Lush eyebrows have the power to shape the face and “lift” features. But as we age, they’re prone to shedding, thinning, and balding — and according to one study, women with faded brows were perceived to be older than those with more prominent ones. The good news? Thick, beautiful brows are just a remedy away!
A reason for thinning brows: Dandruff! Overactive oil glands can lead to yeast buildup, which weakens follicles and causes fallout, says dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. Her easy fix? A zinc pyrithione shampoo, like Dove Dermacare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Shampoo ($4.68, Walmart). The antifungal agent kills any yeast, and the shampoo’s oils nourish skin, so hairs have a healthy environment to grow in.
To do: Mix 1/2 tsp.of a zinc pyrithione shampoo with 1 drop of water. Swipe onto brows with a cotton swab and let sit 1 minute; rinse. Use twice a week for voluminous brows in one month.
Menopausal hormone fluctuations increase the body’s store of the hair loss hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). “DHT shrinks brow follicles, causing new strands to grow in thinner and less dense,” says Dr. Fusco. A twice-daily astaxanthin supplement, like Puritan’s Pride Natural Astaxanthin 5 mg. ($36.99 for 2, Puritan's Pride) can help. The microalgae-derived antioxidant has been proven to block enzymes responsible for DHT production. One study found ingesting 10 mg.a day decreased DHT levels in the blood by 40 percent within three months. The result? Thicker, lusher hair on the brows and the head.
If you’re like us, you’ve relied on tweezers to tame and shape brows, but over the years, you’ve noticed those errant hairs have been replaced by sparse spots. That’s because continuous plucking injures the root of follicles, so hair grows back at an even slower rate, says Dr. Fusco.
To the rescue: rosemary oil! A recent study found that topical use of the herb’s oil shifts hair into — and prolongs — the growth phase, making it just as effective at regrowing hair as 2 percent minoxidil. Simply mix 1/2 tsp. of rosemary oil and 1/2 tsp. of olive oil (its fatty acids moisturize); apply to brows with a cotton swab nightly for more filled-in brows in 30 days.
Bonus: To “plump” brows in the interim, reach for a brow gel, such as Thrive Causemetics Instant Brow Fix Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Gel, ($24, Thrive Causemetics). Its tinted fibers adhere to individual existing hairs to “fill in” sparse spots, while its vitamin B-5 delivers growth-enhancing nutrients to follicles.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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