Eyebrow transplants are a fairly new phenomenon and have been successful in the majority of cases. Just like head hair, hair loss within the eyebrows can be genetic, however the most common causes are alopecia or compulsive pulling
Alopecia areata, totalis or universalis could be responsible for the problem, however constant plucking of the eyebrows and a compulsive disorder where the sufferer pulls or twists the hair until eventually it can no longer grow as the hair follicles are so badly damaged, is also common. This compulsive disorder is known as trichotillomania and often the sufferer is not aware of what they are doing. The constant pulling at the hair follicles will eventually cause them to shrink and scar.
For women in particular, losing the eyebrows can be stressful. One way to cover up the fact is to draw a black pencil line where the eyebrow should be but it does not always look authentic. Illness and medication are other causes that prevent the hair from growing here, and normally in these situations once the condition is cleared, the eyebrows will grow back.
Unfortunately for some, through illness primarily, hair loss of the head and eyebrows can be permanent and there is no hair available from their own heads for transplantation and there is no medical treatment available.
Eyebrow transplantation involves taking a thin strip of skin and hair from the back of the head, this is then put into tiny sections of hair grafts with hair roots still attached and inserted into small holes made in the eyebrow section. To be successful at least 600 hairs usually need to be transplanted in order for a successful outcome. This is done under local anaesthetic using a very fine needle. Not all the hair will stay in place and scabs will form where the holes were made. After approximately 6 months the new eyebrows can be seen to be taking shape and hopefully looking natural.
Men are not usually affected in the same way as women, as the fairer sex often wear eye makeup and highlight this part of their face. The eyebrows can be very noticeable when they are missing and can cause embarrassment and stress. This in turn can lead to more hair loss on the head as stress is a common cause. It can become a vicious circle where there seems no way out.
Whenever the condition of hair or skin requires improvement, a good balanced diet will usually help to keep the cells healthy. In the case of trichotillomania this will help in the early stages as the healthier the hair follicles the better they can cope with stress but it will not help when hair is constantly pulled. The hair on eyebrows are short and fine and easy to pull out.
It is not just the constant pulling and twirling of hair that will cause baldness. Women, in particular, pluck their eyebrows to keep them in a certain shape. After a time these hairs may stop coming back as the hair follicles become damaged. As the brow becomes thinner pencils are often used to ‘colour in’ the missing parts. Shaving eyebrows can have an adverse effect and even be the cause of hair growing back into the hair follicles which will eventually damage them and cause them to shrink.
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