Eyebrow & Eyelash Hair Replacements

While hair may be one of the most defining aspects of a person’s physical features, many feel that the eyebrows and eyelashes are just as important to complete the face’s symmetry, design, and personality. If you suffer from loss of eyebrows or eyelashes, you may feel that your face has an unnatural quality as this hair accents the eyes and gives your expressions character.

Make-up, false lashes, and cosmetic tattoos can give the appearance of brows and lashes; however, if you want real hair to define your facial features then it may be necessary to undergo similar cosmetic surgeries as you would for hair transplants on the scalp. As always, it is important to understand the cause of your hair loss before you attempt surgery to ensure you will be a successful candidate for this procedure. 

What Causes Eyebrow or Eyelash Loss?

Many of the surgical methods for treating lack of hair around the eyes are similar to hair transplants on the scalp, but this type of hair loss also typically has its own unique causes:

  • Trauma

If your face has suffered injury from an accident which resulted in scarring, burns, or similar trauma, the hair follicles on your eyebrows and eyelashes could be damaged. Before you attempt hair transplant for eyelashes, ensure that you have not suffered severe tissue damage around the eyelid otherwise the glands in the tissue will not support new follicular units and it will not be safe to transplant eyelashes.

  • Plucking

While most people pluck their eyebrows and eyelashes on a regular basis without lasting effect, when it is done too regularly or too harshly it can harm the hair’s roots which will cause the hairs to fall out immediately after they grow.  Likewise, if you begin plucking them as a child, the roots can be damaged and will no longer be able to support healthy hair growth.

  • Trichotillomania

This is a condition in which you obsessively pluck your hair to the point that the follicles themselves become damaged. If you are considering hair transplantation to correct the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes caused by trichotillomania, it is imperative that you seek psychological help before hand to manage the condition as you are likely to pull out the transplant hairs after surgery.

  • Disease

There is a wide variety of diseases which can create hair loss of the eyebrows and eyelashes. Some common issues which may cause hair loss include thyroid disorders, autoimmune disorders like lupus or alopecia areata, infections like Hansen’s disease, and even common skin conditions like psoriasis. In order to surgically restore hair which was lost due to one of these conditions, the disease must be in complete remission. Many surgeons will require proof that there has not been an outbreak for a minimum of two years in order to ensure the hair will not fall out again as a result of continued disease.

  • Chemotherapy

Radiation and chemotherapy as cancer treatments often lead to total hair loss. It is often the case that after the treatment, with time, your hair will begin to grow again of its own accord. It is best to wait an adequate length of time before you decide to have a hair transplant onto the eyelashes and eyebrows. Also note that you must be able to provide donor hair, so if your hair has not sufficiently recovered on the crown of your head, you will most likely be ineligible for this surgery.

  • Severe Alopecia Areata (Alopecia Totalis)

This is an autoimmune disease in which your blood cells attack your body and in so doing they damage your hair follicles. In severe cases, your entire body will lack hair, including the eyebrows and eyelashes. With this disease it can be difficult to treat facial hair loss surgically because there is not enough donor hair available to transplant onto the brow and eyelids. There is also a chance that the hair transplants, if available, would fall out due to the nature of the autoimmune disease.

  • Congenital Hypotrichosis

This genetic defect causes you to lack the ability to grow hair on any part of your body. There are several genetic mutations which will cause hypotrichosis but this disorder is not technically considered a type of hair loss, or alopecia, since you would never be able to grow hair which could then be lost. Unfortunately, there is no donor hair available for people who suffer from hypotrichosis, so surgical transplants onto the eyebrows or eyelashes is impossible in these rare instances.

What can be done for Eyebrow or Eyelash Replacement?

The hairs which comprise your eyebrows and eyelashes are held in place in follicular units similar to the hairs on your head. This means that, if you are a proper candidate, hair transplants can be performed to restore eyebrow and eyelash loss, or simply to thicken the already existent hairs which frame your eyes.

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Guide to Eyebrow & Eyelash Hair Replacements