• Mon, Jan 23 2012

About Face: Will Rogaine Make Your Eyebrows Grow?

When I was young, I got my eyebrows waxed and they came back shitty. Since that fateful one-and-only time waxing, I’ve always been kind of disappointed with my eyebrows and their insolent refusal to grow–especially the left one because depending on how the hairs lay, it occasionally looks like I have a bald spot there. And not a cool, post-mugging eyebrow bald spot like Spike. No, just a regular old one, the kind that distracts you when you catch it in a mirror.

The first lesson that should be learned form this is don’t start waxing your kid’s eyebrows too young. Don’t. I don’t care how alienated they feel in school, it’s important to remind yourself that 1) kids feel alienated by fucking everything in school, 2) thick eyebrows look awesome (especially on girls) and 3) if your kid ever decides of her own volition that she really, really needs to take them down a size and/or sculpt, not waxing too early will mean she has something substantive to work with.

(Sidenote: I really can’t emphasize enough how great thick eyebrows look and if you need more reminding, consider Hilary Rhoda, Jennifer Connelly, Audrey Hepburn, Brooke Shields, etc).

So you’re in my situation and your eyebrows are a little sparse. Not only that, they’re sparse and if they’re not in exactly the right place, they can look pretty wonky. For this, I’ve historically padded them out with a simple dark brown pencil in addition to a tinted gel that will hold them in place, like Anastasia here (who didn’t finance this mention in any way nor have I ever gotten a sample from them, every tube of this stuff I’ve used I have purchased myself):

I read somewhere that Pat McGrath–probably the greatest makeup artist in history–said you should always double up on brow colors to “add dimension.” So I use a brow gel (in “brunette“) that’s slightly lighter than my natural brow color and kind of feather it all around, but I’ll also do some contour lines with a darker pencil (my brows are actually a lot darker than my hair, though, so I have to be careful about making them appear any darker). If you ever see me out at Fashion Week or something, though, don’t scrutinize my eyebrows, okay?

Like I said, my coloring system has worked well for years. But one night I was staying awake late, lost in some sort of Wikipedia k-hole. I think I was researching Latisse because I wanted to know if it can really change the color of your eyes without warning. Not that I’m interested in using Latisse, mostly just, “Holy shit, that would be terrible!” Anyway, I got sucked into a spiral of beauty forums and before I knew it, I’d come across a discussion about the benefits of putting Rogaine on your eyebrows.

It made sense. Rogaine makes your head hair grow, but probably not in the lush, Uncle Jesse way that some bald guys are hoping. I’d even seen some Rogaine before and after photos where the after reminded me of eyebrow hairs. I read through the whole thread and then figured I’d give it a shot.

And so…

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  • endn

    I have done this and it freaking works. I was worried about putting those hormones and chemicals so close to my eyeballs, I guess it felt like they werere just a hop skip and jump away from my delicate squishy brain, but i had no problems with it after several months of use. I did the light q-tip dip nightly and my eyebrows definitely got fuller, and the hairs grew back more quickly after overplucking. I stopped after a while since they had grown back so nicely, and they’re a bit slower to grow now, but it’s not like the new hairs fell out after I discontinued use or anything like that.

    • Kayli Jo

      did you use the rogaine or latisse?

  • Elizabeth

    Mine are pretty sparse and I want giant awesome brows, so I just started putting Latisse in them. A friend of my mom’s is going through chemo, and she asked her doctor if she could use Latisse while she was doing it, and he was like, “Yeah, sure. And rub the excess into your eyebrows, so they’ll grow more and you won’t lose as much.”

    I just started a couple days ago, though. I put it on my lashes, and then whatever is left in the brush I rub onto my eyebrows. Right now my eyebrows are just really, really itchy.

  • Fabel

    Whoa, this might be something I have to try. My eyebrows are nice until the arch– then it’s like all the hairs decided they didn’t want to form a line anymore, so they’re sparse and all over my browbone. I pluck what I need to & fill the rest in, but I’ve considered (not in a really serious manner) tatooing them.

