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Eyebrows Falling Out, Eyebrow Hair Loss or Eyebrow Loss Causes and Treatments

Why am I losing my eyebrows or why are my eyebrows falling out and not growing back? Is it a kind of eyebrow disease I have or could it be my over-plucking? Discover all the reasons why your eyebrows are thinning or falling out including over-plucking, eczema, thyroid problems, and chemotherapy among others. We will also cover eyebrow loss treatments and ways to regrow your eyebrows back.


What is eyebrow hair loss (thinning and falling out)

Eyebrow falling out, eyebrow hair loss, eyebrow thinning, eyebrow loss
Eyebrow falling out and thinning

The term superciliary madarosis is often used describe abnormal eyebrows and eyelash hair loss which can be partial or total. Depending on the cause, eyebrow hair loss can be weird since besides the hair breaking and falling out easily, some people may end up with a part, half, inner, outer third or one on or both eyebrow missing. In fact, eyebrows thinning at ends is common.

Natural eyebrow hair growth and falling off (shedding) – eyebrow hair growth cycle

Naturally, eyebrows do eyebrows fall out after they have completed their growth cycle or phases i.e. the anagen (growth phase), catagen (resting phase when an eyebrow stops growing) and telogen (shedding phase). This natural process cannot make your eyebrows to thin. In fact, you will hardly notice a change.

For those who are concerned on how many eyebrow fall off naturally in a day, it is not easy to determine since this does not happen daily.

Who gets eyebrow and eyelashes hair loss?

Unlike scalp hair loss, which is common in men, eyelashes and eyebrows falling out can affect anyone including women and even children. It all depends on the reason behind your loss of eyebrows.

Why are my eyebrows falling out – causes of eyebrows thinning and loss

What causes loss of eyebrows, what is the reason behind my lost eyebrows or why are my eyebrows thinning (having thin eyebrow hair)? Let us look at all the possible causes of eyebrow hair falling out (why you are losing eyebrows or why they are thinning). We will be looking at these eyebrow loss causes together with possible treatments or ways to manage them.

1. Eyebrow over-plucking

Eyebrow tweezing, threading or waxing is a way used to groom eyebrows. It takes much longer for brow hairs to regrow back. However, if done aggressively can result to infections, ingrown hair, and possible follicle damage.

According to smarthealthadvice.com, “plucking can damage the follicle underneath the hair. They are responsible for hair growth, so damaging those means permanent eyebrow hair loss”.

2. Eyebrows thinning with age – Do eyebrows thin with age?

It is expected for eyebrows disappearing with age. They begin thinning before they fall out. This happens to everyone. Furthermore, the rate at which hair grows slows down.

3. Losing eyebrows due Iron and vitamins deficiency

Body hairs including eyebrows and eyelashes falling out can be due lack of some vital nutrients that promote healthy and strong hair growth. For instance, anemic patients who lack iron tend to suffer from hair loss.

Other important vitamins for eyebrow hair growth to consider include vitamin B complex especially vitamin B-12, B-7 (biotin), can ensure healthy hair and skin. In addition, vitamin D can help in hair growth by creating new pore and thus a possibility of more eyebrow hair (see more on Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Finally ensure you have zinc, enough protein, and omega 3 fatty acids.

4. Do you lose your eyebrows with chemo?

Do you lose eyebrows with chemo or does chemo make your eyebrows fall out? The answer is yes, chemo is one of the causes of eyebrow loss depending on the exact medications you are using.

Most people lose hair during chemo. As, Mayo Clinic notes “chemotherapy may cause hair loss all over your body — not just on your scalp. Sometimes your eyelash, eyebrow, armpit, pubic and other body hair also falls out”. This hair loss is temporary.

Chemotherapy medications are designed to fight quick growing cancerous cells. However, they may attack your fast growing cells including those on your root hairs. This is why some people undergoing chemo end up with no hair their scalp or body, no eyebrows, or eyelashes. Try Rogaine and scalp hypothermia to help deal with this problem.

5. Thyroid and eyebrows – Loss and thinning eyebrows due to thyroid

Hair falling out, including eyebrow hair is one of thyroid problem symptoms. According to WebMD, “Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair to fall out.” This therefore means that both patients which an underactive or overactive thyroid glands will suffer from the problem of hair loss and thinning.

