Thin, plucked eyebrows were de rigueur for many years, with Pamela Anderson sporting the kind of barely there look which many women aspired to.
But the eyebrow is back with a bang, with stars like Cara Delevingne and Keira Knightley opting for a healthy, bushy look.
Unfortunately, for some women who have plucked their brows for a long period, re-growing them simply isn’t possible.
But it isn’t only over plucking that can lead to thin or patchy eyebrows: illness, scarring, genetics and trauma can all result in a lack of hair.
Eyebrow transplants can offer a solution to anyone who doesn’t have the hair they want, and is a minimally invasive, low risk procedure. Here’s what you need to know.
When you pluck your eyebrows, the hair regrows, but over time it’s possible to damage the follicle.
As you pull out each individual hair, you may take a small piece of the root, which eventually leads to thinning of the hair growth and ultimately, a total cessation.
Pulling out the hairs in your brows can also occur during trichotillomania, a type of obsessive self-mutilation.
Burns, piercings, or tattoos can prevent hair from growing back while harsh treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy can also be the cause, along with genetics or even just the ageing process.
All of the above can take their toll on eyebrows, leaving individuals forced to resort to makeup or even tattooing. Although these solutions can help to mask a lack of hair, it doesn’t create the same effect as having a full brow. And this is why eyebrow transplants are becoming an increasingly popular alternative.
What to expect
Creating a smooth and glossy looking brow is not a quick process as every single hair needs to be individually implanted, ensuring that they are close together and also lying in the right direction.
Undergoing an eyebrow transplant doesn’t mean that you’ll have to contend with big bushy brows for the rest of your life; you can let the surgeon know the look you are trying to achieve. If you only want some subtle filler hairs inserted, this is an option too. The end result is the one that you request.
To look smooth and in good condition, each eyebrow typically needs around 400 hairs so the number that’s needed to transplant will depend on what is already there.
A partial graft typically takes 100-200 hairs while a full graft needs between 200 and 400 hairs.
After the hairs are implanted under a local anaesthetic, they may fall out again within a fortnight. This is entirely normal and doesn’t mean the procedure hasn’t worked.
After these initial hairs are shed, new hairs will begin to grow; it can take up to 12 months to fully appreciate the shape of your new brow.
The follicles are taken from a tiny patch on your head, normally behind the ear and once the small incision has healed, the surrounding hairs will cover the removal. Your head has so many follicles; a tiny patch like this won’t make any difference at all.
However, it does mean that you will have to trim your eyebrows to prevent them growing long. This will be a permanent requirement and usually requires maintenance around once a month.
Immediately following the transplant procedure, you may experience some swelling and bruising in the eye area. This is a temporary effect and will soon resolve. The rest of your recovery should be painless and without complications as a brow transplant is classed as a low risk procedure which is minimally invasive.
Full and smooth eyebrows can make a face look instantly younger, even if they aren’t a big and bushy style. Eyebrow restoration can provide you with the eyebrows you have always wanted, and are a permanent solution, removing the need for make-up, tattoos or other masking agents. Expect to pay between £3000-£4000 for an eyebrow transplant that provides sleek, glossy and beautiful brows.
Image Credits: Sian Welby and The Retro