Skimpy Thinning Eyebrows

Categories: Hair Loss, Skin care
Leave A Comment: Comments(11)

thinning eyebrowsFor the last year, I’ve been noticing my eyebrows seem different than before – they seem skimpier. The edges of my eyebrows are pretty much gone (the edges by my outer eye), and I have been noticing some areas of my eyebrows that seem really thin – like there’s just not enough hair growing there. As you know, I get my eyebrows waxed, so initially I thought maybe my waxer was a little aggressive and pulled too many hairs. However, there are a few different causes of thinning eyebrows:

Waxing can cause permanent hair loss
I’ve always heard about how your eyebrow hairs can stop growing in, or will grow in slower, if you get them waxed all the time. I’ve been getting my eyebrows waxed for about 8 years, and while I used to need them redone every 6 weeks, now I can go 4 months (I’ll pluck a stray hair here or there) without needing them waxed again. Maybe after all these years my hair follicles are getting permanently damaged.

Have you heard of Traction Alopecia? That’s a type of hair loss that happens when your hair is constantly being pulled on a daily basis, and after a while it starts to fall out, and it may not come back. Ballerinas (who wear their hair in tight buns) sometimes develop this problem, and women that wear their hair in tight ponytails or tight braids all the time, can also have this problem. People that have a disorder where they pull their hair out all the time (Trichotillomania) may also suffer permanent hair loss.

Apparently long term eyebrow waxing can also cause a similar effect. I never really thought this was possible, but now that my hair is taking months to come back in, I’m going to be a little more conservative about how much of my eyebrows I wax. Now that I can see my hair growth really is slowing down, I do believe waxing can cause permanent hair loss. I guess there is the possibility, though, that the hair could come back eventually if left alone. In the meantime, here’s a new way to shape eyebrows.

Thyroid disorders can cause thinning eyebrows
For several years I have suspected I have a mild case of Hypothyroid, a very common disorder than I would estimate effects 10% of women, and probably a higher percentage of older women. Even Oprah has finally discovered she’s Hypothyroid. I have been to several doctors, and have not yet taken any thyroid medication, because I am being cautious since I’m on the borderline of needing it. It turns out, though, that one symptom of Hypothyroid is having thinning eyebrows, and specifically missing the outer third of your eyebrows! If you have this issue, and are having other health problems, read up on Hypothyroid, and then consult your doctor if you think you may have a thyroid problem.

Testing for, and treating Hypothyroid is complicated, and the reason I haven’t gone on medication is because I’m afraid it will make my hair fall out. The irony is that being Hypothyroid can also cause your hair to fall out! I will probably get another round of blood work done soon, and then will consider taking Armour, which I don’t believe has hair loss as a side effect.

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11 Responses to “Skimpy Thinning Eyebrows”

  1. Aparna Says:

    I didn’t know about eyebrow waxing. Here we do our eyebrows by threading.

  2. babyd0ll Says:

    Traction alopecia makes a heck of a lot of sense. But I think the fact that you waxed for 8years could be it. coz I mean, just because wax isnt touching the other hairs doesnt mean the tape or whatever they use to remove it doesnt catch a couple of strand you know?

  3. Nina Says:

    My eyebrows have thinned drastically these last few years,the left one has hardly any hairs at all, I’ve never waxed,& seeing has I was always in the beauty field,as a make-up artist,I’ve never overplucked,luckily I know how to brush them in using eyeshadow,nobody ever guesses I’ve hardly got any,I’ve tried various treatments,been recently blood tested for thyroid,and nothing’s come to light as yet,would seriously consider transplants as the next step.

  4. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I’m still researching thinning eyebrows, and haven’t come up with too many new things yet. Have you been to a Dermatologist at all? If you are experiencing hair loss, eyebrows could also be effected. I haven’t read much about hormones, but I wonder if hormones could cause the eyebrows to thin, while not effecting the hair on the head.

    Also, are your eyebrows red, or itchy at all? This page has some different info about different causes of eyebrow hair loss. A Dermatologist may be able to diagnose something. However, it may take several different Dermatologist opinions to figure it out, since they probably aren’t all well-versed when it comes to this problem. If you do find out anything, let me know.

  5. cathy Says:

    Geoffrey Redmond specializes in hair loss and has a practice in New York. He is a doctor who helped develop Ortho Tri Cyclen, though the monophasic pill is better.

  6. Remy Says:

    I’m a B/M/28 and I have the same issue. :( I had my thyroid checked and everything comes back normal. I don’t understand how I can have a full head of hair, and not a full set of eyebrows(?). It’s been this way my whole life. Could it be a sign of cancer?

  7. nancy Says:

    Any hair loss, especially that of the outer edge of eyebrows is often due to hypothyroidism. Most of us women over the age of 30 need a little thyroid boost. Ask a hormone specialist (who deals with menopausal symptoms) to look over your blood work. Thyroid meds can change your life!!

  8. Ruth Defazio Says:

    Female pattern hair loss: hereditary loss at crown and front of hair

  9. Robin Says:

    Testing for and treating hypothyroidism is not complicated at all, especially if you are borderline. I too was borderline as is my mother, and grandmother. Everyone’s body is different so one person could have a TSH level in the low 200’s (normal range is 200-400) and feel fantastic, others like myself can feel awful. I’m grateful I gave the meds a shot, it has made a huge difference. One suggestion I would make if you decide to try the meds is to ask your Dr. to start you at the lowest dosage necessary, you can always go up in dosage if needed.

    I want to apologize for a mistake on my previous comment I accidentally listed the result range for FSH instead of TSH. Totally different hormone

  10. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    Thanks for writing. Yeah the correct TSH range is now 0.3 to 3. I’m not sure what the normal FSH range is (I know I just got it tested and mine was normal). And as you said, just because someone has a TSH in the normal range, they could still show signs of hypothyroidism.

  11. mel & mill Says:

    This is so sad. We feel bad for all of the women who suffer from thinning eyebrows. Here is a tip. As the fashion now includes thicker/fuller eyebrows, while growing them in (if you are able) have your hairdresser color them and the spots that you are trying to grow with a darker hair/eyebrow color. It helps us so much! Good luck with the brows!

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