To prove the fact that hair loss does not happen on your scalp alone, Everyday Health notes, “too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your head can become fine, with thinning hair all over the scalp. When there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body”. This proves patients with underactive thyroid (low thyroid) can have their eyelashes and eyebrows falling off.

To be certain that your hair loss a sign of thyroid problems, you will have other thyroid symptoms. For a hyperthyroidism, expect to have reduced appetite, fine brittle hair (and at times hair breakages), insomnia, fatigue, diarrhea, heat intolerance, increase sweating and irritability.

On the other hand, hypothyroidism will cause fatigue, weakness, drier rough skin, dry coarse hair (for this case, dry eyebrow), cold intolerance, muscle aches and cramps, weight gain among others.

Thyroid eyebrow hair loss picture

To get a glimpse of what to expect, below hypothyroid eyebrows loss picture. You can notice much eyebrow loss on outer part of the eyebrow i.e. eyebrow are missing on that part. The eyebrows are also thinner and sparse.  Some people will also report shorter eyebrows.

Thyroid eyebrow loss picture
Thyroid eyebrow loss picture

Do eyebrows grow back after thyroid treatment?

If you suspect you have thyroid problems, go for tests. Once treated, eyebrow thinning and loss due to hypothyroidism ends and your eyebrows will regrow back.  Hormone replacement therapies are often used to deal with thyroid problems.

6. Alopecia and eyebrows

Going on with possible causes of eyelashes and eyebrows falling out, we have alopecia. This is an autoimmune skin disease where the immunity system errornously attacks hair follicles. According to National Alopecia Areata foundation, the disease can result, “in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body.” On what to expect, alopecia can cause eyebrow bald spot or patchy eyebrow loss.

Alopecia eyebrows treatment and alopecia eyebrows regrowth

If you are looking for eyebrow alopecia treatment, there is known as of now. However, using Rogaine can help regrow your eyebrows. Furthermore, go for anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids to help manage the problem.

Note that eyebrow alopecia cannot be treated permanently, there is also no assurance the eyebrow hair regrowth will be permanent.

7. Losing eyebrow hair due to Eczema on Eyebrows

Going on with eyebrow hair loss causes, eczema (atopic dermatitis) is another worth mentioning.  According to She Knows, “although the flaky, itchy skin condition known as eczema can occur anywhere on your body, patches of eczema underneath your brows can cause hair loss throughout the eyebrow.”

As part of the explanation for hair loss, The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, states, “patchy loss of eyebrows and eyelashes may also result from scratching or rubbing”.

Eczema on eyebrows can be treated using topical steroids for itchiness reduction as well as ensuring you moisturize your eyebrows well.

8. Eyebrows falling out stress

It is possible for one to lose eyebrow hairs due to stress. This is a temporary hair loss often known as tolegn effluvium, which according to America Osteopathic College of Dermatology happens “when some stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state. Telogen effluvium can be acute or chronic”.

Effective stress management is a way to go when you realize stress is causing your hair loss besides antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, NSAIDS, retinoids, beta-blockers that can help in dealing with hair loss in general.

9. Seborrheic dermatitis eyebrow loss

This condition mainly affects the scalp and other body parts that causes itchiness, flaking (white or yellowish oily scales), redness, inflammation among other symptoms. If you have seborrheic dermatitis on your brows, itching, scratching and irritation can cause brow hair loss.

Hair loss is temporary and your hair will regrow once the condition has been contained. Treatment involves the use of keratolytics like salicylic acid, urea, or lactic acid, topical antifungal agents, calcineurin inhibitors, and mild topical corticosteroids.

10. Eyebrow dandruff hair loss

Another possible reason why eyebrows fall out is having eyebrow dandruff. Dandruff itself does not cause hair loss on eyebrow or scalp. However, the various conditions that cause dandruff have the potential of causing eyebrow hair loss.

See more on eyebrow dandruff causes and treatments

11. Eyebrow loss menopause

Menopause is generally known to cause hair thinning among other symptoms. If you are on your menopause and you notice you need your eyebrow pencil more to fill your sparse and thinning eyebrows, menopause could have cause it.

Hair thinning and loss due to menopause is attributed to changes in hormonal levels that happen during this time. Although the scalp is most commonly affected, we cannot fail to list this as one of the possible cause eyebrow loss.

