am trying to constantly improve. Two, everyone struggles with the tape dispenser, which made me feel better about my taping skills. In honor of conquering the industrial-sized packing tape dispenser, I decided to write a haiku:

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Ugh. Tape dispenser.

Doesn’t come out smooth or straight.


Aside from that, I also help with social media accounts and several projects regarding business development. 

A day in the life of a HabitAware Intern

9 am: 🚌 Arrive at work, drink my ☕, and ready to work!

9:30am: ☑ the number of Keen bracelet orders and prep shipping materials.

9:45am: Make shipping boxes and fold thank you cards. I try really hard to smooth out the tape.

9:45am - 11:30am: Go through each order and package each box nicely with 💙. They stack up quickly in the USPS containers!

11:30 - 12:30pm: Unpack new inventory while listening to 🎼. Lots of orders mean unpacking new shipment to get them ready for 📫📫📫.

12:30pm: Lunch break! Time to heat up food that I made the night before and chat with the rest of the HA team.

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1:15pm: Check 📧 and tag new customer service tickets.

1:45pm: Write a draft for a new HabitAware blog article (like this one!). 📄

4pm:  Update any changes on the HabitAware website.

4:30pm: Wrap up tasks and get ready to finish work for the day! 🕠 🚌


(Tech) Community Building

Attending Minnedemo 26 at the Pantages Theatre

Attending Minnedemo 26 at the Pantages Theatre

One important aspect of the MacNest program is community building. All thirteen of us share a living space at the Summit House on campus, and are required to attend weekly meetings with alumni speakers and staff from the Career Development Center. The intentional living arrangements sparked conversations about each other’s internships organically, and I was able to learn about startups that are in other fields.

One of our MacNest meetings revolved around the importance of networking. As a student, networking is an activity that I feel is somewhat easy to define broadly (you expand your connections) but difficult to explain in detail (WHY do we need to expand our network?). A guest speaker, a 2015 Macalester alum, described networking as a way to form relationships via genuine curiosity. People are naturally curious about others, so networking should stem from curiosity about others’ work. This changed the mindset that I held previously about networking. I associated networking with an image of stoic, uptight professionalism, when I should look beyond my misconception and actually see the other side of the networking. I am talking to real people with real jobs and real interests. Hence, I think I need to rid myself of the scary, intimidating nature of networking, and realize that I’m speaking to another human being with a career, genuine interests, and a willingness to carry a conversation with me.

Interestingly enough, I did not realize the large presence of startups in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area until this summer. In fact, I just learned that Minneapolis has one of the most thriving startup scenes in the Midwest, second only to Chicago. 

After watching DocuMNtary, I was amazed to learn of the resources and networks that startups have here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. In mid-July, a friend and I attended Minnedemo, an event sponsored by minne* that allows Minnesotan startups to give seven-minute pitches to the tech community. Sameer from the HabitAware team had the opportunity to give his heartfelt pitch last summer!  The Minnedemo 26 pitches I saw by Pivot Interactives and CheckNGN wowed me. Both are ideas that I can easily see implemented into people’s everyday lives, creating positive value, just as the HabitAware team strives to do.

Heightened Awareness: Reflections on my experience

The emotional and stressful roller coaster ride of sophomore year in college has made me more self-aware of my thoughts, attitude, and emotions. I became more introspective, more aware of my relationship building skills with my friends and roommate, my attitude in the midst of stressful situations, and, most of all, the little voice that lives inside my head.

Imposter Syndrome: (n.) “concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’”

Screenshot 2017-07-27 09.57.52.png

My summer at HabitAware became the perfect opportunity for me to develop professionally. One of my biggest weaknesses is my assertiveness. In an academic and professional setting, I am easily intimidated by others' presence because I believe that others are more knowledgeable and have more valuable opinions than mine. Despite my tendency, HabitAware’s laid-back startup atmosphere made it easier for me to improve on my assertiveness and gave me the chance to speak out in a comfortable environment. Being the only female on the four-person core team, Aneela has been a great mentor for the past five weeks (and still is) and gave me great tips on being more confident in myself and my abilities. Something as little as posting in the group chat instead of direct message can help establish my presence and voice in a group. Ultimately, I learned that building relationships with colleagues makes speaking up easier and taking small steps to assert my presence will help improve my confidence.  

