The eyebrows have an important protective function for our eyes. They prevent sweat from running into the eyes and protect against dust and dirt. In addition, the eyebrows have a supporting function of the eyelashes.

The eyebrows are just as important for facial expressions, as they underline or complete some facial expressions.

Anatomy of the eyebrows

The eyebrows themselves are two stripes made of hair above the eye socket (Orbit). This hair grows very quickly and falls out again after about eight weeks. They are more pigmented and thicker than the hair on the head and other parts of the body hair.

The terminal hair consists of three characteristic layers. The hair pulp (Medulla) is located inside the hair and consists to a large extent of fats (lipids). The hair cortex makes up the main part of the hair and consists mainly of keratin fibers, which guarantee the hair's tear resistance and give the hair its structure. The last layer of hair is called the cuticle. Here the cells are arranged overlapping like roof tiles. This layer is the protective layer.

There are four facial muscles that guarantee the movement of the eyebrows. These are mainly the frontal muscles of the skull (Occipitofrontalis muscle), the eyebrow frown (Corrugator supercilii muscle), the eyebrow countersink (Depressor supercilii muscle) and the root wrinkle (Procerus muscle). Each of these muscles has its own specific function, which is particularly important for facial expressions and non-verbal communication. The frontal muscle of the skull raises the eyebrows, the eyebrow frown pulls the eyebrows in and down, the eyebrow countersink pulls the eyebrows down, and the nasal root frown creates the frown line between the eyebrows.

Eyebrow color

The color of the eyebrows, like all colors, comes from picking up (absorption) and blasting (reflection) of light of different wavelengths. The light that is emitted and our retina (retina), triggers signals there that are interpreted as color by our brain.

Which wavelength is absorbed and which color is created is mainly determined by the content of an organic pigment, melanin, in the eyebrows. Melanin is made by specialized cells called melanocytes. If there is a lot of melanin in the eyebrows, they appear darker.

There are two different types of melanin that can be found in the eyebrows. The eumelanin tends to produce dark, brown-black colors. Phaeomelanin is responsible for lighter, blond-red colors. Often both types of melanin are present at the same time, but in different amounts.

The color of the eyebrows is often similar to the color of the hair on the head, but it can also differ from it. Eyebrows can also turn gray with age. The eyebrows can also be colored, whereby special attention should be paid to the compatibility of the coloring agent.

Are you interested in this topic? Then read our next article below: Eyebrow color, to color eyebrows

Tasks of the eyebrows

Together with the eyelashes, the eyebrows are part of the skin appendages of the face.

They represent a protective barrier for the sensitive eye and prevent sweat, moisture, dust and other foreign bodies from penetrating the eye and damaging it. They also keep out cold wind or drafts, which can dry out the eye.

At the same time, the eyebrows are important for communication because they function as facial organs (Frown, surprise, fear). The eyebrow movement is controlled by the facial expressions Corrugator cilii muscle (Eyebrow frowns) and the Frontalis muscle (Eyebrow lift).

Eyebrow growth

The growth of eyebrows is very similar to the growth of all hair on the body. It starts from the hair follicle, i.e. from the layers that adjoin the hair root. The eyebrow growth can be divided into three phases.

  1. In the growth phase (Anagen phase) a hair follicle forms. Its layers grow and form a hair that increases in length. During this phase, eyebrows grow about 1.1 mm per week.
    However, this speed and also the duration of the growth phase can vary greatly from person to person. Most eyebrow hair is in the growth phase.
  2. In the transition phase (Catagenic phase) the layers of the hair follicle stop growing. The cells there no longer divide. The hair roots are no longer properly supplied and eventually become keratinized. In the process, it is repelled by the hair follicle and the hair eventually falls out. Eyebrows grow about 10 months before they fall out.
  3. In the resting phase (Telogen phase) the connective tissue, in which the hair follicle and hair root were embedded, is newly formed. This connective tissue is called the hair papilla. Finally, a new hair follicle is created in the new hair papilla, which changes into the growth phase.

