Alopecia (alopecia areata or alopecia universalis) is an autoimmune disorder usually triggered by stress; it may also be hereditary. The result is that, to varying degrees among the 5 million or so who are affected in the US, the body rejects its hair, including arm & leg, scalp, eyebrows and sometimes, eyelashes. This condition is often permanent. Other causes of hair loss include chemotherapy, at least temporarily; sometimes emotional challenges result in another cause of hair loss, compulsively pulling hair out from scalp or eyebrows (trichotillomania). Responses to hair loss can include the use of wigs (human hair wigs have become quite lovely as disguises) and makeup for missing eyebrows and eyelashes. Permanent makeup can be useful here, eliminating the chore of applying eyebrow pencil and eyeliner daily, as well as potential embarrassment at the gym or the pool. With their permission, I offer the illustrations of one client’s experience with eyebrow tattoos. She wears a human hair wig, and still has her own eyelashes.
Now she has a little less to do in the morning.
This client was 22 years old last year when she came in. Shown below is a series of images in the process to restore the appearance of eyebrows. First you see her with the drawn-on brows. Second is the healed version after the first visit.
She’s quite happy to be liberated from the chore of adding eyebrows each day. Furthermore, the process seems to have stimulated a bit of hair growth–if you look closely, you may distinguish it from the drawn-in hairs.
This girl, as shown below, is 17 years old (treated with parental permission). She wears a lovely human-hair wig and does a good job with eyeliner, but the absence of brows made her very self-conscious in gym class and outdoors, where drawn brows would smear and come off.
Alopecia is not limited to women.