  • GreyByNight

    I’ve had some luck with Urban Decay’s Lush Lash System. I saw how well it worked for my eyelashes and decided to try it on my brows with good results. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it in my opinion.

  • Thau

    I used to be an eye tech. The stuff that makes latisse work is also found in medication for glaucoma patients, and yes – if you have light colored eyes especially, it can change your eye color permanently. Saying that, I used to see little old men with lashes so long they’d beg us to trim them while they were there, so i’m sure it works, too.

    • Meghan Keane

      That sounds kind of adorable.

    • LibelFreeZone

      “…and yes – if you have light colored eyes especially, it can change your eye color permanently.”

      ONLY IF you get Latisse IN your eyes. If you’re careful to put the solution only on your lash line (skin), your retina will NOT change color.

  • cindy in sandiego

    I overplucked my eyebrows about 20 years ago and have since then compensated with eyebrow pencil, which is kind of a hassle. My comment here is that I started using Latisse on my brows about 4 months ago, and IT WORKS. I would say about 2/3 of my brows have grown back. They’re darker than previously, but my friends say the color is good. I found a doctor in Pennsylvania who sells Latisse online for about $89. I apply it with an eyeliner-sized paint brush which I bought at Michael’s. You have to paint it on nightly for about 6 weeks, and then results become obvious.

    • Maggie

      um hello, can you forward the name of that doctor? I love latisse!

    • Veronica

      I’m glad you had luck with the Latisse on your brows; I’ve had none despite using it literally for a year. (Hey, maybe it just needs one more month) Latisse has worked MIRACLES on my lashes, no change of eye color or other ill effects, but as to brow growth, it’s been a total zero. Not sure why, but it is what it is.

  • Lisa Daly

    I love that you did this. It seems like a terrible idea, and totally something I’d be too anxious to try on my own, but I’m def going to now. Thanks! And I’m ordering Latisse online from that PA spa. Thanks!

  • Liz

    I think it’s amazing that you did this post! I also over-plucked in High School, which resulted in thin sparse brows, with a little tiny bald-patch on my right brow, which always catches my eye too!

    Over the last year I also realized how beautiful full shaped eyebrows are on women, and I became a bit fixated and fraustrated with my thin brows… So a couple months ago I started researching rogaine for eyebrows too, and found the same results 5% minoxil, (I use Perfect Image Solutions with retinol from Amazon, no animal testing product).

    I started using it in mid-December with some reservation (I q-tip each night, then q-tip ardell lash growth on brows and eye lashes in the morning. I have had no side-effects and my brows have been growing slow, but steady and fuller! I am very pleased. I think in a few months I am going to be even happier with the results since I just started just over a month ago.

  • S. Mary Katherine

    I would be interested to know if this is a proven remedy for old lady eyebrows. I have an elderly friend in her late 80′s who has not a single hair left in her brow area and so had gray brows tattoed. I’m 25 years younger than she but my brows are seriously thinning, I don’t like having to apply makeup daily, and Im certainly not ready for “permanent” brows. I did a search about using Rogaine several years ago and at the time found few results indicating women who had success. Your article gives me the courage to give it a try. Perhaps I’ll report back in a few months.

    • carol kelley

      Yes for me it has worked. I bought the walgreens brand..and have been applying with a Qtip day and night for about 2 months…it took awhile but my brows are definitely thicker and have grown some hairs where there were worn off. Very nervous about my brows, because I was really headed down the old lady brown area.

  • Jamie Peck

    I always got called “unibrow” by the other kids in school. :( Now I get compliments on my brows, which is weird, because I’m like, “really? You like these bushy things that I am too lazy to pluck?” Time to OWN these bushy things that I am too lazy to pluck.

