Anatomy & Unique Characteristics | Procedure | Surgical Options
Eyebrow Rejuvenation is an exciting option for women and men who are seeking to naturally and permanently remodel their eyebrows. Changes in the shape or thickness of the eyebrows can conspicuously affect how we appear, impacting our expressions, moods and the way we communicate. Perhaps less obvious is the subtle physiologic role the brows have in protecting the eyes from perspiration, water and dandruff, and directing particles around the eye towards the nose and temple. Along with the orbital bones, the eyebrows serve as a sun screen and an early warning system, guarding the eyes from debris. But more about beauty…
Similar to the more popular scalp hair transplants (Hair Follicle Renewal), Eyebrow Rejuvenation adds hair follicles individually to the depleted areas of the eyebrows. However, the eyebrows are a focus of facial beauty and expression, and the hairs have a unique configuration. Therefore, the methods for naturally restoring eyebrow hair are far more sophisticated and advanced than those of the scalp.
Dr John E Frank MD is a the Board Certified surgeon Alopecia and Hair Follicle Surgeon. He is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and has counseled thousands of individuals with hair loss and is an eyebrow expert.
Anatomy and Unique Characteristics
Compared to the hair of the scalp, the healthy eyebrow hairs take on a very thin caliber and grow shorter. They always lay flat and tangential against the skin. Each eyebrows hair has an identifiable direction and angle, and contributes to a distinct pattern. Truly remarkable for such a small area of the skin. The classic eyebrow contour consists of a broader, but less dense area near the bridge of the nose which then fans and arches out towards the sides, tapering to a point or fishtail near the temple. If you look more closely, you will notice the hair adjacent to the nose aiming upward and then veering sideways. In people with nicely shaped brows, the hairs intertwine and create a subtle ridge that runs the length of the brow almost resembling a herringbone pattern. In women, a distinct lateral arch dramatizes the eyes and upper face. All of these characteristics afford the eyebrows a critical role contributing to a beautiful face.
So why would somebody have less than perfectly shaped eyebrows? Unfortunately, certain genetics as well as the aging process may lead to thinning. We may also be prone to weak eyebrows from relentless shaping and plucking or even trichotillomania (a nervous habit).
Some individuals may suffer from eyebrow hair loss as a result of a medical or autoimmune condition. Fortunately, thin eyebrows do not usually indicate a greater health issue and may be implanted for a wonderful second chance. It seems obvious however that before considering Eyebrow Rejuvenation, it only makes sense to experiment with temporary eyebrow hair shading, coloring or even tattooing. If those techniques become tiring, wearisome or unsatisfactory, then a small surgical procedure may be the answer.
Any approach to Eyebrow Rejuvenation begins with a clear objective and plan. Most candidates still retain a significant number a native hairs which can serve as an outline for implanting the grafts. Otherwise, a completely new eyebrow design must be created and is quite different between men and women. The design should be a shared vision between the patient and the doctor and are supported by the experience Dr John E Frank, MD has in facial plastic and skull base surgery. There are accepted standards for where most peoples eyebrows begin, arch and taper. However, psychological factors as well as nuances of the facial features may impact the optimal eyebrow positioning.
Ultimate results should be rewarding, if not miraculous, where hair is growing from where it wasn’t before. The results of over 50 years of trial and error, research, technical refinements and many procedures have elevated hair transfers to a high level. Still, expectations of the final results must take several things into consideration.
Firstly, each individual eyebrow hair is a bit narrower in caliber than the hairs from where they are harvested on the scalp. Usually, people do not usually find this negatively impacts the final result. The transferred hairs also tend to grow longer than virgin eyebrow hair and will require more frequent trimming. The hairs must also be carefully implanted very flat against the skin. Dr John Frank MD uses highly honed, fine-tipped instruments to create minute openings neatly configured and angled. With the follicles tightly packed and appropriately slanted, the result is a nicely raised middle ridge, the result of perfectly criss crossed hairs. After 6-8 months, if the density of the brows is not sufficient then individuals may choose to add extra grafts.
Eyebrow hair transfers takes several hours to complete but most people are able to resume their normal activities within several hours. The hair is borrowed from the scalp in a minor procedure accomplished under local anesthesia. Different harvest techniques are available, including the Strip Method, FUE, robotic transplant and the Neograft. At John Frank MD Hair Restoration we believe the Strip or FUE give the best results. Because only several hundred hairs are required, there is very little evidence of any procedure having been done in the scalp. Afterwards, the eyebrows will show minor scabbing and we advise gently applying a fine layer of Bacitracin.
Other Surgical Options
Besides relocating the eyebrow hair follicle by follicle, the position of the entire brow may be surgically shifted as an entire unit. A brow lift is a more extensive surgical procedure that elevates the eyebrow. Or temporarily, Botox injections relax the forehead muscles and change the position of the eyebrow. The judgement to include these other procedures and techniques can be made at the time of consultation or during a video consultation.
We are not currently offering hair removal for overgrown eyebrows, unibrows or otherwise unacceptable eyebrow shape. Options abound however, including tweezing, waxing, threading and laser hair removal. Many of these techniques may be uncomfortable but in time the hair loss should be permanent.