What is Eyebrow Alopecia?

Marjorie McAtee

Eyebrow alopecia occurs when the hair of the brows falls out. Eyebrow hair loss may be total or partial, and it may occur due to a number of factors. Eyebrow hair loss can occur as a complication of certain skin conditions, as a side effect of chemotherapy or prescription drug use, or as a result of poisoning with heavy metals or other toxins. Autoimmune disorders may be among the most common causes of eyebrow loss, however.

Partial or total eyebrow hair loss may be referred to as eyebrow alopecia.
Partial or total eyebrow hair loss may be referred to as eyebrow alopecia.

Hair loss on the brow region may lead to thinning eyebrows, spot baldness on the brow, or total eyebrow alopecia. Loss of eyebrow hair, or thinning of eyebrow hair, is considered relatively common. Both women and men experience this condition. Those who have experienced androgenic alopecia may be more likely to also experience thinning of the eyebrow hair or loss of the eyebrow hair.

Chemotherapy treatments may cause eyebrow alopecia.
Chemotherapy treatments may cause eyebrow alopecia.

Causes of eyebrow hair loss can vary widely. Hormonal imbalances can play a large role in body hair loss, including those caused by endocrine disorders and pregnancy. Skin conditions, including skin growths, skin cancers, psoriasis, and dermatitis, can lead to loss of eyebrow hair when they affect the skin of the brow region. Various chemotherapy cancer treatments can lead to body hair loss, but other types of drugs can also cause hair loss. These can include the drugs used to treat depression or seizure disorders.

Excessive consumption of vitamins may cause eyebrow alopecia.
Excessive consumption of vitamins may cause eyebrow alopecia.

A range of various diseases, including fungal infections of the skin, leprosy, and even syphilis can lead to eyebrow alopecia. Poisoning with heavy metals, such as gold, mercury, thallium, or iodine, can cause loss of eyebrow hair. Excessive vitamin consumption can contribute to the loss of eyebrow hair, as can the excessive use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxyn. Excessive pulling or plucking of eyebrow hairs can also lead to eyebrow alopecia, since plucking the hairs can gradually damage the follicles and inhibit hair regrowth.

Excessive eyebrow plucking may lead to eyebrow alopecia.
Excessive eyebrow plucking may lead to eyebrow alopecia.

Most cases of eyebrow alopecia may be traced back to autoimmune disorders. Lupus can cause skin inflammation that leads to follicle damage. Vitiligo, a condition that causes the skin to lose its natural pigmentation, can also lead to follicle damage and hair loss in the affected areas. Alopecia areata, a disorder in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles, can result in spot baldness and eyebrow hair loss.

Treatment for eyebrow hair loss often depends on its cause. Treating the underlying disorder can help restore hair growth in many cases. If this isn't possible, follicle serums can help re-stimulate eyebrow hair growth.

A temporary solution for patchy eyebrows is to use an eyebrow pencil to color in the gaps.
A temporary solution for patchy eyebrows is to use an eyebrow pencil to color in the gaps.

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Discussion Comments


If the hair loss in primarily in the outer half of the eyebrow arch, perhaps hypothyroidism, or even Hashimoto's disease should be considered.


I've had this problem for years, I am a man. Also, I have patches of hair loss on scalp - not baldness. I found a cure: B12 supplements. After 30 days, the hair started to come back. After 60 days, I look normal again. Buy them from Amazon, highest dose you can find. It works.


Has anyone had good results trying a follicle serum to encourage eyebrows to grow back? I have an autoimmune disease and have lost a lot of my eyebrows because of this. I am looking for something that will help my eyebrows look fuller.


I have a co-worker who has a nervous habit of pulling her eyebrows out. I think this is the result of a nervous condition she has, but when it gets really bad she doesn't have any eyebrows at all.

She has light hair, so it isn't as noticeable as it would be on someone with dark hair, but it still looks strange. You can tell when she is really agitated about something because she will start pulling at her eyebrows. If there is any hair there at all, she will pull it out.

I don't think she even realizes she is doing this most of the time. The reason her eyebrows are falling out is because she is plucking them out. I wonder if she was able to stop doing this if they would all grow back in or not.


When I was a teenager I faithfully plucked my bushy eyebrows so they were thin. You can get by with this for awhile, but as you age, your eyebrow hair doesn't grow back like it used to. I also have spot baldness in my eyebrows that I never had before.

I think this is a combination of aging and hormone changes. So far I have been able to use an eyebrow pencil to fill in the thinning and bald spots, but if it gets much worse I am not sure what I am going to do.

I have never heard that taking too many vitamins or pain medications could cause eyebrow loss. It makes me start to question which vitamins I am taking and if I need to cut back on certain ones.


I have a friend who was born with a condition where she doesn't have any hair on her body, including her eyebrows. She wears a wig and uses an eyebrow pencil so it looks like she has eyebrows.

I don't know if this condition is related to alopecia, since this is something she has had all her life. Whenever I get frustrated about my thinning eyebrows, I am reminded it could be much worse, and am thankful I have eyebrows at all.

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