Ayperi Alekseeva, an 18 year old girl from Kyrgyzstan was admitted to a hospital in the capital city Bishkek after she became unable to drink water without being sick and actually came close to death from months of dehydration and malnutrition.

Doctors at the hospital operated on Alekseeva and found a giant mass of hair, formed from years of eating her own hair and hair picked up from the floor. The compulsive eating of hair is called Trichophagia, and if left unchecked it can even develop into Rapunzel Syndrome, in which a hairball develops a ‘tail’ which trails down into the lower intestine.

According to the senior professor of surgery at the hospital, Bahadir Bebezov, “It was actually the only alternative – nothing else would solve the problem. In fact her stomach was so badly swollen from hair and bits of wool from the carpet that it literally just oozed out soon as the wall of the stomach was cut.”

Ms Alekseeva will be go home with her parents at the end of the week, and has promised to stop chewing on her hair.