For many people with thinning scalp hair, proven medical therapies and hair restoration surgical procedures are widely available and good options to restore hair loss and slow future hair loss. However, for people like 37-year-old Denise Goolsby of Virginia Beach, Va., who noticed that her eyebrows started thinning in her 20s, knowing where to turn for eyebrow transplants was considerably more difficult.
“I always had fine eyebrows, so when I noticed them getting thinner I tried tattooing as a first step – but it only made the problem worse,” said Goolsby. “It got to the point where I actually had no eyebrows left, and it became too much to deal with to pencil them in with cosmetics every day.”
After doing more research, Goolsby found Edwin Epstein, MD, a Virginia Beach hair restoration surgeon who performed hair restoration surgery on areas of the body other than the scalp, including eyebrow transplants and eyelash transplant / eyelash replacement procedures.
“Eyebrows are an important part of our appearance, without which our facial symmetry appears unbalanced,” said Dr. Epstein past president of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). “Thanks to the great strides made in hair restoration surgery over the years, there are now a number of procedures available to restore all or part of the eyebrow.”
In Goolsby's case, tiny single hair follicular units from a donor area at the back of her head were transplanted to the eyebrow area in one outpatient procedure. Dr. Epstein noted that donor hair for an eyebrow transplant is selected based on whether the hair has the appropriate texture and orientation to serve as eyebrow hair when transplanted. The transplanted hair grows slowly over the course of several months after an eyebrow transplant, and Goolsby’s eyebrows were fully grown within six months. As the transplanted hair will continually grow over time, the eyebrows will need to be trimmed regularly (see our Eyebrow Restoration Surgery article).
“My new eyebrows look great, and it’s so refreshing not to feel self-conscious about them after years of trying to cover up the noticeable hair loss,” said Goolsby.
Dr. Epstein added that non-scalp hair restoration is a good option for most patients with hair loss, but patients should consult a hair restoration physician to discuss whether a certain procedure is right for them.
According to statistics released from a recent member survey conducted by the ISHRS, 92.8 percent of hair transplant procedures performed in 2010 targeted the scalp area and 7.2 percent of procedures targeted non-scalp areas of the body – including eyebrow (4.4 percent), face/moustache/beard (1.5 percent) and eyelash (0.6 percent) areas. From 2008 to 2010, hair restoration procedures performed on the eyelash, eyebrow and face increased 14.2 percent. The largest number of hair restoration procedures for the scalp, facial (moustache/beard) and chest hair restorations was handled within the United States; Asia conducted the largest amount of eyelash, eyebrow and pubic area hair restorations.
About the ISHRS
Founded in 1993, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is a non-profit medical association with a membership of over 900 physicians worldwide dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of hair restoration. The mission of the ISHRS is to achieve excellence in patient outcomes by promoting member education, international collegiality, research, ethics, and public awareness. For more information and to locate a physician, visit www.ishrs.org.
About the Survey
Conducted by Relevant Research, Inc. of Chicago, IL, the ISHRS 2011 Practice Census survey is a compilation of information provided solely by participating physicians. The information published in this survey was developed from actual historical information and does not include any projected information. The margin of error for the sample is plus or minus 6.4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. For a full reprint of the ISHRS 2011 Practice Census Report, visit Hair Restoration Surgery Statistics.
Editor’s Note: Before and after photos of Denise Goolsby are available at /press-release/eyebrow-surgical-hair-restoration-patient-denise-g.