    • Angie

      i rather have bushy eyebrows than to have thin ones… :-/

  • Michael

    I`m a young looking 49 year old male. But I noticed my eyebrows were getting sparse where they had been thick before. So, I went and bought the men`s extra strenth Rogaine ( I felt a little wierd at chekout, because I have a full head of hair ). After two months, I started noticing fine hairs sprouting where there were no eyeybrows there before. Now I`m 2 weeks from 4 months of use, and this stuff really works. My brows are thick now, and I still see the fine hairs sprouting, so I will continue use probably forever. The only downside of it is using it twice a day and you HAVE to let it dry. My regimen was 7:30 in the morning, and again at 5:30 PM. plus I really didn`t like the greasy look on my brows, but you don`t need too much and that goes away within an hour. I highly recommend it. Just put some rogaine in the cap of the bottle, and dip a q-tip in there for about 5 seconds and start at the inward part ( above nose ), and I dip it one more time until lightly coated, making sure I press the Q-tip down on the brows from corner to corner to make sure the roots if the thickest part of brows gets the medication. Good Luck !!!!

  • PRAYER

    Thank to everybody for your priceless tuitorial

  • Dorothy

    I have tried the 5% minoxidil for 2 months twice a day. I dab a little on with my finger and let it dry. I am starting to see some growth in the eyebrow area, but sparse. It may take months if it is going to work. I am 55 and let me tell you ladies—stop over-waxing and over-plucking your eyebrows. They are probably going to thin out when you get older and you will be sorry. Take a look at the brows of older women. I hope it will give me some more growth. I did not get any bad reaction so far.

    • socalfan59

      At your age, low hormone levels may prevent hair growth. I’m in late perimenopause and the hormone drop definitely effects my hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. My hair is waist length and used to grow like crazy. Now I can go months without cutting it because there’s very little growth. My eyelashes are shorter and lost about 1/4 of their fullness.

    • JJ

      Eyebrow hairs are not androgen (hormone) dependent.

  • Jenny

    I love the way you guys write, it really amuses me and I was tempted to run out and get some to fill in my dodgy eyebrows until I got to the exploding blood eyes bit.
    Keep up the good work

  • Ageing well

    Thanks SO much for this post!!! As a 46 year-old male, my head of hair has remained pretty thick and the hairline has only receded a 1/2 inch at the corners. Thank you genes.

    BUT, my eyebrows have always been thin, and in just the last 6 months they have gotten thinner and more wirey. I think that the eyebrows can make or break one’s looks- I’ve always admired Tom Cruise’s and Charlie Sheen’s, as well as Brooke Shield’s. I always wondered if Rogaine would work; after all, it works just three inches to the north, and to my knowledge the setup is the same: skin against my skull. I can’t WAIT to try this!

  • Josh

    could someone please explain this exploding blood eyes thing? Is that just a joke? Are there really any serious side effects from using rogaine on eyebrows?

    • joey

      it means if it gets in your eye it will hurt like a sluty whore
      when she takes a piss

    • Ang

      lmao! omg i’m enjoying the these lovely comments!

    • Angie

      erase the word “the”

  • jehnavi

    Unwanted facial hair growth from Rogaine (minoxidil) is typically seen in women who opt to apply the Men’s 5% formula. However, it is a known side effect of both the 2% and 5% concentrations and in both men and women.
    http://www.regainefoamreviews.co.uk/regaine-foam-for-women-an-effective-solution-for-hair-growth.html

    • Beth

      jehnavi, you are definitely right. I have been using 5% minoxidil for a month, just on the ends of my eyebrows. There has only been a little eyebrow regrowth, but now I have lots of fine blond hair on my forehead and temples. On one hand, I don’t know if the product has had enough time to work on the brows, but am afraid of turnin into an ape if I keep using this. My thin-browed friends, dare I continue the experiment or should I try something safer?

  • Court

    6 months post chemo. Full head of new hair but no eyebrows. I miss getting threaded! I just started rogaine women. Now should i switch to men’s Or should I get latisse?