12. Lupus eyebrows loss

Another reason why your eyebrow hair falls out is lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that may make your immunity system begin attacking your various healthy body tissues. According to Medical News Today, “this results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs”. It can also attack eyebrow follicle resulting sudden hair loss and including eyebrow hair loss.

A good illustration is the story of Emily Savage-McGlynn titled “When my eyebrows fell out I felt my life was over’: Graduate, 34, whose brows went bald after Lupus says face tattoos saved her sanity” that appears on Mail Online.

Eyebrow Falling Out Emily Savage-McGlynn Courtesy of Dailymail UK
Eyebrow Falling Out -Emily Savage-McGlynn Courtesy of Dailymail UK

Lupus symptoms: Common symptoms for lupus include muscle pain, hair loss, sensitivity to sun, swollen or painful joints, and chest pain when breathing in deeply, paleness of toes or fingers, red rashes especially on the face, etc.

Lupus treatments: Lupus can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti malaria medications, corticosteroids and immunosuppressant

13. Trichotillomania loss of eyebrows

Another possible reason for missing eyebrows is trichotillomania. According to Mayo Clinic, is “a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop” This can lead to patchy bald spots on areas you frequently pull it out or even make your eyebrows to be sparse.

14. Fungus on eyebrow

Suffering from a fungal infection on your eyebrow, popularly known as ringworms often result to temporary eyebrow hair loss. You will notice broken short eyebrow hairs remaining. If it is untreated for a long time, it can result to permanent hair loss and scarring. Expect itchy and scaly bald patches on the affected area.

Ringworms are contagious but can be treated with antifungal topical agents as well as oral antifungals for serious cases.

15. Aggressive eyebrow makeup

Does eyebrow pencil stop growth or does filling in eyebrows cause hair loss? The answer is no, it does not. However, aggressive use eyebrow dying, tinting, aggressive filing and applying other eyebrow makeup products can lead to them falling out especially if one has thin eyebrows and a sensitive skin.

16. Eyebrow shedding after birth

Another possible cause for your eyebrow hairs falling out is childbirth. Pregnancy makes a woman to have hair that is more lustrous. However, immediately after childbirth, hormonal changes that follow may cause hair shedding including one on eyebrows.

This is a temporary eyebrow hair loss due to hormone level changes. However, if your eyebrows are falling out during pregnancy, it is caused by other reasons and not your pregnancy.

17. Skin growths on eyebrows

According to healcure.org, “skin growths such as moles, warts, hemangiomas, sebaceous hyperplasia, and seborrhea keratosis on your eyebrows may make growing hair unable to penetrate through them.”  Removing these skin growths will allow eyebrows to grow back. However, severe scaring during removal can cause permanent eyebrow hair loss.

18. Surgery and anesthesia use

Surgical process during brow lift as well as use of general anesthesia can result to temporary brow loss. This loss is expect to last for up to three months. Botox, microblading, tattooing can also cause eyebrow loss.

19. Hansen’s disease or leprosy

This is a bacterial infection caused by bacterium mycobacterium leprae, which affects nerves and your skin. As livestrong.com notes, this “disease often affects the skin of the eyebrow region, leading to loss of sensation and permanent loss of the eyebrow hairs”

20. Some disorders

There have been people who have reported the fact their eyebrows fall out due to a serious rubbing eyebrows disorder or over-plucking eyebrows disorder.

Other causes of eyebrow hair falling out

Besides the above, some of the other possible causes of eyebrow hair loss and thinning include the following:

  • Trauma on your eyebrows
  • Vitiligo
  • Having lice – Eyebrows can come off due to excessive scratching caused by itchiness for people with lice
  • Syphilis – during its second stage, one can have pair hair loss anywhere including on eyebrows
  • Infiltrating skin cancer

Eyebrow hair loss treatment and Eyebrow hair regrowth

Is it possible to regrow eyebrows back after they have fallen out? Are there alternative treatment for thinning eyebrows or eyebrow loss?  How can you increase eyebrow hair growth? This are valid questions, which anyone with the eyebrow hair loss will have.

Just as no one wants receding hair, so is the case with eyebrow balding, loss or thinning. While looking at each of the possible reasons why your eyebrows are falling out, we mentioned treatments or ways to stop brow hair loss. For each cause, you know what to do.