The end of my summer internship is a bittersweet one. As I’m reflecting on the past few weeks, I can’t help but think that every little thing signifies change. HabitAware is gearing up for the next its next big thing by expanding into office space, increasing its customer base, and adding more members to its team. After I leave, HabitAware will continue to grow and develop to become the next greatest invention besides sliced bread (I’m biased).

Spending more than 200 hours together with people who I have just met this
summer has given me the chance to develop meaningful relationships with the rest of the
HabitAware team. At this point, I’ve met the families of the HabitAware team and finally feel well integrated with the company, only to realize it's over and time for my next chapter!

I’m no stranger to change; I attended seven different schools during my K through 12 career and immigrated halfway across the world. Nonetheless, I’m always slightly emotional when one door closes and another opens. Emails and phone numbers are exchanged. Conversations about future plans are made and words like “let’s keep in touch” are said. I always try my hardest and go out of my way to maintain relationships, but I also know that life can be complicated and people drift apart naturally. And in the infamous words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

My Next Chapter 

I’ll miss going to the Minnesota State Fair this year!

I’ll miss going to the Minnesota State Fair this year!

With two more years of college ahead of me, I’m still pretty indecisive about my future plans (I’ve also heard people say that I don’t need to figure out my life at 21 though, so I should be fine). None of the HabitAware team works in the field they studied and/or they switched careers few years out. Aneela was in accounting and then switched to design and marketing. Sameer was in finance and now leads day-to-day business ops for HabitAware. Kirk studied English and still writes, but just in code. "Doctor John" has a PhD electrical engineering, but is now HabitAware’s marketing analytics optimizer extraordinaire. With that knowledge, I know I will be able to transfer my interpersonal skills and proactivity to any field that I enter. So although my career path is not set in stone, I will strive to be a curious learner and convey confidence in my future endeavors.

In the meantime, I will be packing up and flying halfway around the world to Seoul, South Korea, where I will study abroad for the upcoming fall semester. With less than a month to go, I’m beginning my preparations for being in a foreign country for three and a half months, physically and mentally. 

After these ten weeks, I will move on and continue with my life like everyone else, and when nostalgia strikes, I’ll look back at this summer with happy memories.

Thank you for letting me be a part of the HabitAware team for ten weeks!

My dad died so you & I can live.

This post has been years in the making. It was written over the course of the past two and a half years. I’m choosing to finally share this, because it’s my dad’s birthday today.

When I speak of how I've found writing to be therapeutic, this is what I mean:

* * *

I met with my psychologist almost a year ago (2014). I shared how I was having this nervous/tense energy and constant anticipation that something bad was going to happen.  This anxiety has been fairly consistent since 9/11. Today, I know that this anxiety is likely OCD / Intrusive Thoughts.

The feelings of course all lead back to core negative beliefs that I am not good enough. (In this case, not good enough to protect myself or my family because I am weak and powerless).

My fear - and the narrative I keep running through my head is being at the scene of a terrorist attack.  What I would do? Where would I run? Where would I hide? Would I be brave - or strong - enough to fight? I play this out everywhere I go, searching for how I would save myself, my husband & my son. 

Back in December (2015) I was honestly shit scared to go to the Mall of America here in Minneapolis. But part of the process in dealing with anxiety is to actually push yourself to face the things that make you anxious. The first time, I made it to the mall parking lot & waited there while my son slept in his car seat and Sameer ran in to the mall to run an errand.  The next time I was braver, but still very cautious as I walked through the mall. But, hey, I did it.  

Good therapy is like having coffee with a friend

In session, my psychologist & I talked about how no matter how many times I play a scenario in out in my head, it’ll never be how it actually happens. So why waste that mental energy over & over again? We came to the conclusion that I have the power to not only choose the internal narrative, but change it too. Instead of letting my mind wander to these “bad things” I can choose to concentrate on the present moment.  A lot like hair pulling (trichotillomania) in a way…I just need to have the awareness, which brings the power to choose a different action, like deep breathing, or a new train of thought.

Tragedy can be the bridge to something positive.
— my doctor

With the help of my psychologist, I learned a new perspective and strategy: Rather than fearing something that may not happen, focus on what is actually happening and be in the present moment.  And if something bad does happen, I still have a choice.  I can wallow in self-pity and focus on the trauma/tragedy or I can be grateful for the treasures that emerge. 

