The eyebrow is one of the most significant features of the
human face. Framing the eye, it conveys emotion and expression,
and can animate the face in ways that other features do not.
Throughout history, the eyebrow has been considered one of the
essential elements of feminine facial beauty, and whether the
fashion was for a full, lush brow or a nearly invisible one,
brows have been plucked, painted, powdered, tattooed, and dyed
to a shape and look that women want.
Reasons Why Eyebrows Stop Growing
Like any other aspect of the face, it is no wonder that this
feature can cause distress when damaged or no longer has a satisfactory
appearance. Sadly, it is not uncommon for over plucked eyebrow
hairs to cease regrowing over time and what was once done to
improve their appearance leaves the natural eyebrows permanently
asymmetrical, too thin, or even bare.
As with other bodily hair, certain conditions such as thyroid
problems or nutritional deficiencies can cause the hairs of
the eyebrow to fall out over time, or to simply never grow.
Accidental damage such as burns or scarring can result in loss
of part or all of the follicles. Until recently, restoring a
natural and beautiful condition to lost or damaged brows has
been less than satisfactory.
Common Solutions to Sparse Eyebrows
Redrawing missing or sparse eyebrows is the most common
method used to give thin eyebrows a fuller, more filled
in appearance. However, this can become a frustrating
and dispiriting start to each morning. Some women never
feel confident or satisfied with the results and suffer
anxiety about leaving the house or meeting friends.
Coloring Products, Powders & Dyes
Although there are many over-the-counter products out
there that promise to “regrow” eyebrow hair,
none are approved by the FDA for such use. Some products
promise to “strengthen and “condition”
eyebrow hair but these are empty words that are meaningless
in the real world. What these products often merely do
is “coat” the hair with a fiber, powder or
dye that makes it appear thicker while filling in the
vacant areas between hairs. The end result is still a
colored in look that is one-dimensional.
Example of a
sparse or thin eyebrow due to overplucking with tweezers.
Whether it’s with an eyebrow pencil, eyebrow powder,
or gel, or a product that promises to “strengthen &
condition” existing hairs - not everyone wants a "drawn-in"
look where natural hairs should be growing. And for most men
with scarred or damaged eyebrows, a "cosmetic" appearance
to their face that looks like “make-up” is simply
“A man or woman’s eyebrow should
always have that three-dimensional appearance,” said
Dr. Shelly Friedman, a dermatologist and hair restoration
surgeon with 26 years experience. “Over
plucking them and then coloring them back often leaves them
with that one-dimensional look. Women who come to see me for
their eyebrows are trying to get away from that one-dimensional
Permanent Make-up & Tattooing
Since the late 20th Century, the art of cosmetic tattooing has
become highly refined and is sometimes used to color in missing
eyebrow hair to achieve a fuller look. However, this is only an
optical illusion that still is noticeable upon closer examination.
Tattooed eyebrows are still “one-dimensional” in appearance
whereas existing eyebrow hair is three-dimensional in nature.
The major complaint most often heard about eyebrow tattooing is
that if one is not happy with the result, it is difficult to undo
due to it's permanency.
Latisse ® for Eyebrows
Some women believe that using Latisse ® (a product that
help eyelashes grow longer) will work on eyebrows. Latisse has
not been approved for eyebrow hair and can only make existing
eyelash hair grow longer – it DOES NOT regrow eyebrow
hair that has been permanently lost to over plucking, scarring,
Although a great product for eyelashes,
the company’s own website does not indicate it will
regrow lost hair due to over plucked, scarred, or damaged
LATISSE® is a prostaglandin analog,
indicated to treat hypotrichosis of the eyelashes by
increasing their growth including length, thickness
and darkness. – Latisee.com –
(Notice it does not say regrow lost hair).
Minoxidil for Eyebrows:
In online forums and fashion tip blogs,
a minority of women are reporting mixed success applying
5-percent minoxidil for men on their eyebrows. They report
some new hair growth and “hair thickening.”
However, a majority of women are reporting no success.
Although some women swear by its use, minoxidil
is not indicated for eyebrows and can cause damage to
the eye. Minoxidil is most effective for men and women
with thinning of the hair in the mid-scalp and crown area
and requires twice a day application. It is not effective
when the hair root has been permanently damaged or plucked
out because the main ingredient cannot influence a hair
bulb that is simply not there anymore.
These two products,
although wonderful for their intended use, are being
misused by some women who are attempting to regrow lost
eyebrow hair. They do not work on eyebrows and are not
approved for eyebrow hair regrowth.
“If Minoxidil worked for over
plucked eyebrows it would also work for patients with severe
traction alopecia and in my 26 years of practicing dermatology
and hair restoration, I can assure women that Minoxidil will
not regrow hair that has been permanently lost to traction
alopecia,” Dr. Friedman said.
The minority of women who report some success using minoxidil
for their eyebrows might be seeing hair regrowth as part of
the normal 3-stage hair growth cycle. In other words, this lost
hair would have returned on its own – without using minoxidil.
Also, the minoxidil might thicken eyebrow hairs, in limited
cases, which gives the appearance of new hair growth.
Even if minoxidil WAS indicated for eyebrows (it’s not),
and did Work (it doesn’t), it would require twice a day
application for the rest of your life.
Eyebrow Hair Restoration
More recently, the same procedures used to transplant hair
for men and women with hair loss have been developed to actually
repair & regrow lost, sparse, and over plucked eyebrow hair.
Vigorous hair follicles can be removed from the back of the
scalp and surgically implanted along the brow-line to fill-in
the damaged eyebrow.
A delicate but comparatively safe process,
skilled hair transplant doctors [like Dr Shelly Friedman]
who specialize in follicular hair restoration can achieve
natural-looking and permanent results, restoring both
the appearance and confidence of their patients.
Once prepared for surgery, the patient receives a local
anesthetic and a one to two inch-long strip of healthy
hair is removed from the back of the head. The donor removal
area is then carefully re-sutured in such a way that minimizes
the visible scar. The remaining hair from the back is
more than enough to cover and camouflage this area. Unless
you are planning to shave your head bald, no-one will
see the donor area scar.
The donor-strip of hair is then separated and divided
into single-hair follicles. Tiny incisions are made along
the eyebrow and angled in such a way that the new follicles
will grow in the direction of the original eyebrow hairs.
The more expertly this is done, the more natural your
new eyebrow will appear. The new follicles are then inserted,
only one or two at a time. Depending on the initial hair-loss,
between 50-350 hairs may be implanted in each brow.
Before & After
Click to see our gallery
Although it might take a few months for these new transplanted
eyebrow hairs to grow in, once established, your new eyebrows
will be thicker, fuller or longer for a lifetime. They will
look great and have that appearance like you always wanted.
No more filling them and drawing them out with colouring products.