The Truth About Using Rogaine On Your Eyebrows

Somewhere between the late 90s and the mid-2000s, Hollywood stars began adopting a new trend. And luminaries like Angelina Jolie, Nicole Richie, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer LopezPenelope Cruz all passed on the message to the rest of us: Big, bushy tufts of facial hair above your eyelids are in — and they're here to stay (via Glamour).

It's hard to believe we ever followed any other eyebrow trend. You don't need Jared Bailey, Global Brow Expert at Benefit Cosmetics, to tell you what you now know. "No matter the face, a big brow can take years off your look," Bailey told Byrdie. Given this, we can hardly fault you if you're on a quest for eyebrows that would impress even Cara Delevingne.

Are you having trouble hitting your goal? Perhaps you, like so many of us, spent the turn of the century tweezing your eyebrows into a line so thin it could compete with Kate Moss when she set new levels of thin for Calvin Klein. In that case, your hair follicles might have been so damaged that they're unlikely to grow back (via Slate). Maybe you just weren't born with bushy eyebrows. Either way, you might be considering Rogaine, a drug originally designed to treat hypertension, but that has since been marketed as a miracle cure to regrow hair on your scalp (via The New York Times and Byrdie). 

Is Rogaine safe for your eyebrows?

The easiest answer is no. When used on the scalp for at least a year, Rogaine is proven to stop hair loss and help promote growth. The FDA has approved the treatment for this particular use (via Medical News Today). 

But when Allure reached out to Rogaine to find out if the product could be safely used around your eyebrows, the company shied away from a direct answer. It responded only, "Rogaine is indicated and FDA approved for hereditary hair loss on the scalp."  Their response is hardly surprising. As Byrdie points out, to use Rogaine successfully as an eyebrow treatment,  you'd have to apply it every single day. 

Not only this, as trichologist Penny James noted, "The skin's just too thin around the eyebrow bone." A lot is at stake when you mess with a chemical product not approved for use around the eye. What, exactly, might happen to that skin if you do choose to use Rogaine on your eyebrow?  Here comes a big list: Swelling and inflammation, red patches, dry, itchy, and irritated skin, and excess hair growth. And, as dermatologist Melissa Piliang told the New York Times, it's also worth noting that if your eyebrows aren't growing because you've over-plucked them, Rogaine probably won't work at all. No growth-stimulating hair product will.