Thinning Eyebrows: 7 Common Causes and 3 Easy Fixes

thinning eyebrows
⏱️ 6 min read

Your eyebrows play a vital role in framing your face and enhancing your overall appearance, so we understand that thinning eyebrows can be a source of concern, especially as they can impact your overall appearance and self-confidence.

Unfortunately, many people experience thinning eyebrows at some point in their lives as a result from various factors, including genetics, over-plucking, aging, or certain medical conditions. So let’s explain each.

Eyebrow Thinning Causes

As we mentioned, our brows can change over time, so if you notice fewer hairs that keep getting thinner and thinner, sparse patches, or even some hairless ones – don’t panic immediately.

Eyebrow thinning can be attributed to a range of factors, each playing a role as one of the eyebrow hair loss causes.

Understanding these various causes is crucial in determining the most effective solutions for restoring and maintaining your eyebrow thickness. So, here are the most common eyebrow thinning causes:

1. Aging

Aging is the most common cause of eyebrow hair loss.

We all know aging inevitably leads to loss of pigment in hair, but we don’t like to think about the possibility of losing the hair itself! Just like we can suffer scalp hair loss, hairs from anywhere on the face or body can start getting thinner and eventually falling out.

Thinning eyebrows with age affects both men and women, but it’s a very individual process that depends on genetics.

Some people start showing signs of aging on their hair at an early age; others may reach old-age with full, vividly colored brows. Although inconvenient, thin brows caused by aging are a part of the natural life cycle and are nothing to worry about.

aging thinning eyebrowsImage source: Freepik

2. Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes affect the whole body, so brow hairs are no exception.

This is most prominent in pregnant women as it’s well known that pregnancy can either cause your hair to grow more quickly and fall out less – or go the other way round and cause significant hair loss.

Eyebrow hairs are affected in much the same way. In the months following childbirth, hair loss can get even worse – the state is known as postpartum eyebrow loss.

Another significant period is during the menopause (and perimenopause, the period that covers a few years before the menopause starts) due to the drop in estrogen levels.

3. Thyroid Problems

Hormonal changes are often tied to thyroid problems, so eyebrow hairloss (and hairloss in general) can be a symptom of both hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).

These issues are reflected on the brows through the loss of the so-called tail of the brow, the third of the arch closest to the ears.

If you notice this hair loss pattern, it might be a good idea to see a doctor. It might be a sign of hypothyroidism and eyebrow hair loss could be a symptom.

thyroid problems cause thinning eyebrowsImage source: Freepik

4. Skin Conditions

Although conditions such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema) don’t affect the hair follicles themselves, they can cause inflammation of the skin around the brows. The same can happen as an allergic reaction to different products.

When we scratch the area, we cause mechanical damage to the hairs, which can cause them to break and fall out. Treating the underlying condition or abolishing the questionable product will fix the problem.

5. Alopecia

Alopecia eyebrows hair loss is very often a symptom of this autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its hair follicles, leading to loss of hair. There are several different types of alopecia, and some of them target eyebrow hairs.

Unfortunately, alopecia is difficult to treat, but anti-inflammatory medication is known to help so there is a chance to help mitigate autoimmune eyebrow loss.

6. Dietary Habits

What we ingest affects our entire system. A balanced, diverse diet is a prerequisite of a healthy body – and hair. A deficiency in a number of nutrients, most notably iron and zinc, can lead to hair loss.

In fact, iron deficiency is the most common culprit of hair thinning and loss in women. And people with anemia, which is an extreme case of iron deficiency, are more likely to suffer from eyebrow hair loss and sparse eyebrows.

So if you suddenly stop getting a healthy amount of protein, hair loss is likely to happen. This is common with sudden weight loss.

On the other hand, some vitamins can also cause hair loss if too much of it is stored.

Vitamin Awhich is called retinol in its topical version – stimulates hair growth, which is desirable, but an excessive amount of it can cause hair to finish its growth prematurely and be ‘frozen’ in the resting phase, which can cause sparse patches.

7. Grooming Habits

Constant plucking and waxing are known to cause trauma to the hair follicle, making it literally die out in the skin. So, as the follicle is no longer active, hair stops growing, causing permanent eyebrow hair loss.  You can read more about that here.

