Like hair on your head, eyebrows tend to get thinner over time, making your eyes look smaller and more tired. When a patient tells me that they’re losing their brows, the first thing I look at is the pattern of thinning. If the outer brows are thin, it could be a sign of low thyroid; this can be detected by a simple blood test. If there are bald patches, it may be a sign of an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata, which can also affect the scalp and lashes. Over-tweezing can also injure and permanently damage hair follicles.
Many of my patients with different types of eyebrow loss have had good results with Latisse, a prescription solution that grows lashes. It’s not yet approved for growing brows, but when I was a Principal Investigator in the Latisse eyelash clinical trial, I noticed that some of my research subjects grew thicker, darker brows as well. Initial studies have shown significant growth after several months with no reported side effects so far. It’s currently undergoing clinical trials for brows.
Small patches of hair loss can be filled in with brow pencil. Some of my patients have had their brows tattooed, otherwise known as permanent makeup. From what I’ve seen, the best results follow your natural browline, and are applied in short, hair-like strokes rather than a thick line. Ink can change color over time, so it may need to be retouched. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons often know of good permanent makeup artists, since some of them do cosmetic tattooing after reconstructive surgery. A few of my patients have also had eyebrow transplants. This requires a very skilled plastic surgeon and specialized technique to look natural.