Thinning Eyebrows: 15 Common Causes

Now that eyebrows are in the spotlight of popular beauty culture, we’re interested in all things brow-related. 

Men and women now want to find the best brow shape and size for their face in order to improve their look and discover the next great product that could better help them achieve the ultimate browline.

But there’s one issue that goes far beyond the fashion magazines and makeup influencers on social media: thinning brows affect more people than you think. It’s also difficult to pinpoint the root cause, which is why we’ve put together a list to help you solve the problem.

Some of these causes are within your control, while others are beyond. The key is to put the odds in your favor for healthy, sustainable eyebrow growth while limiting the factors that lead to loss. 

This article will serve as a strong foundation for anyone looking to learn more about eyebrow hair loss and how to restore lost hair with a range of effective methods and tools. Let’s begin.

1. Genetics

The genetic traits we inherit from our parents determine the size and shape of our brows from day one and ultimately decide when we start to experience thinning in the area, if at all.

Some are born with naturally bushy brows that are conducive to shaping and styling, while others don’t have much of a canvas to work with, Factors like eyebrow hair density and color also come into play and create the appearance of sparseness or patchiness for some.

We can’t control our DNA, and thinning eyebrows are sometimes just part of a person’s genetic expression. 

2. Aging

The aging process usually goes hand-in-hand with genetics since everyone contends with these factors no matter who they are or the resources at their disposal. 

As we age, the life cycles of eyebrow hair shorten, and miniaturization can happen for both men and women, leading to thinning. The quality and color of eyebrow hair can also change with time, leading to grooming patterns that diminish density and coverage. 

There’s no getting around aging, whether it’s the hair on our scalp or brows. Thankfully, there are plenty of factors within our domain of control that we can focus on moving forward, many of which are addressed in the remaining entries of this list.

3. Lifestyle

An individual’s lifestyle has a major impact on the health of their brow hair and whether thinning is a significant issue. Factors like exercise, diet, and sleep quality all play a role in how our hair grows, and healthy habits generally lead to better results for physical appearance. 

We evolved to grow eyebrows in the first place in response to our environment and lifestyle patterns, so it makes sense that a more natural way of living would help us maximize brow growth without the need for extra assistance.

If you’re stuck in a pattern of unhealthy habits, eyebrow thinning is just another reason to turn things around for the better.

4. Nutrition

It may seem obvious to some, but it’s worth reiterating clearly: the food we eat becomes who we are in a literal sense, with eyebrow hair being made up of proteins, fats, and more. 

It should come as no surprise that more people are struggling with issues like thinning eyebrows at younger ages in a world of nutrient-lacking foods and processed junk — nutritional deficiencies can cause a host of issues, with sparse eyebrows being just one example. 

A diet of nutrient-rich foods like lean proteins, greens, and complex carbs can do wonders for your immune system, skin, hair, and nails, but some supplements may be required as well. Look into products containing collagen, biotin, vitamin E, and more healthy fats to keep your brows full and strong.

5. Stress

We can’t measure stress like we can measure diet and supplementation, so it can seem like an ambiguous topic to discuss with regard to eyebrow thinning.

However, we can’t deny the impact of stress on the body, and studies affirm that eyebrow hair is negatively affected by increases in the “stress chemical” known as cortisol.

If you find yourself stressed beyond reasonable limits, see what you can do to reorganize your life and get more relaxed. The future of your eyebrows may depend on it. 

6. Allergies

Allergic reactions come in different forms, including digestion issues, skin inflammation, and even eyebrow hair loss. If you are prone to allergies from food, medication, or other environmental factors, try to identify and avoid them at all costs.

Luckily, allergies typically don’t cause prolonged hair loss, and eyebrows can be restored in a short timeframe with the right approach. 

It may benefit you to take an allergy test kit or visit a professional who can help you pinpoint allergy-inducing compounds so you can steer clear. 

7. Hormones

Hormones generated by the thyroid, adrenals, and reproductive organs play a major role in how our hair develops and how long it lasts. When these hormones become unbalanced or out of whack due to unforeseen illness or environmental changes, eyebrow thinning can happen rapidly.

Hormonal changes are one of the more mysterious causes of eyebrow thinning because hormones are still so difficult to gauge and treat effectively. Men and women who take exogenous hormones may be more prone to hair loss due to cycling highs and lows.

If you suspect that hormones may play a part in your brow hair loss, it’s worth contacting a hormone specialist in addition to your standard hair growth efforts. 

