Heavy eyebrows are firmly back in vogue. Celebs, models and makeup artists alike all seem to covet full, bold brows, whether they’re perfectly groomed or more natural and bushy. Cosmetic Tattoos by Rach is a Semi permanent makeup salon in Mt Eliza
We remember the first time bold brows were in fashion, with the likes of Cindy Crawford and Brooke Shields pioneering the look on the catwalks in the 80s. But thanks to a decade of over plucking in the ’90s (looking at you Pammy!), many of us have been left with thinning brows. A far departure from the full, groomed arches of our dreams. And growing them back isn’t always easy.
We are a nation of trend followers, like it or not; that said, certain trends don’t always suit our individual features. As my father always said, “There is a huge difference in fashion and style always aim to be stylish.”
We love brows. And really, who doesn’t? We all want naturally lush, gorgeous brows without a lot of effort. The problem is, that seems to be the exception for many women, rather than the rule. So we’ve compiled all of the possible reasons why your brow growth may be stunted and all of the ways to fix them!
I’m no Frida Kahlo, but since my teenage years, I’ve been blessed with thick, full eyebrows. But as soon as I turned 30, I noticed something was amiss. My beautiful brows were looking, let’s say, sparse. Every time my brow specialist handed me a magnified mirror after my monthly wax, it seemed I had more patchy spots. My low-maintenance morning routine—a quick brush-up and pencil fill-in—was suddenly taking up a lot more time. I found myself on a constant quest for the best brow powders, pencils, and gels, and started researching Microblading eyebrows in hopes of finding a solution.
It turns out, and my thinning brows are probably just one more sign of aging. Experts say that gray hairs and crow’s feet aren’t the only things we have to look forward to as we get older. When we blow out our birthday candles each year, our eyebrows age with us, too.
Growing out your brows after such experiences require tender care and patience, similar to trying to raise a house plant in a dark New York City apartment. If you’ve lost as much as half a brow (or more), the weeks and months it takes waiting for it to grow back can be pure agony. But it absolutely doesn’t have to be like that. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to transition your brows off the struggle bus smoothly.
Using face creams in them
Not only do face creams clog the hair follicles and prevent hair from growing, a lot of active face creams like ones with AHAs, AHBs, Retinols or any acidic based face cream which work wonders on your face severely damage the hair follicle and prevent hair from growing. So in the future, avoid your brow area when moisturizing.
So, if you’re trying to give brow growth a boost, avoid applying any products around the brow area to ensure your follicles have the chance to do their thing!
‘Clients who are careful to avoid any lotions have noticed tremendous growth — it just takes patience!’
We’d never really thought of it like that before, but it definitely makes sense. Blocking your pores with makeup isn’t exactly ideal, but necessary for those who aren’t blessed with perfect, wrinkle-free skin. But hair follicles need much more room to breathe.
Thyroid (hormonal) or blood deficiency
Both of these are natural reasons for hair loss. You can identify thyroid mainly by the tail of your brows being particularity sparse. If you have noticed your eyebrows have thinned or even disappeared, in particular, the outer edge of the eyebrows, that’s a sign that it may be time to have your thyroid checked.
Disorders like Hypo/hyperthyroidism can contribute to hair loss, both on our heads and with our brows/lashes.
If you’re low in certain vitamins, your hair growth can be affected. These are the most common vitamins that can affect your hair, brow and lash growth.
– Vitamin B
– Vitamin C and D
In extreme cases, such as disordered eating and anemia, an iron deficiency may be to blame for thinning brows. “Even if you don’t have anemia, and you have low levels of stored iron, that could contribute to hair loss,” says Rajani Katta, M.D., a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who studies the link between nutrition and hair loss. Iron is found in meat, fish, and other animal products, plus beans and legumes, so vegans and vegetarians might be more likely to be low in iron. Your derm can do a ferritin blood test to check your iron levels. But don’t start an iron supplement without medical recommendation. Too much iron can also have negative effects, says Dr. Katta.
