Contact dermatitis causes skin inflammation and when severe it can affect the hair follicles as well. It can either be due to some irritant making contact with the skin of the eyebrows or due to a substance to which a person has an allergy. This gives rise to the two types of contact dermatitis – irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis. Substances that could cause contact dermatitis at the eyebrow includes eye makeup including eyebrow pencils, hair removal creams and waxes, other cosmetics, hair dyes and scalp hair styling products.
This “mature” hairline is not considered balding; the Norwood III is considered the first evidence of balding in androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness). In studying the Norwood charts, we see that usually the most advanced balding is known as a class VII, and that there are also Type “A” variants in which the forelock in the middle tends to recede along with the fronto-temporal areas, and in which there is be less overt crown loss than in the regular III, IV, and V patterns.
Another cause of eyebrow hair loss is genetic predisposition. Many patients naturally have thinner eyebrows that run in their family. This is one of the biggest reasons patients seek our services. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, eczema, and alopecia areata (spot baldness) can also lead to brow hair falling out. It’s important to determine the cause of your condition to find an effective treatment. 

If you’ve gotten through this list and still don’t know what’s going on, it’s time to talk to your doc. Unfortunately, madarosis–typically used to mean the loss of eyelashes, but also referring to the loss of brows–may be due to many, many things, including a number of vision and life-threatening conditions, like herpes zoster, leprosy, HIV/AIDS, trachoma, malignant eyelid tumors, discoid lupus, scleroderma, and hypothyroidism (Khong, Casson, Huilgal, Selva; Survey of Opthamology, 2006). Brow and lash loss are both indicators of underlying diseases, so yes get to your doc stat.
Androgenetic alopecia, commonly called male or female pattern baldness, was only partially understood until the last few decades. For many years, scientists thought that androgenetic alopecia was caused by the predominance of the male sex hormone, testosterone, which women also have in trace amounts under normal conditions. While testosterone is at the core of the balding process, DHT is thought to be the main culprit.
Both benign and malignant tumors such as seborrhoeic keratosis, molluscum contagiosum, basal cell carcinoma, squamous-cell carcinoma, sebaceous cell carcinoma, and sclerosing sweat duct carcinoma have been shown to be associated with loss of eyelashes.[1,111–113,119,120] A sebaceous cell carcinoma very often presents as a recurrent chalazion. An associated madarosis (due to lid infiltration and follicle destruction) would help to differentiate the two.[121,122] Tsuji et al. reported a rare case of primary epithelioid hemangioendothelioma of the eyelid associated with madarosis.[123] Primary leiomyoma of the eyelid has been reported with madarosis.[124] Kuan[125] described a case of lacrimal gland tumor masquerading as blepharitis with madarosis.
When compared with no treatment, patients who received ethinyl estradiol 50 μg and cyproterone acetate 2 mg with cyproterone acetate 20 mg on days 5 to 20 of the menstrual cycle for 1 year had a significant increase in their percentage of anagen hairs with trends toward a larger shaft diameter of full anagen hairs and a decreased number of hairs that were less than 40 microns (Peereboom-Wynia et al., 1989). A 12-month randomized control trial of 66 women compared treatment with topical minoxidil 2% plus an oral contraceptive (ethinyl estradiol 30 μg + gestodene 75 μg) with treatment with cyproterone acetate 50 mg plus an oral contraceptive (ethinyl estradiol 35 μg + cyproterone acetate 2 mg) and demonstrated that treatment with cyproterone was more effective in hyderandrogenic patients but otherwise less effective (Vexiau et al., 2002). Side effects of cyproterone acetate include weight gain, breast tenderness, and a decreased libido (Kelly et al., 2016). Hepatotoxicity and development of multiple meningiomas may occur when doses exceed 25 mg daily (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, 2009). Cyproterone acetate is used widely in Europe and Canada, either in an isolated form or in combination with ethinyl estradiol, but it is only available in the United States as an orphan drug for the treatment of hirsutism (Carmina and Lobo, 2003, Jurzyk et al., 1992, Kelly et al., 2016). Cyproterone acetate is classified as pregnancy category X.

