Through my work as a Semi Permanent Makeup Artist (I have done well over 10,000 procedures at this stage!), I have seen everything you can imagine. But one of the most important and pleasing procedures I do is helping people who have lost their eyebrows.
It may not seem like a big deal to some people (but those people generally have great brows!) but it can mean the world to others, such as the many clients I have treated who have lost ALL their hair through alopecia, cancer treatment or burns. Many have said losing their eyebrows and eyelashes was harder to deal with emotionally than losing the hair on their head. Being able to help them is why I LOVE my job!
Why am I losing my eyebrow hair?
Most people will fall into one of the following 10 categories:
- Over plucking
This is the most common cause of hair loss I see. We’ve all done it, but the next time you go to pick up your tweezers, remember this – each hair in your body can take up to six weeks to re-grow so if you make a mistake you will have to live with it for a while. Never mind the risk of ingrown hairs, infections and permanently damaging the follicle.
- Nutrient deficiency
There are some specific nutrients that will help strengthen your hair and lacking in these can lead to sparse thinning hair….
Iron: The first most common one I see is low ferritin levels. This is the name for your stored iron in your body; this level can be tested and subsequent supplements can then be taken. This is also common with those suffering with thyroid disorders.
Protein: this is needed to promote cell growth and repair.
Omega 3 fatty acids: commonly found in oily fish can rehydrate damaged hair.
Vitamin B12: lacking this vitamin can cause weak and brittle hair
Vitamin D: this can activate hair growth, everybody should supplement.
As we age, we have a drop in oestrogen, which causes our hair to thin, dry out and follicles can simply top reproducing hair, unfortunately we cannot stop this process but can only treat the eyebrows with care.
Human hair follicles are direct targets of thyroid hormones; it is more noticeable on the eyebrows as there is less hair there to begin with, but it often has a very specific pattern. The loss of hair can be sudden and just the tail usually disappears.
- Skin disorder: Dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis
Often these conditions affect the eyebrows or hairline blocking pores and causing thinning of the hair.
There are so many forms of alopecia, and each are extremely emotional to deal with. I would strongly advise to talk to others going through similar effects for moral support. I’ve worked with the Alopecia Society of Ireland for many years and they have a fantastic support network.
I am seeing many women who have FFA Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia who lose their eyebrows completely with a receding hairline, often these women don’t even realise it has a name.
There are a number of cancer drugs that can cause hair loss, often this is just temporary and hair will often return but it can come back a different colour and texture. I work out of St James Hospital here in Dublin treating many cancer patients before, during or after their chemo.
- Drug induced hair loss
Here is a list of What Types of Drugs Cause Hair Loss by WebMD:
- Acne medications containing vitamin A (retinoids)
- Antibiotics and antifungal drugs
- Contraceptive pills
- Anti-clotting drugs
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs
- Drugs that suppress the immune system
- Drugs that treat breast cancer
- Epilepsy drugs (anticonvulsants)
- High blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensives), such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Mood stabilisers
- Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Parkinson’s disease drugs
- Thyroid medications
- Weight loss drugs
I actually see this a great deal and is a lot more common than people think. Apparently it affects 1-2% of the population in Ireland. It is when a suffer habitually pulls out their hair, eyelashes or brows, the reasons for which are unknown.
I see at least one client a day with a scar through their brow. This is so common as it’s the first area to often be hit during a fall from a toddler to adulthood. Eyebrow piercing also has a lot to answer for!
So how do attempt to save my eyebrows?
Step 1: Take a good multivitamin and a healthy diet, rich in protein and amino acids.
Step 2: Try a topical stimulant like Regaine (formally known as Rogaine).
Step 3: Use makeup to fill in gaps or completely create a brow. There are some fantastic brows kits available.
Step 4: I recently discovered temporary eyebrows transfers from a client of mine from a website www.beauti-full-eyebrows.com in case you aren’t quite ready for the next step…
Step 5: Come and see me!
Semi Permanent Makeup is designed to last several years with top up recommended every 1-2 years to keep the colour fresh. It is a topical tattoo using a mineral-based pigment that will naturally lighten over time.
When considering Semi Permanent Makeup I have to strongly advise to make sure you see a technician’s work before you consider having them done – the more pictures you see the better. There are so many technicians out there now who often are ‘qualified’ after completing just one day of training. Google their name and make sure you read positive reviews.
DO NOT look for deals or opt for Groupon…THIS IS YOUR FACE!
I pride myself on training continuously and taking as many courses as possible with trainers all over the world. I have six different qualifications with different trainers and two courses already booked for next year.