Cara Delevingne's face was recently chosen by women as the "perfect" one when surveyed about what constitutes the ideal woman, thanks in no small part to her famous eyebrows.
It's no wonder, says Shirley Madhere, M.D., a holistic plastic surgeon based in New York city. "Fuller eyebrows are more youthful and attractive than pencil-thin or overly plucked, waxed, or threaded brows," she explains. "Full brows that are appropriately shaped and groomed frame a face and help to paint a harmonious portrait around the eyes." But whether we over-plucked our brows—remember when we all wanted to be Gwen Stefani circa 2000 with her thin, arched, pencilled brows?—or just weren't genetically gifted with a hairy brow, many women are now looking for ways to amp up their sparse eyebrows.
Enter the eyebrow transplant. Robert Dorin, D.O., the medical director of True and Dorin Medical Group and a certified hair restoration surgeon, has been getting increasing requests for this once-obscure procedure. A transplant involves artistically designing the new eyebrow shape and then filling it in with single hair grafts taken from hair on your head—a painstaking procedure that can take up to six hours, he says, adding that it's worth it, as the results are permanent and most people are back to their normal lives within 48 hours.
The risks are minimal, but there is one side effect you should know about. "About half of the transplanted hair will grow longer than the native hair since the transplanted hair is coming from your scalp," Dorin explains. This means that you will have to give yourself regular eyebrow trims, just like you do with your bangs.
If you are losing brow hair, there are other factors you should consider first before surgery, Madhere cautions. She says that by looking at a patient's lifestyle, nutrition, stress management, skin care, and overall health she's often able to identify a treatable cause for the thin eyebrows, like a thyroid condition or a hormonal imbalance. Even if an underlying cause isn't found, Madhere recommends first trying Vital Hair Therapy (multivitamin micro-injections to stimulate hair growth) in combination with using Latisse off-label or supplementing with B vitamin and biotin.
So if you're a Greta Garbo hoping to be more of a Lily Collins, you have lots of options to help thicken up your eye mustache. And if all else fails, you can always do the old eye shadow fill-in trick. It works—as long as it doesn't rain!
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