When we think of maintaining a young-looking, youthful appearance, our eyebrows are not the first thing that comes to mind. Unfortunately as we grow older, our eyebrows will begin to naturally thin out. However, there are many other factors that can cause them to thin. Scarring and illness can be two factors that contribute to unwanted eyebrow thinning, which can, in turn, cause premature aging in the appearance.
If you are a sufferer of eyebrow thinning, there is some good news. There are procedures called eyebrow transplantations that can help you have full, natural-looking eyebrows again. Rather than there being a drastic change as in many other procedures, eyebrow transplants leave subtle, but noticeable results. They leave you looking younger and healthier, yet not like you have just undergone a drastic plastic surgery. The results are highly effective and can leave you looking more radiant than ever.
It is a rapidly growing procedure in popularity as it is a fairly simple and straightforward process. It is important to do your research and to choose an experienced surgeon with a good reputation. Also, pricing is something to look into when, as well. While it is not for everyone, it is a fairly simple procedure that delivers effective and wanted results.
Why Choose an Eyebrow Transplant?
There are many other options to make your eyebrows look fuller and healthier such as drawing them in with makeup or even eyebrow tattoos. However, neither of these options are a natural solution to the issue at hand. In an eyebrow hair transplant, hair is taken from your head and transplanted onto your eyebrows to create a natural and healthy look. Another perk is that this procedure is permanent so you don’t have to have the procedure redone every couple of years as you would with tattoos.
As far as recovery goes, it is a fairly quick one as it only takes about 5 to 7 days to fully heal. Also, the procedure itself is virtually painless which is a huge concern for many people. The regrowth rate of the transplanted hair is rather high, yet some people choose to have a follow-up procedure to achieve even better results.
While other options may be adequate for some people, those who suffer more severe eyebrow thinning might consider eyebrow hair transplants to be an effective and efficient solution to their problem. There is a lot of information to take into consideration when deciding on the proper route to take for eyebrow restoration. Let’s look into some things that should be taken into consideration before deciding on a procedure.
Design and Shape of the Eyebrows
There are obvious differences between men and women’s eyebrows. Men tend to have thicker, straighter eyebrows, whereas women have softer, more angled brows with a more defined shape.
That being said, one of the most important aspects of eyebrow transplants is the angling of the hair follicles. Following the natural pattern of the hair follicles is extremely important to ensure that the transplant looks completely natural. The angle of the hair follicle should match the natural angle depending on the part of the brow. A good eyebrow hair transplant should not even be noticeable, but should look as if the person was born with those brows.
It is important to make sure that the surgeon you choose and their team are experienced and know what they are doing in order to ensure that the results are the most natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Each individual graft must be specifically and particularly placed in order for the transplant to be successful and for the design and shape to turn out how they are meant to.
Eyebrow Transplant Surgical Procedure
The transplant process is actually pretty straightforward. The patient can choose whether they want just a small area restored to cover a scar or if they would like full restoration for thick brows. Depending on what the patient wants, there can be anywhere from 50 to 400 grafts per eyebrow. Each of those grafts contain one or two hairs. The doctor and patient decide together what design and shape is best for natural-looking results. Then, before beginning the grafts, patients are injected with the Wand® which is a device that helps minimize sensations so as to reduce any discomfort for the patient.
Usually the hairs used in the transplant are taken from the back of the head using either the strip technique or FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). This decision is made prior to the procedure between the patient and the doctor. It is dependent upon your hairstyle ethnicity, and the goals of the transplant. Typically finer hairs are extracted for use in the procedure and once they have been extricated, a team specializing in eyebrow hair transplants prepares the grafts under microscopes while the doctor finds and marks the recipient sites on the eyebrow.
The next step is placing each graft into each recipient site individually. It can be quite a long and thorough process, but it takes time to ensure that the most natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing eyebrows are created. Everything from the shape, density, and angling of the hair follicles are checked thoroughly in order to make sure that the patient will be pleased. Generally speaking, an eyebrow transplant takes around four hours (give or take depending on the size of the transplant).
After the procedure is finished, the patient can expect little discomfort or pain. However, it is normal to experience dry skin and redness around the recipient sites, although after a short time that will dim to a pinkish color which can be easily concealed with makeup. Certain transplant recipients are more susceptible to swelling and bruising around the eyebrow area, but most patients only experience a mild case. This begins to reduce within the first three days after the procedure. If sutures were used in the donor area of the scalp, they will dissolve within a couple of weeks after the transplant and in their place will be a very small linear scar. However, if the FUE technique was used, there will be no scarring at all.
