(female) I have very sore sporadic spots only on my scalp. If I pick at them it is agony. They are really tiny and have a little white head. Also if i rub my scalp with my fingertips little hard white bits come out like they were the hair follicles. Most disturbingly my hair is getting shorter, thinner and has become dry and extremely frizzy. I used to have beautiful long curly hair. I am so distressed. I feel so embarrased. I have just turned 40 also. Have you ever heard of anything like this.
You describe a condition known as trichotillomania.
From Wikipedia: Trichotillomania (TTM), or “trich” as it is commonly known, is an impulse control disorder characterized by the repeated urge to pull out scalp hair, eyelashes, facial hair, nose hair, pubic hair, eyebrows or other body hair.
There are support groups and learning centers such as Trich.org.