It can be very distressing when eyebrows start to thin, overpluck, or fail to grow back. Eyebrows frame the face and help express emotions, so losing them can really impact self-confidence and appearance. There are several potential reasons eyebrows may not regrow, but the good news is that in most cases it is possible to encourage regrowth with the right treatments and techniques.
Common Causes of Lost Eyebrows
Here are some of the most frequent causes of eyebrows failing to regrow:
Repeatedly overplucking eyebrows can damage the hair follicles so they no longer produce hair. Plucking against the natural growth direction and taking eyebrow hairs right out by the root makes this damage more likely. Overplucking is one of the top reasons people struggle to regrow eyebrows.
Sometimes an underlying health condition causes eyebrow hair loss. Common culprits include:
- Thyroid disorders
- Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis
- Autoimmune diseases
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Alopecia areata – an autoimmune condition causing patchy hair loss
Treating the underlying condition may allow eyebrows to regrow. But severe cases can cause permanent damage to the hair follicles.
Some medications list eyebrow hair loss as a potential side effect. Chemotherapy drugs commonly cause eyebrow loss. Other drugs that may trigger it include anticoagulants, antidepressants, NSAIDs, beta blockers, and more.
As we age, hair follicles gradually produce less hair, leading to thinning eyebrows. Women may notice this effect more post-menopause when estrogen levels decline.
Injuries, burns, and other damage to the skin of the brows can destroy hair follicles and impair regrowth. If the damage is severe, scarring can prevent new eyebrows from growing back.
Treatments and Techniques to Help Eyebrows Regrow
While severely damaged follicles may not be able to regrow eyebrows, there are ways to encourage regrowth in many cases. Here are some options to try:
Give Brows a Rest
If overplucking caused the problem, give your eyebrows a break from plucking and waxing. This rest period allows the follicles time to recover and stimulate new growth.
Brow Growth Serums
Using an eyebrow growth serum can stimulate follicles and help new hairs grow in faster. Look for serums with ingredients like peptides, biotin, and botanical extracts like ginseng and gotu kola.
Gently massaging the eyebrow area with your fingertips for a few minutes per day may increase blood flow and stimulate growth. Don’t rub too vigorously or you may further irritate the skin.
Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients that promote hair growth like vitamins A, B, C, D, E, iron, zinc, selenium, and protein.
Taking supplements like biotin, fish oil, vitamin D, iron, and zinc can provide concentrated doses of hair-healthy nutrients.
Chronic stress takes a toll on the entire body, including eyebrow growth. Try to minimize stress with relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.
Doctors may prescribe certain medications like Latisse (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution), originally developed to treat glaucoma, to stimulate eyelash and eyebrow regrowth.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves injecting concentrated growth factors from your own blood into the brow area. Some dermatologists offer PRP to encourage hair regrowth.
Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique where a technician uses fine needles and pigment to draw on hair-like strokes that mimic natural eyebrows. It creates the appearance of full brows while giving damaged follicles time to recover.
When to Seek Medical Advice
It’s a good idea to see your healthcare provider if:
- You lose eyebrow hair suddenly or rapidly
- Your brows lack fullness and fail to regrow after plucking
- You experience eyebrow hair loss along with other symptoms like a rash or hair loss on the scalp
- Eyebrow loss impacts your daily life and emotional wellbeing
A doctor can check for underlying conditions, test vitamin and nutrient levels, and prescribe medications that may help.
Home Remedies to Try
Some simple home remedies may support eyebrow regrowth when used in combination with the treatments above:
Rub a little coconut oil into the brow area nightly. Its fatty acids and vitamins may nourish the follicles.
Aloe vera gel contains enzymes and polysaccharides that help stimulate circulation and hair growth. Apply it to brows before bed.
Use a cotton swab to apply fresh lemon juice to the eyebrow area. Lemon juice’s vitamin C and citric acid may boost hair growth.
Onion juice contains sulfur and certain growth-boosting antioxidants. Dip a cotton ball in it and apply to brows every other day.
Castor oil has natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties to improve brow skin health. Use a clean mascara wand to brush it on nightly.
Do Eyebrows Grow Back Permanently?
If the damage only impacted the hairs and not the follicles, eyebrows can fully regain their original thickness and fullness. But in cases of permanent follicle damage, the brows may not grow back completely.
Consistently using the right treatments makes permanent regrowth more likely. But it does require diligence and patience since brows can take several months to regain their former thickness.
When Will Eyebrows Grow Back?
How long it takes for eyebrows to grow back varies:
- After overplucking – Can take 2-6 months
- Post-chemotherapy – Around 2-3 months
- With lash enhancement serums – 4-8 weeks
- With PRP injections – 8 weeks
- With medications – Varies depending on the drug
- After alopecia areata – Timeframe is unpredictable
- With age-related thinning – Gradual; may take up to a year
No matter the cause, consistently caring for your brow area will make the wait for regrowth less frustrating.
What to Do While Waiting for Regrowth
While waiting for eyebrows to grow back, consider these options:
- Use brow powder, pencils, pens, or pomade to create the look of fuller brows
- Have brows microbladed for a semi-permanent filled-in effect
- Get your brows tinted to make the hairs more visible
- Use false eyebrows or apply individual brow hair prosthetics
- Ask your dermatologist about prescription brow growth medications
- Consider eyebrow transplant surgery for permanent results
It’s distressing when eyebrows fail to grow back properly. Often it’s due to overplucking, medications, health conditions, or aging. While severely damaged follicles can’t be revived, consistent care with growth serums, proper nutrition, and rest from plucking can encourage regrowth in many cases. If eyebrows do not start to regrow after 6 months of home treatment, see a dermatologist for medical solutions like prescriptions, injections, or microblading for semi-permanent results.