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What Are Eyebrow Implants?

T. M. Robertson
T. M. Robertson

Eyebrow implants, also known as eyebrow transplants, are an option available for people who cannot grow or have permanently lost their eyebrows. The procedure is often used for individuals who've experienced trauma or have medical conditions that prevent them from having a full set of eyebrows. The concept of eyebrow implants is similar to the transplanting of hair follicles on the head. Hairs are generally grafted from the area behind the patient's ears and then implanted where the eyebrows should be. Since the entire follicle is transplanted, the hairs will continue to grow just like the patient's natural eyebrows would have had they not been damaged.

The necessity behind most eyebrow implants generally stems from one of four reasons. Traumatic events such as car accidents or house fires can burn off a person's eyebrows, causing them to never grow back. Also, some medical conditions such as thyroid disease or the chemotherapy and radiation used to treat cancer patients can result in permanent eyebrow loss. Not having eyebrows may simply be in a person's genes, causing them to be born without them. Finally, persons with disorders such as trichotillomania may compulsively pluck out their own eyebrows.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

During the consultation process, the doctor performing the eyebrow implants will need to go over the patient's medical history, determine the reasons why the eyebrows aren't growing, and establish whether the patient's a good candidate for the transplant or not. Whether or not the patient is a good candidate will depend on the overall chance he or she has for a successful and permanent implantation. For example, if the patient doesn't have any viable hair follicles to graft, the doctor may not be able to successfully perform the procedure. Also, even if the patient has viable follicles, or if the patient is still receiving chemotherapy treatment or compulsively plucking hairs out, the transplant wouldn't be worthwhile. Only after these underlying causes are addressed can a patient be approved to undergo receiving eyebrow implants.

Immediately following surgery, the patient may experience some swelling, bleeding, itching, and scabbing, but this is usually very minimal and only lasts a few days. To prevent itching, doctors often prescribe their patients anti-itching and antihistamine medications to keep them from accidentally removing the implanted follicles before they heal. After a few months, the eyebrow hairs will fall out to make room for the new ones to grow in. Once the new eyebrows grow in, they should be trimmed on a monthly basis, as they will likely grow faster and longer than natural eyebrows.

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