Reshaping eyebrows through grooming or surgical re

Eyebrows should draw attention to the eyes; it should not be the eyebrows that first draw one’s attention.

Although the most important function of the eyebrow is to protect the eye from falling debris and moisture, eyebrows define the human face; they frame the eyes and give harmony to the face.

According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, eyebrows make an important contribution to facial symmetry. And for many makeup artists, the eyebrows shape the human face, giving definition to one’s eyes and forehead. The loss of one’s eyebrows or the partial lack thereof can have a profound effect on one’s appearance and self-confidence.

Eyebrows are lost through obsessive plucking, burns, trauma that results in scarring, disease, tattooing, alopecia (balding) and radiation therapy. Some patients seek eyebrow enhancement not due to hair loss but for cosmetic reasons.

Some may only need trimming and a few plucking of the eyebrows to achieve their desired eyebrow shape, while others’ eyebrow hair orientation or lack of volume may need surgical reconstruction.

Eyebrow-shaping tips

There are several methods to reshape eyebrows or correct an abundance of eyebrow hair, which include tweezing, waxing, threading and trimming. Some people prefer to remove the entire eyebrow and stencil permanent dye or draw eyebrow tattoos.

Eyebrow position, contour and movement are important points in considering the right shape for a person since they affect overall facial expression and character.

For an idea on how to go about determining the right shape for you, here are the basics you need to know:

  • If you have wide-set eyes or a large forehead, the eyebrows should start at the point over the outer edges of the bridge of the nose or over the imaginary straight line from the outer sides of the ball (center) of the nose. This makes the eyes look closer together and the forehead narrower.
  • If you have close-set eyes and a narrow, small face, start over the imaginary line aligned with the inner corner of the eye. This makes the eyes appear farther apart and expands the forehead.
  • To find the natural line of your eyebrows, run your finger along your eyebrow bone, that’s the line where your eyebrow should run naturally.
  • For those with straight brows, a small arch is all that is needed; the eyebrow runs in a straight line from the beginning to the arch and curve out softly from the arch to the outer end of the brow.
  • For reference of the highest point of the arch, place the base or fulcrum of the pointer (e.g. ruler/pencil) at the tip of the nose/top of the nostril and aim to cover the pupil of the eye on the same side (for a medium arch). For a large arch, aim for the outer side of the pupil.
  • Trim first to avoid removing more hair than necessary. Brush the brows and trim hairs that stray out of your natural shape.
  • Before removing hairs, outline your eyebrow line and arch; mark (with a white eyeliner) the hairs above and below your main shape and between the eyes. For hairs on top of the eyebrow, just remove the hairs straying out of the shape.

Eyebrow restoration

Procedures for the restoration of all or part of the eyebrow include a brow lift to raise sagging eyebrows, transplantation of single hairs (micrograft) and reconstructive flap/graft using a strip of hair-bearing skin.

Eyebrow lift. A brow lift is usually performed with a forehead lift to remove the creases above the eyebrow, balance out the tightness and pull the skin around the frontal head area. The surgeon either makes an incision along the hairline or midscalp or just makes a few shorter incisions in the scalp. The brow lift is not only done for sagging brows due to old age, it may also be used to improve low brows in younger people.

Hair transplants or micrografts. Strips of hair-bearing skin having one to two hair follicles are placed in incisions along the eyebrow.

Pedicle flaps. A strip of hair-bearing skin and subcutaneous tissue with attached blood supply, coming from the temple area, is stitched into the eyebrow site.