“Tragedy can be the bridge to something positive.” I wrote in my notes from that appointment as my psychologist divulged her own personal tragedy of how a recent car crash was actually a blessing in disguise. She shared how by changing her perspective, she was able to overcome it.

To get the most out of therapy, do the "homework!"

Check out that '70s style!

Check out that '70s style!

And from there I decided to look back on a tragedy that for so long hurt so much: losing my dad to cancer when I was 17. The discussion with my therapist changed forever how I remember that time. To shift away from the sadness, tears and pain, I decided to make a list of all the good things that came out of my father's sickness and death.

It’s only because of this newfound outlook, and my active decision to give this "homework" a try that I’ve been able to come to terms with it in recent years. It took hard work to shift the focus onto the good that came from the bad, but it's doable. 

Shifting my mindset, shifted the outcome

So what good can come from sickness and death? A lot actually:

(1) I met one of my best friends, I'll call her S.

S making me laugh as always!

S making me laugh as always!

When my dad was sick, we went searching for the smartest doctors to help us navigate the murky waters of sickness and health insurance. A family friend introduced us to a doctor in the next town over. His daughter was my age and one of the funniest people I had ever met. I remember thinking "I want to be S's friend!" I can still picture that first time at their house. All through high school, it became a second home. It was where I was the day I found out my dad passed. 

S is still to this day one of my best friends even though we now live miles apart. My favorite days are when we get to catch up on our commutes!

(2) I took control of my career path

When I was in high school, I was automatically placed in an accounting class because the photography class I signed up for was full. I was BUMMED. But I sucked it up. And a funny thing happened: I was really, really good at accounting. So that's what I focused on through college and for the 3 years thereafter as a staff auditor at Ernst & Young. 

Around the 3 year mark, something changed (a story for another day!). I was unhappy, in a depressive spiral and I needed to get out. I looked within to a time when I was happy (when I was a kid) and realized I simply missed being creative.

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The way I figured out my next step was with a napkin. My auditing client at the time was Time Warner. We worked out of their offices, on the marketing floor. In their kitchen I found this napkin (yes, I kept it all these years!). With my curiosity piqued, I went to the website and saw an ad for my next move: Miami Ad School.

(3) I met a boy

My initial intent was to attend Miami Ad School's Madrid campus. I had fallen in love with Madrid when I studied abroad in college.

But last minute, I decided to study advertising at the Miami location instead - and here's where things get interesting. S also knew someone from her college days that was moving down to Miami for work and she introduced us. It was a friendly introduction, but that boy quickly turned into my fave person to hang out with.

His name is Sameer and he is now my husband, father to our two sweet boys and CEO of HabitAware! It was as if it was planned, as if my dad was guiding me to Miami for this purpose, and more.

(4) I moved to Minneapolis

Sameer's career brought us to Minneapolis in 2011. By that time, I had been working in advertising for 3 years. I was loving being part of the creative process, and though not designing (because of my own lack of self confidence & insecurities), I was utilizing my business-minded skills as a client manager & digital project manager to make sh*t happen on a daily basis.

Minneapolis is a bustling city with a hot advertising scene - and equally hot tech/startup scene. I was able to quickly continue my ad-life at Fallon, where I met and worked with their Director of Innovation & Technology. It wasn't long before I got the startup bug - or more accurately the "I want the time I spend working on this earth to truly make a difference" bug. 

(5) I shared a life-long secret

Trich was another "gift" my father left me. During his sickness, I turned to pulling as a soothing mechanism. It hadn't felt like a gift until recently though.

3 years into our marriage, Sameer caught me without eyebrows. I finally divulged my hair pulling secret. That led us on this journey to invent our Keen smart bracelet, with John and Kirk.

Today, not just I, but countless others use Keen to take back control of hair pulling, skin picking, nail biting, or all 3 and get back to what life is all about: LIVING.

* * *

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my dad. But I don’t miss him anymore. Instead, now, I thank him for the gifts he’s given me over these years...For the protection, for the guidance, for the chance to live.

