Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Growing back overwaxed eyebrows ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Growing back overwaxed eyebrows
Category: Health > Beauty
Asked by: charles111-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 16 Apr 2003 18:09 PDT
Expires: 16 May 2003 18:09 PDT
Question ID: 191504
Last week, I had my eyebrows waxed and plucked by a professional for
$20.  Twice previously, she has done an excellent job, but this time
she rushed through it and made a mistake.  Now my eyebrows are uneven
-- one of them has too much hair removed from it.  I'm assuming that
the missing part of my eyebrow may grow back partly, but will never be
as thick as it originally was.  This is depressing.  Is there anything
I can do about it?  Is there any way to encourage hair regrowth after
waxing/plucking?  Will chemicals used for people who are balding work
for regrowing eyebrows? (Like Rogaine?) I'm a 24-year-old man.
Subject: Re: Growing back overwaxed eyebrows
Answered By: knowledge_seeker-ga on 16 Apr 2003 20:53 PDT
Well Charles111, 

There's good news and there's bad news regarding your eyebrows. 

The good news is that, in all likelihood, every hair that has been
removed from your eyebrows WILL grow back on its own, just as thick as
it was before your overzealous eyebrow professional got a hold of it.

The bad news is, it may not happen as fast as you'd like.
Unfortunately, eyebrow hairs are the slowest-growing hairs on the
human body.

Now, before we go too far with an explanation, I am assuming that your
eyebrow hairs were NOT removed by an electrical epilator. If so, you
are in more trouble because this technique destroys the hair follicle
and is considered a permanent hair removal method.

Since you described the procedure as "waxed and plucked" then I'll
assume that simple plucking (as opposed to electrolysis) is what you
meant. And, if that is true, then your new hairs are on their way as
we speak.


So, how long is this going to take?  

According to a reliable source (cited below), the average number of
days for a plucked eyebrow hair of an adult to regenerate a hair fiber
is about 56 days.  The regeneration will occur at an average growth
rate of .16mm per day.

Will the same kind of hair grow back, or will it be thicker or finer
than my original hair?

Many people believe that plucked or shaved hairs grow back different
-- thicker or darker or thinner -- than their original hairs. This is
not true.  The hair you lost is the hair you'll get back.

What might affect the growth rate? (As in, can't we speed this up?)

HORMONES - You might think that hormones would affect the rate of
eyebrow hair growth. I'm sure plenty of women who have been pregnant
can attest to the positive effects of hormones on their hair. But
alas, many hair follicles do not respond to hormone levels, and those
include: eyebrows, lashes, and extremities of the hands and feet. 
These follicles maintain a steady rate of hair fiber production
regardless of hormone concentration.

ROGAINE – Unfortunately Rogaine (minoxidil) only works on a specific
type of HEREDITARY male pattern baldness on a specific location ON
YOUR HEAD. According to the FDA, Rogaine has not been shown to help
treat hair loss caused by nonhereditary factors.

To quote the labeling on Rogaine – "DO NOT USE IF --  your amount of
hair loss is different than that shown on the side of this carton or
your  hair loss is on the front of the scalp.  Minoxidil topical
solution 5% is not intended for frontal baldness or receding hairline.

From the Rogaine website cited below  –

"ROGAINEŽ contains the active ingredient minoxidil, which revitalizes
hair follicles and causes them to shift from a dormant phase to an
active growing phase."

Further, Rogaine takes time. More time than it may actually take to
grow the hair naturally.

"Hair growth is a slow process and ROGAINEŽ is not an overnight
miracle. … it will take some time to produce results. Two to six weeks
after starting treatment, you may notice you are losing even more
hair. … If you use ROGAINEŽ twice a day for at least 4 months, you may
start to see results—but up to 12 months of use may be needed.."

Finally, you don't want to risk getting Rogaine in your eyes –

"ROGAINEŽ Topical Solution will cause burning and irritation of
sensitive surfaces such as eyes and abraded skin."


As I mentioned before, eyebrow hairs do grow back but are the slowest
growing hairs on the human body. So slow in fact that many people
worry that their eyebrows won't grow back if a plucking error occurs. 
So far everything I've told is encouraging as long as you are patient,
but there is one consideration I have not addressed yet.

Eyebrow follicles are very sensitive to damage. If you have had your
eyebrows plucked regularly for some time, you may have damaged certain
follicles permanently, and if so, those follicles will not be able to
regenerate hair. However, as I understand it, your concern is with
those follicles that have been plucked only on your most recent visit.
If this is the only time they have ever been plucked, the likelihood
of their being damaged is small.


