In short: sometimes. As much as we’d like to give you a straight answer, hair loss and regrowth (on any part of the body) is a tricky thing that’s influenced by many factors. However, here’s what we know about eyebrow hair.
First up, if you want to see what your “full regrowth” is, it takes time: “Generally, 4-6 weeks is when you’ll experience what most brow specialists refer to as a ‘full regrowth,’ however, there are people who tend to see growth up to 8-10 weeks. Then there are those who see very nominal growth beyond. I’ve had certain clients who we’ve been patient with letting their brows grow in and over the course of a year they saw little bits come in very slowly that were small,” brow expert Joey Healy tells us. “The majority of your regrowth will be seen in 4-6 weeks, sometimes 8.”
So if you’ve given your strands a good several weeks to do their thing, and you are still seeing gaps, thinner areas, or the like, are they gone forever? Unfortunately, maybe. Repeatedly pulling out hair—via wax or tweezers—is hard on the follicle. Do this too much, and the follicle becomes damaged and dies. Once that happens, the hair will never be able to grow back.
“Brows can thin over time as we age, but oftentimes brows thin even more as a result of over-plucking or over-tweezing,” board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D. has previously told mbg. “Plucking, tweezing, threading, and waxing all pull the hair from the root, and there’s only so much trauma each root can take. Repeating these insults to our hair root over time increase the likelihood that some hairs will never regrow, as too much damage has been done to the base of the root where the stem cells live.”
So this means if you’ve been shaping your brows months, years, or decades—there might not be much you can really do to turn back the clock.
“Most people are surprised to learn that their brows have real limitations of regrowth, especially if you’ve been shaping your brows for a long period of time,” saysHealy. “You might be surprised how wimpy the new growth is even after waiting 8-10 weeks so yes, there is value to seeing what their maximum capacity is, but letting them regrow does not mean they are going to be back to the natural brows of your youth or they are not going to return to the natural brows you had before you starting shaping them.”
Another issue is scar tissue, notes Healy: “Know that hair will not grow on a burn or a scar either. For example, if you had a brow piercing or trauma to the skin that created a scar, no amount of time is going to cover that because the hair follicle is compromised when the brow is scarred.”