When we look at our face, we seldom look over the beauty that our eyebrows create. They make us look human, and define our looks, but sometimes we can only appreciate its significance when we over plucked it, accidentally shaved off some parts of it, or just lose it due to some condition.
So whether you are a lady or a guy who is interested in eyebrow hair transplant, you might find this article helpful.
1. What are the common triggers of eyebrow hair loss?
The hairs on your brows are like the hairs anywhere in your body. This means that it can be affected by the same things that cause hair loss on your head. The usual triggers include:
- Burn injury
Burn injury may be caused be through chemical, electrical or flame. Overall, burns account for 57.6% (the highest) among the different causes of hair loss on the eyebrows or the eyelash.
- Physiologic Aging
It is normal for a person to lose a significant number of hair with age. Therefore, it is expected that your eyebrows may not be as lusciously thick as it once was.
In some cases, excessive hair loss can be due to a disruption in the natural growth and rest cycle of hair. Stress is a known trigger and some of the risk factors include a significant physical injury, pregnancy and childbirth.
- Skin conditions
Skin conditions like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and eczema doesn’t necessarily lead to hair loss. However, it can cause inflammation near the brow that may lead to shedding. The inflammation may trigger you to scratch or rub the inflamed area which can also lead to hair loss. .
- Metabolic changes
Metabolic abnormalities such as increased insulin resistance, decreased insulin sensitivity, and high blood pressure can also result in hair loss.
- Certain medications
Medications come with side effects and hair loss is a potential result. If ever you notice hair thinning after using a certain medication, inform your prescribing physician rather than stopping it on your own. In that way, you can be properly advised and given a more suitable treatment.
- Alopecia areata
This is a condition where the body attacks its own hair follicles. It results in bald patches in any hair-bearing area of the skin. It is often more obvious on the head, but it can also affect the eyebrows too.
One of the most obvious side effects of powerful chemotherapeutic drugs is hair loss. Not only does it affect cancer cells, but the healthy ones too. Unfortunately, these drugs also attack other rapidly growing cells in the body, including your hair roots. This results in hair loss all over your body, including your eyebrows.
This is an impulse control disorder where an individual pulls out his/her hair to relieve tension. While some tend to remove individual hairs, others pull out large handfuls at a time.
Repeated plucking weakens the follicles until it becomes damaged and ultimately stops growing hair.
Not all these reasons result in total hair shedding. More often, it leaves a sparse distribution of eyebrow hairs where it may appear like it shed entirely.
2. Who is the right candidate for an eyebrow hair transplant?
A right candidate for an eyebrow hair transplant is one who has realistic expectations, understands the limits in density that can be achieve, has a pronounced defect than purely cosmetic purposes, and stable or treated disease.
While the procedure may seem minor, it still calls for proper patient selection. Individuals with thinned or sparse eyebrows can be a good candidate. However, there are specific requirements that must be met. It all starts with the patient’s health in general. Even though an eyebrow hair transplant is not as extensive as hair surgery on the head, it still comes with certain risks. Therefore, a patient must be physically able to endure and recover from the procedure.
The quality of your donor hair is also another important factor to consider. This means that you need to have healthy growing hairs at the back of the head and the sides. To prevent emergencies, the surgeon also makes sure that you are cleared of any bleeding or clotting problems.
The best way to know if you are a good candidate for surgery is through a personal consultation with a surgeon. This is necessary so the doctor can do an extensive evaluation to map out a personalised surgical plan.
3. How is the procedure done?
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) is considered the gold standard for eyebrow hair transplantation. This technique involves the transplantation of naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs, called follicular units. These units allows the surgeons to transplant thousands of grafts in a single session, resulting in the restoration of a natural, fuller brow.
The first step in an FUT involves harvesting hair follicles from an elliptical strip of skin that is excised from the back of the scalp. This technique is called strip harvesting. This area of the head is most commonly used because it is the last area of the scalp affected by hair loss.
Once the strip has been excised, surgical assistants remove individual follicular units using stereomicroscopic dissection to remove individual follicular units.
After graft harvest is completed, recipient sites on brow line are then created using a high-gauge needle. In this process, careful attention is made to the orientation of their growth. The surgeon then transplants each follicular unit into the recipient sites based on the location and orientation of surrounding hairs.
4. Is this a permanent solution?
Yes, eyebrow hair transplant surgery is a permanent solution to eyebrow thinning. You will experience long term growth, and just like native eyebrow hair they will eventually shed but will also grow back. The only way to ensure that the new grafts stay, is that you avoid any triggers that may damage the area or cause the hairs to shed permanently.
5. Where will the donor hair come from?
The donor hair will be taken from the back of the scalp. As mentioned earlier, this area is the last to be affected by hair loss. The hairs on the pre-auricular areas are also preferred. In some cases, the skin from the contralateral eyebrow is also used. There are several techniques that have been studied today. However, it all boils down to experience, the surgeon’s eye for aesthetics, and your unique case.
6. How many grafts will be used in an eyebrow hair transplant?
The number of grafts needed will vary for each patient and is based on the pre-operative evaluation of the surgeon. The number of grafts also differ according to the thickness and length of the eyebrows. Not more than 200 follicular units are taken at one point in time. There will be reassessment down the line to see if another procedure is necessary, or if once is already enough.
7. Where will the procedure be performed?
At the Australian Institute of Hair Restoration (AIHR), this procedure is done at the clinic. The good thing about an eyebrow hair transplant is that it can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
8. How long does the entire procedure take?
The length of time will depend on the extent of work that has to be done on each patient. Usually an eyebrow hair transplant can go for 5-6 hours.
9. What can I expect during the immediate post-operative period?
The recipient areas are kept open, while the donor area (in a Follicular Unit Transplantation method) is covered in a dressing for 2 days. Bruising and swelling can last for a few days. To alleviate the pain and ensure that you heal in a timely manner, you must take antibiotics, painkillers or oral steroids as prescribed by the physician.
Each surgeon has their own aftercare instructions. Some prefer that you keep the hair grafts dry for five days after transplantation while gently apply local antibiotic treatment. These measures ensure that proper angulation of hair growth is maintained and any chances of infection are minimised. Other surgeons would already allow patients to wash the area on the 3rd post-operative day, that is after the dressings are removed.
The patient may apply some make-up on the areas around the eyes on the next post-operative day. However, you can only apply cosmetics on the brow area once the crusts have fallen off.
10. How long is the recovery time for eyebrow hair transplant?
Since the procedure makes use of fine instruments and minimally invasive techniques, you can go back to your normal activities within 48 hours, granted that you don’t engage in strenuous activities or contact sports.
11. Are there any complications to eyebrow hair transplant?
The most common complications to eyebrow hair transplant surgery are those related to direction, curl, texture, and color mismatch or lack of regrowth. These complications are dependent on the skills of the surgeon, and it decreases with experience and in using the right techniques.
In some cases, there can be asymmetry because of skin retraction as a result of the introduction of anaesthesia in the area. It may create misjudgment regarding eyebrow shape while creating the slit for implantation. It is only rare for infection, folliculitis, and scarring to occur in these instances.
12. How long will it take until I get to see the final results?
Initially, almost all brow transplanted hair fall due to anagen effluvium or shock loss, which is actually a normal process. The transplanted eyebrows will start noticeable growth at around 3-4 months after surgery. In the next 4-6 months, the number increases which means better hair density.
Now that you know the basics, you are better prepared for the next step. Book your consultation with Dr. Andrew Kim today.