Since 1996 we have been performing eyebrow transplantation for both men and women. Our techniques have improved vastly over those years, to the point where we are now able to control not only the angle, but the direction of the curl of each hair. About half of our patients are men and half are women. Most commonly, the problem for the male patients is a lack of eyebrow hairs in the outer half due to heredity. For women, the eyebrows have usually thinned out due to heredity, over-zealous “plucking” or electrolysis treatments.
The number of procedures necessary to complete eyebrow hair restoration for a given patient can vary. Around half of our patients have only one procedure done and the other half have a second “fill-in” procedure done for additional density. Obviously, this is heavily influenced by the remaining number of “native” eyebrow hairs that are present to build upon. Complications are very unusual, with the commonest ones being perhaps a small area of purplish discoloration under the eyelids for a week or so, or some mild swelling for a couple of days. The donor hair is obtained is obtained from the back of the head, since this is the hair that will remain its natural darker color for the most years. If a person has a mixture of white and dark hairs in this donor area, we will usually “cherry pick” the better dark ones and use them only. Obviously, this hair will continue to grow, as it does on the scalp, and will have to be trimmed once a week by the patient for the rest of his or her life.
The donor hairs are trimmed a little long, at around 1/2 inch in length so that the curl is seen, and, after they are placed, you can immediately see the effect that the transplants will have on your appearance. Just as in scalp hair transplantation, most of those hairs will then fall out for a three month period called “telogen” (hibernation). Over that first year the hairs also get larger in caliber also. If someone comes twice, the second session is generally scheduled around 6-12 months after the first one.
The procedure takes around 3 hours to perform. We place around 120-160 micrografts in each eyebrow generally, the number being largely determined by the shape of eyebrow the patient wants. Also, sometimes there will be a small defect in one part of the eyebrow which needs obvious correcting and we have to place some hairs throughout the rest of both eyebrows so that the overall texture and appearance is equal and similar. For 4-5 days after the surgery there will be tiny scabs which appear like dots of sand on the skin. These tiny scabs fall off a few days after surgery, leaving the eyebrow looking pretty much like it did before the surgery. Most people only take 3-4 days off work to have it done.