Hair Apparent

Here’s what I’m obsessing about today:
Why are my eyelashes disappearing but hair is sprouting on my chin? And what’s with that one sharp white eyebrow hair the size of my forearm?

The happy answer: aging. But, as my mother used to say, “Consider the alternative”. As you may have noticed the week before your colorist appointment, gray hair is coarser. So, compared to normal eyebrow hairs, the weird ones are thicker.

(As a side note, can anyone explain why your hair miraculously looks perfect on the day you’ve scheduled a haircut? Is this the same cosmic joke as feeling 100% better the day of a doctor’s appointment?)

Good news: it’s not as bad for women as older men, who seem to grow more hair in their ears, noses, pubes and eyebrows because of testosterone. (Since we have to look at them, now is a good time to teach your guy about “manscaping” – or do it for him — before things gets even worse!)

So far, I’ve been lucky to avoid thinning hair. Forty percent of us have visible hair loss by age 40, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Not surprisingly, the most common culprit is the loss of estrogen that begins before menopause, though hair loss can result from illness and other factors.

A zig-zag part not only disguises roots but makes hair look thicker. So does parting your hair on the opposite side, since it won’t lie as flat that way. There are tons of thickening products out there and you undoubtedly have your faves. I’m partial to Aveda’s Pure Abundance style-prep because most products weigh my hair down and feel greasy the next day.

If hair loss is serious, your doctor will be your best resource. Hormone adjustments may be recommended, or he/she may suggest Rogaine (minoxidil), the only FDA-approved topical treatment. Remember: it only works if used daily as directed.

Back to brows. The woman who shapes mine also dyes them (they are white-blond and invisible otherwise) and I personally wouldn’t try dyeing them at home although people do. Regardless of trends, thin brows on older women are aging, as are extreme arches. So lay off the tweezers and find someone you trust to groom them for a natural look. As they grow in, you can fill in and cover bald spots with pencil: Bobbi Brown makes a nice one.

For thin, short eyelashes, I’m a fan of Latisse even though it’s eye-wateringly expensive. Your derm can give you a prescription. Like Rogaine, it has to be used consistently. Dyeing lashes also seems to make them thicker. Definitely do NOT try this at home.

And never underestimate the power of a good pair of sunglasses!

 

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