Eyebrow Restoration, Reaching Your Full Brow Potential

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Eyebrow Restoration, Reaching Your Full Brow Potential
July 18
12:07 2016

Eyebrows are as much a part of what shapes our esthetic appearance as our eyes, nose and mouth. They create facial symmetry, their fullness can convey youthfulness and their shape can communicate emotion. However, for many women, eyebrow thinning is an undesirable reality.

“The eyebrows have an extremely important role to help frame the face and define the eyes, so loss of the eyebrows has a major impact on facial esthetics,” said Dr. Jeff Donovan, a dermatologist and hair transplant specialist at Donovan Medical in Toronto. “For many women, fuller eyebrows provide a more youthful appearance,” which, he added, is fast becoming the latest trend around the world, as more Hollywood stars are embracing the look of fuller brows.

“Women seek eyebrow restoration for many reasons, including overplucking and tweezing of the brows, thyroid abnormalities, burns, trauma and a number of autoimmune conditions,” said Dr. Donovan. “Some patients pull out their own eyebrow hairs, a condition called trichotillomania. This too can lead to permanent hair loss.” Patients who are experiencing some of these issues and are unhappy with their brows’ appearance could benefit from eyebrow restoration.

Dr. Donovan performs the procedure in two steps, and depending on the number of hairs that need to be moved, it can take around two to three hours.

“In the first step, approximately 50-500 hairs are removed from the back of the scalp,” said Dr. Donovan, who added that in women, behind the ears is the most common location to graft hairs from.

The number of hairs removed depends on the overall amount of eyebrow loss and the exact number of hairs the patient needs.

“In the second step, extremely small incisions are placed in the eyebrow and the newly obtained hairs are placed into the newly created incisions,” Dr. Donovan continued.

Making the newly grafted hairs look as natural as possible is one of the challenges of this procedure.

Eyebrow Restoration, Reaching Your Full Brow Potential

Eyebrow Restoration, Reaching Your Full Brow Potential

“The key is to use fine caliber hairs to blend with the fine caliber existing hair in the eyebrow,” said Dr. Donovan. “Naturalness comes in part from the angle, direction and spacing of the hairs I put into the eyebrow, but also from the patient’s available hairs to choose from.”

Post-procedure, patients can expect to experience temporary redness and swelling of the eyebrow area, and two to four days post-procedure, a small amount of crust will form around the graft, followed by some pinkness that lasts an additional few days. A few stitches are placed where the small piece of skin was taken from the scalp and they remain for seven to 10 days.

“The patient bathes the [scalp] area daily and it heals with a very small scar, which is completely hidden by the patient’s existing hair,” said Dr. Donovan. “I advise patients to have a week off from work or social activities.”

During the healing process, Dr. Donovan said patients should cleanse their eyebrows with mild soap and water two times a day for two weeks. Because the newly transplanted hairs from the back of the scalp grow at a different rate than the already existing eyebrow hair, they will need to be trimmed.

“We have found that over time many people have transplanted hairs that slowly adopt similar growth patterns to the neighbouring eyebrow hairs, and so trimming needs to be done less often,” Dr. Donovan added. “This doesn’t happen to everyone, so patients need to understand that they will need to trim the hairs regularly.”

According to Dr. Donovan, not everyone with eyebrow hair loss would benefit from eyebrow restoration—for example, a patient diagnosed with alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that results in hair loss on the scalp and sometimes, elsewhere on the body as well, according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

“If a patient with alopecia areata of the eyebrows receives a hair transplant, the immune system will attack those newly transplanted hairs, causing them to fall out,” Dr. Donovan explained. “It’s critically important to have an accurate diagnosis of the cause of eyebrow thinning. Not all causes of eyebrow thinning can be treated with hair transplantation.”

In the interest of being proactive in trying to prevent eyebrow thinning and consequently, permanent hair loss, Dr. Donovan said it is also important to avoid overstyling the eyebrows. There are makeup application habits you can alter or adopt that will help.

“Application of liner and other cosmetics to the eyebrows should be done gently and with the direction of the eyebrow, in order to avoid triggering hair loss.”

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