Eyebrow hair loss affects thousands of people every year. That’s why eyebrow hair transplant is the second most common type of hair transplant after the head, with 12% of female hair transplant patients and 3% of male transplant patients opting for this procedure.
Here is all you need to know about why eyebrow hair loss happens and what you can do about it.
- What are some common causes for eyebrow hair loss?
- How do you diagnose eyebrow hair loss?
- Is there a way to prevent eyebrow hair loss?
- What is the treatment for loss of hair in the eyebrows?
- Eyebrow transplant
- Are there any natural treatments and therapies for eyebrow hair loss?
- Psychological therapy for hair loss
- What to do about eyebrow hair loss?
What are some common causes for eyebrow hair loss?
Hypotrichosis is the thinning or development of irregular patterns in the hair of your eyebrows. This may occur at the same time and for the same reasons as hair loss on your head or it can also occur independently all on its own.
Eyebrow thinning can be just as distressing as hair loss on your head and can happen for a number of reasons including:
Eyebrow alopecia is frequently one of three kinds:
- Alopecia areata. This occurs when the eyebrow hairs fall out in spots due to an overactive immune system attacking the hair follicles and damaging them.
- Androgenetic alopecia(also known as male/female pattern baldness) .
- Frontal fibrosing alopecia. In this condition, scarring and hair loss occurs on the scalp and the eyebrow region due to genetic, autoimmune, or environmental reasons .
Health conditions and autoimmune diseases
Health conditions that might lead to eyebrow hair loss might include:
- Some autoimmune disorders such as lupus and localised scleroderma
- Some people have congenital eyebrow loss, such as those suffering from keratosis, Fraser syndrome, Meige syndrome, or congenital erythroderma.
- Endocrinologic (hormonal) disorders such as thyroid disease where patients suffer from either an underactive (produces not enough thyroid hormone) or an overactive thyroid that produces too much thyroid hormone.
Medications or other therapies
Treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as well as medicine such as Niacin, Thallium, or Reintol (also known as Vitamin A) can cause hair loss in the eyebrows.
Skin conditions ranging from benign (such as atopic dermatitis and eyebrow psoriasis) to severe (such as facial skin cancers and systemic mastocytosis) can cause eyebrow hair loss.
Trauma to the skin
Trauma can cause eyebrow hair loss. This includes accidental scarring, local tattoo removal, and mechanical damage to the skin.
Psychological conditions, such as chronic stress, telogen effluvium (emotional shock causing hair follicles to become dormant) and trichotillomania (a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that makes patients pull out their eyebrow hair when nervous or under pressure) can damage the eyebrows. These conditions can also contribute to scalp hair loss.
Biological processes also play a role in eyebrow hair loss. It’s natural to experience some hair loss in older age due to a decline in hair follicle quality. This is usually more visible around the eyebrows than on the head.
Finally, lifestyle choices, such as an imbalanced diet, excessive plucking, or makeup can all lead to temporary or permanent thinning of the eyebrow hair.
How do you diagnose eyebrow hair loss?
It is very important to know the exact cause of hair loss in the eyebrows, as treatment will be dependent on the diagnosis. Some conditions respond best to medication while others may require an eyebrow transplant or alternative non-surgical treatments.
Unfortunately, there are some cases where eyebrow hair loss is incurable. A dermatologist or trichologist (hair and scalp doctor) is the most suitable specialist to diagnose the cause of your eyebrow loss. They will ask you about your medical history and perform a clinical examination.
During the exam, your doctor will use a tool known as a dermoscope. The dermoscope is a painless medical instrument that illuminates and magnifies your eyebrow hair and the skin underneath it.
If your doctor suspects certain conditions, such as alopecia areata, they may use a scale such as the Brigham Eyebrow Tool to assess its severity.
If necessary, your clinician will perform a pull test, which involves gently tugging on a few strands of hair from your eyebrows to see if they fall out easily.
Should these tools alone prove insufficient to positively diagnose the root of your problem, your doctor may also order blood work. This should reveal the cause of your eyebrow hair loss.
Is there a way to prevent eyebrow hair loss?
Where possible, prevention is better than cure. To stand the best chance of keeping your eyebrows glossy and in good condition, here are a few basic steps you can take:
- Don’t pluck your eyebrows too much. It can be difficult or even impossible to regrow overplucked eyebrows.
