Eyebrows play an important part in framing our faces, and over the years have been shaped according to trends, from the pencil-thin arches of the 90s to the fuller brows that we see today. However, just like the hairs on our heads, eyebrows can start to shed, becoming noticeably sparser.
It’s worth noting that routine shedding is normal, as your eyebrows go through a natural hair growth cycle. However, if they seem to be thinning at a greater rate, there could be a number of different reasons for this – as well as a variety of treatments to address it.
Trichotillomania is a disorder where sufferers feel an urge to pull out their hair, whether it’s their eyelashes, eyebrows, the hair on their head or anywhere else on the body. Some sufferers pull out their hair as a response to stress, but others may do it subconsciously. It’s not entirely clear what causes trichotillomania, although it is more common in teenagers and young adults. If you think you may be suffering from trichotillomania, visit your GP.
As we get older, many of us notice that our hair isn’t looking as full as it used to. Similarly, as the eyebrow hair follicles age, the growth starts to slow down and the follicles begin to shrink. It’s thought that levels of oestrogen in women and testosterone in men starts to decrease, leading to eyebrow hair loss.
Plucking, threading and waxing may keep your eyebrows looking perfectly groomed, but over time, repeated trauma to the follicles can cause permanent damage – which is something that those who over-plucked their eyebrows in their teens learned the hard way. Try leaving your eyebrows alone for a few months and you may notice that the hairs gradually start to grow back.
Healthy skin is crucial for healthy hair growth, so if you are suffering with a skin condition, your follicles could be suffering as a result. If the skin around your eyebrows is dry, itchy and flaking, your eyebrow hairs may shed more than normal due to the inflammation, or due to scratching the area around the eyebrow. Although skin conditions such as seborrheic or atopic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis are relatively common, they are unlikely to go away on their own. Excessive scratching can lead to scarring, which can permanently damage the follicle, so if you are presenting with a suspected skin condition, make sure to visit a doctor or dermatologist.
A healthy, balanced diet is necessary for your overall health, which includes your hair growth. There are certain nutrients that your body needs in order to grow healthy hair – such as vitamins E, B-12 and D, iron, zinc and biotin – so ensure that your diet is rich in proteins, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss. Some sufferers may find their hair loss will be a few patches on their scalp, whereas others will find that they lose hair all over their body, including the eyebrows. If you have noticed sudden, patchy hair loss, visit your GP. Around half of Alopecia sufferers recover within one year, but unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for this condition.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism, but if it begins to produce either too much or too little, it can throw some bodily functions out of balance, including hair growth. Thyroid disease is a common cause of eyebrow hair loss, but there are many other symptoms that go alongside it – if in doubt, see your doctor.
Permanent treatments for sparse eyebrows
Although temporary solutions to disguise thinning eyebrows can be very effective – such as microblading or makeup – some people may prefer a more long-term solution. Eyebrow transplants can transform the look of your brows, making them look fuller and thicker. If you have lost eyebrow hairs through ageing, over-grooming, physical trauma or medical treatments such as chemotherapy, you may be a suitable candidate for this fantastically effective surgery.
If you’d like to find out more about eyebrow transplants, or book in for a consultation, make sure to get in touch with the Crown Clinic team.