From nail biting to hair pulling, this smart bracelet builds awareness

June 08, 2019

A Minnesota tech startup developed a smart bracelet that builds awareness of unwanted repetitive behavior like hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting.

Hard Habits to Break

June 03, 2019


Ellen Crupi can easily recall when she first pulled out a strand of her long dark hair in the same way some people might remember their first kiss or losing their first tooth. She was 12 years old and in gym class at her suburban Rhode Island middle school, waiting for teams to be chosen. 

“I was probably just playing with my hair to calm myself down, and I pulled a piece out. I don’t know why,” says the 54-year-old Crupi, who lives in Bethesda. “Ever since that moment, I was hooked. I just felt a zing.”

Pulling out her hair became a coping mechanism for Crupi, a way to tackle anxiety or even boredom, and nothing she was too concerned about at first.

Inventors Helping Inventors #21 - Aneela Idnani

May 06, 2019

Alan interviews Aneela Idnani - inventor of the Keen bracelet.

Tune in to learn how, after suffering for years with a psychological disorder that caused her to pull out all her eyebrows, she invented a solution - the Keen bracelet.

The Keen bracelet has changed habits and touched thousands of lives all over the globe.

HabitAware Receives $300,000 Grant to Advance Work Treating Hair-Pulling Disorder

April 10, 2019

Through a study funded by the grant award, HabitAware will evaluate the feasibility of Keen as an official treatment for trichotillomania. Simultaneously, Keen will be further developed into a tool for self-administration of Habit Reversal Training (HRT), one of few verified treatments currently in existence.

A New Tool to Overcome Skin and Hair Picking Disorders

April 10, 2019

You, she reminds, are who’s really in control. And that’s where Keen comes in. When the bracelet vibrates, it’s bringing the picking compulsion from the subconscious into the conscious — giving you the ability to then consciously say to yourself “my hands are not where I want them to be”.

How a Hair Pulling Disorder Inspired a Smart Bracelet Startup

April 10, 2019

For more than 20 years, Aneela Idnani Kumar hid her hair pulling disorder.

Disguising her absent eyebrows with makeup and concealing her isolation with smiles, Idnani Kumar kept her trichotillomania a secret from even her husband.

A mental health condition in the family of obsessive compulsive disorders, people with trichotillomania, “trich” for short, are plagued by irresistible urges to pull out their eyebrows, eyelashes, hair on their heads or anywhere else on their body.

MN Cup Celebrates 15th Anniversary

March 28, 2019

Aneela Idnani, HabitAware co-founder, and Lisa Lavin, Omcare founder and CEO, discuss the MN Cup.

2019 40 Under 40: Aneela Idnani Kumar, HabitAware

March 20, 2019

HabitAware Cofounder, Aneela Idnani Kumar, named one of 2019 40 under 40.

From Advertising to Startup with Aneela Idnani

March 11, 2019

HabitAware CoFounder, Aneela Idnani joins us to share her journey on making the jump from the Advertising space to the startup world in order to create a successful wearable tech product that helps people with mental health issues.

Underrepresented entrepreneurs in Minnesota

March 06, 2019

It's tough out there for a business owner. It's even tougher for business owners from underrepresented communities.

Recent numbers show that in Minnesota, nearly 10 percent of the state's small businesses are minority-owned.

MPR News host Angela Davis sat down with Dr. Bruce Corrie, who studies the economic impacts of minorities and immigrants in the Twin Cities, and a local business owner who can share advice for future entrepreneurs. Today's guests include Aneela Idnani, co-founder of HabitAware, a Minneapolis-based tech startup that develops a smart awareness tracker called Keen.

16 Great Gifts For Your Hair

March 04, 2019

Keen, a smart bracelet and a TIME Magazine top 2018 invention, looks like a fitness tracker and detects your specific behaviors after a one-time training with its companion mobile app. When Keen senses your hand doing your unwanted gesture, it vibrates, making you aware of your gesture and allowing you the opportunity to stop. No more hair pulling!

HabitAware Helps You Retrain Your Brain to Kick Bad Habits

March 01, 2019

Mental health is often a topic many struggle to talk about. Those who struggle with mental health issues often feel isolated and ashamed of what they’re going through or the way they feel. These were feelings Aneela Idnani was dealing with.
“I have personally suffered from a hair pulling disorder, trichotillomania, since my early teens. It’s a trance-like state and a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety … As a young teen who didn’t understand why I was pulling [my hair], I grew up ashamed that I was doing this to myself. This shame led me to hide behind makeup for nearly 20 years,” she explains.

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HabitAware Keen Sizing Guide

Not sure which size is right for you?

It's important that Keen has a snug fit on your wrist. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order:


Sporty Keen (original)