Eyebrow transplantation is one of the most aesthetically challenging procedures to perform, but when done by experts, can provide an impressive result. This procedure can be done by both the FUE or the FUG/strip technique, but most importantly requires the careful making of recipient sites for the hairs that will determine the direction and angulation of growth, as well as the aesthetic designing of what should be natural appearing eyebrows that complement the rest of the patient’s facial features.
Though one may not notice when he/she has full and well-shaped eyebrows, it’s very easy to identify if your eyebrows have become too thin or are practically absent. When this occurs, the appearance of your face may affect your self-esteem and reduce your confidence. Due to developments in hair transplantation techniques over the past 10 years, eyebrow transplantation is possible and when performed properly, can provide beautiful results Whether you’ve gone through permanent hair loss in the area or are starting to experience thinning due to over-plucking or genetic issues, an eyebrow transplant can restore your eyebrows.
Why Have An Eyebrow Transplantation?
There are other methods of making eyebrows appear fuller, such as with a tattoo or daily makeup application, but they have their drawbacks, one of which is that they are not natural solutions to your problem. As an eyebrow transplant takes the hair directly from your head, the hairs are permanent and can be done to appear as close as possible as to what the patient desires.
Another advantage of the procedure is that it is virtually painless, and takes approximately 5 to 7 days from which to recover. This is true no matter whether the entire eyebrow or portions of the eyebrow are being restored. Regrowth rates of the transplanted hairs tend to be quite high, although the occasional patient chooses to have a second procedure to achieve greater density.
Eyebrow Transplantation Procedure
One of the best aspects of an eyebrow transplantation is that the procedure to have it done is rather straightforward. Depending on the extent of what you want done, whether a small amount of restoration in order to cover a scar or a full restoration to thick eyebrows, the procedure can involve the transplanting of anywhere from 50 to as many as 400 grafts per eyebrow, with each graft containing typically one or two hairs. The first step is the designing of the eyebrows, done in conjunction with your feedback, with our doctor making sure the design is aesthetic and natural appearing. Most patients take some oral sedation, and once the anesthesia is injected using the Wand® (a computerized device that minimizes any sensation), there is essentially no discomfort.
The donor hairs are typically removed from the back of the head, using either the strip/FUG technique or the FUE technique. The decision as to technique will be determined by you and the doctor, depending on how you wear your hair, your ethnicity, and your goals and concerns. Sometimes hairs will be taken from lower down in the back of the head as indicated in order to obtain finer hairs. While the grafts are prepared under microscopes by our specialized eyebrow team (who have on average assisted on over 500 eyebrow transplant procedures), the doctor will make all of the recipient sites, which will then determine the direction and angulation of growth.
The grafts will then be placed one at a time into each recipient sites, a process supervised by your surgeon while our assistants are the experts in performing this step. Several hours later, with most of the hairs transplanted, the eyebrows will be checked (and re-checked as many times as necessary) to make sure that both the patient and doctor are happy with the shape and density. The procedure is not completed until the very best eyebrows possible are created. Depending on how many hairs are transplanted, the procedure typically takes four hours. Patients can leave the office, expecting little discomfort of the donor area. Tiny crusts around each transplanted hair and some redness is to be expected for the first five days or so, after which typically there is lessening pinkness which can be concealed with makeup. The occasional patient will have rather significant bruising and swelling around the eyes for the first three days, but most have only mild amounts. Sutures if used in the donor area will dissolve at several weeks, leaving a fine line scar or if done by FUE, no linear scar at all and no need for sutures.
The transplanted hairs will fall out at around two to three week, then these hairs should start to regrow at four months. During the second and third week, the eyebrows actually look quite nice, given that the hairs have not yet fallen out. Over the next six months, the eyebrows will typically get more and more dense. Because the donor hairs come from the scalp most commonly, they require trimming usually every 10 to 14 days, and sometimes a bit of grooming is required as well.
There are very few risks, but they can include prolonged pinkness, poor growth of the transplanted hairs, and widening of a strip donor site. The occasional patient chooses to undergo a second procedure a year or more later to achieve greater density.
Are You A Candidate?
In general, most patients are appropriate candidates for the eyebrow transplant. Reasonable good medical condition is important to minimize the risk of complications. Patients who have lost their eyebrow hairs as a result of genetics, overplucking, or trauma are generally the best candidates. Those who have experienced alopecia areata, frontal fibrosing alopecia, or several other conditions that result in the loss of eyebrows may or may not be appropriate candidates, due to the risk of unreliable regrowth of the hairs. Your candidacy will be determined by your doctor who may recommend a biopsy of the area or dermatologist input. Realistic expectations are critical- the goal is to significantly improve the eyebrows and create the best possible result, but perfection is not typically realistic.
Eyebrow Transplantation FAQs
The following questions are some of the more commonly asked questions when it comes to eyebrow transplantation, all of which you should know if you’re considering the procedure.
How long will the procedure last?
The length of this procedure partly depends on how many hairs are being transplanted. If it’s on the lower end, the transplantation should take two to three hours. If it’s on the higher end, then three to five hours is likely. The reason it takes this amount of time is due to the fact that each individual hair must be precisely placed onto the eyebrow.
What can I expect after the procedure?
The recovery time for this procedure is typically five to seven days. While small crusts will appear around each hair during the first week and leave pink spots once they fall of, the pink typically fades over the next few weeks and leaves the area looking natural.
How soon can I return to work?
In general, you can return to work immediately three days after the procedure. However, you may want to wait five to seven days for most if not all of the signs that you had the procedure done to disappear.