In extreme cases, such as disordered eating and anemia, an iron deficiency may be to blame for thinning brows. “Even if you don’t have anemia, and you have low levels of stored iron, that could contribute to hair loss,” says Rajani Katta, M.D., a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who studies the link between nutrition and hair loss. Iron is found in meat, fish, and other animal products, plus beans and legumes, so vegans and vegetarians might be more likely to be low in iron. Your derm can do a ferritin blood test to check your iron levels. But don’t start an iron supplement without medical recommendation. Too much iron can also have negative effects, says Dr. Katta.
Tames and Goldenring described a case of bilateral loss of eyebrows and eyelashes in a patient with AIDS-related complex who had smoked crack cocaine. This has been attributed to hot vapors during the process of smoking, and which therefore caused singeing of the brows and lashes. There was a complete reversal once the patient abstained from cocaine.
Trichotillomania is a hair pulling disorder associated with anxiety, stress, depression, boredom and frustration. It is where a person manually removes hairs with their finger, either a few strands throughout the day or sometimes many strands at one time during an emotional outburst. This behavior is usually a means of coping with stress or emotional turmoil. However, it can sometimes become a habit that is difficult to break. The eyebrows is a commonly targeted area as is the scalp.
To prove the fact that this does not happen on your scalp alone, Everyday Health notes, “too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your head can become fine, with thinning hair all over the scalp. When there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body”. This proves patients with underactive thyroid (low thyroid) can have their eyelashes and eyebrows falling off.
A. I think it's a personal preference, but why is a cosmetic solution such a big deal? To use sprays, powders and hair extensions? It doesn't address the problem, but it can do wonders for your self-esteem. I see patients who are extremely depressed, and this is ruining their life. We always have hope for that miracle solution, but it's very hard to do research studies. … As much as this affects people's mentality, there's not a lot of (National Institutes of Health) funding because hair loss isn't killing anyone.
Because too much insulin (which is released by the pancreas in large amounts when we consume foods high in sugar or refined flour) signals the ovaries to produce more testosterone, and because an overload of testosterone increases the likelihood that our bodies may make more of the hair-thinning hormone DHT, work to keep blood sugar steady by eating fiber-rich whole foods. In addition, the Saw Palmetto herb has shown promise for its ability to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT, so it may help androgen-related hair loss. To date, research on saw palmetto for hair loss is limited, but the research that has been done is promising.
“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).
If you fall into this category, try to go as long as possible in between waxing or threading appointments, or completely give up the habit. I’ve started using the Tinkle Eyebrow Razor ($6) to help cut down on my waxing appointments. And if you must wax, thread, or pluck, Dr. Umar recommends avoiding any hair growing directly over the brow bone. Instead, limit yourself to the hair above and below this zone in order to avoid sparse brow growth in the future.
The process takes about two hours to complete, but you’ll need to go in for a touch up about once a year after the initial appointment (and possibly a second follow-up). Microblading costs between $500 and $1,000, and the results should last for one to three years. Your natural brow hair will continue to grow, but you likely won’t need to get waxed as often. “Most people find their regular maintenance decreased because they have the shape they want after microblading,” Studabaker says.
The WHI was a very large, very prominent long-term study which looked at the health effects of HRT. While the study did find a few benefits (women who used HRT had fewer hip or bone fractures and were less likely to develop colorectal cancer), it found a number of risks, including an increased chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and blood clots.
Testosterone replacement is becoming popular for men. Cotsarelis warns that this may accelerate hair loss. Propecia might help -- but because it prevents testosterone breakdown, it might affect the dose of male hormone replacement therapy. Cotsarelis warns men taking both Propecia and testosterone replacement to make sure their doctor carefully monitors their testosterone levels.
Hair loss can occur either in acute or chronic hypervitaminosis A. Loss of eyebrows and eyelashes can occur in chronic hypervitaminosis A which can occur in a number of conditions, either due to enthusiastic overdosing or due to intentional prescription of high doses for diseases such as acne, retinal disorders with night blindness, and others. The cutaneous manifestations include dry, rough, and scaly skin. Chronic hypervitaminosis A is also becoming increasingly common with use of retinoids for various skin disorders. Acitretin has been noted to cause a high incidence of diffuse hair loss. Premature teloptosis may be a prime factor in hair loss induced by retinoids.
Giorgos Tsetis: Another reason Unilever was inspired to partner with us is that we really target three channels. Direct-to-consumer is one, then we target physician channels and salon channels; which are the hardest to convince. There's liability involved, so there's no doctor in the world who is going to recommend or endorse a product they don't believe in. We have about 350-400 physicians currently selling the product. A large amount of these doctors are thought-leaders or experts in the space, so they are known to speak about this issue on a world stage when it comes to new innovations. We also have each of the top 20 hair salons in the country carrying the product. There's a ton of celebrities who use the product as well. It is a premium product, but we've still made it affordable for people. When you look at other products on the market, our price point is comparable. We're also working on special programs for people in need who can't normally afford the product. If somebody is motivated, serious and really needs it -- we work to make sure they can get the product, and seek to serve as many people as possible.
If, however, you aren’t so sure that any of the causes listed above are a problem for you, then a good place to start may be to talk with your healthcare provider about testing. It is important to learn the root cause – especially if dealing with infertility – because that which is causing hair thinning and shedding may also be contributing to your inability to conceive.
“When I went in for my Bosley consultation, my senior counselor was the one who walked me through the procedure. He also had had the procedure done, and his results were phenomenal. And I was thinking, ‘Wow, if I can get that, that’s what I’m looking for.’ He really got it — he understood me. He understood what I went through, and that was really important to me.
Hair loss is a condition that can affect any area of the body, including the eyebrows. Approximately three million Americans experience brow hair thinning and loss. Trauma, grooming habits, disease, and genetic predisposition all can contribute to this concern. Our experienced hair restoration surgeons at Leonard Hair Transplant Associates, Dr. Robert Leonard and Dr. Matthew Lopresti, often see individuals with eyebrow hair loss for which they offer a comprehensive selection of restorative options that can help you address this problem.