He’s “in the sky,” as my 4 year old says. Watching over us all.

with love❤️, strength 💪& awareness 👀,


About HabitAware

HabitAware makes Keen, a smart bracelet that helps manage nail biting, hair pulling, thumb sucking, and other subconscious behaviors. Customized gesture detection brings you into awareness and helps you develop healthier habits.

JOIN THE JOURNEY: Order today and sign up for our e-newsletter for helpful strategies, news & important product updates.

In Honor of Independence Day: Why I Freed Myself from a “Pull Free” Mindset

What does it mean to be “pull free?”

As one of more than 10,000 members of an online Trichotillomania support group, there isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t vow to go pull free, or share how many days, weeks, months or years they are celebrating being pull free.   

“Pull free,” according to Urban Dictionary is “a term to describe when someone suffering from trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder) stops pulling out their hair for a certain amount of time.” It may even involve physically restraining oneself from pulling, with the goal of permanently stopping. The same mentality applies for skin picking (dermatillomania) and the act of being “Pick Free.”


My transition from “pull free” to “pull less”

Pull Free Vibes by Aahpinkiepie

Pull Free Vibes by Aahpinkiepie

I always feel conflicted when I see someone post about their pull free goals. Part of me feels really happy that my fellow trichster has had enough and wants to make a positive change, and then part of me feels sad and worried, because pull free seems like a hamster wheel – no matter how much energy is put into it, you more than likely wind up in the same spot.

Even on a personal level, I used to wish folks in the groups “PFV,” or “Pull Free Vibes.” I really wanted to be pull free for myself too. There are some people for which pull free,” or going cold turkey, is the only option. Some people’s personalities just NEED that sort of goal in order to succeed. But it isn’t for everyone. And in trying pull free, I realized it wasn’t for me.


5 reasons why “pull free” wasn’t for me

So, in honor of July 4th / American Independence Day, here’s my top 5 reasons why I freed myself from the pull free mindset:

  1. Attempting pull free consumed me: A few years back I was on a focused pull free run. I was doing well, but it took so much energy and focus that I wound up not being able to do much else beyond being pull free and going to work. It sucked the life out of me, and I basically cut myself off from my friends and any semblance of a social life for a while. Which is ironic because I finally had lashes and brows and didn’t feel self-conscious being around people anymore!
  2. When the triggers get REAL, relapse can lead to devastating failure: During my pull free run, a majorly stressful event happened at work – I made an error in a cost estimate quote for a client. Likely because all my mental energy was being consumed with not pulling. I wound up losing my company thousands of dollars(!) My team was mad, but also somewhat understanding as it was clear I was overworked, under-slept & quite junior at the time. But that didn’t stop me from beating myself up. That stress over the financial mistake fueled a pulling spree, when I had previously thought I was “cured.” Instead I was a failure, and of course, the new lack of lashes & brows pushed me further into a depression.
  3. Pull free is extreme perfectionism – and that’s what got me pulling to begin with:  Research has shown that people with body focused repetitive behaviors (bfrbs) have perfectionist tendencies. That’s me to a T. Not just pixel perfection in work / hyper attention to detail (except of course for the above story!). But also in the home: my clothes hang within perfect distance of one another in my closet and our kitchen cupboards are organized MY WAY, which is the right way (in my humble opinion :) ). And of course this perfectionism, coupled with the “grooming” gene that is likely linked to trich, led the way for my pulling to begin as I began tweezing my hairs during puberty because I was so self-conscious.
  4. Pull free still means you need another outlet, and I didn’t give myself one: A promise to stop pulling is nothing without working on replacing the pulling. As noted above, I declared myself pull free without building myself a toolkit to help me cope with the triggers and urges. Without actively working hard to do something else, all I was doing was denying myself the pulling and building up the tension in my body, until of course, I one day exploded. It’s much like dealing with anger!
  5. Pull free leaves NO room for error: Going pull free was added pressure I didn’t need! In giving myself an unrealistic goal, without preparation, I set myself up for failure. Humans by nature make mistakes. I didn’t give myself room to let those mistakes, or learnings as I now view them, happen. Now I do allow myself a few hairs every now and again room, and see those pulls as an opportunity to grow, learn and improve.

Because of my experience with trying to be pull free, and in seeing how devastating it is for others in the support groups, I no longer believe in the pull free mentality. I’m more of a “pull less” or “pull very little” kind of gal now.

