Eyebrows have remained steadily under the beauty spotlight in recent years, with fashion fearlessly favouring the bold and even the bushy over the thin and delicate brow. Models of the moment like blonde Cara Delevingne and pale Lily Collins sport strikingly dark, thick brows, and they join actors Megan Fox and Jaime King as objects of regular praise on social media and magazines for their “on fleek power brows” – well-groomed, yet strong, eyebrows.
For women with thin or very light eyebrows, using a dark make up pencil to achieve this look is a challenge and requires careful reapplication every few hours. Instead, the last few years have seen more and more women opting for a long term brow boost by undergoing an eyebrow transplant. A strip of hair is removed from the scalp under local anesthetic and around 200 to 400 hairs are added to the eyebrows. The procedure takes just a few hours and the newly-striking brow is usually healed back to normal in a matter of weeks.
Doctors and clinics have observed a growing interest in the procedure over the past few years. American plastic surgeon Dr Jeffrey Epstein first told the New York Post back in 2012 that he was performing up to 15 eyebrow surgeries a week, and finding a huge number of patients wanting thick eyebrows like the film star Megan Fox. He told the magazine how he reassured his third requester that week that he already “had the shape of Fox’s brows and the direction of hair growth imprinted in my brain.”
A couple of years later, the Daily Mail reported there had been a 45% increase in inquiries for eyebrow implants between 2010 and 2014, with many of the callers looking to reverse damage done to their now-thin brows by previous over plucking.
Back in the UK, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) recently identified an ongoing trend for British patients to desire a look that is “tweaked not tucked”, which means opting for more sensible and minor beauty surgeries that still have a big overall visual impact, like eyebrow implants. Their latest stats suggest this “tweak not tuck” perspective continues to prevail.