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What is an eyebrow transplant?
An eyebrow transplant is a permanent cosmetic procedure to make your eyebrows appear fuller or to replace hair that’s been lost. A surgeon will perform this procedure using scalp or hair grafts to replace your current eyebrow hair.
A hair graft is a type of hair transplant surgery where a surgeon removes a small piece of your scalp, usually from above your ears, that can contain between two and 15 hair follicles. Hair follicles are the tubes that grow your hair.
The surgeon transfers the hair graft to your eyebrows. Once your skin heals after surgery, the hair on your eyebrows will look more pronounced, reducing the need to use makeup or an eyebrow pencil.
Who gets an eyebrow transplant?
People who’ve lost their eyebrow hair, have a faded brow tattoo or want fuller eyebrows may choose to get an eyebrow transplant. You might want an eyebrow transplant if you have a medical condition that causes hair loss like trichotillomania or alopecia areata or if you had an injury that affected your skin like burns or scars.
An eyebrow transplant is a permanent solution to make your eyebrows look fuller rather than relying on makeup to fill in your eyebrows. While the procedure is most common among women and people assigned female at birth, men and people assigned male at birth choose to have the cosmetic surgery, too.
How common are eyebrow transplants?
Eyebrow transplants are a type of hair transplant. Over 9,500 hair transplant procedures were completed in 2020 in the United States.
Do eyebrow transplants work?
Yes, eyebrow transplants are a successful type of cosmetic surgery to improve the fullness of your eyebrows. The outcome of your eyebrow transplant depends on how well the graft “takes” — that is, how well the hair follicles accommodate to their new location. This can be influenced by your overall health and how you take care of your skin after surgery. It could take several months before you see results.
What happens before an eyebrow transplant procedure?
Before an eyebrow transplant procedure, you’ll meet with your cosmetic surgeon or provider to discuss your goals for the eyebrow transplant. During this consultation, your surgeon will:
- Examine the hair growth on your eyebrows and the location of a potential donor area of your scalp. A donor area is a section of skin with hair follicles on your scalp that your surgeon will remove during the procedure to replace the hair in your eyebrows.
- Ask you about your medical history, your family medical history, your lifestyle and any medications you currently take.
- Discuss your expectations for the surgery.
- Advise about any potential risks or side effects.
- Explain what type of anesthesia they’ll use, how long the surgery will take and how you should prepare for surgery.
When you meet with your surgeon, they’ll answer any questions you might have about an eyebrow transplant to ease your concerns. You should also plan to have someone drive you home after surgery. You may need assistance at home during the first 24 hours after your procedure, as you’ll need plenty of rest.
What happens during an eyebrow transplant procedure?
During an eyebrow transplant procedure, you can expect the following:
- You’ll receive an anesthetic that’ll put you to sleep so you won’t feel any pain.
- Your surgeon will trim the hair of the donor area to make it easier to access. The donor area is part of your scalp that your provider will remove to transplant onto your eyebrows.
- Your surgeon will remove the hair grafts from the donor area with a special sharp instrument, or a scalpel. The donor area is closed up with stitches.
- The hair grafts are put into place at your eyebrows after a slit is made in your skin to make room for the graft. After the graft fits into place, your surgeon will stitch the transplant area together.
What happens after an eyebrow transplant procedure?
After your eyebrow transplant surgery, you can go home the same day. It’s rare to stay overnight in a hospital after an eyebrow transplant.
Your surgeon will give you instructions on how to care for your surgical site(s). Some care instructions might include:
- Get plenty of rest after your surgery.
- Wear bandages until advised to remove them.
- Don’t participate in strenuous activities until your provider tells you it’s safe.
- Take pain medication as prescribed by your provider.
- Some stitches will need to be removed while others may dissolve after several days.
- Take care and use caution when washing your surgical site(s).
- Make follow-up appointments with your surgeon to see if your skin is healing properly.
It’s normal for your newly transplanted hair to fall out a few weeks after surgery. This makes room for new hair to grow. It could take up to six weeks to several months before new hair grows from your transplanted area.
Do eyebrows grow long after an eyebrow transplant?
As the hair for your eyebrow transplant is from your scalp, it’ll continue to grow as it would if it were still on your scalp even though it’s now on your eyebrow. After an eyebrow transplant, you may need to regularly trim the hair of your eyebrows to keep the hair at the length you want it to be.
Risks / Benefits
What are the advantages of an eyebrow transplant?
The advantages of getting an eyebrow transplant include:
- A change to your appearance.
- Increased self-confidence.
- You no longer need to use makeup.
What are the risks or complications of an eyebrow transplant?
As with any cosmetic procedure, there are risks associated with the surgery that could include:
- Loss of feeling or some hair follicles at the surgical site.
Your surgeon will discuss these risks and the possible side effects of the procedure during your consultation. If you have any questions about the procedure, make sure you bring those questions and concerns up with your surgeon.
Is an eyebrow transplant painful?
An eyebrow transplant isn’t painful because you’ll receive general anesthesia so you won’t feel anything during the surgery. You may experience mild pain as your skin heals after the procedure. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication or you can take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve the discomfort.
Do people regret getting an eyebrow transplant?
Everyone has their own reason for getting an eyebrow transplant. You’ll feel more comfortable about your decision to get an eyebrow transplant if you:
- Make your own decision to get the surgery, and it isn’t influenced by someone else.
- Have realistic expectations about the procedure.
- Met with your surgeon and you’re confident in their ability to perform the surgery.
If you have any hesitations before your procedure, talk with your surgeon.
Recovery and Outlook
What is the recovery time for an eyebrow transplant?
The healing process for an eyebrow transplant is quick in comparison to other cosmetic surgeries. Within the first few weeks, you should be able to get back to light activities like working. During this time, your eyebrows should start to scab. It can be tempting to pick at these scabs, but avoid doing that because it can interfere with your healing.
Most people can resume any strenuous activities after several weeks at the discretion of their provider. If your activities cause your surgical site to bleed, swell or leak fluid-like pus, stop the activity and call your provider.
It takes up to six to 12 weeks before you’ll notice new hair growth out of the transplanted area. Losing hair from the surgical site is normal — this helps make room in your hair follicles for new hair growth.
When can I go back to my normal activities after an eyebrow transplant?
You may feel well enough after an eyebrow transplant surgery to return to work after a couple of days: however, everyone is different — check with your provider. Avoid strenuous activities like playing sports for at least six weeks.
How long does an eyebrow transplant last?
An eyebrow transplant is a long-term solution. Your results can last a lifetime.
When to Call the Doctor
When should I see a healthcare provider?
Visit a healthcare provider if you experience:
- Severe pain.
- Blood or fluid (pus) leaking out of your surgical site(s).
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between an eyebrow transplant and microblading?
Both an eyebrow transplant and microblading are cosmetic procedures to make your eyebrows look fuller. Microblading is a semi-permanent type of cosmetic tattoo that can last for a few years. An eyebrow transplant is a cosmetic surgery to move hair follicles from your scalp to your eyebrows.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Eyebrows are an important part of your facial appearance, and some people choose to have an eyebrow transplant if they want fuller eyebrows. While makeup helps fill in your eyebrows to get the look you desire, you may want a permanent solution to obtain your optimal look. If you’re interested in an eyebrow transplant, speak with a plastic surgeon who specializes in this procedure for a consultation.
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