The increasing trend of eyebrow transplants has been attributed to patients’ desire to recreate the look of a make-up technique called the 'Instagram brow' which has made ‘bushy the new black’. Make-up blogger Wayne Goss describes the look as 'when the first section of the eyebrow is barely there and thickens out and becomes more defined as it goes along'.
The surgical process involves removing skin with active follicles, usually from the back of the head, trimming them into the preferred shape and then transplanting them into the brow area. Ideal patients are those who have genetically thin eyebrows or have overplucked the eyebrow area. Most patients undergoing this procedure are women in their 30s and 40s who overplucked their eyebrows in their earlier years, which tends to cause thinning and bald spots.
New York City and Miami plastic surgeon, Jeffrey Epstein, now carries out about 20 procedures a month. He says that the healing process only lasts eight days with patients experiencing light bruising and some crusting of the skin. Patients can expect results to reach maximum fullness after a year.
However, brow expert Tanya Brooks has a sceptical view of this emerging cosmetic procedure. She says that the results can look 'unnatural' as the texture of the hair looks different from that of natural eyebrows. She also warns of possible complications such as redness and scarring if procedures are not carried out correctly. She advises potential transplant patients to first consider non-surgical methods to create the look they desire.
Elise Bevan, a senior associate in the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team, said: “It is normal for eyebrows to thin as you get older but, if you do wish to undergo cosmetic surgery, always research your surgeon and their experience in performing the procedure you are interested in before proceeding.”