We’ve all been there, at that unfortunate intersection of missing eyebrows and desperately wondering how long does it take for eyebrows to grow back?
It happens so suddenly. You’re just casually trying to sculpt your own eyebrows a bit. Shave a little off here, pluck a hair or two there…so far so good…until, wait…is that a bald patch? How did I let that happen?
Sometimes, it’s more gradual. You start plucking a bit off here and there, slowly but surely, until you realize you’ve got almost nothing left. How on earth did that happen?
Regardless of exactly how it happened, if you’re desperately trying to figure out how long it’ll be before your carelessly lopped-off eyebrows will grow back, and if there’s anything you can do to speed up the process, we’ve got you covered.
How Long Does it Take for Eyebrows to Grow Back?
The very first thing to understand is that how long it takes for eyebrows to grow back depends on several factors like your age, metabolism, as well as how the eyebrows were taken off in the first place.
The next thing to know is that all hair – be it on your brows, lashes or the top of your head – grows in phases. Specifically, there are three cycles of hair growth for all hairs and the only thing that differs is how long each phase takes.
So, what are the three phases for brow hairs? Here’s how your brows grow, in brief:
- Anagen. This is the eyebrow growth phase and how long it lasts varies per person – by gender, age as well as genetics. It’s basically the length of this time that determines how long the hair will grow. As you might’ve guessed, this phase is much shorter for brows than it is for the hair on our heads, which is why eyebrows don’t grow past a certain point.
- Catagen. This is the intermediate, resting phase during which your eyebrow hairs stop actively growing and sit back to just chill. This phase typically lasts between two to four weeks and during this time, the hair follicle stops producing hair, shrinks and causes the strand of hair to detach from the blood supply and push up towards the skin’s surface.
- Telogen. The hair has grown, it’s hung out and taken in the sight and now it’s time for it to say goodbye. This final phase is the natural shedding phase and during this time, the old hair lies dormant as a new hair begins to grow from the hair follicle. As it grows upwards, the old hair is shed naturally.
The stages of growth matter because they play a factor in how long it will take to grow your eyebrow hair back. The best stage to have over-plucked your brows, for example, is the telogen phase since that is when eyebrow hairs were ready to fall off anyway.
On the other hand, if you plucked brow hairs that were in the anagen stage, it’s going to take longer for those eyebrow hairs to grow back since they did not get a chance to fulfill their life cycle.
Of course, it’s not just the growth stage that matters, the time it takes to regrow eyebrows also depends on how you did it…
How Long Do Eyebrows Take to Grow Back: Shaving vs. Plucking
Whether your eyebrow mishap was a result of plucking or shaving also has an impact on regrowth time. Consider that the roots of hairs all over your body are buried under layers of epidermis and deeper skin tissues.
This means there’s a lot of hair you don’t actually see. If you’ve ever plucked with tweezers, you might have noticed. You can grab a hair that looks incredibly short, just barely long enough to grasp and tweeze effectively, and yet when you pull it out, it’s about five times longer than it looked from the surface.
So think about it this way: your hair grows in cycles no matter what, and the cycles last for the same amount of time, and your hair grows at pretty much the same rate regardless. But if you pluck, it has more ground to cover.
It’s got to spend a lot of time re-forming at the root and making its way to the surface. If you shave, you just cut off the hair level with, or maybe ever so slightly under, the top later of skin. The root is still intact. The hair shaft leading up to the surface is still intact. In short, expect roughly twice as long for re-growth if you plucked, compared to shaving.
Last note on this: frequent plucking can also permanently scar the hair follicle. That means, if the hair grows back, it might grow back thinner and paler, and if you keep plucking from the same follicle, it can kill it entirely and prevent any hairs from ever coming from that pore again.
This is why plucking can actually be a form of permanent hair removal and also why we absolutely don’t recommend plucking your eyebrows (unless in spots where you’re certain you never want more growth, i.e. unibrow).
How to Make Eyebrows Grow Faster
The time it can take one single eyebrow hair to go through all the stages of growth varies on several factors, but it’s safe to say that the period can take well over 60 days.
That’s a lot of time – time that you don’t want to spend with sparse, balding eyebrows, right?
Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to make your eyebrows grow faster. Here’s how to help your brows along and give them a boost for thicker, faster eyebrow growth!
If you’ve been in the habit of plucking your eyebrows since you were a tween, this can seem like brow sacrilege – but not plucking for at least 8 weeks (which is roughly the amount of time it take for one eyebrow to go through its entire growth cycle) trains your brow hairs to grow consistently.
Simply giving your brows the space and opportunity to grow to their full length will serve you in your quest for thicker, fuller brows. Plus, this no plucking rule doesn’t apply to unibrow hairs so no worries about going all Frida Kahlo for this.
And if you absolutely must shape your eyebrows, use an eyebrow shaver to carefully remove hair where you need a bit of refinement. But lay off the tweezers, okay?
Nourish with oils
There’s good reason why pretty much every hair growth guru ever recommends natural oils – they’re chock full of nourishment and nutrients that promote strong, vigorous hair growth.
The best ones? Castor oil tops the list, followed by almond, coconut, olive, avocado, jojoba, or really any other nutrient-rich natural oil.
You can also double the effectiveness of these natural oils by using them as carrier oils for essential oils. For example, combine the already great castor oil with rosemary, lavender, chamomile, or peppermint essential oils to further stimulate hair growth.
Biotin is your brow BFF
Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is one of the 8 b-complex vitamins that regulate our energy levels as well as other bodily functions. Biotin in particular is associated with faster and stronger nail and hair growth.
While it doesn’t absorb well through the skin, you can take it internally with supplements to give those brows a boost. You can also get biotin from your diet by eating fish, organ meats, berries, and legumes.
Use an eyebrow serum
That’s right, just as there are facial serums for your skin, so too can you get your hands on a serum applied directly to your brows to dramatically thicken the brows that grow back.
Unfortunately, these serums can’t speed up how fast your brows take to grow but what they can do is make brows grow back a whole lot thicker and a whole lot fuller, which is definitely worth the wait.
The most effective eyebrow growth serums contain prostaglandin analogues (like Latisse) that are capable of drastically transforming sparse brow hairs into big, bold brow lines.
The downside is that prostaglandin ingredients also affect the color of your hair – and possibly even your skin. This can be awesome if you’re looking for darker brows but not so great if you like the color of your brows just the way they are.
So if you have lighter colored skin and brows, go for an eyebrow serum that uses a potent blend of peptides, proteins, and botanical extracts to stimulate eyebrow growth. These prostaglandin-free eyebrow serums won’t affect the color of your brows at all – only the thickness and fullness of your brows.