If your eyebrows are thinning, you may automatically think about all the times you over-plucked in the past. While this may be one factor for consideration, it is not always the cause of thinning eyebrows. In fact, hair loss on the eyebrows is fairly common and happens to a diverse set of individuals.
Similar to the hair on our head, many factors can lead to our thinning brows or eyebrow hair disappearing altogether. It can be very frustrating and sometimes difficult to overcome once you reach a certain age.
In this article, we talk about all things regarding eyebrow thinning, including the most common reasons for eyebrow hair loss, how you can treat your brows to stimulate hair growth, and what you can do to take better care of your hair follicles.
Why Are Your Eyebrows Thinning: Reasons and Causes
Perhaps the most prominent reason for eyebrows falling out and not growing back is age. Thinning eyebrows in males are often due to a natural decline of testosterone which occurs as men age. Similarly, thinning eyebrows in females are due to a natural decline in estrogen production. This process of blocked hair follicle production typically starts around the age of 40.
Though our age plays a major role in thinning or patchy eyebrows, other common reasons include:
Three types of dermatitis can stimulate the thinning of your eyebrows (if the condition manifests around the eye area). These are contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. One way they cause thinning is through inflammation, which hinders hair growth. Dermatitis can also make your skin very itchy, driving consistent scratching or rubbing of the area that will cause the hair to eventually fall.
Ringworm is another type of skin condition that can thin out your eyebrows if it develops around the area.
Different autoimmune diseases lead to eyebrow thinning, including alopecia areata and frontal fibrosing alopecia. These involve one’s immune system attacking the hair follicles and stopping or slowing down the follicle production. Other autoimmune diseases that can cause either brow thinning or total eyebrow hair loss are psoriasis and certain types of lupus.
More often than not, people with an autoimmune disease have patchy-looking eyebrows.
What we consume directly impacts how our bodies and organs function. Our diet also applies to how healthy hair can grow in various areas. The body requires a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, amino acids, minerals, and nutrients to keep your system at its peak performance level.
You will be more prone to thinning eyebrows and slow production of moisturizing sebum if your nutrient intake is lacking in the following:
- vitamin C (collagen)
- biotin (vitamin B-7)
- vitamin E
- vitamin B-12
- vitamin D
- vitamin A
- omega-3 fatty acids
It is highly suggested to maintain a diet rich in these to prevent eyebrow loss due to nutrient deficiency.
If you or your medical professional deems your diet inefficient, there are many supplements you can take to support your overall health.
Some forms of medication can cause adverse effects on the body, depending on the type, dosage, and how the body naturally reacts. Chemotherapy, for example, is known to cause hair thinning or disappearing because of the drug’s effect on the hair follicles. Antithyroid drugs, cholesterol-lowering pills, blood thinners, and valproic acid (used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder) can also stimulate hair issues.
Over-tweezing or pulling
Regularly tweezing or pulling out your eyebrow hairs can cause damage to your hair follicles and keep them from healthily growing again. Repeat tweezing and pulling can be a form of physical trauma, as the follicles may get scarred as time passes. Moreover, other forms of physical trauma that the eyebrow area may experience include burns and other injuries. These also cause damage to the source of hair regrowth, which can often be permanent.
Telogen effluvium is a form of temporary hair loss caused by stress from surgeries, infections, or other physically demanding events. While it more commonly affects the hair on the scalp, the eyebrows are still prone to developing it, especially in more severe cases.
Once the hormonal imbalance tones down and your system regulates after these taxing situations, your hair will naturally begin to regrow.
If the thyroid gland does not secret enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) or secrets too much (hyperthyroidism), this can directly affect how your hair follicles function, which in turn causes thinning hair.
What can you do to reduce & fix eyebrow thinning & hair follicle loss?
Most anti-aging advice focuses on minimizing wrinkles and age spots. However, it is high time eyebrow care gets enough attention as this can help in reducing chances of hair follicle loss, repairing thinning eyebrows, and promoting thicker, fuller brows for a more youthful look.
