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Eyebrow Transplant Gone Wrong? An Expert’s Advice On What to Do Next

Eyebrow trends have favoured thicker, fuller brows in recent years, leading to a boom in the popularity of eyebrow transplants. Eyebrow transplants account for more than 11% of all hair transplant surgeries in women, and more than 2% in men [1].

But as with any cosmetic surgery, there are some risks involved which can lead to your eyebrow transplant going wrong.

In this article, you’ll find out all the risks of an eyebrow transplant, how to avoid bad eyebrow transplant results, and read expert advice on how to get a successful eyebrow transplant.

Table of Contents

Can an eyebrow transplant go wrong?

When performed by a skilled, qualified surgeon, eyebrow transplants are relatively safe. Most patients in the UK get great results when undergoing eyebrow transplant surgery.

However, it is possible for an eyebrow transplant to go wrong. This is particularly true if your procedure takes place in an unclean environment, or it’s performed by an unqualified surgeon.

What are the risks of an eyebrow transplant?

Here are some of the risks of getting an eyebrow transplant:

  • Infection — Infection is a risk of any surgery, especially in unsanitary conditions.
  • Transplant failure — In some cases, the hair grafts don’t take to their new position, leading to lack of growth in the transplanted area.
  • Transplant rejection — You may reject the transplanted hairs, especially if artificial hair grafts are used.
  • Post-transplant scarring — Facial scarring is a possibility if your surgeon is unskilled, or uses an inappropriate technique (this can also happen if a beard transplant goes wrong).
  • Lack of suitability — Not everyone with eyebrow hair loss is a good candidate for surgery (for example, those with alopecia areata or alopecia totalis).

Book a consultation at a reputable eyebrow transplant clinic to find out if it’s safe for you to get an eyebrow transplant.

The most common eyebrow transplant problems

Here’s a rundown of the most common eyebrow transplant problems patients face after their procedure.

1. Incorrect diagnosis or lack of suitability

Not everyone with eyebrow hair loss is suitable for an eyebrow transplant. If you’ve lost eyebrow hair as a result of alopecia areata, there’s a chance your eyebrows will spontaneously regrow by themselves.

If you get an eyebrow transplant in the meantime, you could end up with two sets of eyebrows, like this patient [2]:

patient with 2 sets of eyebrows

Hair transplants for alopecia areata patients aren’t usually recommended due to this chance of spontaneous remission.

2. Eyebrow transplant infection

Hair transplant infection is uncommon, but it can happen, especially in clinics that don’t adhere to strict safety standards. Poor aftercare can also lead to infection.

Symptoms of an eyebrow transplant infection include:

  • Swelling
  • Oozing pus
  • Redness or discolouration
  • Pain
  • Itchiness
  • Bleeding

Infection can trigger folliculitis after a hair transplant, as seen in the patient below [3]:

folliculitis after eyebrow hair transplant

All surgeries carry a risk of infection. But the chance is reduced if you work with a quality transplant clinic and a top-notch surgical team.

3. Poor graft placement/technique

Hair transplantation is a skill that takes many years to refine. Some surgeons lack the skill and/or experience to transplant eyebrow hairs in a way that looks natural.

This patient has unnatural eyebrow growth following poor graft placement [4]:

poor eyebrow hair graft placement

4. Transplant failure

Sometimes eyebrow hair grafts fail to implant and grow successfully. This may happen as a result of:

  • Lack of patient suitability for the chosen procedure.
  • Lack of surgical skill.
  • Substandard aftercare.

This alopecia areata patient had an eyebrow transplant, but five years after the procedure all his transplanted eyebrow hairs fell out, leaving him with no scalp or facial hair [2]:

Alopecia areata patient who lost transplanted hairs after eyebrow transplant

5. Visible scarring

Permanent facial scarring is one of the more worrying ways an eyebrow transplant can go wrong, as no patient wants to be left with noticeable scars around their brows.

Scarring is rare, especially in the recipient area. But in some cases, eyebrow transplants can leave scars similar to those left by chickenpox or acne, as seen in the patient below [3]:

visible scarring on eyebrows

6. Other complications

Other complications from eyebrow hair transplants include:

  • Graft rejection — This happens when the body rejects the implanted hair as a foreign body (this is more common with artificial hair transplants).
  • Donor area problemsOverharvesting is rare with eyebrow transplants as relatively few grafts are needed, but can be a problem if you’ve had previous hair transplants.
  • Graft dislodgement — Inadequate care in the initial days after surgery can dislodge your eyebrow grafts from their new positions before they have time to take root.
negative reaction to artificial eyebrow grafts
Eyebrow transplant goes wrong due to negative reaction to artificial eyebrow grafts.

