Hair Loss:
Brows and Lashes
You may lose some or all of your body hair after starting chemotherapy, including eyebrows, eyelashes, nose hair, underarm and pubic hair, and chest hair for men. This can be a shock, especially if you’re not prepared for it.

Avoid highly perfumed deodorants if you’ve lost hair under your arms, as they can irritate the skin.

Eyelashes and Eyebrows

Losing your eyelashes and eyebrows can be upsetting, especially if you’re not expecting it to happen. Some people don’t lose their eyebrows or eyelashes, other people’s eyebrows may thin, and others lose them altogether.


If you lose your eyelashes, your eyes may get sore easily. If your eyes become irritated ask your treatment team for some eye drops to help reduce the soreness.

You can use eyeliner to draw along the top of your eyelid to give the illusion of lashes. Choose eyeliner either the color of your own lashes or a contrasting color that goes with your skin tone.

If your eyes aren’t feeling sore or sensitive you may want to try false eyelashes. Some people can be allergic or sensitive to the adhesive used to keep the eyelashes in place. Check with your treatment team if you’re unsure.

False eyelashes come in many different styles, lengths and thicknesses. You could choose eyelashes that are similar to your own, or try ones that are completely different. You may find that lighter styles irritate your eyes less and will stay in place better. Makeup counters in department stores are a good source of help or try a local beauty salon.

Eyelash extensions (usually applied to your existing eyelashes in a salon) are not recommended.


If you lose your eyebrows or they are thinner, you may be very conscious of how this changes the way you look. You can recreate a natural appearance by using eyebrow makeup in a shade that matches your original hair color.
There are all kinds of eyebrow products available from the major cosmetic companies – from eyebrow shapers, stencils and finishers to pencils, pens and powders. There are also eyebrow kits. Makeup counter staff in department stores will be able to give you a demonstration and advise you on the most suitable products for your skin type and color.

Stick-on eyebrows for people experiencing hair loss are available in a range of shades and shapes and come in synthetic or human hair.

Stick-on eyebrows are developed for people who have hair loss for a range of reasons and not specifically for people experiencing hair loss from chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy can cause skin changes and sensitivity so the adhesive may cause irritation. Test a small area of skin first (patch test) to check for any reactions.

Semi-permanent makeup

Some people have their eyebrow shape recreated with micropigmentation or microblading. Both micropigmentation and microblading are types of semi-permanent makeup.
Both use a tattooing technique where colour (pigment) is implanted into the skin. They are given in slightly different ways.


A machine is used to add small dots of colour to the skin, allowing colour to gradually build up. This technique can be used to create eyeliner to give the illusion of eyelashes and to recreate eyebrows that have thinned or been lost. Micropigmentation can also be used on the scalp where the hair has thinned.

The colour is implanted slightly deeper into the skin and this means it can last longer. How long it lasts depends on your skin type but usually, it will last between two and three years.


Microblading is done by hand and involves drawing precise hair strokes that recreate the look of natural eyebrows.

The colour is not implanted as deep into the skin as micropigmentation, which means it doesn’t last as long. How long it lasts depends on your skin type but usually, it will last between one year and 18 months.
Things to consider

As the results are semi-permanent, make sure you choose a reliable provider that has good recommendations. You may want to look for a provider that specializes in hair loss. The provider should do a skin-sensitivity test (patch test), usually a minimum of 24 hours before having any semi-permanent makeup.

If you are considering semi-permanent makeup it is best to check with your treatment team. They will be able to offer advice about the timing of having these procedures done. If you are currently having chemotherapy, there may be a risk of infection from having these procedures done.