Can I lose my eyebrows?
It’s a fact, our eyebrow hair density can change and the thick full luscious eyebrows that we have during our youth may not always be with us. There are many factors that contribute to it and it is important to know these.
The most common cause is continuous trauma in the form of overplucking, over waxing and over eyebrow threading. As we continuously pluck our eyebrows the new hair that is grown in its place becomes thinner and thinner until it no longer grows. This results in first thinning of the eyebrows and then complete loss of the eyebrows.
Another cause could be genetic factors. In some individuals, as we age our hair thins, this can happen on our scalp, our eyebrows and even our eyelashes. This is mostly due to our genetics.
Yet other causes could be a host of medical conditions such as alopecia, low thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and autoimmune disorders.
What can you do to treat thinning or loss of eyebrows?
There are several treatments that can be done. First we have to find the cause of hair loss. Often times, if that cause is treatable then the hairs will start to grow back. If, however, the cause is not reversible then we need to think about eyebrow camouflage or eyebrow restoration.
The simplest method to treat eyebrow thinning and hair loss is to use an eyebrow pencil daily to fill it in. This is the most cost effective treatment but requires daily intervention and may even need to be applied several times a day.
Eyebrow tattooing has been around for years. It can be done by a tattoo artist and can simulate a fuller eyebrow. The color can, however, fade and change over the years giving it an unnatural look.
Eyebrow microblading is a newer technique of eyebrow tattooing that can simulate individual eyebrow hairs. It has the advantage of not being a permanent tattoo and usually lasts about 1 year. However, that means it requires regular treatments to maintain the appearance of a fuller eyebrow. It is definitely more costly than previous methods and with repeated treatments the costs can add up.
Finally, there is eyebrow transplant or to be more precise eyebrow hair transplant. This is a procedure where small hair follicles are harvested from the scalp and transplanted in the area of the eyebrow. The results are natural and last a lifetime, however, it is the most expensive of all treatments available.
Who is a good candidate for eyebrow transplant procedure?
Virtually anyone who had thinning or loss of eyebrows is a good candidate for eyebrow transplant procedure. All that is required is that the patient has some hair on their scalp. For this reason, anyone who suffers from alopecia totalis can not get an eyebrow transplant procedure. Alopicia totalis is an autoimmune disorder that causes all the hair on the body to be affected and thus results in total body hair loss and thus inability to harvest hair from the scalp.
How long does an eyebrow transplant procedure take?
An eyebrow transplant procedure usually takes around 5 hours to complete. Portion of the time is dedicated to harvesting hair follicles through a technique called follicular unit extraction (FUE) and the other portion of the time is dedicated to transplanting the new hair follicles in the area of the eyebrows through a technique called follicular unit transplantation.
Does eyebrow transplant procedure hurt?
The entire procedure is done under local anesthesia and it is very well tolerated. Patients usually find that a simple Tylenol is sufficient to take care of any discomfort that is experienced after the procedure.
Does insurance cover the cost of eyebrow transplant?
Unfortunately, eyebrow transplantation is considered a cosmetic procedures by all insurance companies and thus is not covered under a patient’s plan.
What is the cost of eyebrow transplant procedure?
The cost depends on the extent of transplantation that is needed. Some patients will only need 20-50 follicular units while others may need 150 or more. For this reason there is no specific cost but the range is usually anywhere between $3000 – $8000.
Will I need a repeat procedure after eyebrow hair transplantation?
No. Eyebrow transplant procedure is typically a one and done procedure. After the procedure there is some recovery time but once the hairs start to grow there is no need for another treatment. This is why typically in the long run, eyebrow transplant procedure is the most cost effective treatment that gives the best natural result.