Written by Pia Velasco, Senior Beauty Editor in New York with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She executes InStyle's beauty coverage through a series of celebrity interviews, reported pieces, trend analyses, and more. Previously, she worked as a beauty editor for other national magazines.
It can be a bit of a shock when you notice that your eyebrows have started to thin out on their own. We all know that our hair texture changes with age, but how and why does that have an effect on our eyebrows, too?
To answer all our questions surrounding thinning eyebrows, InStyle tapped experts to find out why it happens to how it can be reversed.
What causes thinning eyebrows?
As with all types of hair loss, there could be a plethora of reasons your eyebrows may begin to thin. Apart from the obvious over-plucking or over-waxing, Delphine Breyne, a Restorative Permanent Makeup Artist and owner of Delphine Eyebrow Couture in Manhattan, says there are a number of other causes, such as alopecia, thyroid disorders, or hormone issues that impact eyebrow fullness adversely.
"And unfortunately, many people suffer from eyebrow thinning as a consequence of chemotherapy treatment," she furthers. "As a final and more general note, it’s important to emphasize that as we age, we will naturally lose eyebrow hairs — it’s perfectly normal."
Can you prevent thinning eyebrows?
The best type of treatment is always prevention. Approach this as you would a preventative skincare routine by drinking plenty of water, getting a good amount of sleep, and eating a balanced with a ton of iron and foods high in good fats (omega 3-6-9's) are key.
Breyne cites extreme stress as a cause for hair loss, so try and maintain a wellness routine to promote a relaxed, positive outlook on life.
What's the best treatment for thinning eyebrows?
First and foremost, the most important thing to do is to understand the root cause. Once that's been identified, treatments can then be addressed. Below, find several ways to promote fuller brows.
Put the tweezers down. This is obvious, but you can't promote hair growth if you're tempted to pluck out strays as they grow in. Instead, let them grow out and disguise any patchy areas with makeup.
Use a brow-boosting topical treatment. Typically found in serum form, find a product filled with ingredients safe for the eye area and that are known to promote healthy hair growth, such as keratin, peptides, and soy protein.
Avoid highly acidic skincare. Any type of exfoliant will slough away dead skin cells to reveal brighter, newer skin — which is great for achieving a natural glow. However, doing so will negatively impact hair growth, so avoid applying these types of products near the brow area.
See a doctor. If you're experiencing drastically thinning eyebrows, seek medical attention.
What's the best way to disguise thinning eyebrows?
While you wait for your brow growth treatment to work, fake it 'til you make it. Thankfully, there are several ways you can do this — from in-office options to at-home solutions, here are some of our favorite ways to disguise thinning eyebrows:
Eyebrow pencils, gels, and powders. For a quick, at-home fix, use a brow makeup product to create full brows. The trick here is to find the right type of product for your desired effect and the right shade. To create more texture, follow up with a brow gel. Breyne says this can add color and a fluffy, brush-like effect. Powders can create a very natural look, too. The powder is a lot more gentle to apply and remove.
Microblading. For those looking for a more permanent solution, look no further than this type of semi-permanent tattoo. "The benefits of microblading are meaningful beyond making eyebrows more full: my clients experience tangible time saving – they wake up ready to start their morning, no longer burdened with spending lots of time in front of the mirror doing their mark," says Breyne. When looking for a microblading artist, make sure to find someone whose work you've seen and admire. "Details matter, and it’s important to proceed conservatively, ensuring that matching eyebrow hair color, shape, and other nuances are taken into great consideration," she furthers.