A guide to eyebrow transplants by Crown Clinic’s Dr Asim Shahmalak

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Eyebrow hair transplants are surging in popularity as women – and men – seek ways to permanently restore or establish hair in the area, achieving a natural, full eyebrow look. The procedure was pioneered by Crown Clinic’s Dr Asim Shahmalak, one of the world’s most respected hair transplant surgeons. 


How are eyebrow transplants done? 


The eyebrow transplant process involves removing a section of hair from the patient – typically from the back of the head – and grafting the hair to the eyebrow area, augmenting the existing brows, or replacing them completely if a patient has lost all their natural brows.  

The procedure typically involves 250 hairs transplanted into each brow, so 500 in total. The donor hair can either be harvested using FUE or FUT techniques. It takes around 2-3 hours and is performed under local anaesthetic – many patients are so relaxed they end up falling asleep during the procedure!  

It is worth noting that the newly-transplanted eyebrow hairs will grow at the same rate as the hairs on the rest of the body, so maintenance will be required to keep them looking their best. 


Reasons for getting an eyebrow transplant 


The procedure has increased in popularity as awareness of the availability of the operation has spread. Generally, patients tend to seek eyebrow transplants for four main reasons: 

  • They have permanently damaged their brows through over-plucking – pencil-thin brows were a popular trend in the 1980s and 90s, but this did leave many women with sparse brows.  
  • They were born with naturally thin brows and want to bolster their eyebrow hair, particularly as the bushier look has become fashionable in recent years.  
  • They damaged their brows in an accident. For example, they might have been burnt off in a fire or a road traffic accident. Several victims of acid attacks in countries like Pakistan have received eyebrow transplants to fix the damage it has caused. 
  • They have previously suffered from Trichotillomania, a condition that causes the compulsive plucking of eyebrows and other body hair. 


Are eyebrow transplants safe? 


Eyebrow transplants are perfectly safe but, as with any cosmetic procedure, it is vital to pick a good surgeon. When researching a clinic, take a look to see if the surgeon has been recognised by any respected professional bodies. Patient testimonials and before-and-after photos can also help you make the right decision.  

As with any surgical procedure, there is risk of infection, but a good hair transplant clinic will make sure you know how to look after your new brows to minimise this risk. 


When will I see the results of my eyebrow transplant surgery? 


The results of eyebrow transplant surgery are permanent, and you can expect to see some immediate differences, particularly the new outline of your brows. The full results are typically expected within 12 months for a standard FUE or FUT eyebrow transplant. Remember that hair grows in three stages so don’t be alarmed if you see some shedding after the hair transplant – it is normal. 


What maintenance do the new eyebrows need? 


The transplanted brows will need to be trimmed regularly, just like head hair. They may also need to be curled so that they blend perfectly with the existing natural eyebrows. 

Trimming and curling is easy to carry out, and Crown Clinics provides patients with a handy beauty kit to do this. Patients find that with this simple maintenance their new brows perfectly blend with existing brows and that it’s no more time-consuming than filling in their brows with makeup as they may have done previously. 

Don’t just take it from us – here are some of Crown Clinic’s eyebrow transplant success stories… 


Eyebrow transplant case study 1 


Mum-of-four Elizabeth Cook, 38, had a £4,000 eyebrow transplant at Crown Clinic in Manchester because she craved bushier eyebrows like the Duchess of Cambridge. 

Elizabeth, from Essex, was so relaxed she fell asleep during the eyebrow transplant. 

For her new brows, around 400 hairs were transplanted individually to fill out the brows, which took around three hours. 

Elizabeth said: “I am so pleased I had it done. I have always had naturally quite thin eyebrows and I just want them to be a bit fuller. 

“The technique worked brilliantly, and I now have gorgeous bushy brows. I cannot thank Mr Shahmalak enough – he is a brilliant surgeon. I finally have the eyebrows that I have always wanted.” 