Low levels of zinc could also cause hair loss, but Dr. Katta says it’s not very likely (although more likely if you are vegetarian). Most Americans don’t have problems getting a sufficient amount of these vitamins in their diet.
What’s more likely is that telogen effluvium is at play (again). In addition to hormone fluctuations, this type of hair loss happens when there is a drastic dip in protein in the diet or sudden weight loss. For example, if you are sick and can only consume liquids for a month. “If you have protein levels that drop dramatically, your hair follicles go into hibernation, and you can see sudden acute hair loss that shows up three to six months later,” says Dr. Katta.
Rachael Bebe also performs Lip tattoo services.
Long-term consequences of plucking or waxing
These techniques, unfortunately, can scar the roots of the hairs. However, the hair follicle lies dormant under your skin – it rarely dies – so by stimulating hair growth with a product to heal the follicle and promote hair growth, it is possible to grow the hairs back. We have tried it all in the studio and have found that DoTerra medical-grade Rosemary Essential Oil works particularly well for regrowth.
This is the number one brow loss story we hear from women – going tweezer-crazy in the 90s to get those Drew Barrymore brows.
Then for many of us, we never regained those dense brows from our youth. This is usually because we caused damage to the hair follicle, resulting in mild alopecia on our brows.
There’s a pretty good chance your grooming habits may be working against you.
Overgrooming could also make all of these worse. “We also see thinning eyebrows, especially in women, as a result of too much tweezing or waxing earlier in life. If the hair follicles suffer trauma and die out, as a result, a permanent thinning of the eyebrows can occur,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Judith Hellman, M.D.
Dr. Shah says that genetics may also dictate the age you’ll start to notice a change to your brows (if at all). That may be out of your hands, but you can still take action going forward to make sure your eyebrows look precisely how you want them to.
Diet and Stress
A strand of hair is composed of mostly protein, which means your hair needs protein to grow. If you don’t get enough protein into your diet, the hair goes into a “resting phase.” When the body is stressed, it uses more of its nutrients to support your system. Since the body gives its leftover nutrients to your hair and nails, if they are all used up due to poor diet or stress, there is none left for the hair follicle and, therefore, it dies.
The only other situation I have come across is compulsive pluckers. Many people tell me they just don’t grow, and they only pluck a few stray hairs. My reaction is to ask them to throw out their tweezers. Not because I don’t trust them, but because sometimes we are unaware of our actions and in obtaining the perfect brows, every hair is vital. Give it a go; you might surprise yourself.
Stress disrupts this process by prematurely kicking hairs out of the growth phase. Instead of leaving the growth phase at their own rate, the hairs rush to the resting period together and fall out in more significant numbers – sometimes at 10x their usual rate!
Meditation! We know it may sound pretty improbable that meditation can grow your hair, but this is real. Studies show that the regular practice of mindfulness meditation can reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone & culprit of hair loss) by 50%.
Hormones! Aren’t they fun? Unfortunately, Post-pregnancy hair loss is actually very common – it usually starts about three months after pregnancy.
When you’re pregnant, your hormone levels rise drastically, preventing hairs from shedding. Then after pregnancy, your hormone levels drop, and all the hair that couldn’t be released during pregnancy now falls out.
And if the hormones weren’t enough, the stress of popping a small human out of your lady parts is enough to make your hair fall out!
Dry Skin and Weather
Have you ever noticed that your brows (and hair) grow like crazy in the summer and struggle even to sprout a nose in the winter? This is due to the lack of moisture in the air + harsh temperatures. Brows like warmth and humidity and will thrive in that environment.
So basically, we’re saying you should probably go to Hawaii more often! Well that, AND moisture! Our serum is packed with moisturizing, nourishing ingredients to maximize each follicle’s hair-producing capabilities. But above and beyond that, you can:
Sweat! When we sweat, toxins and waste substances are flushed out from the hair follicle, allowing the space for hairs to grow. This is also great for stress – exercise increases serotonin levels in the body, helping to reduce stress and get your follicles out of their funk.
