[Posted on July 27th, 2014 by Dr. Carlos Puig]
According to a recent article in the UK Daily Mail, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reports a big increase in eyebrow transplant procedures. This is not only a trend in UK and Europe, but is becoming a highly requested cosmetic procedure in America as well.
Eyebrow fashion has gone from one extreme to another. ABC News reports that women who have been waxing and plucking eyebrow for years are now reversing the trend. At one point, the height of fashion was to have a very thin eyebrow line, especially for women. This caused massive amounts of eyebrow plucking to reduce the eyebrow to a thin line. Bushy uni-brows were never fashionable and looked rather odd to most people, so thin eyebrow lines were in vogue. The problem with all the waxing and plucking is that eyebrows will not grow again in those areas very easily.
Seeking thin eyebrows works perfectly well when the person has sufficient eyebrow hair to pluck away in the first place. However; there are many people who do not have much of anything in the eyebrow area. The medical term is minimal-hirsute, which means almost hairless. Genetics are a big factor in the amount of body hair each person has. This includes hair under the arms, on the torso, on the legs, and even eyebrows. Asians and Native Americans are known for lacking body hair, which is actually a blessing when shaved legs are in fashion. But not so much, when the eyebrows are missing.
There were some very misguided attempts to tattoo eyebrows on faces. This is not recommended because a tattoo is a band of color, which does not resemble human hair. The color also fades and changes over time. Tattooed eyebrows are like tattooing clown makeup on the face and they are very difficult to remove. Most fashion experts think tattooed eyebrows look very ugly.
Luckily, there is a new medical procedure using the technique called “follicular unit extraction“, with is a fancy way of saying the doctors take a growing hair follicle, in its entirety, from a different part of the body (like the nape of the neck) and use it for an eyebrow transplant. The patient gets to decide the finished eyebrow look, which they think will be most pleasing. Then the doctors transplant the hair follicles to the correct place to achieve this look. It costs around $9,000 on average, depending on the clinic, for the procedure. This compares to the cost of rhinoplasty (nose jobs) and is somewhat less costly than a full facelift. The results are very dramatic. Beautiful bushy eyebrows frame the face and bring attention to the eyes.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The first beholder is the person themselves. If a person is unhappy with the look of their eyebrows, this new procedure of eyebrow transplant, gives them a wonderful way to change their look.