Honestly, folks, is there a part of the human body that drives people — particularly those of us age 35 and over — more insane than hair?
Think about it: Our hair basically holds us hostage for the first halves of our lives with its, “Will it, or won’t it fall out?” routine. For those of us with bald grandpas, uncles, fathers and brothers, it can feel like it’s only a matter of time until we’re joining the rest of the family watching midnight infomercials for miracle hair-restoration cures and budgeting upfront costs for a top-of-the-line toupée.
But for all the consternation over what we’re losing on the tops of our heads, it’s pretty rare that we worry about losing it in other places. Take our eyebrows, for instance. Have we been taking those hairy caterpillars above our eyes for granted this whole time? Could they one day go straight-up bald just like what’s happening all the way upstairs?
Actually, yes, they can.
That said, don’t start researching the best glue-on eyebrow hairpieces just yet. While eyebrow hair loss is a thing that really happens, if you’re bald, balding or genetically predisposed to losing your hair, you’re not likely to be at a higher risk of losing your brows than the rest of us.
That’s because normal hair loss due to aging isn’t the only — or even the most likely — cause of brow thinning. Nope, that dubious honor goes to thyroid disease. Per Healthline, thyroid disease is when your thyroid — a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck area that regulates things like metabolism and heart rate — produces either too many (hyperthyroidism) or too few (hypothyroidism) hormones, one of (many) unpleasant side effects of which is hair loss.
Besides thyroid problems, another major source of brow-balding is stress. Of course, stress is basically the cause of everything bad that happens to your body, so no surprise there. But skin issues — like psoriasis and dermatitis — are other significant causes of concern for your eyebrow follicles.
Then there’s alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that attacks hair follicles and can cause one in five of those who have it to lose all their hair, eyebrows included.
So, while aging and bad genetics might be cause for concern if your dome becomes more and more barren, odds are that if eyebrow balding comes for you, it won’t be because your Uncle Morty has been rocking the comb-over since ‘93. Just remember, as always, that if you notice any sudden changes to any part of your body, see your doctor right away.