As if cancer isn’t difficult enough, women experience not only hair loss during/after chemo, but significant lash & brow loss.
Chemotherapy drugs work to attack fast-growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, these drugs also attack other growing cells in your body – including those in your hair follicles. This can affect the hair on your head, as well as hair all over your body.
Most women who are experiencing this find that a combination of our Nourish & Define Brow Pomade and Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum really made a drastic difference for them.
The pomade gives an immediate effect – giving colour and definition back to the brows while infusing them with growth actives. And the serum (the more powerful growth agent) is used as a night treatment, giving round-the-clock love to the brows.
Unfortunately, as we age, our hair follicles can slow or stop producing new hairs altogether.
Reproductive hormone changes can also play a part, and dermatologists believe the same factors that cause hair loss from the scalp, a common problem for women as they age, may contribute to thinning brows. Nanette Santoro, M.D., OB/GYN and professor of reproductive endocrinology at the University of Colorado at Denver, says, “Abrupt hormone changes can cause sudden hair loss (telogen effluvium) that recovers over about six months’ time. It happens postpartum to many women and can happen at menopause.”
Thinning brows are also a common side effect of other conditions such as atopic dermatitis, or eczema, due to inflammation and itching around the brow area. A dermatologist can recommend medications and topical treatments to help.
Aging and hormonal issues may conspire to thin out your eyebrows.
Board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Sejal Shah, M.D., a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, explains that merely the aging of hair follicles can lead to hair looking thinner and more sparse.
Do eyebrows grow back?
It was once believed that when eyebrows were shaven or lost, they wouldn’t grow back. However, unless you have an underlying medical condition that is causing your hair loss, your eyebrows should grow back.
A study trusted Source published in 1999 debunked the myth by showing that shaven eyebrows grow back usually. In the study, a single brow was shaved off of five people, and the other brow was left for comparison.
Regrowth was assessed over six months using pictures taken at each follow-up. With the exception of one female participant with light-coloured, sparse eyebrows who received a full six months to achieve complete regrowth — all the other participant’s brows had grown back to normal within four months.
Hair growth follows a cycle with three phases. The phases aren’t synchronized, and some hairs stay in one phase longer than others.
First things first, step away from the tweezers. There’s grooming your eyebrows to find the perfect shape for your face, and then there’s plucking your eyebrows within an inch of their lives.
Whether you’re a tweezer user, waxer or threader, you may want to reconsider the strength of light you use when you’re grooming your brows. According to experts, brows are best tended to in soft dull lighting – too much light encourages you to over pluck.
Eyebrows have an average 5-7 week growth cycle. Just like eyelashes, eyebrows have an average 5-7 week growth cycle; Actually, it can be a little shorter or longer than this, given your age, metabolism, race, weight and more, but 6-8 weeks is the steady truth.
In my personal experience, I’ve found that the inner and outer corners of your eyebrows tend to vary a little. The inner corners of your brows cycle through faster (4-6 weeks), while the outer brows cycle a little slower (10-16 weeks). Why? Don’t know. Just what I’ve observed in the past 4+ years (since the creation of WINK, which I made to regrow my tragically over-plucked brows) of focusing all my energy on eyebrows.
Your Eyebrow Hairs May Be Stuck in the Resting Phase. There may be a reason your eyebrow hairs aren’t growing back. If you over-plucked too often or too hard, you could trigger your eyebrow to react to the plucking as trauma. Trauma to the follicle will mean your eyebrows won’t grow back–at least not for now, because they’re resting.
How to grow your eyebrows fast
There’s no quick fix for growing your eyebrows. Your age, genetics, and hormones are factors that impact how fast your eyebrows grow back. Depending on the cause of your hair loss, you may need to speak to a doctor about treating any underlying medical condition that has contributed to your brow loss.
There are some things that you can do at home that may help you grow your eyebrows.
A balanced diet
Eating a healthy and balanced diet may help. Hair is mostly made up of proteins, and animal studies have shown that not getting enough protein can cause hair loss.
