Eyebrow Transplant Surgery
Eyebrows make an important contribution to facial symmetry and our presentation to others. A person without eyebrows may feel very self-conscious about his or her appearance.
An eyebrow transplant or reconstructive surgery can often help to restore eyebrows to a appear natural and full. This can help those with low self-confidence or concerns about the condition of their eyebrows.
At Crown Clinic, we have pioneered the introduction of eyebrow transplants into the UK. Our surgeon, Asim Shahmalak, is one of the few surgeons in the UK qualified to carry out the procedure.
Dr Shahmalak has carried out eyebrow transplants on lots of patients, for both medical and cosmetic purposes. Some patients had lost their eyebrows due to medical conditions or through over-plucking; others were born with thin brows and craved a much fuller brow for cosmetic reasons.
Why have an eyebrow transplant?
Asim Shahmalak at Crown Clinic is one of only a few surgeons in the UK carrying out eyebrow transplants. The operation was developed in America and Dr Shahmalak brought it to the UK five years ago.
There are many different reasons why you may be thinking of getting an eyebrow transplant. These can range from previous or current medical conditions or for cosmetic reasons, in order to boost confidence and self-esteem.
Some of the reasons our patients choose to have an eyebrow transplant, range from the following:
- Physical trauma: Facial injury and scarring resulting from events such as road accidents, industrial accidents, thermal and chemical burns.
- Medical and surgical treatments: Surgical treatment of injury or tumour that results in removal of eyebrow follicles and tissue scarring. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancer can also result in loss of eyebrow hair.
- Compulsive plucking of eyebrows and other body hair, termed Trichotillomania.
- Absence of hair on all parts of the body as a congenital condition, can also be a reason to consider eyebrow surgery.
- The vast majority of our patients were either born with naturally thin brows or have permanently damaged their brow in their beauty regimes, most commonly through over-plucking to achieve pencil thin brows, which were very fashionable in the 1980s.
Follicular Unit Extraction eyebrow transplants (FUE) are surging in popularity, as women and even some men, seek ways to permanently restore or establish hair in the area. The process typically involves removing a section of hair from the patient, most commonly from the back of the scalp, and grafting the hair to the eyebrow. This augments the existing brows or replaces them completely if a patient has lost all their natural brows.
An area of the scalp in the back of the head is numbed with a local anesthetic. That section (scalp strip) is removed and the wound is closed with stitches. The scalp strip is given to a technician who separates the hair tissue into single hair follicular grafts. The grafts are then implanted into the brow, one by one. The procedure typically involves 400 grafts transplanted into each brow - around 600-800 in total.
It takes approximately 3-4 hours and costs around £4,000.
The eyebrow transplant is performed under local anaesthetic and many patients are so comfortable, they are able to fall asleep while the grafts are implanted. The results are permanent and you will see some immediate differences with a new outline.
What maintenance do the new eyebrow need?
The transplanted eyebrows come from head hair and therefore the new eyebrows grow just like they would on the head. This means that they need to be trimmed regularly, just like head hair. They also need to be curled so that they blend perfectly with the existing natural eyebrows.
Trimming and curling is easily done and Crown Clinic provides patients with a beauty kit to do this. Patients find that with this simple maintenance, their new brows blend perfectly with the existing strands.
The eyebrow area will be a little delicate for a few days after the procedure, before quickly returning to normal. It takes around six months for the new strands to fully settle and be seen at their best.
Which type of eyebrow surgery?
We choose patients for eyebrow restoration surgery according to two categories:
- Reconstructive Eyebrow Transplantation, which corrects eyebrow loss due to facial trauma or disease. People who have congenital absence of hair caused by alopecia are also considered
- Aesthetic Eyebrow Transplantation that enhances existing eyebrows, for people who are not satisfied with the appearance of their eyebrows.
Both the demand and availability of eyebrow transplantation have increased greatly in recent years and it is now simpler than ever to get permanently enhanced eyebrows. Though aesthetic eyebrow restoration is relatively new, we have seen very successful results for our patients.
Aesthetic Eyebrow Transplantation
When eyebrow transplantation is done for aesthetic purposes, patients are usually looking for fuller brows (greater eyebrow density). This requires supplementing existing eyebrow hair with transplanted hairs, or longer eyebrow hair, which means transplanting hairs with the capacity to grow longer.
We will discuss in detail each patient’s aesthetic preferences during our consultation process.
Eyebrow transplantation is a specialised procedure performed by a select few surgeons in the country.
Dr Shahmalak is very experienced with the technique and even made history, by performing the UK’s first ever double eyelash and eyebrow transplant.
As is the case for eyelashes, the donor hair for eyebrow transplants must be finer than that used for normal hair transplants, and is often taken from areas behind the ears or the nape of the neck.
What happens during surgery?
Eyebrow transplants are performed under local anaesthetic, meaning patients are awake for the whole procedure.
The donor site is prepared first (this can be the back of the head or behind the ears, for example) and then hairs are removed from this area, one follicle at a time, and transplanted into the eyebrow region.
Depending on the extent of eyebrow hair loss, the process can require many follicular units and more than one session.
Successful eyebrow transplant patient at Crown Clinic
Claire Culverwell spent £4,000 on an eyebrow transplant, after over-plucking ruined her appearance.
The dental therapist was left with just a few hairs on her brows after permanently damaging them, by plucking for over 14 years with tweezers.
She had been trying to copy the pencil thin brows of stars like Pamela Anderson from Baywatch.
Before the procedure, she was so short of confidence that she did not want to open the door without makeup on, because she was so embarrassed about her looks.
Claire, 30, said: "I am so pleased with the results. It has boosted my confidence and made me feel so much more comfortable about my appearance. It is the best thing I have ever done.” Dr Shahmalak transplanted 500 new hairs into Claire's brows from a strip of follicles removed from the back of her scalp.
He said: “So many women’s appearances have been blighted by over-plucking and many don’t realise there is a simple procedure which can put this right.”
Second eyebrow transplant case study
Mum-of-four, Elizabeth Cook, had a £4,000 eyebrow transplant at Crown Clinic in Manchester because she craved fuller eyebrows like the Duchess of Cambridge.
Elizabeth, from Essex, was so relaxed that she fell asleep during her eyebrow transplant.
For her new brows, around 400 hairs were transplanted individually to fill out the brows in a similar procedure to a hair transplant, like football star Wayne Rooney's.
Elizabeth said: "I am so pleased I had it done. I have always had naturally quite thin eyebrows and I just want them to be a bit fuller. The technique worked brilliantly and I now have gorgeous bushy brows. I cannot thank Dr Shahmalak enough - he is a brilliant surgeon.”
"I finally have the eyebrows that I have always wanted."
Dr Shahmalak said Britons are now embracing surgical techniques which have been pioneered in America.
He explained: "We are fast catching up with America where both these procedures have been common in the last few years."
"Elizabeth's new brows will last her for the rest of her life. It is amazing what these operations can do for a woman's confidence and overall well-being."