Although classified as a disorder of impulse control, trichotillomania (hair pulling) may have some phenomenological overlap with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The question arises as to whether trichotillomania is best conceptualized as a disorder characterized by impulsivity or compulsivity. Impulsive and compulsive symptoms and traits were compared in 43 patients who presented for treatment of trichotillomania, OCD or impulsive personality disorder. Trichotillomania patients had significantly lower scores of obsessive-compulsive symptoms than OCD patients, and significantly higher impulsiveness scores than this group. Measures of aggression did not differ significantly between groups.