The eyebrows are two-arched eminences of skin situated above the orbital regions.[3,4] The hairs of the eyebrows are short, thick. and stiff and are set obliquely. The diameter of eyebrow hair is normally thinner than scalp hair in Asians, and the scalp hair in thinner in Caucasians.[5] The eyebrows can be roughly divided into three parts. The medial third is usually below the orbital margin with the hairs in this region oriented vertically. The middle third lies along the orbital margin with hairs oriented obliquely or horizontally. The lateral third usually lies above the orbital margin.[3] Eyebrow hair normally tends to be less dense laterally than medially; thus, hair loss from any cause is apt to be more obvious in the lateral portion.[6]
Sinclair Scale: The 5-point Sinclair Scale is a modified visual grading scale. Grade 1 is normal. This pattern is found in all girls prior to puberty, but in only half of women age 80 or over. Grade 2 shows a widening of the central part. Grade 3 shows a widening of the central part and thinning of the hair on either side of the central part. Grade 4 reveals the emergence of diffuse hair loss over the top of the scalp. Grade 5 indicates advanced hair loss. This grade is uncommon, occurring in less than 1% of women.
Try to include 'hair friendly' foods in your diet, such as Omega 3 rich salmon and walnuts; beat-carotene rich sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin and spinach (yes, dark green veggies are a good source of beta-carotene too); and foods like eggs (rich in biotin, B6, B12, selenium, zinc and copper), lentils (which are loaded with hair-healthy vitamins and minerals), chicken or turkey (which contain lots of protein, B vitamins and minerals), plus vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables like blueberries, kiwi, strawberries and tomatoes.
The different phases may last for varying periods of times from several years in anagen, to a few months in telogen or several weeks in anagen. Fortunately not all hair follicles are in the same phase at the same time. So the majority of the follicles will be in anagen phase, while a smaller amount will be in the catagen phase and a few follicles will be in the telogen phase. This ensures that there is always some hair present even when the follicle is not active and the hair is not growing.

Estrogen, the power player in women’s bodies, is your friend when it’s appropriately balanced. It makes you feel energized, helps stabilize your moods and contributes to a healthy sex drive. Yet too much estrogen, which can be caused by weight gain, perimenopause or toxicity from exposure to endocrine disruptors (which are rampant in our food, water and plastic products), can lead to thinning hair. During and after pregnancy, for example, estrogen levels peak and then dip, causing sudden hair loss for many women.

Scalp hair loss may be a common complaint among men and women, but in my practice, loss of eyebrow hair is a major concern among my female patients. Because eyebrows frame the face, hair loss in this area can dramatically change one's appearance, and since eyebrow hair loss is not easily concealed, it can be, for some women, an even more devastating loss than scalp hair loss.

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The term “common baldness” usually means male-pattern baldness, or permanent-pattern baldness. Male-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head.
FPHL or androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in women and one of the most common chronic problems seen by dermatologists worldwide (Varothai and Bergfeld, 2014). FPHL is a nonscarring form of alopecia in which the frontal hairline is maintained, but there is progressive hair thinning at the vertex of the scalp. Thinning of the hair is secondary to alteration of the hair cycle with shortening of the anagen phase and simultaneous lengthening of telogen. This increase in the resting phase and decrease in the growth phase of the hair cycle results in the miniaturization of hair because long terminal hairs are gradually replaced by short vellus hairs (Messenger and Sinclair, 2006, Sinclair et al., 2011).
See the doctor for sudden hair loss. If you suddenly lose your eyebrows, that could be a sign of a more serious problem, particularly if you only lose your eyebrows or eyelashes and not other hair. Sudden loss of eyebrows can be a symptom of eye conditions, skin conditions, systematic disorders, infections, and nutritional deficiencies. Seeing your doctor can help you narrow down the condition.[30]
These important micronutrients, which are all essential for hair health, are part of my Balance Supplements. And even if you eat a healthy, phytonutrient rich diet, you might not have optimal levels of the vitamins and minerals you need to promote hair health. Environmental factors beyond our control, from the mineral-depleted soil in which most of our food is now grown to shifts in growing practices that have reduced the amount of vitamins and minerals in various foods, can leave us eating a picture-perfect diet and still deficient in certain micronutrients.
Insulin, that helper hormone in charge of regulating blood sugar levels, also affects a number of different body processes, including fat storage, heart health and, you guessed it, hair growth. One study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Risk found that women with some markers of insulin resistance have a greater risk for androgenic alopecia (AGA), or female pattern baldness.
Furthermore, Penn dermatopathologists developed an even more advanced method called the HoVert technique for diagnosing hair loss and other disorders from a scalp biopsy. The technique uses a unique horizontal and vertical testing approach that provides a greater amount of information to the referring dermatologist than standard industry longitudinal scalp biopsies.

