Unless you’ve been living in a box, there’s nothing eyebrow-raising about this spring’s beauty trend. The "power brow" is beauty’s current must-have, and women are going to great lengths to keep up with bushy-browed supermodel Cara Delevingne. Some are even resorting to eyebrow implants.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, a survey found that eyebrow-implant surgeries have increased 45% since 2010, with 70% of these women admitting to over-plucking.
I can relate. My brows started to look moth-eaten as I progressed through my late 40s. Plucking in the 80s and 90s was followed by simply getting older. Hormonal shifts (post-partum and menopause) can cause women to shed their hair — from their lashes and brows to their scalps, as well. By the time I hit 50, my once dark and lush brows had become sandy and sparse.
What about over plucking? Does this really result in compromised brow growth over time? Yes, but they can be brought back to life if the follicles are given some TLC. More on how to do that in a moment. First, hair growth 101:
All hair — whether on the head and brows, the eyelashes or the unmentionables — grows in phases. There are three of them, to be precise: anagen (the growth phase), catagen (the resting phase) and telogen (the shedding phase). The only thing that differs (from, say, lash to head hair) is how long the phases take. Eyebrows take up to 64 (give or take) days to come back fully (a blink of an eye compared to the years that head hair can take).
Follicles are the growth engine for hair. Each individual hair is formed inside a hair bulb deep in a hair follicle. The follicle is a tiny but powerful factory. The trick is to keep that engine clean and well-oiled, so to speak. A healthy follicle produces nice strong hair.
When I started to lose my eyebrows, I did a lot of research and found that there is a way to avoid a $3000 eyebrow transplant. The answer is copper peptides and emu oil. Copper is in our bodies naturally, and much research over the past 40 years or so has established that copper peptides are effective wound healers. Copper’s ability to assist in hair growth was discovered when it was noticed that the hair follicles around treated wounds were exceptionally large.
Copper peptides work on the follicle in two ways: increasing follicle cell proliferation and decreasing programmed follicle cell death, which results in smaller follicles. In a study on rat hair, researchers noted an increase in follicle size and concluded that copper works on hair growth in a similar way to minoxidil. Emu oil (yes, from the large, flightless bird) also stimulates hair follicles and will even revive dormant ones.
So, I created an eyebrow growth treatment with copper peptides and emu oil and called it Brow Empower. With regular use of Truth Vitality Brow Empower ($39 in the shop), my brows have become darker and thicker, with the sparse patches all nicely filled in. My power brows aren’t quite up to Cara Delevingne’s, but no one would ever suggest I need eyebrow implants.