Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, super thin, barely-there eyebrows were in vogue. But, as trend pendulums are wont to do, fashion has swung in the other direction. Thick, full eyebrows, seen on the likes of model Cara Delevingne or actresses like Megan Fox, are what’s stylish. That might be great news for people with naturally thick brows or who left their brows relatively untouched during the razor-thin brow trend of the ’90s and early aughts.
But, women who overplucked or overwaxed their brows, or who naturally have sparse and thin brows, may be disappointed to find that getting back strong, full eyebrows is more difficult than it seems. To get the full brows they want, more and more women are turning to eyebrow transplants.
The Delevingne Look
Cara Delevingne is just the latest in a long line of famous women who had brows worth copying. A few years ago, Dr. Jeffrey Epstein found that many of his eyebrow transplant patients wanted brows like the actress Megan Fox. The brow styles of the Kardashian sisters were also a popular look.
These days, it seems as though Delevingne reigns supreme when it comes to eyebrow envy. According to Shape magazine, the model’s face was deemed “perfect” by other women, in large part due to her brows.
Delevingne’s brows are very distinct. They are not only full, they are also somewhat flat, with a less prominent arch than the fuller brows found on other celebrities, such as Fox or Kardashian.
Regardless of the shape of the brow, a thicker eyebrow, like a thick head of hair, signals youthfulness and vitality. They also frame the eyes and face, creating balance and symmetry.
What Happens During Eyebrow Transplant Surgery
While plucked out eyebrows or waxed eyebrows will often grow back in time, transplant procedures have increased in recent years. In 2012, Dr. Epstein told the New York Post that he’d seen a 30 percent increase in requests for the procedure. Eyebrow transplants have also become more popular in Britain, where they surpass even breast implant requests. The Daily Mail reported that brow transplants have increased 45 percent in recent years. Asian countries are also the site of lots of patients, including Singapore and Korea.
If you are thinking about an eyebrow transplant to add fullness to your stubbornly thin brows or to fill in bald areas of the eyebrow, it’s important to understand what goes on during the procedure.
Typically, the procedure takes between two and four hours. Depending on how thick you want your brows, the surgeon can transplant up to 350 hairs per brow. The transplanted hair comes from the back and sides of your scalp, just as it would during a hair restoration procedure for the top of your hair.
The surgeon will usually make very fine incisions into the brow area that measure 0.5 mm. He’ll place a single hair at a time. Placing just one hair at a time allows the surgeon to create a precise brow shape. The position of the hairs is important, as you want the transplanted brows to grow in the direction as the rest of your brows and to look at as natural as possible.
Other Options for Brow Regrowth
While an eyebrow transplant does provide a permanent solution to thin or patchy brows, it might not be the best option for everyone. If you previously had full brows but decided to overpluck them in the past, you can wait and see if your brows grow back in. While you wait, you can use a brow pencil or powder to create a full look.
Some patients try using a brow serum or a prescription medication such as Latisse to stimulate brow growth. Latisse is only FDA approved to regrow lashes at the moment, so a doctor would need to prescribe it off-label for use on the brows. In some cases, exfoliating the area around the brows with a gentle scrub can help encourage additional growth.
Recovering and Regrowing
If you decide to undergo an eyebrow transplant, one benefit is that the procedure’s recovery time is typically pretty short. In many cases, patients can get back to their regular activities within five days. Dr. Epstein uses sutures that dissolve on their own, so you won’t have to return to have the stitches removed. Other patients have the grafts obtained by the FUE technique, avoiding altogether an incision in the scalp.
At first, the hair transplanted to the brow area will fall out, usually after a couple of weeks. It will begin to grow back again after a few months and will grow for the rest of your life. Many patients see the thicker, fuller brows they wanted after about 10 months.
Since the transplanted brow hair does come from the scalp, it won’t act the same as regular eyebrow hair. It will keep growing beyond the length of standard brow hairs. That simply means that you’ll need to trim it from time to time to keep it from looking unruly.
Dr. Jeffrey Epstein performs eyebrow transplants in both New York City and Miami, Florida. He typically performs about 150 transplants every year. If you want to learn more about the procedure or about how you can get thicker brows like the aforementioned models, call his office to schedule a consultation. Call (305) 666-1774 for the Miami office and (212) 759-3484 for the New York office. Consults are also seen in London, the UK.