Thicker, fuller eyebrows are back in vogue. I am seeing this trend in my practice as more and more women come in wanting fuller eyebrows. Women come in with photos of model and celebrity eyebrows which show full, thick eyebrows. As a hair restoration surgeon and facial plastic surgeon, an increasing number of patients are inquiring about eyebrow transplant procedures to treat their thinning eyebrows. There are many patients that grow tired of the daily use of makeup to give the appearance of thicker eyebrows. Women often develop thinner eyebrows from over-plucking or simply from genetic hair loss. Over-plucking the eyebrows over time can eventually lead to the permanent damage of the hair follicle and thus, loss of hair. I have found that full eyebrows are not just for women, since men are seeking fuller eyebrows as well. With age, some men begin to lose their eyebrows, especially along the outer aspects. Often the importance of eyebrows in framing one’s facial features are not appreciated until one sees the difference fuller brows can make in enhancing the eyes. Eyebrow transplantation is now a procedure which can be performed with natural-appearing outcomes when done properly.
With the advances in hair restoration procedures, hair transplantation is not just limited to the scalp for treating male or female pattern baldness. Hair restoration is often performed in areas where the patient naturally has sparse or very little to no hair. As with beard or facial hair transplantation, eyebrow hair transplantation as well is becoming more popular. During an eyebrow hair transplantation procedure, hair is taken from the back of the scalp and transplanted into the new eyebrows. The hair that is transplanted into the eyebrows is permanent and can be manicured and sculpted just like a normal eyebrow. The procedure itself is a relatively minor procedure when compared to more traditional hair transplant procedures as the numbers of hairs needed for transplantation are far less.
What I particularly enjoy about eyebrow hair transplantation is the artistic component to the procedure. The design, thickness, and arch of the eyebrows frame the eyes and face. On the day of the procedure, I have patients bring in photos of their desired or model eyebrows. Before the procedure begins, the patient and I draw in the desired shape and thickness of the eyebrows in front of a mirror. There are many factors that I take into consideration before drawing in the design. For example, the shape, thickness and length of the eyebrow are all individualized to each person— since everyone’s facial structure is different and each patient has a different set of goals, a one-size-fits-all approach is never used. One of my patients’ favorite parts about having eyebrow transplants is that they don’t have to be waxed or plucked since the hairs grow out in the design and pattern that is desired. The only grooming that must be done to the transplanted hairs is trimming to the length of the actual hairs in order to be kept at the desired length since the hairs will grow at the same rate as scalp hairs.
It is a very meticulous procedure with each hair carefully placed in the proper natural direction in the eyebrows. The procedure itself takes several hours but patients are lying comfortably throughout the entire procedure. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and patients will often opt to take an oral sedative to keep them comfortable and relaxed. The recovery for this procedure is relatively quick and generally well tolerated. Patients can expect to go home immediately following the procedure. Patients can expect to have some swelling after the procedure which varies between each person but, on average, can last a week. After one week, most patients consider themselves “presentable” and return back to work, social functions, school, etc. without much evidence of having a procedure. The transplanted hairs all fall out within two weeks after the procedure and then they enter in to a dormant phase. After about 4 months the newly transplanted hairs begin to grow. However, they all don’t grow in at the same time; for the first several months, they tend to still look sparse but the final results can often be appreciated around eight to ten months after the procedure.
I genuinely enjoy performing and seeing the final results of these procedures as it helps to make a big aesthetic difference for patients. Since there are very few surgeons that specialize in these procedures, we have many patients that travel in from outside of the state or country for this procedure. Therefore, many patients will send in a set of photos for me to evaluate to provide them with the scope of work that is needed to help them accomplish their goals. For our patients that are local to south Florida, we can also have them visit our office for a live consultation to get the process started.