Why Do Eyebrows Thin Over Time?

Experts explain why our brows become sparser as we age—and share tips for achieving a fuller look.

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There's no denying that full brows are one of the most sought-after beauty looks of all time, especially in the present day. We've learned how to fill in sparse arches, ease up on the tweezers, and embrace our natural shape. Still, no matter how thick or thin they are or how dedicated you are when it comes to maintaining them, all eyebrows thin over time. Just like fine lines and wrinkles, you can't stop this—very normal—process, but there are some ways to slow it down to keep your arches looking thicker for longer. Ahead, experts explain exactly why this happens and share the products and makeup tricks that will boost your brows.

smiling woman with thinning eyebrows
kupicoo / Getty Images

The Reason: Aging Skin

"As we age, it's completely normal for our hair, including eyebrows and lashes, to thin," says Audrianna Mora, the Global Education Manager of RevitaLash Cosmetics. Over time, skin loses its elasticity, causing hair follicles to become brittle and fall out. Some of these follicles may stop producing hair altogether, which is when eyebrows begin to recede and appear patchy. Thinning arches can also be a side effect of itchy skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, which can indirectly cause hair loss when an inflamed brow area is scratched too frequently.

The Reason: Hormonal Changes

Changes in hormones during menopause can also contribute to hair loss and thinning brows. As women go through this change, levels of certain hormones like ​prostaglandin, estrogen, and progesterone begin decline; strands then becomes weak and falls out. This shift in hormones is usually one of the main causes of hair loss in women over 40.

The Reason: Nutritional Deficiencies

Studies show that there may be a link between nutritional deficiencies and hair loss. Low levels of iron, zinc, and protein may be to blame for thinning brows and certain medical conditions like anemia. If you think you might be suffering from vitamin deficiencies, it's important to always consult your doctor before starting any supplement regime.

The Solution: Conditioning Serums

"You can't stop Father Time, but you can fool him," nots Mora who recommends using serums—like RevitaBrow Advanced ($58, revitalash.com)—that are specifically formulated for brow hair health. Much like a nourishing conditioner, these serums protect your arches from breakage and environmental stressors. RevitaBrows's formula, in particular, contains ingredients like panax ginseng extracts and wheat proteins that not only improve flexibility and shine, but also give brows a thicker, more voluminous appearance.

The Solution: Tweezer Tactics

If you're tempted to tweeze, don't! Excessive plucking or waxing will lead to thinner brows over time and can even result in permanent hair loss. So, if you're trying to maximize growth, it's best to avoid plucking or waxing altogether.

The Solution: Makeup

When it comes to achieving thicker brows, we could all use a little help from a pencil, powder, or gel. These products are giving arches a fuller, bushier, and more defined appearance. If you're looking for blendable, buildable coverage, opt for powder-based formulas like Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo ($23, ulta.com); they will leave you with the most natural finish. To fill in sparse spots with precision, pencils with a tapered tip, including the Maybelline Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil ($5.97, amazon.com), are perfect for controlled application. And if you prefer a brush applicator? Just a couple of swipes of Glossier Brow Boy ($16, glossier.com), a gel-based product, delivers instant structure and volume.

The Solution: Microblading

Microblading, a semi-permanent form of brow tattooing, uses tiny needles to deposit pigment into the skin—creating the appearance of fuller arches. While it might sound scary (and harsh), microblading isn't as nearly as painful as getting a tattoo and usually lasts between one to three years; it also yields a natural result, so long as you turn to a licensed professional for the treatment.

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