Why do eyebrow transplants go wrong?

There are a few reasons why an eyebrow transplant might go wrong:

  • Insufficient surgical skill and/or experience.
  • Lack of aftercare.
  • Poor eyebrow design.
  • Inaccurate patient suitability assessment.
  • Poor hygiene practices.
  • Unclean surgical environment.

What to do if your eyebrow transplant has gone wrong

If you’re unhappy with the results of your eyebrow transplant, follow this advice from the Wimpole Clinic’s principal surgeon Dr. Michael May:

“In the first instance, contact your clinic and ask for their recommendations. Most reputable clinics will have in place a comprehensive follow-up service that can prevent or address any problems that develop after the surgery.

“Having a point of contact to keep in touch with — leading up to the surgery and post-care — is very important. Often this is the consultant and he or she should be accessible to you.”

If you can’t access aftercare at your original clinic, reach out to another reputable clinic. They can offer advice on repairing any damage and getting brows to be proud of.

How to prevent a bad eyebrow transplant

Most eyebrow transplants create great results. Dr May says:

“The vast majority of hair transplants are highly successful procedures that result in patients recovering quickly and well, and being delighted with their results.”

Here’s what you can do to give your eyebrow transplant the best chance of success.

1. Choose the best hair transplant surgeon

Speak to several hair transplant clinics before making a decision on who will perform your surgery. Ask about:

  • Their experience and qualifications.
  • Before and after photos of previous patients.
  • What aftercare services they offer.

See more questions to ask in your hair transplant consultation so you can find the best UK hair transplant surgeon.

2. Visit the clinic in advance

If possible, visit the clinic before surgery day to check out the facilities. This may not be possible if you’re travelling overseas, which is one reason why we recommend getting a hair transplant in the UK.

3. Make sure you’re a good candidate

Check you’re suitable for eyebrow transplantation by getting opinions from a few different qualified advisors. In general, you might not be eligible for an eyebrow transplant if you:

  • Have alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, or alopecia universalis.
  • Don’t have enough follicles in your donor area.
  • Have unrealistic expectations about the results you’ll get from the procedure.

4. Take care of your eyebrow hair grafts

Follow your hair transplant aftercare instructions in the letter. This will give your grafts the best chance of healing successfully, and prevent any dislodgement.

It’s also a good idea to take a few days off work and other activities after your procedure. See how much downtime you need after a hair transplant.

5. Book a consultation at the Wimpole Clinic

At the Wimpole Clinic, our surgeons have a fantastic track record of creating excellent results for our eyebrow transplant patients. As the UK’s longest-running hair transplant clinic, we provide the highest quality service from consultation through to aftercare.

See some of our eyebrow transplant results below, then book a free consultation with our patient advisors to get started.

female patient before and after eyebrow hair transplant surgery
before and after eyebrow hair transplant

Eyebrow Transplant Gone Wrong? An Expert’s Advice On What to Do Next, Wimpole Clinic

Eyebrow transplant success FAQs

Learn more about preventing your eyebrow transplant from going wrong and how to get the best from your procedure.

If your eyebrow hair grafts are taken from the hair on your head, then it’s likely you’ll need to give them a trim every so often. That’s because scalp hair follicles produce longer hairs than eyebrow hair follicles.

When performed safely, eyebrow transplants are one of the best ways to regrow overplucked eyebrows, or create fullness if you have naturally thin eyebrows.

It takes around eight months to see your final results [5]. Around 60% of grafts will start to grow after 3-4 months, followed by 25% after six months. The final hairs will regrow around 7-8 months after the procedure.

If your eyebrow transplant has gone wrong, you can’t undo the damage — but you can get a repair transplant to correct it.

The Wimpole Clinic’s surgical team has performed many corrective repair transplant surgeries.

Most patients are satisfied with their hair transplant results. Those that do have hair transplant regrets tend to revolve around:

  • Using disreputable clinics (often overseas).
  • Going into the procedure without enough research.
  • Setting unrealistic expectations.
  • Neglecting to look after their transplant.

Avoid your own eyebrow transplant mishap by getting the right information, working with a reputable clinic, and taking good care of your grafts.

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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