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Dealing with eyebrow hair loss

What causes brow loss and what you can do about it

Author: Charlotte Kuchinsky October 20 2011

beautiful eyebrows

What causes eyebrow loss?

Eyebrows serve as the frame around the eyes, which truly are the "windows to the soul". Sadly, many women lose their eyebrows over time. The most common reasons behind brow loss are: excessive plucking, waxing or rubbing in the eyebrow area. All three of these can result in damage to the hair cuticle. In a lot of situations, the hair grows back, but it can be finer and lighter than before, giving the appearance of lost or uneven brows.

Other things that can cause eyebrow hair loss include medications, poor health, excessive stress, certain types of trauma, and various medical conditions. Those conditions most often related to brow loss include hypothyroidism and an imbalance in the body's endocrine system. Both of these conditions cause hair on the outer third of the brow to disappear and stop growing. Autoimmune conditions, which cause antibodies to work against certain areas of the body, can be another root cause. Certain types of skin conditions that result in scratching around the brows can also affect the growth there.

Finally age can also be a factor; many women lose brow hair as they age.

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If eyebrow loss happens quickly, it's a sign there could be an underlying medical condition and makes it crucial to contact a physician right away to get tested for conditions that could be causing the loss.

How can new eyebrows be created?

If brows don't grow back or grow back unevenly, it might be necessary to seek an alternative way to create new ones. If they are just scarce or uneven, filling them in may be sufficient to give a woman the look she desires.

The most common way, and the one most women choose, is to fill them in with makeup. This is usually done with a good eyebrow pencil that has a sharp point, which is important to create short, feathery strokes that help mimic the look of brow hair. It's important to follow the natural arch of the brow to make it appear more realistic. Women, who want to create a new brow shape will need to pluck their natural brows to that shape before filling them in.

It is always important to choose a shade that closely matches the eyebrows natural color, although one can go a shade lighter or darker. In any case, fill in only where the hair is missing, and then blend together with the existing brow hair using a brow brush. To keep the color in place, overlay a coat of clear brow or lash gel. That will keep the makeup from fading before the day, or evening, is through.

Brow pencils are usually the least expensive way to fill in brows and there are dozens of good pencils on the market today. MAC makes an upscale pencil that works beautifully for around $15. However Maybelline also offers Expert Eyes Brow Pencils in a two pack for under $5. Both have limited colors, which could be a problem for some women.

Another way of filling in brows with makeup is to use eyebrow powder. This product usually comes with an angle brush that is equally able to mimic the look of natural hair. Some of them also come with brow stencils that can be used to create the brow shape. However, as with a pencil, brows should be blended and sealed with clear setting gel.

Anastasia makes a dual brow powder that is fantastic for around $22. Colors include taupe and golden blonde for blondes; strawburn for redheads (which usually get left out altogether); medium and dark brown for brunettes and ebony for truly dark hair.

One of the most recent brow products on the market is gel-based. It works very much like the powder but often comes with its own internal setting solution. In that case, all it takes is filling in the brows, blending and letting the gel set it place.

Wunder Brow is an excellent one step product to choose. After the one-step application it lasts for days, is waterproof and transfer-proof. Best of all it looks very natural. The cost is around $20. Once again, however, shade options are limited to four colors; light, medium, dark and deep.

In some instances it may be possible to jump-start new brow growth. Neauveau Brow claims it can restore brow loss within 30 days and it appears to live up to this claim, at least with some women. It is said to work for women with sparse or thinning brows from over tweezing or waxing. It contains key ingredients that are needed for new hair growth, including keratin and peptides. It also contains hydrating agents, essential oils, panthenol, biotin and more. But the cost isn't cheap at around $150.

In some instances the use of Rogaine will help regrow brow hair. However, once Rogaine is started, it must be continued in order to keep experiencing results. Discontinuation of the product will probably mean brow loss once again, and perhaps even worse than before.

Some women are turning to tattooing to have their brows replaced. While it is a viable option, several problems can result from it. The first is the possibility of a poorly done job. A few women who have chosen this option report that one brow is higher than the other is or that the shapes aren't the same. Another known problem is infections that often occur as the result of bad ink or a dirty needle. Lastly, a woman can never change brow color or shape. After a while, the look becomes unnatural but to get rid of it, one might have to endure painful surgery. It can also be expensive, ranging anywhere from $300 to $2,000.

The last option is a hair transplant. Unfortunately, they don't always take or remain natural looking, and they are expensive at anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000.

Is it possible to avoid brow loss?

If eyebrow hair loss isn't already a problem, it's important to keep it from being one. Put away the tweezers or use them sparingly to prevent hair cuticle damage. Also keep from scratching or rubbing brows excessively as this can also damage the cuticle.

Reduce excess stress by exercising and eating properly. Eat a well-balanced diet that contains fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains. Stay away from foods that are high in fat and sugar. Take vitamin and mineral supplements if needed and recommended by a physician.

Try over-the-counter strength minoxidil at 5 percent solution to stop the rate of hair loss. It should also stimulate new hair growth in about 12 weeks.

Eyebrow loss, like any type of hair loss, is a sign that something is wrong. Correct the problem and chances are there will be a positive outcome.

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