Eyebrow transplant case study 2 


Asim Shahmalak regularly returns to Pakistan, where he was born, to help women who were scarred in acid attacks. 

He takes a team from Crown Clinic, performing eyelash, eyebrow, and hair transplants on the women free of charge. 

One of the women he helped was Kanwal Ashar, 26, who had acid thrown over her by a man who had been stalking her after she had turned down his proposal. She had been working in a beauty salon and the man became obsessed with her. 

She said: “I cannot thank him enough – he worked with great patience to rebuild my brows and the results are remarkable.” 

As well as carrying out the transplants, Dr Shahmalak helped trained local doctors and technicians in his techniques so that his work could carry on at local hospitals on his return to Britain. 

He said: “It was wonderful to see how the women's lives had been improved by the surgery. I wept when I first heard what had happened to them. It was incredibly moving to see the smiles on their faces after we performed the surgery. They had given up hope of ever getting help because the Government in Pakistan cannot afford to do anything for them. We were their last hope.” 

No matter your personal reason for seeking an eyebrow transplant, Crown Clinic is here to help you rebuild your confidence. Please get in touch with our team to find out what we can do for you. 

Our Surgeon

Dr. Asim Shahmalak

Dr Asim Shahmalak is a world-renowned hair transplant surgeon who performed the UK’s first eyelash transplant in 2009. He runs Crown Clinic – one of Britain’s most successful and best known hair transplant clinics. He has treated a number of high-profile industry leaders and celebrities including the medical broadcaster Dr Christian Jessen, best known for Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Expert hair transplant surgery by Dr Shahmalak

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When the sun comes out, we know that we need to apply sunscreen to protect our skin, but many people forget to pay the same care to protecting their hair. Between the sun, sea and swimming pools, many of our favourite summer activities can significantly damage our hair – so the next time you go out to enjoy the sunshine, find out what you can do to protect it.


Why does sun damage the hair?


Sun damage to the hair is caused by the harmful UVA and UVB rays, which damage the outermost layer of the layer – the cuticle – and weaken the protein structure of the hair, making it dry, brittle and more prone to breaking. Some people find that their hair lightens in the sun, as the rays act in a similar fashion to bleach, stripping the melanin from the hair.


Protecting your hair from the sun


Wearing a hat is an easy way to protect your hair and scalp from the sun, especially if you’re outside when the sun is at its strongest. Hair SPF is also an option, which can usually be bought as a spray to be misted over the hair. Pay extra attention to the scalp – many people forget that the scalp can burn just as easily as the rest of the skin, ending up with an itchy, flaky, burnt scalp. If you do burn your scalp, rinse your hair in cool water and apply aloe vera to the affected areas, and make sure to keep your head covered when going outdoors.

If your hair is looking dry, try a deep conditioning treatment to restore some of the lost moisture to the hair, and avoid wearing your hair in any tight styles that may pull on the scalp. Summer is also a good time to temporarily stop using hairdryers, straighteners and any other hot tools to avoid adding to the sun damage.


Protecting your hair from the sea


Salt water is notorious for drying out the hair. It leaches moisture out of it, making it incredibly brittle and tangled, which can cause significant breakage. Before you go swimming, saturate your hair with clean water to prevent it from absorbing as much salt water, and don’t let it sit in your hair – rinse it thoroughly as soon as you get out of the sea. Deep conditioners and hair masks will also help replenish the moisture.


Protecting your hair in a swimming pool


Just like salt water, chlorinated water is very harsh and drying on the hair, so you can take similar precautions to swim in the sea. You could also try a swimming cap, as this not only prevents the chlorine from damaging your hair, but it will also protect your scalp from sunburn. If you have highlighted or blonde hair, be especially careful when in a swimming pool, as the copper and chlorine in the water have been known to form a film that sticks to the proteins in hair, turning it a green shade. Thankfully, this isn’t permanent, but make sure to enter the pool with wet hair and rinse it as soon as you get out.

However you are spending your summer, if you have any questions or queries about your hair, take a look at our hair advice or give our team a call.