To add on that, we will look at more ways to deal with eyebrow thinning out or eyebrow balding. This are general ways, which will revolve around good eyebrow care as well as use of some eyebrow growth products.

1. Eyebrow hair restoration or transplant for sparse and lost brow hairs

If you want to have your eyebrows back, you should consider going for repair or restoration of eyebrows. This is process of eyebrow transplant done by specialist. It can be done to patients who meet a certain required criteria.

Eyebrow tattooing is an ideal lost or sparse eyebrows treatment for those who have lost eyebrows through over-plucking, genetics, trauma, scars etc. Remember not everyone can go for eyebrow transplant. Discuss on your suitability with your cosmetic surgeon.

Lost eyebrow hair restoration before and after
Lost eyebrow hair restoration before and after

2. Go for eyebrow tattooing

If your eyebrows are losing hair and their nothing you can do, another option is going for eyebrow tattooing. This is a permanent eyebrow makeup will create a design that resembles actual eyebrows and save you the trouble of having to use eyebrow makeup all the time.

3. Best Eyebrow hair growth cream for healthy eyebrows

Another loss or thinning eyebrows treatments is trying the various eyebrow growth enhancing creams. Latisse and Rogaine are the most recommended. Some of the other good hair growth cream for eyebrows include the following:

  • Folligen Hair and Scalp Nutrient Cream
  • Viviscal
  • RapidBrow Enhancing Serum
  • Anastasia Brow Enhancing Serum
  • LashFood Nano-Peptide Natural Eye brow Conditioner
  • Revitalash Revitabrow Conditioner
  • LiBrow Eye brow Growth Serum
  • RapidLash Eyelash and Eyebrow Renewal Serum

These are just but a few. There are other leading hair growth products for eyebrows, which will help condition, moisturize and stimulate eyebrow hair growth from Ardell, Talika, Joey Healy, etc. See reviews and user rating to help you decide what works well for your condition.

Bald eyebrows remedies – natural remedies for thinning and falling eyebrows

We have seen reasons why eyebrows thin out and a few treatments you can go for including creams. There also several natural remedies that can help you get healthy, thick eyebrows. Some of those remedies include:

  • Castor oil – very good for eyebrows fall out
  • Applying Vaseline
  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Olive oil
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Onion juice
  • Coconut milk
  • Egg yolk

Note that these remedies will not reverse hair loss but help reduce or stimulate regrowth. This will ensure you have it have thicker, stronger eyebrow hairs. To see more details on home remedies for eyebrow hair growth, read more at 14 Home Remedies for Thick Eyebrows

Hide your missing eyebrows using makeup like eyebrow pencil

When your eyebrows fall out, you might end up with thing, irregularly shaped and sparse eyebrows. Try using an eyebrow pencil to cover up for your eyebrow missing hair or lost eyebrow hairs as you wait for them to grow back. Even pimple with no eyebrow hairs can properly apply eyebrow makeup to mimic real eyebrows.

Losing outer third of eyebrows or loss of lateral eyebrows

Although eyebrow balding does not have a certain pattern. Some loss patterns are connected to specific cause. For instance losing or thinning outer eyebrows especially, losing outer third of eyebrows or loss of lateral third of eyebrow is connected to some specific causes.

According to Wikipedia, something called sign of Hertoghe or Queen Anne’s sign is “thinning or loss of the third of the eyebrows, and is a classical sign of hypothyroidism or dermatitis atopica but it can also be detected in lepromatous leprosy”

Not all causes of outer eyebrows thinning or lateral eyebrow loss is due to the above causes only. Other reasons can be behind your missing eyebrow hairs on the edges of your eyebrows.  For instance, expect eyebrow hair loss one side if one side is affected.

Itchy eyebrows hair loss – eyebrows itching and falling out

Sometimes one can have the problem of itchy eyebrows that are falling out. This can be caused by a number of reasons, some of which we have discussed.

Read more on itchy eyebrows causes and treatments.

Eyebrow hair loss in men – male eyebrow thinning and loss

Eyebrow hair loss causes in men are same as the ones for any person. In fact, all the causes apart from reasons related pregnancy, menopause related hormonal changes, eyebrow over-plucking, and eyebrow makeup use can be a cause. These four causes affect women more than men (males).

References and cited works

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