Stress: Emotional and physiological stress can trigger a few hair loss conditions that can affect your eyebrows. Telogen effluvium, for instance, can cause your hair to shed. Then there’s trichotillomania, which is a psychiatric condition caused by stress that is characterized by the urge to pull out your own hair (which could be from your eyebrows, eyelashes or scalp).
Posterior blepharitis is characterized by either excessive foam in the tear film in the hypersecretory type, or plugging of the meibomian orifices in the obstructive type. Expression of the secretions reveals a turbid or toothpaste-like material. If there is spillover inflammation of the anterior lid margin, there may be a loss of eyelashes.
Yes. If you wear pigtails or cornrows or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia (say: al-oh-pee-sha). If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, your hair will grow back normally. However, scarring can cause permanent hair loss. Hot oil hair treatments or chemicals used in permanents (also called “perms”) may cause inflammation (swelling) of the hair follicle, which can result in scarring and hair loss.
There are a lot of myths out there about balding men. One of them is that men with MPB are more virile and have higher levels of testosterone. This isn’t necessarily the case. Men with MPB may actually have lower circulating levels of testosterone but higher levels of the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. Alternately, you may simply have genes that give you hair follicles that are highly sensitive to testosterone or DHT.
Hormonal changes are a common cause of female hair loss. Many women do not realize that hair loss can occur after pregnancy or following discontinuation of birth control pills. It is important to remember that the hair loss may be delayed by three months following the hormonal change and another three months will be required for new growth to be fully achieved.
These are only a few of the common myths heard by physicians and other hair loss specialists on a daily basis. The American Hair Loss Council suggests that you first have your hair loss diagnosed by a competent dermatologist who sees hair loss patients on a regular basis. Once you know the diagnosis you will have a better understanding of exactly which treatment option may be best for you.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, topical treatments like minoxidil (Rogaine) and others tend to only be partially effective, if they are effective at all; they don’t address the root causes of hair loss; they target androgenic alopecia (which only accounts for some cases of hair loss); and they come with a host of unpleasant side effects—side effects that can worsen the aesthetic problem you were hoping to fix. Rogaine can cause hair to grow in different colors and textures than the surrounding hair and can cause unwanted hair to grow on your cheeks and forehead.
For other women, the problem with estrogen dominance is that they’re also experiencing lower levels of progesterone relative to estrogen—and progesterone helps protect hair follicles from the hair-thinning effects of testosterone, DHT, and estrogen. Evidence suggests that progesterone may act as an aromatase inhibitor and other research suggests that the genes involved in aromatase activity are implicated in female hair loss.
The real culprit appears to be dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more potent form of testosterone. DHT is made from testosterone by a specific enzyme in the body, and while both testosterone and DHT are known to have a weakening effect on hair follicles, there appears to be something unique about the conversion process of testosterone to DHT that relates to thinning hair. This is why some drugs that are marketed for hair loss block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. (It’s important to note, however, that these drugs tend to be less effective in women than men, and that one of them—finasteride—is only approved for hormonal hair loss in men, not women. What’s more, the drug has been associated with increased risk of sexual side effects, depression, nausea, hot flashes, and increased estrogen levels—and too much estrogen is its own risk factor for thinning hair; more on that below.)
“The biggest mistake I see is people being too heavy handed with their eyebrow products,” says Megan Studabaker, a registered nurse and owner of Finespun Brow Design in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I recommend applying products in hair-like strokes, versus just filling in with powder because it often gets smeared and messy which isn’t achieving the polished look you are going for.” I’ve had good luck using Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil ($24) and Foolproof Brow Powder ($24).
This is most commonly found in women wearing ponytails, tight braids or any hairstyles that typically pull on hair with excessive force. In addition, rigorous brushing, heat styling and rough scalp massage can damage the cuticle, the hard outer casing of the hair. This causes individual strands to become weak and break off, reducing overall hair volume.
While these factors contribute to hair loss for any woman, it’s particularly dicey for those of us with PCOS because when the follicle is exposed to our elevated androgens such as DHT (di-hydro testosterone, an active metabolite of testosterone) it gets damaged. Whenever a cell is damaged it generates oxidative stress which further alters the androgen receptor in the follicle perpetuating the issue.