Treatment of Eyebrow Conditions
Thinning eyebrows and diminishing eyelashes can be deeply upsetting. It is tempting to try and remedy the situation with cosmetic treatments and “quick fixes”. Many of these treatments may hide the symptoms of thinning hair without addressing the underlying cause and while placing added stress on the hair follicles, which are already under strain. It is important to ascertain the reason for hair loss first. Typically, hair loss is caused by one of the following symptoms;
- Hormonal changes (pregnancy or menopause)
- Dietary deficiencies
- Various forms of alopecia which are often associated with inflammation
- Cosmetic treatments and over-plucking
- Contact dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff)
- Tinea capitis (ringworm)
- Telogen effluvium
- Stress and anxiety
Once you have established the cause of your loss of eyebrows, you may wonder what you can do to treat it. From a medical perspective, it largely depends on the comorbid conditions or the cause of hair loss. Here are our most commonly-utilized treatment methods, alongside our suggestions on how to prevent losing your eyebrows and eyelashes.
Grooming: The do’s and the don’ts for healthy eyebrows
Grooming involves waxing, threading, tweezing, tattooing and eyebrow tinting. While some of these conditions are safe to practice, it is important that these cosmetics treatments are done by qualified professionals and at facilities that are exceptionally hygienic. What are the dermatologist-approved eyebrow grooming techniques?
- Tattoo versus microblading – It is always best to avoid eyebrow tattoos and opt for microblading instead. Tattoos are doe with ink, whereas microblading is done with pigment. Not only is microblading safer, but it also offers a far more realistic and natural finish.
- Threading is gentler than waxing – threading minimises the strain on the skin. Only the hair is pulled and the follicles are spared. That said, there is a certain amount of rubbing of the threads against the skin, so a little redness following treatment is normal.
- Tweezing – is also potentially damaging to the hair follicles and the skin because the hair is yanked out of the skin. Over-plucking/tweezing is known for causing hair loss and thinning eyebrows. It causes damage to the hair follicles, which eventually produce thinner hair and may stop producing hair altogether. Plucking can also lead to ingrown hairs – a result of plucking in such a way that the hair shaft snaps under the skin. The skin regrows over the hair which causes an inflamed red bump to form. Plucking your eyebrows can also lead to inflammation because your pores are left open and vulnerable to bacteria.
- Mascara and false eyelashes – Mascara and lash extensions place strain on the hair and follicles. Mascara’s ingredients can also cause allergic reactions in the skin, triggering inflammation and hair loss. Mascara is safe if you perform a spot test to rule out reactions and give your eyelashes a rest in between applications. Bimatoprost is a wonderful medication that can be used in place of lash extension, mascara, and other damaging cosmetic practices that will cause further damage to condition while trying to mask it. This medication is similar to a natural hormone in the body called prostaglandin and it causes more eyelashes to grow and helps them to grow longer and thicker, giving the natural appearance of mascara.
Dr Khoza’s favourite brow and eyelash products
- Brows – I use: Benefits’ Precisely, My Brow Pencil, ultra fine brow defining pencil. Plus Benefits’ GIMME Brow + Brow volumizing gel for the perfect brow.
- For my eyelashes: CHANEL le Volume’ de Chanel Mascara, because every girl loves and deserves CHANEL
Dermatology 101: The thin and narrow on eyebrow treatments
There are a number of treatments that can be used to combat thinning eyebrows. The treatment protocol that is best for you has to be determined by diagnosing the origin of your symptoms and treating them at their root cause. The most effective treatments include;
- Minoxidil – this medication will require a few months’ worth of use. It will balance any hormonal-related stunts in hair growth for both men and women. It is applied topically and addresses the localised area.
- Cortico-steroids – this treatment protocol is used to address conditions where inflammation levels are high and there are autoimmune factors at play – like in cases of psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, or alopecia areata. Depending on the circumstances, we may recommend the medication may be applied topically, taken orally in pill form, or injected.
- Anthralin is a medication that is normally prescribed to treat psoriasis by addressing the inflammatory response within the body. If inflammation is a factor leading to thinning eyebrows or eyelashes, it is prescribed and generally yields positive outcomes.
- In extreme cases, and eyebrow or eyelash transplant can restore hair growth in the area. Similar to a scalp hair transplant, a section of skin which is rich in hair follicles, is taken from an area of the body and placed carefully on the eyebrows, which will restore hair growth.
- Missing or scant eyebrow growth can be filled in with permanent makeup solutions, like tattoos or microblading.
Preventing Eyebrow Loss
Shield the eyebrows from harsh chemicals – like hair dye or tretinoin (Retin-A) and avoid over-plucking. Always consult a professional and reputable beautician for eyebrow shaping or lash treatments. Certain procedures, like eyelash extension, can place a further strain on the natural hair and these are best avoided. You can also request a blood test to rule out any nutritional deficiencies and ensure your thyroid health is adequate.
If you start to notice your eyebrows thinning, your eyelashes growing ou shorter or fewer, or any alarming hair loss – be sure to get in touch with us. The earlier we can address the issue, the more likely we are to prevent permanent hair loss. Ready to face the day with confidence? Contact us.