Why am I losing my eyebrows or why are they falling out and not growing back? Is it a kind of brow disease? I have or could it be my over-plucking? Discover all the reasons why your eyebrows are thinning or falling out including over-plucking, eczema, thyroid problems, and chemotherapy among others. We will also cover treatments and ways to regrow your eyebrows back.
Meaning of loss, thinning and falling out
The term superciliary madarosis is often used describe abnormal eyebrows and eyelash hair loss which can be partial or total. Depending on the cause, the can be weird since besides the hair breaking and falling out easily, some people may end up with a part, half, inner, outer third or one on or both eyebrow missing. In fact, thinning at ends is common.
Natural growth and falling off (shedding) – eyebrow hair growth cycle
Naturally, the brow hairs fall out after they have completed their growth cycle or phases i.e. the anagen (growth phase), catagen (resting phase when they stop growing) and telogen (shedding phase). This natural process cannot make them thin. In fact, you will hardly notice a change.
For those who are concerned on how many eyebrow fall off naturally in a day, it is not easy to determine since this does not happen daily.
Who gets this problem
Unlike scalp hair loss, which is common in men, eyelashes and eyebrows falling out can affect anyone including women and even children. It all depends on the reason behind your loss.
Why are my eyebrows thinning and falling out – causes
What causes them to fall out, what is the reason behind my lost eyebrows or why are mine so thin? Let us look at all the possible or reasons why you are losing eyebrows or why they are thinning). We will be looking at these causes together with possible treatments or ways to manage them.
Eyebrow tweezing, threading or waxing is a way used to groom them. It takes much longer for them to regrow back. However, if done aggressively can result in infections, ingrown hair, and possible follicle damage.
According to smarthealthadvice.com, “plucking can damage the follicle underneath the hair. They are responsible for hair growth, so damaging those means permanent eyebrow hair loss”.
It is expected for most hairs including those on your brows and lashes to thin and disappear with age. They begin thinning before they fall out. This happens to everyone. Furthermore, the rate at which hair grows slows down.
3. Iron and vitamins deficiency
Body hairs loss including your lash and brow can be due lack of some vital nutrients that promote healthy and strong hair growth. For instance, anemic patients who lack iron tend to suffer from hair loss.
Other important vitamins for eyebrow hair growth to consider include vitamin B complex especially vitamin B-12, B-7 (biotin), can ensure healthy hair and skin. In addition, vitamin D can help in hair growth by creating new pore and thus a possibility of more hair (see more on Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Finally ensure you have zinc, enough protein, and omega 3 fatty acids.
4. Chemo cancer treatment
Do you lose eyebrows with chemo or does chemo make hair fall out? The answer is yes, chemo is one of the causes depending on the exact medications you are using.
Most people lose hair during chemo. As, Mayo Clinic notes “chemotherapy may cause hair loss all over your body — not just on your scalp. Sometimes your eyelash, eyebrow, armpit, pubic and other body hair also falls out”. This loss is temporary.
Chemotherapy medications are designed to fight quick growing cancerous cells. However, they may attack your fast-growing cells including those on your root hairs. This is why some people undergoing chemo end up with no hair their scalp or body, no eyebrows, or eyelashes. Try Rogaine and scalp hypothermia to help deal with this problem.
5. Thyroid disorders
Hair falling out, including this one, is one of thyroid problem symptoms. According to WebMD, “Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair to fall out.” This, therefore, means that both patients which underactive or overactive thyroid glands will suffer from the problem of hair loss and be thinning.
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.
To be certain that your loss a sign of thyroid problems, you will have other thyroid symptoms. For a hyperthyroidism, expect to have reduced appetite, fine brittle hair (and at times hair breakages), insomnia, fatigue, diarrhea, heat intolerance, increased sweating and irritability.
On the other hand, hypothyroidism will cause fatigue, weakness, drier rough skin, dry coarse hair (for this case, dry eyebrow), cold intolerance, muscle aches and cramps, weight gain among others.
Cause due to thyroid picture
To get a glimpse of what to expect, below hypothyroid brow loss picture. You can notice much loss on the outer part of the eyebrow i.e. they are missing on that part. They are also thinner and sparse. Some people will also report shorter brows.
Do they grow back after thyroid treatment?
If you suspect you have thyroid problems, go for tests. Once treated, thinning and loss due to hypothyroidism ends and your eyebrows will regrow back. Hormone replacement therapies are often used to deal with thyroid problems.
Going on with possible, we have alopecia. This is an autoimmune skin disease where the immunity system erroneously attacks hair follicles. According to National Alopecia Areata Foundation, the disease can result, “in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body.” On what to expect, alopecia can cause a bald spot or patchy eyebrow loss.