Specific vitamins, including B vitamins and vitamins A, B, C, and D, have also been linked to hair growth. Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale are excellent sources of these vitamins. Meats and beans are excellent protein sources.
Iron deficiency anemia is a common cause of hair loss that can also affect the eyebrows. Getting enough iron in your diet may help your eyebrows grow faster. You can increase your iron intake by eating foods high in iron, such as iron-fortified cereals, white beans, and spinach.
Biotin, which is also known as vitamin H, is part of the vitamin B family. Biotin supplements for hair growth have become very popular. Research on biotin for hair growth is limited, but there’s a small amount of evidence that increased biotin intake may promote hair growth.
To increase your biotin intake, you can add biotin-rich foods to your diets, such as organ meats, nuts, and whole grains. Biotin supplements are also commercially available.
Avoid plucking, waxing, and threading
If you want your eyebrows to grow back, you should avoid tweezing, waxing, or any other form of hair removal. This gives your eyebrow hair the chance to grow in fully. Take care when waxing, plucking, and threading.
In your quest for correctly maintained brows, you probably keep regular maintenance appointments on your calendar. Instead, you might want to embrace a more natural, hands-off approach. “The trauma inflicted on hair follicles during waxing, tweezing, and threading can lead to permanent follicular damage,” explains Dr. Umar. “Women who grew up in the height of the ’90s overplucked, pencil-thin brow trend have begun to notice the difficulty in growing thicker eyebrows after years of this habit.”
If you fall into this category, try to go as long as possible in between waxing or threading appointments, or completely give up the habit. I’ve started using the Tinkle Eyebrow Razor ($6) to help cut down on my waxing appointments. And if you must wax, thread, or pluck, Dr. Umar recommends avoiding any hair growing directly over the brow bone. Instead, limit yourself to the hair above and below this zone in order to avoid sparse brow growth in the future.
Castor oil has been used as a natural home remedy for hair loss for years and has become famous for eyebrows and eyelashes in recent years.
There haven’t been many scientific studies to prove it can regrow hair, but the main compound in castor oil — ricinoleic acid — has been linked to hair regrowth. At the very least, it can keep your brows moisturized, which may help prevent breakage.
There are a number of eyebrow serums available that are said to help eyebrows grow faster and thicker. While these claims haven’t been scientifically proven, they may still be worth a shot. Shop for eyebrow growth serums.
Fake fuller brows with finesse.
“The biggest mistake I see is people being too heavy-handed with their eyebrow products,” says Megan Studabaker, a registered nurse and owner of Finespun Brow Design in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I recommend applying products in hair-like strokes versus just filling in with powder because it often gets smeared and messy, which isn’t achieving the polished look you are going for.” I’ve had good luck using Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil and Foolproof Brow Powder
She recommends using a tinted eyebrow gel as a finishing step. “It’s relatively foolproof and comes in a tube-like mascara,” Studabaker says. “Brush your hairs into shape to keep them in place, and you can achieve more definition by choosing a gel with a tint.”
Try microblading for a more permanent solution.
It is a semipermanent way to fill in brows that looks more natural than permanent makeup or a Cosmetic tattoo. “Microblading differs from tattooing and the traditional form of permanent makeup in that it is typically done by hand versus a machine and doesn’t go as deep into the skin,” explains Studabaker. “In the past, tattooing and traditional permanent makeup usually resulted in a solid line, and the colour could change significantly with time.”
Studabaker uses pigment that’s chosen based on your natural skin tone and hair colour that fades naturally over time. “The goal is to create delicate strokes that mimic hairs that result in a natural, more complete eyebrow,” she says.
The process takes about two hours to complete, but you’ll need to go in for a touch up about once a year after the initial appointment (and possibly a second follow-up). Microblading costs between $500 and $1,000, and the results should last for one to three years. Your natural brow hair will continue to grow, but you likely won’t need to get waxed as often. “Most people find their regular maintenance decreased because they have the shape they want after microblading,” Studabaker says.