Starting at about the two or three weeks mark after the eyebrow transplant, the transplanted hairs will begin to fall out. However, around four months after the procedure, the hair will begin to grow back on its own and over the next six months, the eyebrows will begin to appear fuller and denser. Because the donor hairs came from the scalp, a bit more maintenance may be necessary. The patient might have to trim the hairs every 10-14 days in order to keep well-kempt, neat brows.
While there are few risks associated with the transplant, there are some. Some of these risks may include prolonged pinkness of the skin around the recipient site, slower or poor growth of the transplanted hairs, or possibly a wider scar in the donor site (if the strip method was used). Occasionally patients choose to undergo a second procedure a year or so after the first in order to achieve greater density and thicker, fuller brows. However, these risks are not very prominent among transplant recipients.
Eyebrow Hair Transplant With NeoGraft
NeoGraft is an automated Follicular Unit Extraction that is an easy method for simple and fast eyebrow restoration transplant. Compared to the strip method, using NeoGraft is a simpler procedure with a faster healing time. No sutures are involved and, therefore, no scars. Also, there is a much shorter postoperative down time.
This method consists of taking hair grafts from the lateral occipital region of the scalp. That area has the highest amount of single-hair follicular units with smaller diameters. The best part of using this procedure is that there is no linear strip removal, meaning that there is no linear scar left. While this procedure may be a bit more expensive than the strip method, it is a bit less invasive and has a shorter recuperation time.
This method has many perks, but it might not be right for everyone. It is best to do your research and ensure that it is right for you, or discuss other options with your doctor.
Post Eyebrow Restoration Care Guide
Typically, patients do not experience much discomfort after the procedure. Unless sedation was given, patients are able to drive themselves home right after the transplant. The day following the surgery, patients should gently exfoliate the transplanted area in order to remove any dried skin or crust from the procedure and this should be repeated at least three times the day following the surgery and at least twice daily for the following week.
After the patient has cleaned the area, an antibiotic cream should be applied to ensure that the area stays clean and free of any infections. As was mentioned before, bruising may occur, but should begin to lighten within a week or so. After about ten days or so the crusting around the transplant site should begin to go away. Then for the next three or four months, the transplanted hairs go into a dormant period and there is no sign of the procedure. This is a time when patience is necessary, as it can be frustrating for the patient because no signs of change are being seen. However, after this period, the eyebrows begin to grow.
Once the eyebrows have begun to grow, they will begin to fill in fast. They will probably need occasional trimming and grooming as the transplanted hairs will grow at the same rate as the hairs on your head. The hairs can be plucked, waxed, dyed, etc., just as the rest of your eyebrows. After a period of time, the brow growth will slow to the pace of your natural eyebrows. The hair will take on the characteristics of the eyebrow hair in the transplant area.
Eyebrow Hair Transplant Cost
The cost of the transplant will depend largely on the number of grafts used. In some places the patient will be charged per graft rather than simply being charged a fixed price. Also, there will be charges for the anesthetics and the surgeon’s fee.
Typically an eyebrow hair transplant costs between $3000 and $6000 depending on where you have the procedure done and which technique is used. Typically, eyebrow transplants are considered to be cosmetic and are, therefore, not usually covered by insurance. However, there are some exceptions, such as if the transplant is necessary due to disease or injury.
What should be included in the eyebrow restoration price:
- The initial consult is included in the price and it is typically when the doctor determines if the patient is a candidate for the transplant or not, as well as discussing the desired design and shape of the brow. Some people may not be suitable patients, including people with alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder which causes hair loss or trichotillomania, which is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes sufferers to pull out their own hair. These and similar disorders can cause eyebrow restoration to be unsuccessful.
- The procedure itself is included in the price, as well as the anesthetics used during the surgery.
- Note: After the procedure, some patients decide to return between eight months and a year later to add more hair grafts in order to have thicker eyebrows. This is obviously not included in the overall pricing of the original procedure. However, the revision procedure is only a fraction of the cost of the original one.
Deciding which eyebrow hair transplant method is right for you can take a lot of thought. However, by taking the time to do your research and talking to your doctor, the right choice can be made.
Remember to take everything into consideration when making this choice, as it can have a large impact on the outcome. That being said, eyebrow hair transplants are very effective and can cause dramatic, yet natural-looking results. Having full, healthy eyebrows can bring a youthful appearance to almost anyone.