Q. My eyebrows are so sparse and thin. What are my options to bring them back to life? Pam, Syracuse
A. Pam, whether due to over plucking, hormones, disease, a nutritional deficiency, or just age, dealing with thinning eyebrows is no fun and can make you look older than you really are. Eyebrows help frame your face and give it a lift. Without them, one is often left feeling naked. The good news, Pam, is that there is a wide range of options available to mask or correct the issue that will leave you feeling more like Madame X than Mona Lisa.
1. Makeup: Using makeup to fill in or create eyebrows is a temporary, but effective solution. If you still have hairs left, I recommend trying an eyebrow gel first such as jane iredale’s PureBrow™ Brow Gel. This is the most natural looking option. You brush it on your eyebrows like mascara and it not only tints your eyebrows, but it also helps hold them in place. If you need to add eyebrows or fill in sparse areas, try a brow powder such as jane iredale’s Bitty Brow Kit. This again will create a much more natural looking brow than a pencil. A pencil would be my third pick just because I have seen way too many eyebrows filled in with pencil that end up looking like little moons drawn over people’s eyes. Whichever makeup option works best for you, be sure to soften it with an eyebrow brush or even a toothbrush.
2. Latisse®: While Latisse is only FDA approved for use on the upper eyelids for eyelash growth, I have seen fantastic results with patients who have used Latisse on their eyebrows to regrow hair. It typically takes longer to see results when used on the eyebrows and it must be used consistently once daily or the hair will go back to the way it was before. Latisse is a prescription medication, so be sure to consult with a medical professional before use.
3. Permanent Makeup: Tattooing permanent eyebrows is another option to consider. Before going this route, it is crucial to do your homework and find someone with a portfolio of their work you can see. You want to make sure they use natural looking hair strokes instead of just filling in your eyebrows with blobs of color that leave you looking like you have commas on your face. Having your eyebrows tattooed can save you so much time getting ready in the morning, but be prepared to have to have it touched up once in a while.
4. Hair Transplant: Eyebrow hair transplant surgery is becoming increasingly popular as another way to fill in thinning eyebrows. Using the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant method, plastic surgeons take hairs from the back of the scalp and transplant them to the eyebrow area. The downside to this procedure is you will need to trim your eyebrow hairs every few weeks as the hair will grow just like the hair on your head.
No matter which path you choose, Pam, be sure to consult with a professional to ensure the best and safest results. In no time, your new eyebrows will help you feel more confident and youthful.
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw and Ft. Wayne. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medical Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com