Chrissy Teigen got a fresh set of arches. In November last year, the model and presenter shared three videos to her Instagram Story showing the outcome of her eyebrow transplant surgery and explaining why she underwent the procedure.
“I never wear makeup if I can avoid it, so I was so excited for this eyebrow transplant surgery,“ Teigen wrote over a selfie displaying her noticeably fuller brows. “They take hairs from the back of your head!!”
If you plucked off all your brows as a teen, and you’re now seeing super sparse arches, you might be highly intrigued by this Teigen-approved cosmetic procedure. But what exactly is it, what’s the process like, and is it safe?
Here’s everything you should know about eyebrow transplants.
An eyebrow transplant is a type of follicular unit transplantation that involves taking hair follicles from the back of the head — or another area of your body — and inserting it into the eyebrow area. According to dermatologists, it’s similar to other hair transplantation procedures.
The procedure goes like this: first, you and your plastic surgeon will work together with a brow pencil to decide on the look (shape, thickness, etc.) you want. Then, the surgeon will make marks with a surgical pen to determine the locations and margins of the brows’ different points. After that, the surgeon will use a machine to harvest hair from the head, which will then be trimmed to a couple of centimetres in length and injected into the brow area. Finally, the new eyebrows will then be trimmed to look like a normal length — and you’ll instantly see fuller brows.
The full procedure takes around 2-3 hours on average.
There are a few different reasons why someone might want to get an eyebrow transplant. Some people, like Chrissy Teigen, have overplucked their brows and they haven’t grown back. When you over-pluck or wax your brows, it can cause damage to the hair follicle and prevent new brow hairs from forming — particularly when done repeatedly.
“We usually do eyebrow hair transplantation on those who have previously over-plucked and now want wider, thicker eyebrows,” says globally respected hair transplant specialist Dr. Asim Shahmalak. “Or those who have naturally sparse brow hairs and want a fuller look and better shape.”
Those dealing with Trichotillomania, a compulsive disorder where people cannot resist the urge to pull their hairs out, can also benefit from this surgery. It can replace lost brow hairs and deliver a new set of brows.
Finally, eyebrow transplants can also be for those who have suffered injuries resulting in hair loss, as the surgery helps to restore lost brows.
According to plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Champagne, you can undergo eyebrow transplant surgery if you’ve previously had microblading or tattooing done. That said, scar tissue from those two processes may reduce the regrowth of hair. If this occurs, Dr. Champagne will recommend PRP treatment to the brows to help boost growth.
Just like with any surgical procedure, complications can include infections, bleeding, swelling, and scarring at the donor and brow sites. That said, the chances of these issues occurring are quite low.
It’s best to speak to a professional about the potential risks and side effects of eyebrow transplants so you can decide for yourself if it’s the best choice for you. Provided that you choose a professional and experienced surgeon, it’s unlikely that you’ll deal with these brow transplant side effects.
You should only begin washing your eyebrows 24 hours following the procedure. Use a gentle cleanser like Truly’s Moon Jelly Cleanser to keep the area clean and bacteria away to prevent infections.
In the weeks following the procedure, stick to using gentle skincare products only, and apply sunscreen daily to the area to prevent peeling. Always handle your brows with care, and avoid aggressive rubbing.
Like with any plastic surgery or cosmetic procedure, make sure you consult with a professional who can provide you with aftercare advice so that your brows stay healthy.
Once you’ve booked your treatment, there are some things you’ll need to do to prepare. First, avoid anticoagulants like aspirin or Motrin prior to the surgery. Second, stay out of the sun as much as possible prior to brow surgery day. And finally, avoid using exfoliating or potentially irritating skincare ingredients before your surgical date.
Teigen's facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Jason Diamond, MD—who also did her buccal fat removal—posted on social media, showing Teigen’s brow surgery procedure.
“#EyebrowTransplantation is a procedure where we mutually agree on shape, density, etc., and skill takes it from there,” he wrote in the Instagram caption.
Since undergoing her eyebrow transplant, Teigen has shared many pics on social media showing off her fluffy new brows. The Cookbook author admitted they were “a little dark from the pencil” at first, but that it’s “so cool to have brows again.”
If, like Teigen, you’re looking to undo all the plucking you did in your teens, a brow transplant can be an effective procedure for bringing them back. However, we highly advise consulting with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon before undergoing this procedure to ensure you’re a good candidate.
Eyebrows frame the eyes and enhance the face. If you long for big, bold arches like Hailey Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, and other Hollywood stars, eyebrow tints and microblading can be a temporary solution. However, if you’re looking for something more permanent, an eyebrow transplant may be a good option. And Chrissy Teigen shows how awesome the results can be!
Since it’s your first time, always speak to a professional before booking an appointment. And always choose a licensed professional.