    Great blog!!!

  • Katie

    I started using Latisse about three weeks ago. I read on the internet that its safe (see the realself site-search latisse eyebrows) to apply it to lower lashes and eyebrows. I’ve been doing just that nightly and I do see a lot of new growth in the eyebrow area. I’m not plucking (yeah, its gross) yet, because I want to see just how well this stuff works. Lashes are noticeably longer, and really noticeable on the lower lashes. Two thing, though: I have dark brown eyes so I wouldn’t notice any eye discoloration if there were to be any, and I use two drops of Latisse a night (one each eye-brow, upper, lower-yes it is enough there for all) so it will get expensive-hope another company comes out with some competition (like Dysport vs Botox) so the price will go down…..

    • Torie

      There is something called careprost now that is a lot cheaper

  • Puneet

    Its better to use it carefully on your face because if not applied with proper care then there might be chances that hair may grow on your face and it would be more awkward and weird as well. So take proper care and use such products. http://www.sunsilk.in/hair_expertise/hair_care.aspx

  • Grace

    Really enjoyed the writing: sincere and hilarious!
    And a good bit of info.
    Thanks.

  • Aud

    I’m a 32 yr old using Rogaine 5% foam for about 2 months. After massaging foam onto my scalp, I massage whatever Rogaine residue was left on my fingers into my eyebrows. After 2 months: YES, the growth is noticeable. Not bushy, but a little thicker. HOWEVER, just like using Rogaine on the scalp, you will likely have to use this on your eyebrows forever; if not, your eyebrows will go back to normal over a period of time after you discontinue it – probably not a big deal for eyebrows though (big deal when trying to grow hair on the scalp!).

  • BriteWIngz

    I started using the women’s formula on my eyebrows about 8 weeks ago, and refused to allow myself to touch the tweezers to see what good it did. I would say that 2/3rds of my eyebrows have been a single strand of hair for many years now. It seems to me that the hairs i have been plucking away have grown back, thus reminding my why I hated them enough to pluck them in the first place (growing in at weird angles, spread way apart, etc.) So either the Rogaine for women works to regrow eyebrow hairs that were there at some point, or just not touching the tweezers after 20+ years of plucking helped. I wish I could grow them where I WANT them, but they aren’t growing where they never were. I’ve been tempted to try it on my eyelashes, and wonder if I would go blind? I have been using a produce from MAC for this purpose, and after 8 weeks, it doesn’t seem to be doing a thing… I want crazy eyelashes, and they are about as sparse as my single strand of eyebrow hairs:-P

    • lisa

      m2lashes really works great! i had super long eyelashes already but now, after using m2lashes once a day) they are crazy long! (with crazy i mean they tough the glass of my when i blink!) :) greeting from austria xxx

    • lisa

      the touch the glass of my glasses :) sorry my english isnt that good!

    • Keegan

      Absolutely, do NOT, under any circumstances, put Rogaine on your eye lashes! Please!

    • Angie

      lol seriously don’t be crazy although you might be half joking! if it were made for eyelashes i would apply in a heartbeat smh lol

    • jessi

      Try using vaseline on ur eyelashes everynight it works beats popping ur eyes out huge eyelashes are no good without pretty eyes :)

  • louem

    Is it rogaine or the latisse that everyone is using? Im 25 with a thin black line of eyebrows as i overplucked as a teen…. i would cry if i got them back! Havent plucked one hair in 12 years and draw them in every single morning!!

  • socalfan59

    Actually my dermatologist told me to use Rogaine for men on my eyebrows. My eyebrows are a thin line from over plucking as a teen. The left brow has a bald spot in the center. After a couple of months, not only did my brows grow in fuller (used twice a day, applied very carefully with a q-tip swab), but the bad spot filled in. I also got more length along my brow bone. Rogaine can irritate the skin, so do not slather it on…a thin coat twice a day. You need to be 1) consistent; 2) patient. Also, when you stop using it, your brows will return to the fullness they were before you started rogaine. Once your brows reach the maximum fullness, then you use rogaine just a few days a week to maintain. You won’t get super thick brows, but you will definitely get fullness.

