Why Are My Eyebrows Looking Thinner?

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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 

 

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.

 

Ageing 

 

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. 

 

Over-grooming 

 

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. 

 

Skin conditions 

 

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.  

 

Nutritional deficiencies  

 

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 

 

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. 

 

Thyroid disease 

 

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. 

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.