If you lived through the 1990s, you probably participated in the pencil-thin eyebrow trend. You might remember some of your favorite celebrities like Jessica Alba and Christina Aguilera sporting the barely-there brows (via Bustle). If you partook, you likely tweezed the hairs above your eyes into thin lines, and if you’re lucky, they ended up filling back in when bushier brows came back into style. However, for some people, this extreme beauty trend of over-plucked eyebrows actually caused permanent harm, according to The New York Times.
Women’s Health reported that tweezing, which pulls the hair out from its root, can permanently damage your hair follicles even though plucking your hair out one at a time isn’t usually considered permanent hair removal, unlike laser hair removal or electrolysis. The skin above your eyes is especially vulnerable to permanent follicle damage even though it’s likely that you pluck, wax, or thread stray hairs often. Once a follicle dies, the hair won’t return (via the Times).
Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, M.D., told the Cleveland Clinic, “I tell my patients to get rid of their magnifying mirror because using one means you’re constantly looking at it, plucking and traumatizing those hairs.” If you’re unhappy with your skinny brows, there is some hope for rehabilitating them back to a fuller style.
Here's how you can correct damaged brows
While the skinny brows of the 1990s have come and gone, you might be living with the effects of so much tweezing and waxing if you went all the way in on the trend. Now that bushier eyebrows like Cara Delevingne’s are in style, there are a few things you can do to help improve the look of sparse brows. Bustle revealed that microblading is one way to achieve the look of fuller eyebrows to frame your eyes, but it’s not a permanent solution. Another option is using eyebrow products to fill in the area every day.
As Dr. Khetarpal told the Cleveland Clinic, once you put down your tweezers, it can take some time to see regrowth. “Give it at least two to three months to see hair growth. The hair growth cycle for eyebrows is between three and four months, so you need enough time for the hair to respond to your changes.” He suggested taking it easy on plucking and trying a growth serum to help encourage as much growth as possible. If none of that works, you should see your dermatologist to discuss your options, which might include prescriptions, plasma injections, and eyebrow hair transplants.
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