I’m more of a “pull less” or “pull very little” kind of gal now.

Body focused repetitive behaviors like hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking (dermatillomania) and nail biting (onchyophagia), are disorders that we will carry for the rest of our lives – they are genetic after all. And I’ve come to terms with that. I’ve come to accept my trich for what it is: this thing I’ll always carry with me, but something I have learned to manage with awareness using my HabitAware Keen smart bracelet.

So, I still pull once in a while, but it no longer consumes or devastates me the way it used to. I’ve built my awareness muscles. I’m able to catch myself and replace the behavior using Keen’s guided breathing light, one of my go-to replacement strategies. With focus, awareness and leaving myself wiggle room for mistakes, I have learned to manage my trich & take control, rather than being controlled by it.

We are all unique, so ultimately, you need to do what works for you to free yourself of your bfrb burden.

Ultimately though, bfrbs manifest differently in everyone. Which means what works for one person may not work for another, and is also why a single cure has been difficult to nail down. We are all unique, so ultimately, you need to do what works for you to free yourself of your bfrb burden.

Wishing you love, awareness & a time that comes when you are bfrb-LESS!,







About HabitAware


HabitAware makes Keen, a smart bracelet that helps manage nail biting, hair pulling, thumb sucking, and other subconscious behaviors. Customized gesture detection brings you into awareness and helps you develop healthier habits.

JOIN THE JOURNEY: Order today and sign up for our e-newsletter for helpful strategies, news & important product updates.

The Fidget Cube & Fidget Spinner Craze!

It is no secret that fidget toys are a good replacement strategy for hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking (dermatillomania) and nail biting (onychophagia). The reason? Fidget toys keep your hands busy so you can't physically pull, pick or bite.

Keen, our habit awareness bracelet, can be the first step in this process by helping you become aware of your behavior. Once aware, you can grab your favorite fidget toy to keep your hands occupied.

In fact, the TLC Foundation for BFRBs store and Amazon are filled with thousands of different fidgets toys. No longer are we relegated to simply twirling our pens when anxious, we have been able to squeeze squeezy balls, play with play dough and tangle tangles for a while now. 

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None of these fidget toys has ever reached critical mass. Until now!

All of a sudden there has been a surge in the craze for fidget toys - namely because of new inventions: the fidget cube and the fidget spinner. These two tools have gotten so popular there's even a Twitter hashtag: #fidgetfriday

Fidget Cube's Origin

The fidget cube is the brain child of Matthew and Mark Mclachan from Antsy Labs. The fidget cube is a "high-quality desk toy designed to help you focus." according to the Antsy Lab website. It was brought to life via a Kickstarter campaign, raising $6.4 million dollars more than their goal of $15,000!!! 

Fidget Cube's success took a turn when Chinese manufacturers on Alibaba and Amazon began offering comparable products shortly after the Kickstarter appeared.

Though it was Matthew and Mark's idea, others with more manufacturing experience stole the idea and beat them to market! Reviews of generic fidget cubes vs. the legitimate fidget cube indicate that the TRUE Fidget Cube is of higher quality materials and textures.

Fidget spinners quickly sprang to market thereafter, but their origin is much less clear, with many generic versions available all over the internet.  

How Fidget Cubes and Fidget Spinners Help


The logic behind fidget cubes and fidget spinners is simple: if you are a naturally fidgety person, these tools help you focus that fidgety energy into the palm of your hand so you can regain your focus. Fidget spinners are a great tool for students with ADD / ADHD and other issues. 

Instead of jumping around the classroom or engaging in random outbursts, these kids have found an outlet for their extra energy. These tools have also helped people relieve stress and anxiety as well. 

Fidget Spinners for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs)


So naturally fidget spinners and fidget cubes have made their way into the hands of those suffering from body focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs), such as hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking (dermatillomania), and nail biting (onychophagia). recently got stocked with fidget spinners. While they maybe a little more expensive than what you may find on Amazon or Ebay, do remember, it all goes to a good cause: supporting (y)our BFRB community and funding research for a cure. 


Join the Journey


HabitAware makes Keen, a smart bracelet that helps manage nail biting, hair pulling, thumb sucking, and other subconscious behaviors. Customized gesture detection brings you into awareness and helps you develop healthier habits.

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