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Your eyebrows are an important part of your look, affecting your facial proportions and enhancing your ability to communicate with others.

If you’re experiencing eyebrow hair loss or you simply have sparse eyebrows, there aren’t a lot of options to help you regrow hair. But one option could come from a prescription-only treatment: Latisse, or 0.03% bimatoprost ophthalmic solution.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved Latisse for eyebrows, but there are some studies out there that support its use for this purpose. Keep reading to find out more about this treatment and whether it could help you.

The chief component in Latisse (bimatoprost) is a solution that ophthalmologists prescribe via an eye drop to treat glaucoma. They have noted that people who used the eye drop also experienced eyelash growth.

As a result, researchers and the eye drops manufacturer started to study bimatoprost as an eyelash growth treatment. The FDA approved Latisse for use on eyelashes in 2008.

Currently, Latisse is available by prescription as an eyelash growth treatment. It comes in a small bottle that resembles an eye drop container. You apply the eye drop solution along the upper eyelid lash line with a special brush on a daily basis to promote eyelash growth.

Currently, the FDA has only approved Latisse for the treatment of eyelash growth, and there are more studies regarding the effectiveness and safety of Latisse as an eyelash treatment.

Latisse and eyebrow growth

Latisse manufacturers may not wish to pursue FDA approval for eyebrows because it can be an expensive and lengthy process.

That said, doctors sometimes prescribe Latisse for eyebrow growth. It’s considered “off-label” use in this case, because you’re using a product other than how the FDA approves it.

If you’re considering using Latisse as an off-label way to grow your eyebrow hair, talk with your healthcare professional first to ensure you can safely use Latisse.

Although you won’t find official instructions for eyebrow application, applying Latisse to your brows is relatively straightforward. The brand recommends applying Latisse to your eyelids at night, so your skin has time to absorb the solution. So it’s probably best to stick with applying it to your eyebrows at night too.

The brand says to remove contact lenses before applying Latisse, which makes sense for eyelash application. To be on the safe side, remove contact lenses before using Latisse on your brows, too, in case any solution finds its way into your eyes.

Starting with clean brows, use the applicator that comes with your bottle of Latisse and add the solution to the applicator. Begin gently sweeping it into the length of your brows.

It’s a good idea to make sure that the product is evenly applied to the entire brow so that any results look even. Avoid overapplying the product. If you apply too much Latisse, you can blot it with a tissue.

Latisse also warns that the tip of the bottle and the applicator shouldn’t make contact with your fingers or other surfaces, as cross-contamination can lead to an infection.

The instructions above are based on Latisse’s recommendations for eyelash use, but they should also be followed for eyebrow use.

When to stop using Latisse on eyebrows

Common side effects of using Latisse for eyelash growth include itching, redness, and skin darkening.

The same side effects likely apply to using Latisse on your eyebrows.

If you begin experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction after applying the product, stop using it immediately. The brand also suggests talking with your healthcare professional if you develop an eye infection, have changes in vision, or experience an eye injury.

Doctors don’t know exactly how Latisse works, but they do have some theories.

One is that the medication helps to keep more hair follicles in the growth phase and stimulates hair follicles in the resting phase to move to the growth one.

Although the FDA hasn’t approved Latisse for use on the eyebrows, there are some clinical studies about its effectiveness and safety. These include the following:

  • A 2019 study looked at how a low dose of bimatoprost (0.01%) may affect eyebrow growth. The study, although small, found that when bimatoprost 0.01% was applied daily for 6 months, participants saw significant improvement compared with placebo treatment. Researchers also found that it had minimal adverse effects and was well tolerated by participants overall.
  • A 2016 study followed 357 men and women with eyebrow hair loss who used either Latisse or a placebo once or twice daily for 7 months. At the end of the study, both groups who used Latisse experienced more significant eyebrow growth with few differences noted. Most participants reported noticing a difference versus the placebo after the second month of application.
  • Research from 2018 on using Latisse for eyebrows found that Latisse was a “safe, effective, and well-tolerated option” to treat eyebrow hair loss.

While these studies show support for Latisse and eyebrow hair growth, many factors can impact its overall effectiveness, including how often you apply it and whether there are underlying causes for your eyebrow hair loss.

One of the major known side effects of Latisse is that it darkens hair. For eyelashes, this is less of a concern since many people apply mascara to make their lashes appear darker.

However, if you have lighter eyebrows, Latisse could potentially make them much darker in appearance.

In the 2016 study above, the most common adverse effects reported were:

  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • skin itching
  • runny nose
  • sinusitis

It’s unknown whether these symptoms were related to using Latisse or isolated incidents.

According to the Latisse package insert, which is specific to eyelashes, the most common adverse reactions to Latisse are:

  • eye itching
  • skin darkening
  • red or noticeable blood vessels in the eyes

Latisse manufacturers report these occur in about 3% to 4% of people who use Latisse.

According to the Optum Store, a sister site of Healthline and online platform that offers affordable medications and products, the average cost for brand-name Latisse starts at $115 a month, while the generic product, bimatoprost, is $70 a month at time of publication.

Latisse can be an expensive but potentially effective solution for eyebrow growth. To see results, you’ll need to continually apply Latisse to your eyebrows.

Those who experience eyebrow hair loss can have difficulty finding a product to help regrow hair. Topical therapies used on the scalp for hair loss (such as minoxidil) aren’t FDA approved for the eyebrows. However, some people may use these off-label to treat eyebrow hair loss.

One step to consider is talking with your doctor about your eyebrow hair loss. Several underlying conditions can cause eyebrow hair loss, or hypotrichosis, including:

A doctor may be able to identify one of these conditions as the underlying cause of eyebrow hair loss. By treating the underlying cause, you may experience increased eyebrow hair growth.

There are also over-the-counter products that promise to help grow eyebrow hair. These are usually serums that contain components to condition or strengthen existing eyebrow hairs.

Ingredients for eyebrow growth serums include:

  • biotin
  • peptides
  • oils
  • fatty acids

These formulas aim to keep existing eyebrow hairs (and new growth) healthy. However, they don’t necessarily affect the growth phase like Latisse does.

Can I use Latisse if I wear contacts?

The brand recommends removing contact lenses before you apply Latisse. These instructions are outlined for using the product on eyelashes as intended, but it’s best to remove your contact lenses for use on eyebrows, too, in case any Latisse drips into your eyes.

How long will it take before I see the results on my eyebrows?

Latisse may take months to see results. One 2019 study saw that bimatoprost (0.01%) improved participants’ eyebrows after daily use over 6 months.

Should I use Latisse in the morning or at night?

Latisse is intended for use at night.

Although it’s pricey, Latisse may be an option for treating eyebrow hair loss. But because it’s available only by prescription, you’ll need to ask your doctor if you can use Latisse off-label for eyebrow growth.

No serious side effects have been reported from using Latisse for eyebrow growth. However, Latisse may not be a good fit for people with lighter-colored eyebrows, as it could darken them.