After all that I've read, my recommendation would be to just have
patience. If you haven't damaged your follicles by repeated plucking,
your eyebrows should grow back to their former selves within a matter
of weeks.




FDA:  Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
by Marian Segal

Example Drug Facts Label for Minoxidil Topical Solution 5% for Men

Can ROGAINEŽ Help You?


I hope that in some way I've managed to put your mind at ease
regarding your eyebrows. If anything I've said isn't clear, or if any
of the links don't work, please feel free to ask for clarification and
I'll be happy to explain further.

Thank you for your question –


Search terms –

Eyebrow growth rate
Eyebrow hair growth
FDA Rogaine 
FDA minoxidil

Request for Answer Clarification by charles111-ga on 29 Apr 2003 17:41 PDT
Thank you for your reply.

You wrote, "Many people believe that plucked or shaved hairs grow back
-- thicker or darker or thinner -- than their original hairs. This is
not true.  The hair you lost is the hair you'll get back."

"If this is the only time they have ever been plucked, the likelihood
of their being damaged is small."

Is there any data to support this?

Because, according to your source,, "Plucking an eyebrow
follicle once or twice may lead to extensive and irreversible
destruction and no further hair growth."

Also, the site says,
"The average number of days required for regeneration of hairs in 90%
of the follicles from which hairs were plucked was ... 64 in the
eyebrow. "

So after two months, 90% of the eyebrow will return.  What I would
like to know is about the remaining 10%.  I want to know what
percentage of the eyebrows plucked returns over the course of, say,
the next year.

Can you give me these numbers?
 - the probability that hair follicle will *eventually* regenerate
after being plucked once? (This number should be over 90%.)
 - after being plucked twice?
 - the average number of times that a hair follicle must be plucked to
never regenerate (this, of course, must be greater than 1, but
hopefully it is greater than 2)
 - some data on whether the type of wax used affects regeneration. 
The woman who plucked my hair said that she used professional wax that
was less forgiving of mistakes but yielded more professional results.


Clarification of Answer by knowledge_seeker-ga on 01 May 2003 17:00 PDT
Hi again Charles111 !

Ok… after a thorough search of the medical literature available to me
online, I'm not able to get you any of the hard data you have
requested. But I do have some further information for you which I
think you will find helpful

To use this information, I think we need to delve into the basic
biology of hair growth a little bit more and understand exactly what
we're dealing with.

First of all, it all comes down to follicles.  Damage the follicle and
you end hair growth. Period. That's why laser hair removal is
considered permanent – it kills the follicle. As long as the follicle
isn't damaged, your hair will grow back just like it was before.

So what about waxing?  Waxing certainly has the potential to do more
damage than shaving, because you are pulling the hair right out of the
follicle. Waxing, in essence is the same process as plucking only you
can do more hairs at the same time. The effect is the same, pulling
out hairs from the "root" – and the more you do it greater the
likelihood of follicle damage. Again, no exact numbers on this.

Now, this is just my opinion, but I cannot imagine that the type of
wax would make a difference, unless the technique for removing certain
types of  waxes is a gentler process which would reduce the amount of
damage to the follicle.

How much waxing is "safe" doesn't seem to be definitive. Everybody
seems to ballpark eyebrow follicle damage somewhere between "once" and
"several." (not helpful I know!) I do have to wonder if the numbers
are fuzzy because it is different for different people. Just like our
genetics effect to what length we can grow the hair on our head, it
may also effect how sensitive to damage our eyebrow follicles are.

But of all our hairs, eyebrows are the most sensitive. As I noted
earlier, for eyebrows, damage can occur after just a few encounters.
And as you pointed out, the one source mentioned that even one waxing
can be enough to cause irreversible damage. But, I've been unable to
find any literature which gives numbers, percentages or detailed
projections on regrowth success.

One thing to think about – if you have had to get your eyebrows waxed
more than once to maintain the look you want, then obviously your
eyebrows ARE growing back after more than one treatment. I would think
this would bode well for those newly removed hairs you'd like to

You said ---------------

"So after two months, 90% of the eyebrow will return.  What I would
like to know is about the remaining 10%.  I want to know what
percentage of the eyebrows plucked returns over the course of, say,
the next year."

We have to remember that at any time, a certain percentage of the
follicles are in fact not actively producing hair and in fact may be
in the process of  losing hair. I wonder (and again, I don't have the
data) if 90% is considered "full" re-growth. Perhaps they are assuming
that in any 2-month period, 10% of the follicles are not producing
hairs so are not expected to "sprout" during that time.

