The celebrity look: Nip & pluck

Don't frown. Getting an eyebrow transplant is the latest way to look like a celebrity
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Indy Lifestyle Online

It has to be one of the most eye-watering ideas in the febrile world of cosmetic surgery. Eyebrow transplants are the latest craze for those desperate to look like their favourite celebrity,

For generations women, and indeed some men, have put themselves through pain by plucking their eyebrows into unlikely configurations. Now hair transplant procedures are being used on eyebrows, and even eyelashes, in a quest for perfectly-framed eyes.

The technique, which takes hair follicles from the back of the scalp, "sewing" them into the eyebrows and lashes, is becoming more popular, with patients requesting lashes like those of Halle Berry or Madonna. Hair specialists in the UK believe it won't be long before David Beckham's eyebrows or Penélope Cruz's lashes become the latest "must-have".

Dr Greg Williams, a plastic surgery consultant and burns expert for the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon, said: "The UK is about 10 years behind the US in terms of cosmetic surgery, and the eyelash and eyebrow transplants wave is yet to hit the UK. But it will.

"It is a treatment that was originally for burn victims and people with thinning eyebrows were using eyebrow tattoos or pencils. People might bring in pictures of how they used to look - or of celebrities that have particularly good eyebrows."

Dr Richard Rogers, hair transplants specialist for Rogers Medical group, has already noticed increased demand in the UK. He said: "We have been doing a lot more eyebrow transplants in the past year. And the people wanting the procedure seem to be much more ordinary people. They don't require the transplant because they have alopecia but because they have overplucked their eyebrows in the past and now want fuller ones."

Patients will pay about £2,000 for both eyebrows and the same for eyelashes. The procedure takes about an hour. Dr Rogers, said: "We take the hair from the back of the head and put it in the eyebrow. It does start off a bit coarser than normal eyebrow hair but it settles down."

Dr Asim Iqbal Sharmalek, a hair transplant surgeon in Birmingham, said: "For women especially, eyebrows and eyelashes are a beauty spot. There can be medical reasons why someone has no eyelashes and brows, but it is a vanity thing. Otherwise it would be available on the NHS."