- Eat a balanced diet that contains sufficient nutrients and calories. Nutritional deficiencies can trigger hair loss when your body perceives there are not enough nutrients and calories for the body’s normal processes. Therefore, non-essential functions such as the normal hair growth cycle will be disrupted and hair production may shut down.
- Proper hair growth and hair health are dependent on a healthy diet. If you don’t think you’re getting sufficient vitamins and minerals a supplement may help, but don’t overdose as it could make matters worse. Learn more about vitamins for hair growth.
- Sufficient rest and relaxation can prevent stress and reduce the chances of your eyebrows falling out due to telogen effluvium.
- If you’re taking any drugs or medication, check the side effects as hair loss may be an unwanted byproduct.
- When performing your beauty routine, focus on shaping rather than thinning your eyebrows. Also, when removing make-up, use cosmetics that are gentle but effective, and avoid rubbing the hair too roughly.
What is the treatment for loss of hair in the eyebrows?
The most efficient way to treat the thinning hair in your eyebrows greatly depends on the reason which caused them to fall out in the first place. Thus, depending on your particular condition, your doctor may recommend:
There are a number of topical, oral, or injectable substances which can help minimise eyebrow hair loss and maybe even promote hair regrowth. They can be used on their own or in combination with other treatments. Here are some of the most common:
- Corticosteroids – anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant medication ideal for the treatment of alopecia areata. Also suitable for eyebrow loss caused by skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis or eyebrow psoriasis.
- Minoxidil (popularly known as Rogaine) – a hormone-mediating substance. Minoxidil has shown promising results in promoting hair regrowth and hair density in the field of eyebrow androgenetic alopecia.
- Bimatoprost (popularly known as Latisse) – an ophthalmological medication. This drug is more commonly used to treat glaucoma and to promote eyelash growth, but studies suggest it can encourage eyebrow growth, too. However, bimatoprost isn’t suitable for everyone, especially if you have other medical issues affecting your eyes and/or vision (such as cataracts).
- Anthralin – a topical medication used efficiently in the treatment of psoriasis. However, recent research shows it may also have beneficial effects in the treatment of alopecia areata.
An eyebrow transplant is a minimally-invasive and virtually pain-free minor surgical intervention.
It consists of carefully harvesting some strands of hair (normally around 200-400) from the back of your head (or from your healthy eyebrow if only one of them is affected) and transplanting them into the areas where your eyebrow hair is thinning.
The entire procedure is performed in a single session under local anaesthesia. That means you won’t feel a thing and are free to go home the same day.
Eyebrow transplants have excellent results, particularly for alopecia. However, they are usually ineffective when used to treat alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and certain other medical conditions. Furthermore, they cannot treat very scarred or otherwise severely damaged tissue.
Eyebrow transplants in the UK cost £3,820 on average.
Are there any natural treatments and therapies for eyebrow hair loss?
Many patients try alternative or natural hair loss remedies before seeking medical intervention. While there is limited evidence to suggest therapies like acupuncture do stimulate hair regrowth, they are widely used.
Acupuncture is believed to stimulate blood flow to the area and thus make the hair follicles healthier. Castor oil is a natural treatment traditionally used for hair loss. The reason for this is that it has certain properties which help with hormone production. This indicates that it should be more effective in eyebrow hair loss caused by a hormone imbalance, although there isn’t consistent scientific evidence to support this.
Furthermore, nutritional supplements, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6, as well as antioxidants are healthy for your body in general and are believed to promote hair growth as well.
Psychological therapy for hair loss
It should be noted that cosmetic intervention is unlikely to help conditions that stem from psychological disorders, such as chronic stress, anxiety, or trichotillomania.
If your doctor identifies mental health as the cause for your eyebrow loss (or hair loss in general) the best course of action is to consult a psychologist and start the recommended form of therapy.
Providing there is no ongoing untreated medical condition, an eyebrow transplant can be an excellent solution for thinning or loss of hair.
What to do about eyebrow hair loss?
If you are worried about the loss of eyebrow hair or your hair health in general, contact an experienced hair loss specialist today. Hair loss medical professionals can help diagnose the cause of your hair loss and provide a detailed plan for treatment specialized to your needs.
To learn more about the services Wimpole Clinic provides, contact us today.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.
Book a consultation
Simply fill in your details in the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.