We’re here to help

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Jae Pak today.

8. Overplucking

We’ve all been there — trying to groom a part of our facial hair or brows only to realize we got carried away and plucked away far too many hairs. This is a common occurrence for many people of this generation who seek the perfect brows and try to take matters into their own hands. 

There’s nothing wrong with some plucking, waxing, and tweezing now and then, particularly in areas where hair grows beyond the brow line itself. But sparse eyebrows are bound to happen when the area is over plucked and hair follicles aren’t given enough time to restore themselves.

Rather than plucking relentlessly, allow brows to grow for a few months and only trim occasionally. Then rethink your grooming techniques and remove hair less frequently.

9. Cosmetics

Products like makeup and artificial brow fillers are great in a pinch, but you don’t want to rely on them too heavily to achieve your desired look. When cosmetics, like brow powder or brow pencils, are overused, they can limit the body’s natural ability to produce brow hair and even cause thinning over time.

When choosing cosmetics, be sure to find natural products that are non-comedogenic and with minimal ingredients. Frequent exfoliation and cleansing can help ensure that cosmetics don’t clog the sensitive pores along the brow and that your natural oil production is maintained. 

10. Conditions

A handful of rare conditions can cause eyebrows to thin earlier than normal. These can range from bacterial infections to autoimmune disorders and other illnesses that create a harsh environment for brow hair to grow, leading to sparse brows.

Because these conditions are so varied and unpredictable, it’s best to seek professional guidance rather than self-diagnosing. 

When faced with these types of conditions, we advise patients to focus on solving the root problem rather than prioritizing hair loss treatments at first. The sooner you can treat or cure the illness itself, the more rapid your regrowth results could be. 

11. Medication

The harsh truth is that some medications cause eyebrow hair loss despite improving our conditions in other areas. Everything from blood pressure to mental and sexual health medications can affect hair growth in unpredictable ways.

This is another reason you want to work closely with a hair restoration pro — like Dr. Jae Pak, M.D. — who knows the score with commonly prescribed medications and can offer guidance for alternatives. 

Ultimately, you’ll want to limit the number of medications you take daily or balance out effects with pro-growth meds for the brow area. 

12. Dryness

When skin, hair, and nails become dehydrated, it’s only a matter of time before they start looking worse for wear and have trouble growing. Brow hair is extra sensitive to moisture – or lack thereof — and thinning can happen if chronic dryness persists. 

To combat dryness and prevent brow hair loss, take moisturization more seriously with lightweight creams, lotions, and the occasional addition of essential oils. 

Coconut oil is a popular product used to keep brows moisturized, while castor and olive oil can also prove effective. 

13. Trauma

Eyebrow hair loss can occur due to injury or trauma in the area, including burns, cuts, or prolonged skin conditions that cause damage at a deep level. 

In these cases, the usual regimen of supplements and stimulation may not work, and alternative therapies might be required. Look into treatments like low-level laser light therapy,, and microchanneling to see if they can restore lost hair.

It may be that trauma has made it impossible to grow hair back naturally in this area, and transplantation could be your best option. 

14. Wrong Diagnosis

Too many perfectly good brow hairs have been lost due to misdiagnosis, or an unwillingness to treat a root cause. This proves that a hair restoration expert like Dr. Jae Pak, M.D. is your greatest ally in combatting hair loss of any kind, including brows. 

With so many variables in the hair loss equation, you don’t want to make any assumptions or leap to conclusions. Even if it takes more time to find the proper diagnosis, that extra effort may be worth it when results come more quickly and last. 

15. Lack of Guidance

Finally, you may be losing your brows simply because you don’t have the right game plan to keep your hair and let it thrive. Articles like this can be useful, but there’s no comparison to a hair loss doctor who can create a custom plan and give you all the right tools.

Whether it’s therapy, medication, supplements, or surgery, you deserve an eyebrow expert who can help you every step of the way.

Your Brow Transformation Starts Here

Thinning brows are not uncommon, but few people truly take matters into their own hands to find a permanent solution. Use this guide at a starting point on your brow restoration journey, and reach out to Jae Pak MD Medical to complete your transformation away from thinning hair. 

Sources:

Is it normal for eyebrow hair to fall out? | SidmartinBio

5 Ways to Get Overplucked Eyebrows to Grow Back | Cleveland Clinic

Eyebrow loss: clinical review | NCBI

Stress and hair loss: Are they related? | Mayo Clinic

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Speak with Jae Pak, M.D. today!