Since eyebrows are made up of hair, you might have pondered why they function differently than the hair on your head. I know I have. Recently, one of my friends who had an unfortunate encounter with tweezers asked me how long eyebrows take to fully grow back?
As I showed her how to use makeup to minimize the impact of her overzealous tweezing habits, I thought this would make a good topic for everyone else.
Basically, eyebrows grow on average in a 5 to 7-week cycle. They’re like eyelashes in that regard though some other factors come into play here. How old you are, the speed of your metabolism, your race, and even your weight.
Sometimes, the inner corner portion of your brows grows faster, around 4 to 6 weeks, while the outer brows can be a bit slower at 10 to 16 weeks. For some people, they have a never-ending bushiness that doesn’t quit. Envious!
Wherever your brows are looking sparse, if you’re tired of penciling them in like a date sure to go bad, then I’ve got the scoop for you. No matter the reason you’re finding patches of nothingness above your eyes, you definitely want to speed that up before you’re fully drawing on cartoonish eyebrows.
Fun fact: I love turning to science when I need answers. I find it comforting, and hopefully, this will help you feel a little better about your brows. Especially since our brows are what frames our faces. Over-tweezing or accidentally lobbing off part of your brows is a bit traumatic, yes, but when you’re younger, it doesn’t result in making you look ancient. However, the older you get, when something like this happens, it can age your face.
Anyway, not to worry as I’m going to add a bit of science into this and explain why they take time to grow back and what you can do to improve your situation, so read on!
Why eyebrows take too long to grow back?
For some, you may experience a rapid regrowth in no time. But your bestie could have suffered the same eyebrow fate and be waiting for months. Why does that happen?!?
Simple. It’s hair. And just like the hair on your head can grow at different rates from others, the same is true of eyebrows. Eyebrow hairs grow in a growth cycle like all hairs on your body. They will engage in growth actively for 3 to 4 months and then hit a resting phase.
Since your body is always making new hair, you really don’t notice that cycle of shedding and regrowth. While it might seem like forever, they will grow back, with the exception of underlying medical conditions. And here’s some good news! It was once thought that when you did damage to your brows, they wouldn’t grow back. In 2015, a study proved that was nothing but an old wives’ tale. Some braver-than-I souls allowed their eyebrows to be shaved off. For each of them, one brow was shaved while the other remained intact (OMG, can you even imagine?!?). These people were assessed over a 6-month period, where pictures were taken during the follow-up sessions for comparison. The only participant that didn’t have such good luck was a woman who had started with light-colored eyebrows that were already a bit sparse. But even for her, it took 6 months for it to grow back again. Everyone else had normal-looking brows back in about 4 months. See? There IS hope for us after all!
Like the hair on your head, eyebrows have those phases of growth that aren’t all at the same time. And be glad for that because then all the hair on your head, eyelids, and eyebrows would all fall off at the same time, and wouldn’t that be a sight!
In case you’re wondering, those 3 phases for hair growth are as follows:
- Anagen – this is the active growth period.
- Catagen – this in that mid-phase. It’s the shortest one, lasting just a couple weeks. When the growth stops, the follicles from which the hairs grow shrink.
- Telogen – this is where it rests and sheds. Those older hairs fall out and will soon be replaced by new ones.
How long that hair grows depends how long the first phase (anagen) lasts. Your eyebrows will grow slower than the hair on your head and are in the anagen phase for a shorter period of time. That’s good because otherwise, we’d all have really long and strange eyebrows! The hair above your eyes will grow anywhere from 0.14mm to 0.16mm each day.
When the cycle is complete, it starts back from the beginning again. If you forcefully yanked out your hairs with tweezers, they may be hanging in the telogen phase. And that’s where the problem lies. If you were too vigorous with your plucking, the follicles could have found it traumatic. And then, they won’t be growing back yet while they rest.
Oh, but wait! Don’t cry and feel desperate. I promise there’s good news ahead, so keep reading!
I’m telling you about all this because those growth stages will determine how long your eyebrows will grow back. If you plucked in the anagen phase, your eyebrows would take longer to return since they didn’t go through their whole lifecycle. You may notice hairs that were easy to pull out were about to fall out since they were in the telogen phase. How you remove those hairs makes a difference in how they grow back, but we’re going to get to all of that and get your brows to frame your face again!
Did you know that the eyebrow hair removal method has an impact on the growth cycle?
So, how did you wind up with your eyebrow situation? Depending on whether you plucked, shaved, or something else, you may have a different regrowth time.
Let’s look at the science of the human body. You have roots of hairs all over it, covered by layers of your skin and those deep tissues beneath that. So there is LOTS of hair you don’t see.
Think of it this way. Have you ever plucked a hair that was definitely out of your natural brow line to tidy up the eye area and thought it was short until you pulled it out? Your hair is always growing in cycles. ALWAYS. But when you pluck it out, it’s got to work even harder and grow for a while before you will see it come out to the surface.
This all takes time as it redevelops at the root and moves on up through those layers. With shaving, you’re only snipping off what’s on the outside, so the shaft that leads up to the hair is still intact. For plucking, you’ll be waiting longer than if it was a shaving situation.
