Eyebrow Transplants are a relatively new procedure in the world of cosmetic surgery. Originally developed to restore the eyebrows of burns victims and those with illnesses preventing eyebrow growth, the same technology has been adopted by cosmetic surgeons as a treatment for women and men who would like to improve the appearance of their eyebrows.
The majority of patients tend to be women, who, through over-plucking, have thinning hair on their eyebrows. After a certain time of plucking, the eyebrows fail to regrow, which can be problem when fashions change, as they are prone to do.
The procedure is not cheap, as, although the area where transplantation is required is very small, the level of skill required for this form of hair grafting surgery is higher than with a normal hair transplant.
A fairly typical cost in the US should be somewhere around $5,000. For those prepared to travel abroad, prices can be considerably lower.
Countries such as India have exceptional Hair Transplant surgeons, many of whom have experience in the more specialized areas like Eyebrow Transplants and Eyelash Transplants. For this reason, there is no reason for you to feel that you will get a lesser result overseas than you would expect in your own country.
There are a number of causes of eyebrow loss. It may be due to an accident such as a burn or other injury, or a side effect from treatment for an illness. Most often, though, the cause is either genetic, or due to hormonal abnormalities, or over-zealous eyebrow plucking.
Whatever the cause of the problem, eyebrow restoration is a hugely effective way of improving the appearance of missing or thinning eyebrows.
If you have thinning eyebrows, or no eyebrows at all, and this troubles you, there is a high chance that you may find benefits in Eyebrow Transplant surgery.
You do need to understand that the procedure is not cheap, and also need to appreciate that the results will not necessarily be 100% perfect.
The end results should, however, be a marked improvement for you, when compared to the alternatives such as permanent eyebrow tattoos or using eyebrow pencils, which can look very fake.
Two main issues need to be ruled out, before you will be considered as a suitable Eyebrow Transplant candidate:
Any compulsive eyebrow plucking behaviors have been treated, to avoid the problem reoccurring with the new, grafted hairs.
Any disease that may have caused the hair loss in the first place should be under control.
If you are self-conscious about your lack of eyebrows, a transplant can restore self-confidence.
It can be difficult for people who have full eyebrows to actually understand how distressing the lack of eyebrows can be for some people, whether the cause is hereditary, illness related or even self-inflicted by over-plucking.
It is also easy to overlook just how visible any abnormalities of the eyebrows can often be!
The reason that a realistic eyebrow transplant was not always possible is that the technology and knowledge was not always available to perform a transplant on such a small area.
Early hair transplant surgery was not always very successful, with many patients having rather “pluggy” hair grafts. While patients may have been able to put up with a slightly tufty appearance to their hair on their head, this would clearly look slightly absurd on the eyebrows.
However, modern FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) techniques have made a realistic-looking eyebrow hair transplant a possibility.
Individual hairs are transplanted, one by one, an extremely painstaking process. The tiny incisions into which the hairs are grafted must be angled carefully in the right direction, to correctly reproduce the way the original eyebrows would have grown. Up to 400 hairs may be grafted in this way, per eyebrow. Once transplanted, the hairs will then be trimmed to the correct length.
Local anesthesia will be used, so you should not feel anything during the procedure.
The usual donor site for Eyebrow Transplants is the back of the scalp, where the finer hair is most similar in texture. However, sometimes hair can be transplanted form the armpit or the chest, if that is more appropriate.
Eyebrow grafting is a minimally-invasive procedure, and so is far safer than most other types of cosmetic surgery. However, there are still some risks, which the patient need to be aware of.
Your surgeon will explain all of these to you in more detail, but the main risks involved are those of infection, scarring and the risk of the results not being quite as you hoped.
The Eyebrow Transplant procedure should be expected to take up to four hours. This is a long time by any standards, and you will have to be extremely patient while the surgery takes place. Most patients feel that the surgery is very much worth every cent and every minute.
Recovery from Eyebrow Transplant Surgery is quite fast, although you should not expect to see the final results for a few months after the procedure.
After just a few days, you’ll be fine to return to work, and any appearance of you having had surgery should be fairly minimal after a week or so.
After about three weeks, the hairs from your eyebrows will fall out. This is quite normal, and nothing to be concerned about. It is simply due to the shock phase that transplanted hair goes through.
The eyebrows can then be expected to grow back 2 to 3 months later, when you will finally see the end results of your surgery!
Success rates are now generally very high, with around 90% of Eyebrow Transplants being successful first time, and just 10% requiring some extent of revision work some time afterwards. This is a marked contrast to earlier attempts at Eyebrow Transplants, where the success rates were much lower.
As your new eyebrows will be made from hair from your head, you should be aware that they will continue to grow in the same way as they used to, for the rest of your life.
This is because head hair has genetic properties that will not be modified simply because they are moved from one area to another.
This means you will need to trim your eyebrows once a week, which can be easily done with a pair of nail scissors. Most patients find this to be a very small inconvenience, in exchange for having normal-looking eyebrows again.
As with all hair transplantation surgeries, the actual cost will depend on various factors. These include the skill and expertise of your surgeon, the exclusivity of the clinic, and the extend of work that need to be done. With some patients, the number of hair follicles that need to be grafted will be much less than in other cases.
The location of your clinic will also play a part in determining the cost of your Eyebrow Transplant. Prices can differ from state to state, and especially from country to country.
In fact this difference is what motivated some people to travel for surgery, a trend known by the media as medical tourism.
By exploiting the difference between different economies, it becomes possible for the patient to get a high-quality of treatment at far lower prices. So while the cost of Eyebrow Transplantation will likely be around $5,000 in the US, by travelling abroad you can potentially get the same treatment for one-third, or less, of the price.