The following are great ways to do just that:
Get a Diagnosis
First, and foremost, there can be multiple factors that contribute to brow thinning or hair loss. Because there are several possible causes, getting a diagnosis from a board-certified dermatologist is best. This way, you can better understand what your body needs, the best method of treatment to apply, and your brow-care maintenance moving forward.
Moreover, not one treatment or maintenance plan works for every single person. With proper medical tests and diagnosis, you can narrow down the types of treatment that your body positively responds to.
Moisturize the Brows
Dermatologists suggest moisturizing your brows just as often as moisturizing your body! When applying moisturizer on the face, many may avoid the brows when they should definitely cover that area.
Keeping the skin under our brows moisturized and hydrated helps prevent hair loss, stimulates hair growth, and encourages a healthy pair of brows in the long run.
Use Growth Serum
Apart from applying moisturizer, adding growth serum into your routine can also stimulate real hair regrowth. This method helps with reducing scarce brows and naturally acquiring thicker ones.
When choosing your growth serum, ensure that it has ingredients that have proven to promote healthy hair growth, such as keratin and soy proteins. Moreover, using the applicator to massage the area gently as you apply the serum is a great way to stimulate blood flow. This directly encourages hair growth and healthy brows.
Pencil in the Brows
Whether waiting for your brows to grow back or living with thin eyebrows, penciling them in is an easy and instant way to get thick, full brows. They are a great way to enhance sparse eyebrows, as long as you use thin upwards strokes that resemble actual hairlines.
Start measuring the outer portion of the nose and across the center of your eye; this helps determine the location of your brow’s natural arch. By doing this, you can create a more natural look. Ensure you do not draw the strokes too close so your brows look like one solid shape.
Use False Eyebrows
False eyebrows are a great way to get instantly fuller brows without taking the time to learn how to fill them in with gel or a pencil. There, they are a great way to cover up the patches while waiting for the growth serum and moisturizer to work their magic.
My Two Brows has the perfect lineup of false eyebrows, complete with 11 colors to choose from, 5 sizes to try, and 5 styles to test out. The vast number of options ensures that your brows look natural every time and encourage you to express yourself the way you want.
These brows are 100% waterproof, can last up to 3 days, and are easy to apply (and remove!).
Treating thin eyebrows to make them look thicker
Your dermatologist may prescribe different types of medication. After diagnosis and necessary medical tests, they may prescribe any of the top 3 most common treatments:
Bimatoprost, also known as Latisse, is prescribed to those experiencing Telogen Effluvium. This helps extends hair growth cycles, giving your hair more time to bloom. This type of medication is only available with a prescription.
Minoxidil, popularly known as Rogaine, is an over-the-counter (OTC) alternative. It is a topical medication that mediates hormonal imbalances and restores stunted hair growth. It can take several months to take effect, and because it is a hormone-centered formula, there are different versions for men and women
Corticosteroids and Anthralin
Corticosteroids come in three forms, namely topical, injectable, or pills. These work by reducing inflammation levels. They are used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Alopecia Areata
Anthralin is a similar anti-inflammatory drug derived from anthraquinone.
Can thinning eyebrows grow back?
More often than not, thinning eyebrows grow back. However, it heavily depends on the cause of your hair loss and the possible treatments available.
How do I stop my eyebrows from thinning?
You can stop your eyebrows from thinning by determining the cause and then taking the necessary steps to counter it. This may include increasing your nutritional intake, applying topical medication, and/ or enhancing your brow care routine.
Why are my eyebrows thinning as I get older?
It is normal to experience thinning eyebrows with age due to the imbalance of hormones
Why do my eyebrows fall out when I rub them?
Many common skin conditions can cause hair to fall out if scratched or rubbed too hard.
Can thin eyebrows become thicker?
Yes, you can thicken your thin eyebrows! However, results mainly depend on why your brows are thinning in the first place and how your body may respond to your dermatologist’s recommended treatment.