  • Chrissy

    I’m so glad I googled Rogaine for eyebrows. I’m 36 and have just begun seeing my eyebrows start to thin. I do not mind the little line that I do have, I’m really not a fan of eyebrows at all and normally pluck a great deal. They are getting too fine and blonde to pluck at all now. I refuse to fill them in. I have tried several colors to fill in with and it just looks bad on me. I will get the Rogaine.

  • umbdude

    I’ve been using Rogaine for about 4 months and it has worked for me. I am a guy and my eyebrows are not thin or sparse, and I never pluck them. But there is a spot on the outer edge of my right eye brow that is thinner, so my right brow appears to be raised. Also, my brows are shorter and not as thick as I’d like, and I admire guys (and girls) who have really thick and long eyebrows, so I tried using Rogaine.

    I had tried another product (oil based) specifically for eyebrows, but that product failed miserably. It was greasy (the grease stays on your skin and doesn’t go away ’til you wipe it off), it burned, and worst yet, it didn’t do jack.

    Rogaine does burn a little (but not every time) when first applied, but it dries off so your brows feel totally comfortable and normal after about 5-10 minutes; and if you touch your brows unintentionally you wouldn’t get a handful of grease. The most important thing is that it worked.

    I use it twice a day – morning and night. I use Q-tip and just dip it into the bottle so I don’t waste anything. The bottle has lasted me 4 months+ so far and probably will last another month.

  • LibelFreeZone

    I started using Latisse two months ago. My lashes are now freakishly long, as the ads say, and I experienced no side effects. However, do be careful not to get the liquid on your face or you’ll grow hair where you don’t want hair to grow.

    I found a place in India that sells CareProst for $10 per 3ml, instead of $100 (+/-) for Latisse. CareProst contains bimatroprost, which is the same active ingredient that makes Latisse grow lashes. Here’s the site that sells CareProst for $10. The shipping is $25, so you might want to team up with some girlfriends to buy in quantity.

    http://www.alldaychemist.com/2118-careprost.html

  • alexia317

    Just wanted to add in my testament for the fact that rogaine works–it worked so well it was kind of scary.

    I have naturally sparse eyebrow hairs, especially around the outer edge of the brows, so after doing some research online, I decided to give rogaine a try. I used the men’s formula and applied it religiously, 2x a day. Around the 2nd month, the growth was very noticeable, and by the third month, I had fuller brows and noticeable thickness around the outer edges. After the hairs grew in, I reshaped it again–it’s always better to have enough to pluck away and reshape than to have none at all, imo.

    So pretty happy with it, and so far, no exploding eyeballs (that part really made me hesitate in the beginning). Just be careful though, the men’s formulas is much stronger and causes baby hair growth around your hairline and temples, so gotta pluck those too.

  • Kate

    I just learned about rogaine for eyebrows – never thought it would be feasible but now as soon as I’ve posted this, I’m headed out to the drugstore to pick me up some 5%!!! I plucked my eyebrows once in my life – at age 13. They never grew back. Now I’m 55. I’ve hated my thin eyebrows for years, and I’m not too happy with the various cosmetic options either.

    I have a question, though – several posters mentioned hair growing elsewhere – on the forehead and temples for example. Is this the result of the product getting moved around through touching? And – I know this is gross, sorry – what about in hot weather? I imagine sweat would move it around some. Does it get into your eyes then? I would like to use it twice a day for maximum benefit but I’m worried what summer weather might do.

  • Stephanie Roberts

    My mom used eye rid serum on our eyebrows and , it gave hair a lot
    of moisture,shine and strength to the hair it and helped the hair grow
    thicker too, you can find eye rid serum at any eyerid.com