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Eyebrow Hair Transplants

A part of the face that gets the least attention in descriptions is the eyebrows. Usually, one describes the color of the eyes, the type of nose, the shape of the face, etc. Eyebrows are not usually included, yet when they are not there, the whole face looks weird, even alien. Eyebrows are probably as important as anything else in defining the way a person looks, which is probably why those who create disguises usually focus mostly on the shape of the eyebrows.

The loss of one’s eyebrows is not considered a natural occurrence as the loss of scalp hair is. It may result from systemic problems such as thyroid disease or alopecia areata, genetic disorders that lead to the thinning of the eyebrows or eyebrow loss as part of aging, or it could also result from accidental burning or deliberate and repeated shaving or plucking.  Because it frames the eyes and provides balance for the face, the eyebrows are considered a critical part of the face although it has no real practical function.

While the loss of the eyebrows may not be a life or death matter, for emotional and esthetic reasons its reconstruction is usually desirable. The first eyebrow reconstruction procedure was performed by Krusis in Germany in 1914, but it was not until 1943 that Tamara suggested the grafting of individual hair follicles for the most natural-looking results, while it was perfectly acceptable in scalp hair transplants to use graft units of up to four hairs. This is because of the differences between eyebrow hair and scalp hair.

For one thing, the direction of eyebrow hair depends on the part of the brow it is growing from. It forms a pattern that subtly converges to form a rise that follows the curve of the brow. Eyebrow hair also grows from the follicle is at a sharp angle to let it lay flat on the face, as compared to scalp hair that may grow at a 45 degree angle from the scalp. A third difference is that eyebrow hairs are consistently single-strand follicles while scalp hair can have as many as four in one follicle. Finally, eyebrow hair has a “lifespan” of about four months before falling off, which is why it is always short, while scalp hair grows for as long as seven years.

The procedure is quite safe, but should be undertaken by an expert. Because of the unique characteristics described above, the transplant requires careful and delicate micro grafting using very fine needles as parallel to the skin as possible. Even the choice of the hair requires a considerable amount of knowledge and skill, because the wrong type of hair placed at the wrong angle can really botch up an otherwise good transplant.

The problems of eyebrow transplants do not end with the procedure, however. Typically, the micro grafts are taken from the scalp, which means the hair will grow longer and will need to be trimmed regularly to maintain a normal length. And because the procedure involves small incisions, the healing may cause the angle of the transplanted hair to shift slightly, making it stand up more than intended and may take on a disheveled appearance.