Madarosis is the hallmark of lepromatous leprosy. It was reported in 76% of patients with multibacillary leprosy.[76] Bilateral symmetric cicatricial madarosis occurs in lepromatous leprosy due to histiocytic infiltration of hair follicles[77,78] [Figure 4]. It occurs in multibacillary leprosy after at least 5 to 10 years of untreated disease.[79] Loss or atrophy of the eyelashes may follow. Madarosis adds to the cosmetic disfigurement caused by leprosy. Absence of madarosis is a good prognostic sign in long-standing cases.[80] Unilateral madarosis may occur in tuberculoid leprosy due to the facial patch in the eyebrow region. In tuberculoid leprosy, madarosis occurs due to granulomatous infiltration of hair follicles leading to their destruction.
Dutasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor that binds both types I and II enzymes. Compared with finasteride, its inhibition of type II enzymes is three times more potent; its inhibition of type I enzymes is 100 times more potent (Clark et al., 2004). Dutasteride is not approved for the treatment of FPHL by the FDA, and ongoing studies on the efficacy of the inhibitor are promising but largely focus on male patients (Gupta and Charrette, 2014, Olsen et al., 2006). A study of women after 3 years of therapy showed that dutasteride may be more effective than finasteride in women under 50 years of age as measured by hair thickness (not hair density) at the center and vertex scalp (Boersma et al., 2014). One case report of a 46-year-old female with FPHL showed some response after 6 months of treatment with a dose of 0.5-mg dutasteride daily despite a minimal response to treatment with finasteride and minoxidil (Olszewska and Rudnicka, 2005). Data with regard to the treatment side effects in women is extremely limited. Dutasteride is classified as pregnancy category X because of teratogenicity and should have the same theoretical risk of breast cancer as mentioned in relation to finasteride (Kelly et al., 2016).
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.)

Taking estrogen supplements as part of a hormone replacement therapy regime has its effects on your hair as well. Women can treat a type of hair loss called androgenic alopecia, associated with low estrogen and progesterone, by replacing these hormones artificially. Dosages of synthetic estrogen should be monitored regularly -- abnormal hair growth is a possible side effect of one kind of hormone replacement therapy, called esterified estrogens.


Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive, non-surgical scientific approach to fighting hair loss. It is effective against multiple levels and types of hair loss including thinning hair, receding hair line, male and female pattern baldness and various scalp issues. LLLT has been rigorously tested for both safety and effectiveness for well over 30 years and has been in use in many countries throughout the world for over 30 years.
Additionally, two other considerations are important for a patient who receives treatment for FPHL. First, there is a set of reasonable expectations in patients. Maintaining the current hair density can be considered a successful treatment because women tend to have further thinning as they age (Harfmann and Bechtel, 2015). Second, it is important to ensure that patients understand that progress is slow, and months or years can be required to see a significant improvement (Boersma et al., 2014, Yeon et al., 2011). In our practice, we wait at least 6 months to assess treatment efficacy.
Both of these hairy issues are related to excess androgens that are part of PCOS.  Our hair follicles respond overzealously to testosterone creating both hair loss and hair growth. This is because the follicles on the face tend to stretch and grow causing the hair to get stuck and not fall out when they should. Conversely, the scalp hair follicles actually shrink in response to androgens and the hair can fall out or just not be as robust.
What she doesn’t mention is how to regrow your brows after chemo-related brow loss! If you have recently undergone chemotherapy, your brows may be a bit wonky in the beginning, but you still want them, right? They are the frame for your beautiful face. Every October we host a “Buy One Give One for the Cure” campaign, where for every bottle of WINK  sold, we donate one to a cancer survivor. If that’s you, shoot us an email so we can get you hooked up.
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.
SOURCES: George Cotsarelis, MD, director, Hair and Scalp Clinic, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. Andrew Kaufman, MD, assistant professor, department of dermatology, University of California, Los Angeles; medical director, Center for Dermatology Care, Thousand Oaks, Calif. Tom Barrows, PhD, director of product development, Aderans Research Institute Inc., Atlanta. Cotsarelis, G. and Millar, S.E. Trends in Molecular Medicine, July 2001; vol 7: pp 293-301. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery web site. American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery web site. American Hair Loss Council web site. Springer, K. American Family Physician, July 1, 2003; vol 68: pp 93-102. Hair Loss Help web site, "Interview with Dr. Ken Washenik from Bosley." Fuchs, E. Developmental Cell, July 2001: vol 1: pp 13-25.
Minoxidil: This medicine is applied to the scalp. It can stop hairs from getting thinner and stimulate hair growth on the top of the scalp. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil to treat hair loss. It is the only hair re-growth product approved for men and women. A dermatologist may combine minoxidil with another treatment.
There is some evidence of a link between baldness and prostate cancer and other diseases. Harvard Medical School reports that men with vertex baldness have 1.5 times more of a risk of developing prostate cancer than men without bald spots. The risk of coronary artery disease is also more than 23 percent higher in men with vertex bald spots. Investigations are ongoing as to whether there is a link between DHT levels and metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and other health conditions.