Treatment and alopecia eyebrows regrowth
If you are looking for alopecia treatment, there is none as of now. However, using Rogaine can help regrow your them Furthermore, go for anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids to help manage the problem.
Note that alopecia cannot be treated permanently, there is also no assurance the eyebrow hair regrowth will be permanent.
7. Losing due to Eczema
Going on with causes, eczema (atopic dermatitis) is another worth mentioning. According to She Knows, “although the flaky, itchy skin condition known as eczema can occur anywhere on your body, patches of eczema underneath your brows can cause hair loss throughout the eyebrow.”
As part of the explanation for hair loss, The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, states, “patchy loss of eyebrows and eyelashes may also result from scratching or rubbing”.
Eczema on eyebrows can be treated using topical steroids for itchiness reduction as well as ensuring you moisturize them well.
8. Stress and hair loss
It is possible for one to lose body hairs due to stress. This is a temporary loss often known as telogen effluvium, which according to America Osteopathic College of Dermatology happens “when some stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state. Telogen effluvium can be acute or chronic”.
Effective stress management is a way to go when you realize stress is causing your hair loss besides antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, NSAIDS, retinoids, beta-blockers that can help in dealing with this loss in general.
9. Seborrheic dermatitis
This condition mainly affects the scalp and other body parts that causes itchiness, flaking (white or yellowish oily scales), redness, inflammation among other symptoms. If you have seborrheic dermatitis on your brows, itching, scratching and irritation can cause brow hair loss.
Hair loss is temporary and it will regrow once the condition has been contained. Treatment involves the use of keratolytics like salicylic acid, urea, or lactic acid, topical antifungal agents, calcineurin inhibitors, and mild topical corticosteroids.
10. Eyebrow dandruff
Another possible reason why eyebrows fall out is having dandruff. Dandruff itself does not cause hair loss on brow or scalp. However, the various conditions that cause dandruff have the potential of causing the loss.
Menopause is generally known to cause hair thinning among other symptoms. If you are on your menopause and you notice you need your eyebrow pencil more to fill your sparse and thinning ones, menopause could have caused it.
Hair thinning and loss due to menopause is attributed to changes in hormonal levels that happen during this time. Although the scalp is most commonly affected, we cannot fail to list this as one of the possible cause eyebrow loss.
Another reason why hair falls out is lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that may make your immunity system begin attacking your various healthy body tissues. According to Medical News Today, “this results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs”. It can also attack eyebrow follicle resulting sudden hair loss and including brows.
A good illustration is the story of Emily Savage-McGlynn titled “When my eyebrows fell out I felt my life was over’: Graduate, 34, whose brows went bald after Lupus says face tattoos saved her sanity” that appears on Mail Online.
Lupus symptoms: Common symptoms for lupus include muscle pain, hair loss, sensitivity to the sun, swollen or painful joints, and chest pain when breathing in deeply, paleness of toes or fingers, red rashes especially on the face, etc.
Lupus treatments: Lupus can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-malaria medications, corticosteroids and immunosuppressant
Another possible reason for missing eyebrows is trichotillomania. According to Mayo Clinic, is “a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop” This can lead to patchy bald spots on areas you frequently pull it out or even make them be sparse.
Suffering from a fungal infection on your eyebrow, popularly known as ringworms often result in a temporary loss. You will notice broken short hairs remaining. If it is untreated for a long time, it can result in permanent hair loss and scarring. Expect itchy and scaly bald patches on the affected area.
Ringworms are contagious but can be treated with antifungal topical agents as well as oral antifungals for serious cases.
15. Aggressive eyebrow makeup
Does eyebrow pencil stop growth or does filling them cause hair loss? The answer is no, it does not. However, aggressive use eyebrow dying, tinting, aggressive filing and applying other makeup products can lead to them falling out especially if one has thin ones and a sensitive skin.
16. Shedding after birth
Another possible cause for they are falling out is childbirth. Pregnancy makes a woman to have hair that is more lustrous. However, immediately after childbirth, hormonal changes that follow may cause hair shedding including one on eyebrows.
This is a temporary loss due to hormone level changes. However, if this is falling out during pregnancy, it is caused by other reasons and not your pregnancy.
17. Skin growths
According to healcure.org, “skin growths such as moles, warts, hemangiomas, sebaceous hyperplasia, and seborrhea keratosis on your eyebrows may make growing hair unable to penetrate through them.” Removing these skin growths will allow them to grow back. However, severe scaring during removal can cause permanent eyebrow hair loss.
18. Surgery and anesthesia use
A surgical process during brow lift as well as the use of general anesthesia can result in temporary brow loss. This loss is expected to last for up to three months. Botox, microblading, tattooing can also cause eyebrow loss.
