Hair twirling is a bad habit that can become a compulsion; when it becomes excessive or involves pulling on the hair, it is known as trichotillomania. It is important to take steps to stop hair twirling, both to end the bad habit and to prevent it from becoming a compulsion. One of the best ways to break this habit is to take note of every time you do it, to see if you can determine the root cause. For example, many people twirl their hair when they are bored or stressed.
To stop hair twirling, try to take note of the times you do it for at least a day. If you find it difficult to notice, ask family members or friends to tell you if they see you twirling your hair. Some people find it helpful to write down the instances when they are twirling the hair; this can help a pattern to emerge, which can then help you to stop.
Another way to stop hair twirling is to attempt to remove the temptation by pulling the hair back into a bun, or clipping the hair away from the face. Some people find they will just pull a small piece out and twirl it anyway, however. In this case, another way to break this habit is to keep a small rubber band or hair tie on the wrist, and snap it and say "Stop!" to yourself whenever you start to twirl the hair. This can serve as a reminder that you are trying to break the habit, and you might begin to associate the pain from snapping the rubber band with twirling the hair.
You might also try to occupy the fingers with something else, such as twirling a pencil, for example. This can turn into another bad habit, though, so if you determine that your hair twirling habit is caused by boredom, try to find something to occupy your mind. Read a book, take a walk outside, play a video game, or exercise, for instance; all of these can help to alleviate your boredom. In addition, all of these activities can help to relieve stress; often, bad habits like hair twirling are caused by stress.
If the hair twirling becomes a compulsion or is impossible to stop, it might be necessary to visit a therapist. A therapist can provide other techniques to help you stop hair twirling, or a doctor may be able to prescribe anti-anxiety medication. It is important to stop this bad habit as soon as possible, because it can lead to hair loss and breakage, as well as make you look immature and undisciplined.