Whether you’ve always had thin, lifeless eyebrows, whether you’ve overplucked them over the years, or whether you’ve had an injury that damaged an eyebrow, you don’t have to live with them.
Central Valley Eye Medical Group now offers eyebrow transplantation for our patients. Utilizing follicular unit extraction, where individual hair follicles are taken from the back of your scalp and transplanted one by one, eyebrow transplantation is remarkably successful and gives you thick, healthy eyebrows that will endure.
What is Eyebrow Transplantation?
Eyebrow transplantation uses individual hairs, up to 400 hairs per eyebrow, to replace eyebrow hair that has diminished from plucking, natural hair loss with aging, or was never there in the first place. The transplanted hairs grow naturally — they actually do so well you’ll need to trim them every couple of weeks — and are dense and attractive. If you’ve spent thousands of mornings penciling in eyebrows, eyebrow transplantation is for you!
Benefits of an Eyebrow Transplant
If you’ve had thin or patchy eyebrows and you’re a woman, chances are you’ve penciled them in every day. You may have thought about tattooing, but felt it doesn’t create eyebrows that look natural, since there still isn’t any actual hair.
You may have looked into older methods of transplantation but didn’t like the results. This is because eyebrow transplantation used a strip of hair from the scalp, but there were two problems — it created an unsightly scar on the donor site, and it looked like a patch of hair from your head rather than eyebrows.
The follicular unit extraction method allows our doctors to transplant hairs one by one, paying attention to the growth direction, hair density, and the overall shape and contour. This creates eyebrows that are growing, just like your natural wispy eyebrows, but these are thick and healthy.
Candidates for Eyebrow Transplant at Central Valley Eye
Most patients are good candidates for this procedure. Patients who have lost their eyebrow hair as a result of genetics, overplucking, or injury are generally the best candidates. If you’ve experienced alopecia areata, frontal fibrosing alopecia, or other conditions that result in loss of the eyebrows, you may or may not be right for this procedure. This depends on the reliability of hair growth in the area.
During your consultation, the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group can ascertain if eyebrow transplantation would work for you or not.
Eyebrow Transplantation Procedure
The procedure starts with the design of your eyebrows. This involves outlining the outer margins of your new eyebrows. You provide all the direction on this, ensuring the shape and design is what you want.
Next you’re given an oral sedative (if desired) and we locally numb the area on the back of your scalp where we will be taking the donor hairs. This is usually on the middle area of the back of the scalp. Sometimes, we may take a spot lower on the scalp where the hairs are somewhat finer. Obviously, you need to have adequate hair in the area.
For follicular unit extraction (FUE), we use the NeoGraft® Automated Hair Transplantation system. For extraction, individual follicles are removed from the donor area on the back of the head. The NeoGraft® system extracts these hairs, which consist of 1-4 hairs per follicle, with a gentle pneumatic process that ensures the hairs will have a better chance of being successfully transplanted.
Once the appropriate number of hairs has been harvested (this number is based on what you want to accomplish with your new eyebrows), we transplant the hair into the design sketched for your new eyebrows using the NeoGraft® “no touch” implantation method. This method doesn’t use a scalpel to create donor sites. Instead, the NeoGraft® instrument makes the holes at the optimum depth, and then the hairs are inserted into these holes. When we have the density desired, the procedure is complete.
How Long Before My Eyebrows Grow On Their Own?
At first, this process can be frustrating. For the first two or three weeks your eyebrows will be full and look great, but then all of the transplanted hairs will fall out. This doesn’t mean the follicles have not “taken,” it is simply the follicles reacting to the trauma of their removal and transplantation. Not all of the transplanted hairs will survive (usually somewhere from 60 to 75 percent), so we implant more hairs than you will eventually want. After shedding the hairs, the follicles settle down and gradually return to the anagen (growth) phase in 3-4 months. Now your eyebrows start to really grow hair. The growth, of course, is more in line with your scalp length, so you’ll need to trim your eyebrows every 10-14 days. After years of thin, lifeless eyebrows, you’ll appreciate the opportunity to have to actually trim your new eyebrows.
Will My Eyebrows Look Natural?
We take great pride in implanting the hair follicles to grow in the desired direction. This makes sure your eyebrows look natural. Plus, you can train the hairs to grow in the desired direction with the application of some hair gel in the first few weeks.
Is Eyebrow Transplantation Painful?
You feel no pain during the procedure. We numb both the donor area and your eyebrow area.
Recovery After Eyebrow Transplant
You will likely have swelling in your eyelids. They can remain swollen and bruised for up to a week. A cold compress can alleviate some of this, and lessen any discomfort. All of the insertion spots will scab over, but you need to let them heal and fall off on their own. The sites will remain pink for a few days, even a couple of weeks. From there, you’ll just wait for your hairs to first fall out after 2-3 weeks and then start growing after 3-6 months.
Eyebrow Transplantation Results
You’ll be amazed at your new eyebrows. Full, even, thick…and growing like crazy. As mentioned above, you’ll need to trim the hair every couple of weeks. You may need to do some grooming and “training” of the hairs, as well. But your new eyebrows are here to stay!