after a recent post i did entitled Brow Business, i received a comment from a reader, Anonymous. i decided after reading it that i would do some research for her and instead of posting my answer in the comments where she might never see it, i'll post it here, and also repost her question for all to read:
Thank you for the suggestions on brow products. I desperately need them.so, i must first say that, of course, i am not a doctor, and these following opinions are just that- opinions. nothing to take concretely, and i would of course consult a doctor or several before trying any of these. now that the disclaimer is out of the way, i have to say that i am so sorry for your troubles! losing your eyebrows would be extremely upsetting, and would make you feel very self conscious. if you have the cause narrowed down (the Adderall and hyperthyroidism medication), then the first part of the battle is over. if those meds are what's causing your hair loss, maybe you could talk to your doctor about trying different versions of the medication to see if the side effects lessen? and also, have you considered that you may be suffering from Alopecia? Alopecia, for those who aren't familiar with the term, is a disease that causes the body to believe that any (or certain) hair follicles are bacteria, therefore causing the autoimmune system to attack the hair follicles in order to protect the body. if Alopecia is the cause of your hair loss, then there is a very good chance the hairs will eventually grow back, since the stem cells in your hair follicles will still be able to grow since your white blood cells don't have any role in the attack against them, and so when new cells form, your hair will start growing again. another issue that could be causing the hair loss is stress or a poor diet, and while i'm sure it's probably not a poor diet, maybe you are under a lot of stress? stress can do many, many upsetting things to a person's body, and so if you think this may even have a tiny part in your hair loss, try to find some time to relax and get some relief from the stressful things in your life (we all have them, and most of us never deal with them properly).
My problem has to do with almost all of my eyebrows falling out.
Granted, I do have hyperthyroidism which I take medication to control. also, I am prescribed Adderall which tends to cause hair loss in me.
The real brow loss began, though, in earnest, when I started using the drugstore eyebrow pencils to fill in my sparse brows. By the end of one week of using eyebrow pencils, ALL of my brows had fallen out. It was one depressing site, I can assure you.
Sorry I didn't have a real "tip" to offer - other than to caution women who have a problem with hair falling out easily to avoid drugstore brow pencils and to avoid a heavy hand with the brow pencil since it dislodges the brow hairs.
Do you think there is a toxic ingredient contained in certain drugstore pencils that might be contributing to this problem? I am curious as to what your opinion might be on this topic.
as for the part of your question about the use of drugstore brow products in relation to your hair loss, i would think that maybe if you were in the process of losing your brows any kind of touching, tugging, or brushing of them (all things you would do while applying makeup to them) would only hasten their departure. rather than thinking that there is a toxic ingredient in the products, i would hypothesize that you personally may have a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in one of the particular items you used, or that since your brows were already in a compromised state, maybe something in the products aggravated them further. since all cosmetics companies use a self-policing system (the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board) that scrutinizes cosmetic ingredients to see if they are safe to be used in various ways and then publishes these results, i doubt that anything toxic could slip by and into your brow product. although unfortunately, the FDA does not require the cosmetics industry to prove their products safe and effective or that the promises they make have any real standing, which i think is terrible. all they are required to do is have their cosmetics be "safe when used as directed in the labeling or under usual customary conditions of use." terrible!
if you aren't able to attain any regrowth on your brows naturally, there is still hope. several companies offer therapeutic serums and gels that help to regrow brows, including Anastasia Brow Enhancing Serum, Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For Nighttime Eyelash Conditioning Treatment (which can be used on brows), and Talika Eyebrow Lipocils. and if these don't work, a surgical procedure called eyebrow restoration is gaining popularity and uses the same technology as other hair restoration implants. from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery's website:
Similar to hair restoration of the scalp, brow restoration takes single hair grafts and places them at specific angles and directions of growth in order to mimic the natural eyebrow. It must be carefully planned and executed since the brow’s visibility is much more noticeable than the scalp. On average, between 200 to 250 hair grafts are implanted on one female brow, and 400 – 500 grafts on a male brow. The procedure may take between three to four hours. Unlike hair restoration, brow restoration usually is completed in one session; this is a great advantage for the patient. The new eyebrow will look very natural. Patients are reminded that they will have to trim the transplanted hair periodically, as it will continue to grow much as it would have on your scalp.i have also read several times on MUA that this procedure is not outrageously expensive at all, and even under $1000. so, hopefully this information has helped, atleast somewhat. good luck, and keep us updated on how things are going!