A woman’s eyebrows are a defining feature, framing the face and completing a look. So when a woman experiences noticeable hair loss in the brow, an area difficult to disguise, she may feel distressed. Instinctively, she will perhaps blame herself for over-plucking – but the cause could be something beyond her control. Here are five health reasons that may be at the root of the problem.
Hair loss conditions do not just affect the hair on your scalp: your patchy eyebrows may be a symptom of several types of alopecia. The most common cause of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, where genes and hormones inhibit hair follicle growth. Alternatively, the cause may be alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly identifies hair follicles as foreign bodies so attacks them.
2. Under-active thyroid
Losing the outer third of the eyebrow hair is a classic symptom of an under-active thyroid. Your GP will be able to check your function and treatment of thyroid conditions is relatively straightforward. If your thyroid is fine, there may be other hormonal disorders, nutritional deficiencies or autoimmune diseases at play.
3. A side effect
Check the potential side effects of any medications you may be taking: does the list contain ‘eyebrow hair loss’?
4. Skin conditions
Patchy loss may be linked to a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, not because these cause you directly to shed hair, rather that associated inflammation in the brow area provokes the urge to scratch and rub, inadvertently leading to hair loss.
Whatever the reason for it, stress can affect the body in a wide variety of ways. One such way is telogen effluvium, a disruption of the normal hair cycle that results in shedding of hair.