Dear Scott: My mom has lupus, and, as a result of her condition, her eyebrows fell out. She had her eyebrows tattooed, and she thinks they are so dark that she won’t leave the house.

I don’t think they look that bad, but she says it looks like they were drawn on with a permanent marker.

Is there anything she can do to make them look any better?

Answer: My Aunt Rose shaves her eyebrows off and draws them on up higher than they should be. Everyone teases her about it, but Aunt Rose is a comedian for the most part and laughs at herself all the time. She says they make her look like a Roaring ’20s movie star. But that’s Aunt Rose.

The only reason anyone notices that she paints them on at all is because they are so high up on her forehead it constantly looks as if she is surprised at something. Other than that, no one would even notice that they are drawn on there at all.

Heavy-handed penciling of the brow area, health conditions such as lupus, continuous over-plucking of the brow area, alopecia and aging in general can cause the loss of eyebrow hairs.

Care should be taken when pencils are used, and minimal tweezing of the brows should be done to help prevent scaring of the tissue and the production of hair.

Most of us take our eyebrows for granted. Other than women obsessing about the shape, eyebrows just sit there on your face.

Their primary purpose is to simply keep perspiration from getting in your eyes. No one ever thinks about what their appearance might look like if they disappeared one day.

It is usually traumatizing for the individual who experiences eyebrow hair loss.

What they don’t realize is that the rest of the world doesn’t even notice, unless it’s Aunt Rose.

When put in their right place, penciled brows are rarely given a second glance.

The tattoos will fade in about 6 months. She could also go to an experienced tattoo artist who can draw in the hairs by going over the previous tattoos with a flesh tone ink.

In the meantime, flesh colored pencil can be used to draw in short lines to simulate hairs. Use of a lighter eyebrow powder can be applied over the existing tattoos also.

Either method or a combination of both will help camouflage the magic marker feeling.

Wig eyebrows can also be placed over the top of the existing tattoos as another alternative. They are extremely natural looking and a great option to tattooing or penciling the brow.

Many people don’t realize that such a thing is even available and that they are very affordable.

A good website for help on this issue is

There you can find brow powders, pencils and eyebrow wigs available along with pointers on applications.

Scott Terwilliger is an Aiken salon owner. Scott can be reached at for questions and comments.