Alopecia not only affects the scalp, but can cause hair anywhere on your body to fall out. This includes your eyebrows and eyelashes. Know all about eyebrow and eyelash hair loss treatments.

Alopecia areata is a condition that majorly leads to scalp hair loss in patches. Other areas of the body, including the eyebrows and eyelashes, can also get affected. This condition is called madarosis. This happens because the immune system, which helps in fighting off infections, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. Hair loss in any part of the body can be emotionally distressing, especially when it affects your head and face. But you can cheer up, as there are cosmetic treatments for eyebrow and eyelash hair loss. Right from microblading to eyebrow transplant, you can go for any treatment for sparse facial hair.

What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss, typically in small, round patches on the scalp, face, and sometimes other areas of the body, says dermatologist Dr Ibrahim Yahya. Alopecia affected the eyebrows and eyelashes in up to 76 percent of cases, as per a 2018 study published in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. People lose their eyebrows and eyelashes due to alopecia areata because the condition causes the immune system to mistakenly attack hair follicles in any part of the body, not just the scalp. When the immune system targets the hair follicles of the eyebrows and eyelashes, it disrupts the normal hair growth cycle, leading to hair loss in these areas.

Alopecia: 7 eyebrow and eyelash hair loss treatments
Microblading may help to do away with eyebrow hair loss. Get to the root cause! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the cosmetic treatments for eyebrow and eyelash hair loss?

There are various treatments that can significantly enhance appearance and confidence of a person experiencing eyelash and eyebrow hair loss. Here are some of them –

1. Microblading

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that creates the appearance of fuller eyebrows. A handheld tool with fine needles is used to deposit pigment under the skin, mimicking natural hair strokes, explains the expert. Typically, two sessions are required. The initial session lasts about 2 to 3 hours, followed by a touch-up session 4 to 6 weeks later. The results will be visible immediately after the procedure, with full healing taking about 2 to 3 weeks. Following the treatment, keep the area dry and avoid touching or scratching. Apply a healing ointment as recommended by your doctor, especially if you notice redness, and swelling. The effects last 1 to 2 years.

2. Eyelash extensions

Eyelash extensions involve attaching synthetic, silk, or mink fibres to a person’s natural eyelashes using a special adhesive. A full set application takes 1 to 2 hours. Maintenance sessions are recommended every 2 to 4 weeks to replace lost extensions. You will see fuller and longer-looking eyelashes right after the session. Avoid getting the extensions wet for the first 24 hours and refrain from using oil-based make-up removers.

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3. Eyebrow transplant

This surgical procedure involves transplanting hair follicles from another part of the body (usually the scalp) to the eyebrows, says the expert. It typically involves one session that lasts for a few hours. Initial results are visible after a few weeks, with full results appearing in 6 to 12 months as transplanted hairs grow. After the treatment, follow the surgeon’s guidelines, which may include avoiding strenuous activity and applying prescribed medications.

4. Eyelash serum

Topical serums containing growth-promoting ingredients like bimatoprost are applied to the lash line to enhance growth. It is meant for daily use, usually at night. Noticeable results can be seen in 4 to 8 weeks, with full results in 12 to 16 weeks. Before applying eyelash serum, clean your face and remove contact lenses if you wear them.

Try cosmetic treatments for eyebrows and eyelash enhancement. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Permanent make-up

It is similar to microblading, but uses a tattoo machine to apply permanent pigment to the skin for eyebrows and eyelash enhancement. You will need one or two sessions, with a follow-up session 4 to 6 weeks later if needed. Results can be seen immediately, with full results after healing, which takes 1 to 2 weeks. The tattoo can last several years, says Dr Yahya. Keep the area clean and dry, avoid sun exposure, and apply healing ointments as directed by your doctor.

6. Nanoblading

It is a semi-permanent make-up technique in which ultra-fine needles are used to deposit pigment into the skin. They help in creating natural-looking hair strokes for eyebrows. After the first session, there will be a touch-up session 4 to 6 weeks later. Results last between 1 to 3 years, depending on lifestyle, and aftercare. So, keep the area dry and clean, and avoid sunlight, swimming and excessive sweating for 10 to 14 days following the treatment. Apply aftercare ointment as per your doctor’s advice.

7. Microshading

It is a semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo procedure in which pigment is deposited into the skin using tiny dots for a shaded, ombre effect. It typically requires 1 to 2 sessions, including a touch-up, and results may last 1 to 3 years.

These cosmetic treatments are safe, with common side effects being mild redness and swelling that don’t take long to disappear.

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