Beautiful, thick eyebrows are a dream of every woman. The following article shows you how you can accelerate or stop the growth of your eyebrows: Growth of eyebrows

Eyebrow care

pluck eyebrows

Plucking the eyebrows is part of basic facial care for almost every woman. There are a few rules that you should follow so that the shape of the eyebrows later fits the face and does not look unnatural. You should look at the shape of your face before plucking; you should also include the natural shape of the eyebrows in the design. It is important to pay attention to kinks, or whether the brows are curved, straight, full, or rather narrow. When plucking, you should always use the original shape of the brow as a guide.

Another important point is to pay attention to the shape of the face. There are a few important rules for doing this. If you have a rather angular or angular face, the eyebrow should also have a similar shape. If you have a more heart-shaped face, the brows should look as natural as possible and be plucked so that they have a soft shape. If you have a rather round face, you should leave the curve that the eyebrow naturally has and only emphasize the brow arch. This makes the face appear narrower. If you have a rather narrow face, it is again important to keep your brows rather thick and thick and to pluck the brow arch here rather thinner.

Before you pluck, you should make it clear how long your brows should be. You can draw a line for this with a pen, brush, etc. The first line should limit the eyebrows towards the center. The line runs along the outer nostril, vertically upwards. Where it crosses the eyebrows, these should begin. A second line should mark the highest point of the eyebrows. Again, the clue is the outer nostril. Then the line goes exactly through the pupil of the eye and where it crosses the brow should later be the highest point. Finally, you need an outer limit. Again the line starts from the outer nostril and runs past the outer corner of the eye.

When it comes to plucking, you should make sure that the hair stays above the eyebrows and you only pluck below. At first you comb the hair upwards and then cut away the excess hair with fine scissors. You do the same thing in the other direction. Comb the hair down and cut away the excess hair. To keep the pain as low as possible, one should use good tweezers and pull the skin as taut as possible.

Read more on the topic: pluck eyebrows

Cut eyebrows

The best time to trim your eyebrows is after you shower, as this is where the pores are widened. The individual hairs can be removed more easily. As already mentioned above, you first brush the hair to the side and cut away any excess hair. Now comb the hair down or up and cut the protruding hair away again.

You should never cut your hair away from the middle, as the brows become too thin very quickly or even have bald spots in some places. Although eyebrows grow back quickly, the immediate result does not look nice.
The trimming is usually only carried out as an accompaniment to the subsequent plucking of the eyebrows, as the small hairs that always grow back outside the plucked brow cannot simply be cut away.

to color eyebrows

Especially if people have very light eyebrows, coloring can help make the eyes look brighter and better highlighted. It's important to find the right color that goes with the overall look.

For example, if you are generally a rather light type, then it would be a mistake to dye your eyebrows very dark, as this looks unnatural and the eyebrows are then highlighted too much.

To get a perfect result, you can have your brows tinted in the cosmetic studio or at the hairdresser's. But it is also possible to do this yourself. For this you need a color developer (hydrogen) and a color cream that match the color.

When mixing the hydrogen and the paint, it is important that you pay attention to the correct mixing ratio, which you can read on the instruction leaflet or on the product packaging. The mixed color is best applied with an eyelash brush to catch even the smallest and finest hair.

Immediately after applying the paint, you should wipe away the excess paint and everything that has come directly onto the skin and then allow it to take effect for approx. 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the instructions). Then you can wipe away the paint with a cotton ball. The longer the color has worked, the darker the result will be.

Diseases related to the eyebrows

Eyebrow twitches - what is causing it?

One generally speaks of muscle twitching when it comes to involuntary twitching of individual muscles, fibers or bundles.
A distinction is made between different types of twitching:

  • Fasciculations are twitches of individual muscle bundles that can be felt but do not cause any real movement.
  • In the case of fibrillation, one speaks of twitching of individual muscle fibers. Muscle fibers are the smallest contracting unit of a muscle. If several fibers are grouped together, one speaks of a muscle bundle.
  • In myoclonia, the whole muscle twitches. The twitch does not necessarily have to be visible.
  • The most severe form of these twitches is tremor. In tremor, entire muscle groups are excited by uncontrolled nerve potential charges.