Dozens of other causes of eyebrow loss are also possible including a variety of infectious, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Consultation with a dermatologist or hair transplant surgeon is recommended. I strongly advise consulting a dermatologist before proceeding to hair transplantation for women over 40 with new onset eyebrow hair loss after age 40.
Scurf refers to the scales and greasy crusts that accumulate along the hair shaft and indicates the presence of seborrhea.[26,27] Collarettes are composed of hard fibrinous scales[25,28] surrounding each individual eyelash. They travel upward along with the growth of the lashes and are indicative of staphylococcal infection. Sleeves or cylindrical dandruff comprise scales that form a cuff around the lash root and are connected with it, in contrast to greasy scales which are not connected to the lash root.[29] Sleeves indicate infestation with Demodex folliculorum.
Diet and supplements. Hair loss caused by a vitamin deficiency or eczema can be addressed with a healthy diet and targeted vitamins and supplements. Make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamins A, B and D by eating leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, eggs and whole grains. If you have any gaps in your diet, take the necessary supplements to promote hair growth. Your doctor can give you direction about what to eat and take for support.
Scalp hair loss may be a common complaint among men and women, but in my practice, loss of eyebrow hair is a major concern among my female patients. Because eyebrows frame the face, hair loss in this area can dramatically change one's appearance, and since eyebrow hair loss is not easily concealed, it can be, for some women, an even more devastating loss than scalp hair loss.
Not only that, but plucking, waxing, or threading can also lead to permanent eyebrow loss, ingrown hairs, and infections. With repeated trauma to the hair follicle, your follicle can become damaged and scarred. If this occurs, your hair may never grow back again. Make sure to be extra careful to only pull out the hairs that you want to remove when you are plucking your brows. You should also wash your tweezers with alcohol before you start plucking or seek treatment at a reputable salon to prevent infections.

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.


Like with low thyroid, there can be a myriad of imbalances at play with PCOS related hair loss making it a complex issue that’s often written off as merely high testosterone. While androgen excess and hypersensitivity of the hair follicles to these hormones are part of the issue, these are other contributing factors to PCOS related hair loss as well:


A decline of estrogen, whether due to menopause or other hormonal imbalances, can also affect hair growth. You'll experience a thinning or loss of pubic hair as well as hair on your scalp if you have low levels of estrogen in your body. You might also experience unwanted hair growth on your face during menopause, when your estrogen levels are at their lowest. This phenomenon occurs because the lack of estrogen leaves you with a hormonal imbalance of sorts; you have more androgens, or male hormones, than female hormones in your body, which contributes to some male-like symptoms such as body and facial hair.
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. 

Male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia, affects an estimated 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Hair loss is due to the shrinkage of hair follicles and the resulting impact on the growth cycle. New hairs become finer and finer until there’s no hair left at all and the follicles become dormant. This hair loss is caused by hormones and certain genes.
Optimal levels of estrogen help to grow full thick hair, while low estrogen levels lead to thin and stalled hair growth, which eventually leads to hair loss. Through the years, a women will go through various cycles of highs and lows in estrogen levels. Puberty is typically associated with high estrogen levels as a woman starts to cycle through menstruation. Pregnancy typically increases hormone production, but once the baby has been delivered the mother can experience a drop in estrogen levels, which can result in thinning and loss of hair. Typically, this corrects itself as the woman's body heals and hormonal regulation returns to normal.  The largest decline in estrogen levels is during menopause. Estrogen is secreted through the ovaries and adrenal glands. When a woman hits menopause, the ovaries’ estrogen production is significantly diminished, which puts an excess burden on the adrenals to produce it. However, as the adrenals are typically overburdened due to stress, symptoms of menopauses like hair loss and hot flashes occur prematurely and excessively for some. Nourishing the body and balancing stress levels will support gentle and graceful transitions.  
Sara Gottfried, MD is the New York Times bestselling author of the new book, Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years. Her previous New York Times bestsellers are The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet. After graduating from Harvard Medical School and MIT, Dr. Gottfried completed her residency at the University of California at San Francisco. She is a board-certified gynecologist who teaches natural hormone balancing in her novel online programs so that women can lose weight, detoxify, and slow down aging. Dr. Gottfried lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two daughters.
Insulin, that helper hormone in charge of regulating blood sugar levels, also affects a number of different body processes, including fat storage, heart health and, you guessed it, hair growth. One study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Risk found that women with some markers of insulin resistance have a greater risk for androgenic alopecia (AGA), or female pattern baldness.
Hormones are cyclical. Testosterone levels in some men drop by 10 percent each decade after thirty. Women's hormone levels decline as menopause approaches and drop sharply during menopause and beyond. The cyclic nature of both our hair and hormones is one reason hair loss can increase in the short term even when you are experiencing a long-term slowdown of hair loss (and a long-term increase in hair growth) while on a treatment that controls hair loss.
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