The same can happen with overly aggressive skin treatments and rubbing your face too hard with a towel after washing it. This can cause exterior damage to the part of the hair that has grown out, but also damage the follicle over time.

Top Fixes for Thinning Eyebrows

While thinning eyebrows can be a source of frustration, there are numerous fixes and strategies to help you regain thicker, more beautiful brows.

Here are some common eyebrow hair loss treatment options:

1. Permanent Makeup

Sometimes called cosmetic tattooing, permanent makeup is a great solution for anyone looking to restore their brows that are sparse for whatever reason.

PMU brows are insanely popular because they provide long-lasting, minimal maintenance brows that can’t get ruined no matter how much you’re trying to smudge them!

So, given this huge popularity, PMU artists have been coming up with a number of different brow tattooing techniques that result in different brow looks, so you can get pretty much any brow look!

The most popular treatment is definitely microblading, which gives the most natural looking results and works even if there are no hairs left at all.

The results are subtle, so this procedure is very popular among men with thin eyebrows too. A skilled artist will match the color, thickness and length of the strokes to the existing hairs, or create a brand new arch in proportion to the rest of the facial features.

Alternative procedures are powder brows. The results of these treatments are powdery, almost fluffy looking brows. Ombre brows treatment is very similar but adds a gradually darker shade towards the tail of the brow, making it more 3-dimensional and more makeup-y.

pmu for thinning eyebrowsImage source: Instagram @gabriellaspmu

If you want that texture with actual brow hairs – an eyebrow transplantation is a way to go. This is a bit more severe solution but many people are praising their results. You can read more about it here.

@cutekatiebug 6 month growth update has me SHOOK for those who don't yet know- I got an eyebrow transplant from @drjasonchampagne to restore my naturally very sparse brows. I've struggled with my brows my whole life. It may seem trivial to some, but the struggle is real when you don't have eyebrows. You don't realize how important they are for the face! I spent years trying to draw them on with makeup, and it never looked right. Then I got microblading done twice... then a nano tattoo to fix the bad microblading... then I got the tattoo lasered off because it ended up being a horrible shape and off center for my face. Every time I wore brow makeup it would sweat off, smear, absorb into my skin, leaving spots of makeup. I would hug my fiancé and leave a brow imprint on his clothes... ugh it was such a struggle! So although it may seem like a small thing to some, this procedure made the BIGGEST difference to me in my life. Best thing I ever did. Ah!! I'm so happy with them! Talk about a confidence boost! #eyebrowtransplant #eyebrows #eyebrowinspo ♬ original sound - KATIE CORIO

2. Regular Makeup Products

The first thought that comes to mind on how to fix thin eyebrows is makeup, of course. So for those who aren’t keen on getting more permanent brow enhancements, this is the quickest solution.

There’s a whole range of products that are used to achieve different effects. From trusty brow pencils and powders, though recently more and more popular brow gels, you can choose whatever product you prefer.

However, recreating the look of hairs can be hard with regular makeup, as the products tend to smudge into a block of color, which isn’t so natural-looking.

A more natural looking option are eyebrow mascaras and fiber gels, which can cover sparse patches by elongating the remaining hairs.

You can always look up any tricks professional makeup artists use to make the hair look denser, such as brushing the brows upward using a fiber gel to let it stiffen like a mascara does, and only then going in with another brow product on top.

3. Brow Growth Products

The market is full of brow serums praised for their ability to stimulate hair growth and make eyebrows appear thicker and fuller.

These serums typically contain ingredients like peptides, biotin, and hyaluronic acid, which nourish the hair follicles and promote eyebrow growth.

But there are also more natural alternatives like growth-boosting oils such as castor and rosemary oil – both of which are praised for their ability to nourish hair follicles and promote hair growth, including thinning eyebrows!

Or, the Easiest Fix – Just Embrace the Thin Shape!

Trends come and go, and as of the last couple of years, thin brows seem to be coming back.

Although contemporary skinny brows aren’t the same shape they were in the actual Y2K era, they are still inspired by them. And we bet, if you like this look, you can work with what you already have!

Cover image source: Freepik



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