MicrobladingShare on Pinterest
Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/Getty Images

Big brows are all the rage on runways. But sparse or thinning eyebrows aren’t uncommon everywhere else. A 2012 research review showed that there are many possible causes of thinning or sparse eyebrows, including:

  • tweezing
  • waxing
  • medication side effects
  • alopecia
  • genetics
  • the natural process of aging

Let’s cover some strategies for filling in and treating eyebrows that have lost some of their fullness.

The easiest way to treat thin eyebrows is to use makeup to make them look thicker and fuller. There are several types of makeup products that you can use to do this, including:

  • eyebrow pencils
  • powders
  • eyebrow mascara
  • waxes

You may want to experiment with a few products, mixing and matching to find the beauty routine that gives you the eyebrow look you want.

To try filling in your eyebrows to make them look fuller, start with these steps:

  1. Start with a clean, dry face. Using an eyebrow brush or a clean cotton swab, comb your eyebrows so that all hairs lay flat and facing the same direction.
  2. Shape your eyebrows using the brush or swab, sweeping the hairs into a natural arch. Your arch should fall at a 45-degree angle with the bottom of your nose.
  3. You may want to use a light cream or gel to style your brows and secure them in your preferred shape.
  4. Using an eyebrow pencil or powder on a brush, make light, feathery strokes that mimic your hairs alongside and over your natural brows. Start at the part of your brow that’s closest to your nose, and work out to the tip to create the desired shape. Don’t do this in a hurry. Remember that the more short strokes you have, the thicker your eyebrows will look.
  5. If you’d like, you can follow this up with an eyebrow mascara or wax to set the result in place.

If you want a remedy that’s more permanent than makeup, you can consider these other techniques and treatments for filling in your eyebrows.

Hair dye

You can use semipermanent or permanent hair dye to add a darker pigment to your eyebrows. This can give the illusion of brows that are thicker and fuller.

You can DIY this treatment yourself with drugstore hair dye or go to an esthetician.

Nutritional supplements

A 2017 research review showed that hair loss has been linked to some vitamin deficiencies, including vitamin D and iron deficiencies.

So, it makes sense to think that taking nutritional supplements for vitamin D and iron may help regrow your hair, including at your eyebrows.

Additionally, the same research review above showed that if you don’t have a nutritional deficiency, dietary supplements likely won’t be effective.

Essential oils

Anecdotally, some essential oils are said to promote hair growth on your head and at your eyebrows.

Be sure to always dilute them with a carrier oil, and do not use oils too close to your eye and on your eyelid. Castor oil and peppermint oil are two anecdotal favorites for hair growth.


Microblading is a cosmetic procedure performed by a licensed provider. The goal of microblading is to make your brows look full and even.

Microblading (and its cousin procedure, nanoblading) does this by making tiny, feather-like strokes that mimic real hair and filling these strokes with a semipermanent pigment.

The results of microblading last 8 to 30 months, after which you will have to get a touch-up if you like the result.


Similar to microblading, microshading is a procedure also performed by a licensed provider.

Unlike microblading, microshading mimics the appearance of a powdered makeup application (in other words, it looks like makeup and not like real eyebrows). Microshading lasts 3 to 6 months.

Eyebrow tattoos

Semipermanant eyebrow tattoos (such as henna) and regular, permanent tattoos have been around for many years. They often do not look as realistic as microblading.


According to a 2016 study, bimatoprost (Latisse) has not yet been approved by the FDA for the use of eyebrow restoration and would be considered off-label use. The dosage is a topical application to your eyebrows once or twice daily.

This FDA-approved medication for eyelash growth stimulation is by prescription only, and it may take several months to see full results.


Minoxidil (Rogaine) is available as both an over-the-counter and prescription-strength medication. It can be used as a topical foam, a concentrated solution, or be given orally.

In a small 2014 study, 39 participants were asked to use a lotion containing minoxidil on one side of their faces, and a placebo product on the other side in an attempt to treat eyebrow thinning.

The study found that the minoxodil side saw significantly better results than the placebo.

Eyebrow restoration

You can talk with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon about hair grafts that target your eyebrows. These types of grafts use your existing hair follicles to fill in thin spots and encourage regrowth.

These eyebrow transplant procedures can be quite expensive, require a few weeks of recovery, and there is a risk of serious side effects and infection.

Sparse eyebrows can have several causes.

Overplucking or tweezing your eyebrows can damage your hair follicles and lead to poor hair regrowth. Other causes of sparse eyebrows include:

Hair loss from your eyebrows can be frustrating, but there are lots of available treatments. You can also look into cosmetic procedures and even hair grafts to make your brows look bigger.

If you’re concerned about hair loss or can’t figure out what’s causing it, talk with a doctor.