Over the past few months, there have been a significant number of reports in the news of people experiencing hair loss after being diagnosed with COVID-19. As a result, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed hair loss as a possible long-term effect of the illness, along with symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and joint pain. 

A study published by the medical journal The Lancet reported that 22% of the patients it had observed suffered from some degree of hair loss six months after falling ill, with women being more affected than men. 


Why does COVID-19 cause hair loss? 


Although there are several studies linking coronavirus and hair loss, many of the reports we hear about are anecdotal – at the moment, it’s too soon for scientists to officially establish a link between the two. 

However, the type of hair loss that COVID-19 sufferers are reporting seems to be consistent with telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium occurs when more hairs than usual suddenly enter the shedding phase of the hair growth cycle at once, causing a more noticeable amount of hair to shed at once. It’s normal to lose up to 150 hairs per day, but if you spot that you’re losing much more than that – such as clumps coming out when you’re brushing or washing your hair – it could be telogen effluvium. 

Due to the length of the hair cycle, telogen effluvium typically occurs two or three months after a period of significant stress, which can include illnesses such as COVID-19. When undergoing stressful situations, the body puts all its resources into maintaining essential functions only – which, unsurprisingly, does not include hair growth. As a result, you end up with hair loss. 

However, several other conditions can cause hair loss – such as thyroid issues or nutritional deficiencies – so if you are concerned, visit your GP, who can rule out other underlying causes with a simple blood test. 


Will my hair grow back after having COVID? 


If the hair loss is the result of telogen effluvium, most people will find that the hair will eventually grow back without the need for treatment. Typically, once the trigger or stressor is removed, the hair will grow back on its own. 

If you notice that the hair loss is persisting, there are a number of medical, cosmetic and hair transplant treatments available to help – Crown Clinic offers a range of options to support those struggling with hair loss, so don’t hesitate to get in touch

When performed by a qualified, experienced hair transplant surgeon, hair transplants are a very safe procedure. Hair restoration is a minimally invasive treatment that allows patients to return home the same day, with the procedure only requiring local anaesthetic. 

However, if you undergo a hair transplant abroad – such as in Turkey – the risk attached is much higher. 


Risks of hair transplants in Turkey 


It’s no secret that undergoing hair transplant surgery in countries such as Turkey is a gamble. Every year, countless patients are reeled in by the low prices and package deals offered by overseas clinics. Many of the clinics boast ‘five-star’ ratings and an active social media presence, duping unsuspecting patients into thinking they are visiting a reputable clinic. Although, when you dig a little deeper, you may discover the reviews are faked and the ‘after’ pictures are heavily edited or taken from other clinics. 

Another trick that patients fall for is believing that a surgeon will be carrying out the procedure, as many of the clinics advertise that a surgeon leads them to convince patients that they are legitimate. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a surgeon will be carrying out the hair transplant itself. In fact, many clinics hire under-qualified technicians with little training to keep the costs down, only seeking the supervision of a surgeon if the procedure goes wrong. 

Over the years, Crown Clinic has fixed countless botched hair transplants, mainly from overseas clinics. The most common problems that we see are unnatural-looking hairlines and unsightly scarring as the result of the surgery being carried out by unlicensed practitioners. Other risks are infections, as sanitation is often extremely poor at the clinics and damage to the scalp due to the result of the incorrect tools being used to carry out the surgery. 


Are there any side effects to having a hair transplant? 


If you choose to have a hair transplant in the UK with a reputable surgeon, side effects will be minimal. The hygiene standards will be incredibly high, meaning the risk of infection is negligible, and you will be given clear instructions on how to take care of your scalp after the procedure. Crown Clinic has an excellent aftercare service, offering a day-by-day guide to ensure optimum healing and results.  

Unlike at overseas clinics, where it can be impossible to follow up after the procedure to discuss any concerns related to your hair transplant, Crown Clinic is more than happy to answer any questions you may have during this phase.