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Eyebrow Hair Transplantation

By Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter
 
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Eyebrows give a person’s face a look of balance. Some people who have lost eyebrow hair have tried drawing color in with eyebrow pencil or tattooing eyebrows in place but the look is never quite as satisfactory or natural as actual hair. Eyebrow transplantation surgery has developed finer techniques over the years. This allows the insertion and placement of each hair follicle implanted a better chance of survival as well as the ability to position the transplanted eyebrow hair in the proper direction of growth.

Candidates for eyebrow transplantation:

● People who have suffered a trauma, i.e. burns or an accident to their eyebrows.
● People with a medical problem that caused loss of their eyebrows, i.e. alopecia areata or thyroid disease.
● People who have compulsively pulled out their eyebrow hair, i.e. trichotillomania or have excessively plucked them so they no longer grow back.
● People who have had medical or surgical treatments, i.e. chemotherapy or radiation and their eyebrow hair will not grow back.
● People without an actual loss of eyebrow hair but want the area enhanced.

There are basically two techniques used for eyebrow transplantation: moving a strip of hair from another location to the eyebrow or transplantation of individual single hairs from a donor site. Donor hair is taken from an area that has fine versus coarse hair which closer in texture to eyebrow hair.

In women this is usually from the area over the ear. In men the hair used can be a little coarser from the back of the head close to the neck. Even if strip transplantation is used, some micrografts of single hairs will be placed along the incision lines for a more natural look.

The transplanted hair must come from the person themselves to avoid rejection of the hair follicle tissue. Less commonly used is a procedure where a flap is brought over from the temple that remains connected to its own blood supply. Regardless of technique used, it may be necessary to have more than one session several months apart to achieve the final look.

Eyebrow transplantation surgery only takes a couple of hours to complete.

Add a Comment7 Comments

Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter

Im sorry to hear your transplantation did not go well. Perhaps seeing another dermatologist (specialist) might give you other options to consider to improve how your eyebrows look.

June 4, 2010 - 12:56pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I had this procedure in 2004. Has always felt very uncomfortable and looks worse.

I wouldn't reccomend it at all

May 11, 2010 - 6:32am
Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter

I absolutely agree with you on all counts. But we know some people are driven to have cosmetic procedures even though the risk seems to outweigh the potential benefit and the outcomes are not always as attractive as the person was lead to believe.

In terms of eyebrow hair behavior, I believe this is a real problem for African Americans who have eyebrow hair transplantation even without other health issues as their head hair does not behave like eyebrow hair.

I think your suggestion of seeing an unbiased doctor such as a dermatologist is an excellent one! I don't think that people with alopecia areata should be "sold" on eyebrow transplantion at all. But as in all diseases, there may be people with very mild cases who might want to consider it. Thanks again for your input.

April 29, 2010 - 9:29am
BALD GIRLS DO LUNCH

You can always find someone to take your money to do something to you cosmetically and underplaying the serious risks.

All procedures no matter how benign they appear from the promotions for them have risks and that can easily include scarring and infections. It's going to be in the fine print of a service and may only say "risks" in a general way. Ask very specific questions.

To put one's health and face at risk for a condition that is not life-threatening is something very few would do and far fewer surgeons would sign on to do. The doctors' first credo? "Do no harm." To be a willing participant in something experimental is surely a most personal decision, particularly for a condition that turns on and off.

And there's maintenance for a nice neat appearance. The hairs come from head hairs and will keep growing. There would have to be experience and skill to ensure that the hairs are implanted at the perfect angle so the hairs (would it lay down flat on the face?) are not going off in different directions. And what are you going to do if you discover rogue ones that won't behave? Surgerize again?

The person to get advice from? The smartest dermatologist you know who does not perform the procedure for a living.

Thea

I just can't imagine that "some success" with the attendant risks is a selling point for my community.

April 29, 2010 - 7:37am
Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter

Thank you for your comment and alerting women that those who have alopecia areata are probably not candidates for hair transplantation. I know your are an expert in this area and I highly respect your opinions. I did some futher research and found a study that eyebrow hair transplant was performed on a man whose disease was in remission

Background: Alopecia areata of the eyebrows can be difficult to treat. Intralesional triamcinolone or potent topical steroids are considered the mainstay of medical therapy. This case illustrates the results of an experimental hair transplant to the eyebrows following years of modest response to intralesional triamcinolone.
Results: The patient was free of eyebrow alopecia areata for 8 months following the initial hair transplant. Although the disease relapsed, hair growth is now manageable with intralesional cortisone injection performed six times per year.
Conclusions: For the first time in years, this patient was given 8 months of reprieve from his eyebrow alopecia areata and is currently well-maintained on monthly intralesional cortisone which originally was of only modest benefit. The patient is pleased with the outcome.

source: http://www.springerlink.com/content/r80268251m723pg5/

Another hair transplantation site stated this

Q: Can a hair transplant into bald areas caused by alopecia areata ever be successful?

A: ...We prefer that one have no new lesions for a minimum of two years before considering surgical hair restoration, although this does not insure that the procedure will be successful....

source: http://www.bernsteinmedical.com/hairtransplantblog/hair-transplantation-...

Clearly, those suffering from this condition are not the best candidates but it does appear that attempts with some success have been made. I imagine the difficulty of achieving success is for the alopecia areata to stay inactive which of course is unpredictable like any autoimmune disease.

April 29, 2010 - 7:10am
BALD GIRLS DO LUNCH

If a hair transplant surgeon suggests that an alopecia areata patient have this procedure, suggest that the surgeon return to medical school.

Thea Chassin, founder and president
Bald Girls Do Lunch Inc
The award winning nonprofit for women with alopecia areata.
http://www.baldgirlsdolunch.org

April 29, 2010 - 6:43am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Alopecia areata? That is not correct.
Alopecia areata is an auto-immune condition that causes inflammation at the follicular bulb and shuts down normal hair growth.That is why alopecia areata patients are not candidates for hair replacement surgery. Same with eyebrows. So long as the condition is active, the body does not allow the follicle to go through the normal cycles of hair growth.

April 29, 2010 - 6:28am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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