A balding brow

Friday, 22 June 2012

A balding browHave you noticed bald patches on your eyebrows where hair just doesn’t grow anymore? The experts weigh in on the matter. But just because we work with a slue of beauty experts, that doesn’t mean they all agree.

During a recent brow-grooming session, Sania Vucetaj, owner of Sania’s Brow Bar, carefully tweezed my brows into perfectly shaped arches. She somehow has the ability to pluck brows yet make them look even fuller – it boggles the mind. After she finished, she pointed out a small hairless patch in my right brow and told me to let the hair grow in.

‘I actually don’t pluck there – my brows just don’t grow in that spot,’ I told her.

Vucetaj asked if I applied moisturiser there and to my brows in general. Yes, I do, and it’s not by accident. I put eye cream on my brow bones (in hopes of warding off droopy skin) and smooth it over my brows to tame unruly hairs and give a little sheen. Vucetaj said this was the cause of my problems because the cream clogs the hair follicles and prevents them from growing. ‘Would you put cream along your hairline?’ she asked. Well, ew, no, I wouldn’t. Point made.

The next day I ran Vucetaj’s theory by dermatologist Ellen Marmur. She disagreed, saying that if you did indeed put moisturiser on your hairline, all you’d get were greasy roots – you wouldn’t experience hair loss. Now, if you did this and saw pimples (folliculitis), you’d know you were having a reaction and yes, this might cause some temporary shedding, but nothing permanent. The same goes for your brows, she explained.

So if parts of your brows stop growing, what’s to blame? Well, it could be the long-term consequences of plucking or waxing, since those techniques can scar the roots. But Marmur also advises women to get checked for an iron deficiency and/or thyroid problems (both natural reasons for hair loss); diet and stress can also cause a change in your brows.

‘It’s safe to use creams in that area – it’s part of the upper eyelid, and you want to treat that area to prevent hooding,’ Marmur said.

The verdict: I’ll still see Vucetaj for my brows, because she”s amazing, but I’ll also still apply my eye cream in my usual way and blame my little bald brow patch on over plucking in high school – nothing a little pencil can’t fix.

Written by Heather Muir, this article originally appeared on Allure.

Image: Inga Ivanova/Shutterstock.com


Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
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  1. Marlize Adonis

    some really interesting information

    5 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    Great! I also apply creams to my brow bone and upper eyelid area anyway. I haven’t noticed any problems with the growth of my brows.

    5 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    I have a patch where the hair does not grow due to a scar from an injury, all i do it fill it in and it looks fine.

    5 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    I think the dermatologist is right

    6 years ago •

  1. mel

    Thanks for sharing! I have been filling in my brows with eyeshadow or brow powder for years because of hairloss on my eyebrows. Will definitely check out my iron too!

    6 years ago •

  1. BeautyBloggess

    Interesting! I have a patch on my left brow but not from any plucking or teen trends. Hair just doesn’t grow there. Will check out the thyroid suggestion…

    6 years ago •

  1. BeautySouthAfrica

    Hi Sam,
    You could try eyebrow tinting, or simply fill them in with a darker eyeshadow.

    6 years ago •

  1. Sam

    My brow is not balding but I do have very light coloured eyebrows which make them seem non existent. Is there any way to darken them?

    6 years ago •

  1. Tanya

    Sad but hey you right nothing a pencil can’t fix,great article

    6 years ago •

  1. Lorraine

    Now i know something about brows i never knew.Good advice.

    6 years ago •

  1. kunene

    i agree with the dermatologist, if putting eye cream on my brows caused hair loss i would be brow-less, it is probably over plucking over the years. i love shaping my brow but not overly so as they already have a beautiful natural shape, so it is just twicking here and there.

    6 years ago •

  1. Debsie

    I have to grow my eye brows. Totally messed them up. To thin now. So im going to look like an own till their grown out

    6 years ago •

  1. landman

    Good info on this matter i use to shave my eyebrows many moons ago, and i will regret it forever, because today my brows are so uneven, so i have to use pencils to fill it up to give it a more natural look, thanks for the article.

    6 years ago •

  1. Maria Meyer

    Wow – who knew. Luckily all my brows are still in tact

    6 years ago •

  1. Botes

    I do Threading on my brows but I also have a few spots that just stopped growing, yet I also put eye creams on my brows!!! I’ll try checking my Iron levels but very interesting story!!

    6 years ago •

  1. Robyn Bronkhorst

    Awesome advice was getting a little annoyed with my “balding” eyebrows, will look into the lack of iron too. Thank you!

    6 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    Wow there’s something I didn’t know!

    6 years ago •

  1. julandism

    Thanks for the article, I actually heard the Thyriod / Hair loss symptom from a friend a few weeks ago. Very interesting!

    6 years ago •

  1. Mpbutterfly

    Luckily I don’t have this problem hopefully won’t in the future but its good to know what to do when it does happen.

    6 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    I blame my patchy look on the Vanilla Ice stage I went through! But yes, nothing a little pencil in cannot fix.

    6 years ago •

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