Take a look at this next section. It explains the growth cycle of
hairs and how these cycles are affected by cutting or pulling hairs.
It might help make sense of the above percentages.



On the head, each hair grows one half inch a month for about 2 to 8
years. This called the Anagen phase.  For eyebrows and other non-head
hairs, the anagen phase is only about 2-3 months long. This is why
hairs on other parts of the body do not grow as long as head hairs.


After the growth (anagen) phase, the hair moves into the catagen phase
and rests. As this phase comes to an end, the follicle ejects the hair
in a phase called telogen and subsequently the anagen phase begins
again to generate a new hair.

For head hairs this rest phase lasts for about 2 to 4 months. Hair
located on other body sites (eg, eyebrows, trunk, and extremities) is
characterized by longer telogen phases (up to 9 months) and shorter
anagen periods (4-7 months).

Therefore, for head hair, the phase cycle is constantly repeated with
about 90% of hairs in anagen phase and 10% in the telogen phase at any
given time.

However, because the cycle of eyebrow hairs is longer in the telogen
phase than anagen, the proportion is the opposite. At any given time
90% are resting and only 10% are growing.





So, what does this mean to you?

Keep reading …..


"… waxing is not permanent. In fact, when the hair is pulled out, the
follicle is stimulated to begin anagen phase again, and a new hair
grows within several weeks. ….The new hair, which is softly tapered,
takes a few weeks to reach the surface of the skin, and therefore
regrowth is delayed, rather than immediate. ….

"….  Emergency rooms doctors are taught not to shave eyebrows …. 
Because 90% of the hairs in the eyebrow are in telogen phase (as
opposed to 10% of scalp hairs in telogen phase) it usually takes many
months or years before the growth phase naturally switches to anagen.
For this reason, shaved eyebrows seem to take "forever" before they
regrow. When a telogen eyebrow hair is plucked however, the growth
phase is disrupted and the hair is immediately converted to anagen
phase, with predictable regrowth."



"When hair is cut with a razor, the tip becomes squared off. This
makes the new growth feel stubbly or "thicker." Shaving does not
stimulate hair growth. The new growth feels more coarse because the
tip of the hair has a sharp cut edge, rather than a natural tapered.
Plucking, electrolysis, and laser removal result in regrowth of a
naturally soft tapered hair."



"This small study demonstrates for the first time that full brow cilia
regrowth is possible after completely shaving an eyebrow."

Cilia regrowth of shaven eyebrows.
Fezza JP, Klippenstein KA, Wesley RE.



"A novel and simple approach to single hair follicle transplantation
for alopecia is a hair threaded on a curved needle with the follicle
attached. It is the best … procedure in certain areas, namely the
eyebrow, … The presented technique …has been time-tested by the senior
author for the last 20 years."

The "pluck and sew" technique of individual hair follicle placement.
Caputy GG, Flowers RS.


Abstract –

This research is unrelated to what you are talking about, but DOES
contain the following encouraging statement:

"…A laser pulse close to the upper part of the eyebrow induced a blaze
and the eyebrow was instantly destroyed by the fire. Regrowth of the
eyebrow was complete after a few months…"

Hair ignition by dye laser for port-wine stain: risk factors
Molin L, Hallgren S.



#28 Search eyebrow AND regeneration    10 
#27 Search eyebrow AND regenerate       0 
#24 Search eyebrow AND regrowth         3 
#23 Search eyebrow AND removal         34 
#22 Search eyebrow AND regrow           0 
#20 Search eyebrow AND waxing           0 
#17 Search eyebrow AND follicle         9 
#16 Search eyebrow AND tweezing         1 
#13 Search eyebrow AND removal         34 
#12 Search eyebrow AND wax              0 
#11 Search eyebrow AND waxed            0 
#7 Search eyebrow AND growth           34 
#6 Search eyebrow AND hair            626 
#4 Search eyebrow                     846 
#3 Search eyebrow AND hair AND follicle 9 
#1 Search eyebrow hair follicle         9


I did a similar search of with fewer results. 



So that's the extent of what I can find online. I do hope this gives
you a sense of what is or isn't known about eyebrow regrowth after
hairs are removed.

Again, thank you for your question –

Subject: Re: Growing back overwaxed eyebrows
From: eyeluvbrok-ga on 05 Jul 2004 13:58 PDT
it is interesting that some site says that it takes 56 days to
regenerate a hair that you pluck out. I pluck my eyebrows 1-2x a week
b/c the hair grows back quite fast. Not to mention, there is factual
research out there that shows that plucking and shaving hairs makes
them grow out coarser which makes them appear to be thicker and

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy