I've been a little worried about my eyebrows lately. You see, I fill them in almost every day, so when I'm rocking bare brows, they seem thinner than I remember them being before I started taking a pencil to them. So I got to wondering: Does filling in your brows make them thin out over time, or is there just such a stark contrast that it becomes easy to forget what your brows looked like before you started coloring them in? Sincerely hoping that it was the latter, I emailed with a couple of experts to find out just how much stress pencils, pomades, and gels put on your brows.
Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Assistant Clinical Professor for the Department of Dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center, and Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty, both (thankfully) put my fears to rest. Kashuk explains that she has never "had concerns with brow hair loss nor seen brows falling out due to product use or grooming." And while Dr. Tanzi agrees that filling in your brows doesn't make them thin, she does warn that over-plucking or over-waxing can make brows thin out, and even not grow back over time.
So even though your brow-grooming routine probably won't lead to patchiness or bald-spots, Kashuk does offer a way to fill them in, in a way that won't put too much stress on your hairs if you're still worried about thinning. She recommends:
Begin by brushing brows out with a Spoolie Brush, brushing upward so you can layer in color underneath. Next, fill in sparseness with a brow product of your choice (pencil, pomade, powder, etc.) in short hair-like strokes, and comb back down with the Spoolie to blur lines and camouflage the product added for a natural end result. Set hairs in place with a brow gel.
Of course, if you're still worried that your eyebrows are becoming thinner, and you don't tweeze or wax them too frequently, it could be due to one of these other factors:
1. Your Diet
According to Dr. Jenny Schmidt-White, Naturopathic Doctor and contributor to Fresh Magazine, what you eat (or don't eat) can have an effect on your brows. She reports that deficiencies in vitamins A, E, D, B, iron, and L-lysine could cause thinning eyebrows. So to make sure your brows stay full and thick, she recommends trying to keep foods such as leafy greens, almonds, fish, eggs, legumes, and whole grains in your diet.
2. Your Thyroid
Dr. Schmidt-White explains that thinning eyebrows, as well as fatigue, dry skin, difficulty losing weight, feeling down, and feeling cold could be signs of hypothyroidism. If you're concerned you may have this condition, be sure to talk with your doctor.
3. Your Age
Unfortunately, as we age, it's simply natural for hair to thin out— even eyebrows. While managing your stress and keeping your skin hydrated could help control the rate at which your eyebrows thin, talk with your doctor if you feel you need additional methods of treatment.
At least gently filling in your eyebrows shouldn't exacerbate the problem.