Eyebrow Transplants: Interview in Toronto Star
Today, I was interviewed in the Toronto Star about a trend we're seeing in hair transplantation: eyebrow transplants.
For a full link to the article click here.
Eyebrows have an extremely important role in facial aesthetics. They frame the face. They draw attention to (or away) from the eyes.
What is an eyebrow transplant?
An eyebrow transplant is a short (3-4 hour) cosmetic procedure whereby hair follicles are removed from the back of the scalp and moved into the eyebrow.
Briefly, hairs are generally chosen from the back of the scalp just behind the ears because these hairs are the "finest" calibre hairs and most closely match the hairs of the eyebrow. Hairs can also be taken from the nape of the neck in some patients as well as leg and arm. The choice of hair depends on the patient's hair characteristics. 99 % of the time it comes from the back of the scalp.
In order to take hairs from the back of the scalp, the area must first be frozen with "freezing medications" like lidocaine. These are usually the same freezing medications as a dentist might use to freeze a tooth. Once the area is frozen, hairs can be removed as a large piece of skin (called strip excision) or one by one (called follicular unit extraction). There are distinct advantages of each.
Once hairs are obtained from the back, they are prepared for placement into the eyebrow. In order to do this, the eyebrow is frozen with the same freezing medications and then tiny tiny incisions (tunnels) are made in the eyebrow at very precise angles and directions. Once the incisions are made, the new tiny hairs from the back of the scalp are placed down into those holes.
It is critical that patients are aware of what to expect next - I.e. the so called "post-op" period. This must be thoroughly discussed with the physician who plans to do the procedure. In general, a partial list of side effects include swelling and redness and crusting for a few days. Redness may persist in some patients many weeks. However, fortunately not all. The area must be bathed twice daily as the area at the back of the scalp must also be kept meticulously clean.
Eyebrows, once they grow out in 2-3 months must be trimmed regularly. These hairs grow like the hairs did when they were located in the back of the scalp - i.e. they grow long. It takes 7-12 months to see results.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299