The twitching of the eyebrows is usually a benign symptom and often indicates overload and lack of sleep, as well as severe stress. Tics are also common causes of the twitching. Here it is malfunctions of the nervous system, especially in the basal ganglia, that cause the tic. Usually there are no health-endangering symptoms, but tics can make life much more difficult for patients if large muscle areas are affected.
The phenomenon of twitching can last for hours, days or weeks. It is important to observe first. If it deteriorates or if there are further nervous failures or symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor immediately. Even if the muscle twitches last too long, you should consult a doctor to rule out nerve damage, because epilepsy can also cause muscle twitches. Another important point is to rule out overload, lack of sleep or excessive stress as a cause. The twitching itself is caused by uncontrolled nerve potential charges. They are lightning-like contractions of the muscle bundles that are perceived as twitching.

Eyebrows fall out - what now?

Eyebrows grow for ten weeks and then fall out. This is a normal, healthy process. Structure and breakdown are in balance, so that the same amount of hairs should always be present in total. A simultaneous loss of all hairs only happens through a pathological process and is called alopecia. This can be innate (called atrichia) or purchased.

The most common reason in the societies of civilization is the trend-related modulation of the eyebrow shape. Too frequent waxing, plucking or scorching can result in the brows not falling out directly, but at least not growing back. A simultaneous loss of hair on the head is mostly related to chemotherapy for cancer patients. Your eyelashes and other body hair will also fall out. These side effects are rarely shown by antidepressants and anticoagulants, and this is also rare in certain chronic diseases.

With increasing age, the total body hair thins in all people and thus also that of the eyebrows. Again, this is a conventional normal process and cannot be stopped by cosmetic products that promise otherwise.The only way to "increase" eyebrows or hair in general is surgical hair transplantation

Read more on the subject: Eyebrows fall out - why is that?

Pain in the eyebrows - what could be the cause?

Eyebrow pain can be triggered by a variety of causes. They can be dull, throbbing, or stabbing. The pain can be limited to a narrow area or it can radiate into other areas of the head. Often, pain in the eyebrows is also caused by the pain radiating into this area.

a headache

This can be the case, for example, with headaches. There are different types of headache, one of the most common is the tension headache, which is likely caused by tense muscles in the neck area. The pain often radiates to the forehead and also to the eyebrow.

Migraines, an attack-like headache, also radiate to the forehead and the area around the eyes.

Inflammation of the sinuses

Another reason for referring pain to the eyebrow can be sinus infection. These are bony, air-filled cavities in the skull.

Some of these cavities, the frontal sinus (Frontal sinus), the sphenoid sinus (Sphenoid sinus) and the ethmoid sinuses (Cellulae ethmoidales), lie near the eyes. Inflammation of these is often painful and radiates into the eyebrow.

Irritation of the nerve

In addition, eyebrow pain can be caused by irritation of the nerve that carries sensations from the face to the brain. This nerve is called Trigeminal nerve and has three main branches. The first of these three branches (Opthalmic nerve) also cares for the eyebrow. E.g. trigeminal neuralgia causes severe pain in these areas.

Broken bones in the area of ​​the eyebrows

Broken bones in the area of ​​the eyebrows can also cause pain. The bones are often movable and there is swelling. Even simple inflammation around the eyebrow area can cause pain.

The inflammation of a hair follicle on the eyebrows is particularly common. Inflammation is accompanied by swelling, redness, overheating, and pain.

One form of inflammation can be a pimple. In the area of ​​the eyebrow pimples should never be squeezed out, as this is where veins run which also lead to the brain. Pathogens and inflammatory cells from pimples should not get into the brain, as in the worst case they can cause clots (Thrombi) and cause inflammation.

If you are further interested in this topic, then read our next article below: Pain in the eyebrows - these are the causes