There are a number of reasons why a person might lose their eyebrows. Overzealous tweezing, years of waxing, and even shaving are common reasons for sparse or missing eyebrows.
There are also a number of medical reasons for eyebrow hair loss, including such conditions as:
Brow eyebrow hair loss is also a common side effect of chemotherapy.
The underlying cause of eyebrow loss, your age, and other factors may play a role in determining how long it takes for your eyebrows to grow back. According to research, eyebrows usually grow back within four to six months.
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 published in 1999 debunked the myth by showing that shaven eyebrows grow back normally. 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-colored, sparse eyebrows who took a full six months to achieve full 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.
The three phases of hair growth include:
- anagen, the active growing phase
- catagen, an in-between phase lasting two or three weeks when growth stops and follicles shrink
- telogen, the resting and shedding phase at the end of which older hairs will fall to make room for new ones
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.
Certain 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 diet, 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 hairs the chance to grow in fully.
Castor oil has been used as a natural home remedy for hair loss for years and has become popular for eyebrows and eyelashes in recent years.
There haven’t been any 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.
Latisse is a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promote eyelash growth that has shown promise as a way to also grow eyebrows. Though not yet approved for use on the eyebrows, there’s evidence that when applied once or twice a day, bimatoprost 0.03% solution can help regrow eyebrows.
There are several things that can interfere with how quickly your eyebrows grow back. These include:
According to the American Cancer Society, chemotherapy drugs damage hair follicles, which makes hair fall out. This is because chemotherapy targets and damages all rapidly dividing cells in the body, including those responsible for hair growth.
Not everyone who takes chemotherapy drugs loses hair. Which hair and how much falls out varies from person to person — even on the same drugs. Some drugs cause hair loss across the entire body, including the eyebrows, while others only cause hair loss on the scalp.
Hair loss from chemotherapy is usually temporary. Eyebrows and other hair often begin to grow back even before treatment is finished.
Most of the time, eyebrows do grow back, but how fast they grow will depend on your age and overall health. A little patience, avoiding plucking and waxing, and changing your diet may be all you need.
An underlying medical condition can cause your eyebrows to fall out or prevent them from growing in properly. Speak to a doctor if your eyebrow hairs fall out and stop growing for no obvious reason.
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