Trichotillomania: Drawing Eyebrows On From Scratch (And The Best Products To Use)

Not having eyebrows is hard work. Having to set your alarm half an hour early every morning just to set time aside for drawing them on is incredibly irritating (I'd much rather have the time in bed). Not only is it time-consuming- especially if they refuse to go right first time-, but it is disheartening, tedious and bloody difficult. Having to guess your natural shape and try and make them look like you haven't drawn them on with a sharpie is such hard work, and a task I'm still getting my head around despite having been stuck in this routine for about 5 or 6 years. This post is all about the best ways to draw your brows on naturally; from shape, to products and techniques, this is your bumper guide to trichotillomania brows.

brow products for trichotillomania


This is probably the most tricky to get right, and a skill that I still haven't mastered. While I always get told my brows look natural, whenever I look in the mirror, I still see the evidence of trichotillomania glaring back at me. From wonkiness to arch troubles, my everyday brow routine is full of obstacles. I feel like the shape of my brows change everyday, but here are some tips I've picked up over the years...

trichotillomania drawing on brows

  • You will always see the worst in yourself - no-one will be staring at your brows and thinking about how one is 1mm higher than the other, it doesn't matter. Most of the paranoia is in your head, ingrained by the emotional impacts of having trichotillomania, so try to chill out a bit. 

  • If you have absolutely no eyebrow hairs, there is a go-to guide you can follow to get them looking even and relatively natural. Gweni from GBeautyBlog has an amazing tutorial on this whole technique which sums it up better than I can explain here, so please go and give it a watch if this point relates to you! (CLICK HERE

  • When you start to have a few hairs grow through, stand back and study the shape they are starting to grow into naturally before you dive in there with product. I always try and visualise the natural shape before I start drawing them on, just so that I have something to work to. The closer you stick to this natural shape, the more natural they are going to look (obviously), so try not to overdraw them when you do actually have shape there.  

  • Use what you have; if you only need to fill in a small patch, pencil that in rather than drawing over your whole brow. Your natural shape may not remotely correspond to the guide in the video tutorial I have linked above- mine doesn't. If this is the case, follow that shape rather than trying to create a super-arched Instagram brow, otherwise it just will look really fake. 

guide to drawing eyebrows after hair loss


There are 3 main types of product I usually stick to when drawing on my brows; pencils, tint pen and brow kit (or powder). These are mainly useful for drawing brows on from scratch- if you have a few hairs growing back and forming a good shape, you may get away with using a liquid formula such as Benefit's Gimme Brow. This will just sweep over the brow hairs you have and make them look a bit fuller with no effort at all.

  • PENCIL - This is probably my most used type of product, and is fab for any brow state, whether sparse, patchy or totally bald. I really love No7 brow pencils and Soap and Glory's Archery brow, and these are the two I always go back to (you can read my full review here). When using a pencil, sharpen it as much as you can, and buy one which is hard (unlike soft, kohl type pencils which you would use as eyeliner). This makes it far easier to draw on little hairs more accurately and prevents any smudging whilst drawing them on and minimises melting throughout the day. It also allows you to build up colour; softer pencils come out quite dark straight away (see the MUA example below), whereas harder, sharpened pencils can be built up to add a bit of tone and match your natural hair colour more accurately. Softer pencils include Barry M and MUA- I would avoid these if you don't have many brow hairs. NB: Never ever ever use black kohl to draw on your brows, even if you have the darkest colour hair. I've been there and done that. It never looks good. Choose a shade of brown which suits you best. 

  • TINT - By tint, I mainly mean the pen end of the aforementioned Soap and Glory Archery pencil. This tint is absolutely AMAZING. It barely budges at all, meaning you will never have to worry about it smudging off throughout the day, and the fine tip allows you to draw on little individual hairs in places which look a bit sparse, adding some needed depth to your brow look. It's the kind of product which takes you from 'obviously drawn on' to 'natural brow goddess'. 

  • BROW KIT/ POWDER - This is a great type of product for if you have no brows at all. Brow kits usually come with a wax and angled brush which really aids the estimation of brow shape (although using it to create shape does take a bit of practise).  Powder is again great for building up colour, particularly as shades can be mixed to create the perfect tone for you. It's another product which stays put all day, particularly if you use the wax underneath.  Another great thing about powder is that it is the product which comes up least shiny in photos (you know, where the light reflects off your brow and shows up any bald patches). Brands that are fab for brow kits include Benefit, MUA and Make-Up Revolution.

brow pencils for hair loss trichotillomania
LEFT BROW: Barry M Brow Wow, RIGHT BROW: MUA brow pencil. You can see the difference!


  • I always find it is best to dab powder onto sparse patches rather than almost wiping it on with a small brush as this usually takes away any product which you have applied beforehand; it just makes if faster and more efficient. 

  • The ultimate brow combo I've found so far is the Soap and Glory tint over the top of the pencil from the other end of the product. I definitely think it creates the most natural looking brow. 

  • If you're getting shiny patches where you have no brow hairs, simply dab a bit of translucent powder over the top to help set it. It doesn't make it go away, but it certainly helps a bit! 

  • When using a pencil, use light, short strokes in the way the hairs would be growing (ie. I always draw a the hairs from the bottom, flicking them up and out towards the arch). This helps create the illusion of natural hairs. The same goes with using the Soap and Glory tint. 

  • This may go without saying, but always do your base make-up before drawing on your brows! It'll save you a lot of hassle! 

natural brow advice guide hair loss
LEFT BROW: Soap and Glory Archery pencil with tint over the top, RIGHT BROW: powder from Benefit Brow Zing

I told you it was a bumper guide! I hope you've found it useful, and if you know someone who suffers with hair loss, please do share this with them if you think it will help. What tricks and advice do you have when it comes to drawing on eyebrows?

Pretty and Polished



  1. This is so handy! Really fab for us brow trichsters! I will defs have to get some of these products, mine are so bad at the moment :( yours are looking good though! I've seen that yours are growing back so yayyyyy! And thank you so much for linking me up :))) so glad you find it useful & it's so nice to have a fellow trichster blogger :)) xxxxxxxxx

    1. It's SO nice to have a fellow blogger with trich! We're not alone, woo! Yeah I've had a bit of a set back since but I'm still grateful for what I have. I'm sure yours aren't looking bad, I always think they look amazing xxxxx

  2. Thanks for this. I really thought I was the only one with trichotillomania. Just been recently told I have it. Have been drawing my eyebrows on since I was 16. Over 20 years now. I've even had them tattooed on. I have no hair ever. I pluck as soon as i feel the hair. Thanks for these tips!

    1. I'm the same...pull as soon as they start to come back through! I have since had mine tattooed and use a brow pencil over the top.


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