Just as people notice your hair, people also notice your facial features. Like your eyebrows. There are industries devoted to ‘editing’ this facial feature and women in particular spend countless hours of their time plucking, waxing, colouring and otherwise altering this facial feature. Some of those procedures are painful so the fact that so many people are prepared to put up with that pain speaks volumes about how important these 2 small strips of hair above your eyes are deemed to be.
Traditionally, worrying about the appearance of ones eyebrows is behaviour more associated with the fairer sex. Today’s modern male though is also getting in on the act. Gone it seems are the days when a synophrys, or unibrow/monobrow in layperson’s terms, was considered classy. Although it has to be said there were, and still are, some pretty famous unibrows still around. George W the 2nd, basket baller Anthony Davis, actor Nicholas Cage and many more are known for their solid line of eyebrow hair. And if media reports are to be believed, it could be making a comeback. Although it takes a certain kind of courage for many women to leave those hairs in the centre of the forehead alone before venturing out in public!
An Eyebrow Hair Transplant – Really?
But back to the subject of eyebrow plucking because it’s this habit as much as anything that has popularised the eyebrow hair transplant. Eventually being constantly and forcibly ripped asunder will cause even the bravest of hair follicles to give up trying to grow any more new hairs. Over time this can lead to eyebrows that are a tad thinner than desired. People who have suffered burns or similar trauma to their face resulting in permanent eyebrow damage are also good candidates for eyebrow transplant surgery.
There are skin conditions and health disorders affecting the skin that can cause permanent scarring in the eyebrows too resulting in the death of hair follicles. Thyroid problems for instance can cause the hair on the outer edges of the eyebrow to thin out. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes patchy hair loss that can affect the eyebrows. If you have these types of hair loss happening you should consult a doctor to find out what’s causing it. In which case, eyebrow transplant surgery may not be the solution.
However it happens, there comes a time in some people’s lives when an eyebrow transplant is definitely called for. Just as a normal hair transplant offers a permanent solution to hair loss on the top of your head, the eyebrow transplant does the same for the eyebrow. It’s a procedure intended to, more or less, permanently reshape the eyebrow and restore hair that, for whatever reason, is refusing to grow back.
Donor hair for eyebrow transplants usually comes from the back of the scalp, although there are other sites that can be used. Notably, if only one eyebrow needs to be done, the donor hair can come from the other eyebrow. But more commonly, scalp hair is used, which leads to some unique issues.
Eyebrow Hair Doesn’t Equal Scalp Hair
First of all, eyebrow hairs grow differently to scalp hair. If you’ve ever studied your eyebrows up close you’ll have noticed you have distinct sections in which the hairs grow in a direction that is different to the direction of the hair in the previous sections. This hair growth pattern, which actually follows the line of your brow, needs to be carefully followed when implanting new hairs or the end result will be ‘interesting’. And noticeable!
You’ll also have noticed that each eyebrow hair leaves the skin at a fairly acute angle before lying back over parallel to your face. Again this is different to scalp hair that has a much moderate angle. So once again a very skilful surgeon is needed to pull off the amount of detail needed to turn scalp hair into natural looking eyebrow hair.
Scalp hair grows in follicular units of multiple hairs. Eyebrow hairs are all single strands of hair. Therefore each unit of scalp hair extracted has to be manually divided into its constituent single strands of hair for implanting into the eyebrow. This requires a high-powered microscope and some manual dexterity. The surgeon then has the task of very carefully implanting each micrograft, ensuring it will grow at the correct angle and in the right direction.
Eyebrow hair and scalp hair also have different length growth cycles. An eyebrow hair has a much shorter growth cycle and obviously also doesn’t grow as long as a scalp hair. Therefore the transplanted hairs need to be kept trimmed for at least the first 12 months as they will grow and you really don’t want to look like you have scalp hair growing out of your eyebrows.
If you have curly scalp hair your surgeon will have to be particularly creative in matching up your curls with your non-curly eyebrows!
Yikes It Costs How Much!
Despite the fact that there is only a small area involved, eyebrow hair transplant surgery is expensive and usually lengthy. It’s painstaking work that requires a specialist surgeon. From carefully splitting up the follicular units of scalp hair to meticulously ensuring each individual transplanted hair is implanted correctly so to grow the right way, each step in the procedure requires ultra careful attention to detail. And that doesn’t come cheaply!
At GetHair we may not be able to help you with your eyebrows but we can certainly help with your other hair loss problems. Contact our friendly team for advice and to discuss your hair transplant requirements.