When you pluck too much, you can do permanent damage to the hair follicle though. It gets scarred and then will grow make very thin and pale. Do this repeatedly and you’ll stop any hair from ever growing out of that spot again.
So, in short, stop plucking now unless you are removing hair between your brows or errant ones that are way far out of the natural line of your brows. You can mitigate a lot of damage this way.
Waxing is less harmful, but for many, it can yield the same results. Again, if you have one or two mishaps in your life, not usually a biggie. But if you constantly do this to the parts of your brows you want to stay intact, you may not have them look as consistent as you’d desire.
Keep going below though, because I can help you grow your brows back with these tips and some patience!
How to stimulate eyebrow hair growth
Ok, so you don’t want to be like your Great Aunt Gladys, who has been drawing on her eyebrows with what looks like your old Crayola crayon set from childhood. Here’s what you need to do to encourage them to grow again!
– Eat a balanced diet
As with anything, eating right can be of service. Since hair is primarily composed of proteins, lack of protein can lead to hair loss, as is evident in animal studies. Other vitamins like the B vitamin group as well as vitamins A, B, C, and D are essential for hair growth. So put down the junk and work in some more leafy green veggies like spinach and kale. Blend them into a smoothie with fruits if you have to…just eat them. Make sure you’re eating enough lean meat too unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, then you’ll want to rely on more beans.
Other nutrients you need to help fuel happy hair growth are things like iron. When you have a deficiency in iron, it can cause hair loss. So get more of it. Cereals fortified with iron are a good choice (just watch out for the sugar), and those beans and spinach will do you right here too.
Vitamin H, which you likely know better as biotin or B7, is of particular importance for lending a hand in hair growth. There are supplements for that, but you can also get it through fish, berries, legumes, nuts, and whole grain. Organ meats contain it too, but if you’re not into that (yeah, me neither), then those other foods will help. As a side bonus, it’s great for beautiful skin and stronger nail growth. And the hair on your head will thank you too!
– Invest in a good quality eyebrow hair serum
You can thank those scientists once again for all their hard work. They found that prostaglandin (which is sometimes known as bimataprost) helps regrow lashes quicker and extends them in length. It helps in the growth cycle of lashes AND brows, so get ready to volumize.
While the FDA hasn’t officially approved it for this use, it should work. However, there are some side effects to be aware of. Perhaps a better way is to work internally with essential fatty acids that get your body to make prostaglandins all on its own, free of side effects.
Once your body starts producing them more efficiently, the dormant follicles will start growing hair again. As for the outside, if you apply essential fatty acids on your eyebrows, you may see even better growth.
You’ll need a serum that stimulates the hair follicle into better health. Peptides are the critical ingredient here and are safe to use. I love peptides for many reasons, including fabulous skin, but they are ideal for helping those sleepy follicles wake back up again, the best serum that ticks all the boxes is made by LiBrow, which is the reason why so many of us swear by it.
Once you do start using a brow serum, though, it is important to keep it up as directed. Because slacking on the application will lead to less than stellar results.
– Brush through your eyebrows instead of plucking them
Do you brush your brows? If you want them to grow better, you should use a spoolie once in the morning and again at night before bed. By doing so, you massage the skin and increase blood flow. This, in turn, leads to hair growth.
Try it for about 8 weeks religiously. Especially if you’ve been a plucker for far too long. This will train your brow hairs to grow in with more consistency. Of course, you can still pluck those intrusive hairs that sprout up between your brows or somewhere out of whack, but other than that, just brush your brows and see how it goes!
– Visit your dermatologist
Now let’s say you’ve tried all this with absolute devotion, but nothing is happening. Is all hope lost? Nope! Just head to your dermatologist. They can prescribe a prescription product that is designed for lashes called Latisse, though it has research backing it up for brows. It takes the dedication of application and patience on those results though. It’s approved by the FDA for lashes, but it has not been approved on eyebrows. Still, evidence reveals that the key ingredient, bimataprost, has great results.
How to fix your eyebrows and make them look full
Need an instant brow boost? You can rely on your makeup in the meantime as you use these techniques to speed up that brow growth. Your best choice for a natural appearance that looks thicker and darker is to use a wax-based pencil or a kit that works in a duo with pomade and powder. The latter of the 2 is great for longer wear.
For those truly errant hairs that look untidy and add a haggard and misplaced look, be sure you tweeze with good tweezers to effectively get them out of the way.
Growing out your brows takes patience, but by filling in those gaps properly and adding a pop of pretty lip color, you’ll feel fully put together and look absolutely lovely!
If you’re missing some of your brows, you’ll need to be patient as you work to get them back. The first step is to stop removing so much hair and get into the recovery phase of this. The tips above should help just about anyone get their brows back in shape.
While you wait, learn makeup tricks that help you apply brow pencil and powder in such a way that it looks natural. This way, you won’t feel drawn on. If you’re active or live in a warm climate, or even during summer, go the extra step for something that secures it in place. There is NOTHING worse than dancing all night and then popping into the bathroom to see that your eyebrows are smeared. Ugh!
Plenty of patience is encouraged through this phase, but you’ll make it and have brows that are more beautiful than ever!