19. Hansen’s disease or leprosy
This is a bacterial infection caused by bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, which affects nerves and your skin. As livestrong.com notes, this “disease often affects the skin of the eyebrow region, leading to loss of sensation and permanent loss of the eyebrow hairs”
20. Some disorders
There have been people who have reported the fact these hairs fall out due to a serious rubbing eyebrows disorder or over-plucking disorder.
Besides the above, some of the other possible causes of loss and thinning include the following:
- Trauma to your brow area
- Having lice – They can come off due to excessive scratching caused by itchiness for people with lice
- Syphilis – during its second stage, one can have pair hair loss anywhere including on eyebrows
- Infiltrating skin cancer
Treatment and eyebrow hair regrowth
Is it possible to regrow eyebrows back after they have fallen out? Is there an alternative treatment for thinning and loss? How can you increase their hair growth? This is valid questions, which anyone with this problem will have.
Just as no one wants receding hair, so is the case with eyebrow balding, loss or thinning. While looking at each of the possible reasons why they are falling out, we mentioned treatments or ways to stop brow hair loss. For each cause, you know what to do.
To add on that, we will look at more ways to deal with this problem of balding. These are general ways, which will revolve around good care as well as the use of some eyebrow growth products.
1. Eyebrow restoration or transplant for sparse and lost brow hairs
If you want to have your them back, you should consider going for repair or restoration of eyebrows. This is a process of transplant done by a specialist. It can be done to patients who meet certain required criteria.
Tattooing is an ideal lost or sparse eyebrows treatment for those who have lost them through over-plucking, genetics, trauma, scars etc. Remember not everyone can go for the transplant. Discuss your suitability with your cosmetic surgeon.
2. Go for eyebrow tattooing
If you are losing hair and there nothing you can do, another option is going for tattooing. This is a permanent makeup will create a design that resembles actual eyebrows and saves you the trouble of having to use makeup all the time.
3. Best Eyebrow hair growth cream for healthy ones
Another loss or thinning treatments is trying the various eyebrow growth enhancing creams. Latisse and Rogaine are the most recommended. Some of the other good hair growth cream include the following:
- Folligen Hair and Scalp Nutrient Cream
- RapidBrow Enhancing Serum
- Anastasia Brow Enhancing Serum
- LashFood Nano-Peptide Natural Conditioner
- Revitalash Revitabrow Conditioner
- LiBrow – Growth Serum
- RapidLash Eyelash and Renewal Serum
These are just but a few. There are other leading hair growth products, which will help condition, moisturize and stimulate eyebrow hair growth from Ardell, Talika, Joey Healy, etc. See reviews and user rating to help you decide what works well for your condition.
Bald eyebrows natural home remedies
We have seen reasons why eyebrows thin out and a few treatments you can go for including creams. There also several natural remedies that can help you get healthy, thick eyebrows. Some of those remedies include:
- Castor oil – very good for eyebrows fall out
- Applying Vaseline
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- Aloe vera gel
- Onion juice
- Coconut milk
- Egg yolk
Note that these remedies will not reverse lost strands if it was permaent but help reduce or stimulate regrowth. This will ensure you have it have thicker, stronger brow hairs. To see more details on home remedies for their hair growth, read more at 14 Home Remedies for Thick Eyebrows
Hiding with makeup like a brow pencil
When they fall out, you might end up with thin, irregularly shaped and sparse ones. Try using an eyebrow pencil to cover up for your eyebrow missing hairs or lost strands as you wait for them to grow back. Even people with no brow hairs can properly apply eyebrow makeup to mimic real ones.
Losing outer third of eyebrows or loss of lateral
Although balding does not have a certain pattern. Some loss patterns are connected to a specific cause. For instance losing or thinning outer eyebrows especially, losing an outer third of eyebrows or loss of a lateral third of eyebrow is connected to some specific causes.
According to Wikipedia, something called sign of Hertoghe or Queen Anne’s sign is “thinning or loss of the third of the eyebrows, and is a classic sign of hypothyroidism or dermatitis atopica but it can also be detected in lepromatous leprosy”
Not all causes of outer thinning or lateral loss are due to the above causes only. Other reasons can be behind your missing eyebrow hairs on the edges. For instance, expect one loss side if one side is affected.
Itchy and falling out
Sometimes one can have the problem of itchy eyebrows that are falling out. This can be caused by a number of reasons, some of which we have discussed.
Eyebrow hair and thinning loss in men – male
Eyebrow hair loss causes in men are same as the ones for any person. In fact, all the causes apart from reasons related pregnancy, menopause-related hormonal changes, over-plucking, and makeup use can be a cause. These four causes affect women more than men (males).
References and cited works