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Amy Schumer recalls feeling ‘ugly and unlovable’ due to disorder she hid for years

Amy Schumer has kept her hair-pulling disorder to herself for decades.
Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022, in Hollywood, Calif.Momodu Mansaray / Getty Images

Being a teenager is tough, especially when you're dealing with a hair-pulling disorder. And that's something Amy Schumer knows all too well.

In a new interview with Howard Stern, the comedian recalled the impact that trichotillomania — a mental disorder involving the urge to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows or other parts of the body — had on her confidence and how she's learned to accept her condition.

"When I was 13, I pulled out so much hair that I needed to get a wig and wear a wig to school. ... It was humiliating, and it was really hard," she said.

Schumer, who stars in Hulu’s new series “Life & Beth,” said she felt “ugly and unlovable” when she would see her bald spots. It also affected the way she interacted with her classmates.

"I ate my lunch in the nurse's office because I heard someone say that I made them sick," she said, referring to kids who made fun of her. 

Despite her inner turmoil, Schumer tried to brush off her hair pulling so others wouldn't make a big deal of it.

"I was extra confident, I always had a boyfriend, I was always like, 'Everybody cool has no hair,'" she said.

The 40-year-old added that it took her a while to come to terms with what was going on.

"I thought I was OK, and I didn't realize that I was not OK and the hair pulling was a symptom of that," she said. "I would not even realize I did it and just look down, and there’d be a pile of hair."

The actor also opened up about the way her condition affected her parents, who weren't quite sure how to help their daughter. 

"My mom was especially horrified and upset by it. She would help me do my hair before school every morning, and she would be crying while she helped me with my hair," she said.

Schumer included her hair pulling disorder in her Hulu show, and she told Stern that it was a relief not to have to keep it to herself anymore.

"It's been my big secret. I have so much shame about it, and I really just wanted to try to let go of it and accept it about myself, and this was part of that," she said.

The comedian still struggles with hair pulling and admitted that she has "probably half the amount of hair" that she should. But she swears by extensions to help fill in any bald spots.

"I'm lucky that extensions have become so normalized," she said. "Every woman you see on camera in any movie is wearing a wig or has a lot of added hair. That's just how it works in the business. It's not even strange."