When an individual suffers from having a heavy brow, they can appear angry, upset, or older. Eyebrows that sag can make it hard to see past eyelid skin blocking part of their vision. Deep furrowed wrinkles in the forehead area create a tired, mean, and aging appearance. However, procedures forehead and upper eyelid lifts can improve those troublesome circumstances, as can dermal fillers and Botox injections.
Published: January 27, 2021
Last updated: January 27, 2021
The eyebrows are such a prominent facial feature - they express plenty of things about our emotions and act as frames for our eyes. They represent one of the first things people notice about us, even though they may not consciously realize that the brows are sending signals about our countenance.
However, if the brows sag beneath a deeply-wrinkled and furrowed forehead, the heavy eyebrows can send the wrong messages. When the brows are lifted, a person may appear alert, awake, and happy. Yet sagging brows can make a person appear older, mad, and tired.
Sun exposure and time can cause forehead muscles to sag, but there are options to fix the issue. A person may naturally have been born with heavy brows, or find that their eyebrows have gradually sagged past their usual placement atop the orbital bone with age. When a heavy brow appears along with sagging or heavy upper eyelids, it can create an angry, tired, and mean looking expression.
To counteract sagging brows and sinking upper eyelids, people often lift and contract their forehead muscles. However, compensating for the sagging in this manner can cause deeper wrinkles to appear in the forehead. Instead of constantly manipulating the muscles and creating an intense furrowed look, patients often find relief from upper eyelid surgery combined with brow lift procedures.
History of Heavy Brow Ridges
The bone that the eyebrows normally rest upon is more prominent in certain individuals than others. It has been documented in the following 2008 study by Regents of the University of California at UC Santa Barbara examined how brow ridges are related to strength. Historically, heavier brows were seen as a sign of masculinity, but during this modern era, brow prominence isn't as heavily judged as in years past. After all, in 2018, the focus on heavy eyebrows is a trend witnessed by many social media viewers - with thick and luscious brows viewed as a sign of beauty and health.
In the study, scientists learned that the human brain figures out the fighting ability of men with uncanny accuracy by assessing limited information, such as only viewing men's faces without even seeing their upper body strength. As such, a quick view of a person's thicker jaw and heavier brow ridge can spill important information about potential threats. Sizing up women's strength by the same visual test wasn't as effective. The study noted that it was more accurate for the province of men, who often possess greater levels of direct experience with physical fighting - along with rough and tumble play.
The study determined that a heavy brow and thicker jaw was indicative of greater upper body strength and higher levels of testosterone, due to the effects of testosterone upon the face. There was a good chance testosterone levels would be high within men with a heavy brow ridge. The face’s brow region provided onlookers with a quick and accurate bit of social information, along with a correct assessment of physical strength. Viewers quickly assessed that someone who is strong offers a greater threat than a weaker being.
Despite the signals about brows in relation to physical strength, not every person is happy with their heavy or strong brow ridge, and desire to change it. That's where a board-certified plastic surgeon can become a big benefit for those seeking to enhance their eyebrows.
Heavy Brows and Aging: Wrinkles and Sagging
When a person's eyelids or eyebrows sag dramatically, they may try all sorts of temporary tricks to improve their appearance. Stimulating the eyelid muscles by placing the back of an electric toothbrush on the upper eyelid for a few minutes each day may help mild sagging - but such a practice requires daily upkeep and might not work on cases with heavy ptosis or sagging.
A natural part of aging involves skin that wrinkles and sags, but that doesn't mean that it can't be reversed. Cosmetic surgery options exist, along with other choices, including non-surgical injections.
Heavy Brows and Droopy Eyelids
Sagging eyelids and heavy brows are closely related conditions, although not all individuals realize that fact. Certain people may think they need a brow lift when in actuality you may need a blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) or a combination blepharoplasty and a brow lift.
A good test for patients considering a blepharoplasty or brow lift is to try raising your eyebrows while looking in the mirror. If the appearance of your eyelids does not improve, you will most likely need a blepharoplasty procedure instead of - or in addition to - a brow lift.
Having excess skin on the eyebrow ridge may require surgical correction. As a result, certain individuals may want to consider plastic surgery to correct their droopy upper eyelids while also undergoing a brow lift to raise their eyebrows. Whether the patient gained their sagging eyelids as a result of age, weak muscles, or was born with the condition, it can be critical to correct a situation that blocks a person's vision.
Plastic surgery helps to tighten the upper eyelid muscles and get rid of excess skin. It is an important function to help keep the lids functioning properly since the eyelids blink approximately 18,000 times each day. With subtle incisions created in the upper eyelid creases, the treatment often results in an improved and natural-looking appearance with varying recovery times.
Treatments to Fix Heavy Eyebrows and Deep Forehead Wrinkles
The forehead muscle is responsible for raising the eyebrows up and down, and during the aging process, that constant creasing of the skin atop the forehead muscle can cause facial wrinkles to appear. Since each individual ages differently and experiences different levels of heavy, sagging eyebrows, simply having upper eyelid surgery by itself may not bring the desired look. Instead, combining brow lift and eyelid surgery can help update a person’s face to provide a fresher, happier appearance. Other patients may merely require or desire less invasive injections to improve their brows.
Brow Lift Undergoing brow lift surgery, which is also called browplasty or a forehead lift, can help make recipients appear more youthful with a refreshed appearance. There are several techniques that can be used during surgery, such as an endoscopic brow lift which is minimally invasive with incisions that can be disguised within the hairline.
Blepharoplasty Eyelid Surgery An individual's heavy brow might not be completely rectified by only having brow lift surgery. If the patient also suffers from eyelids that droop, they may discover that undergoing eyelid surgery (known as blepharoplasty), dramatically improves the complete look of their brows and eyes.
Blepharoplasty repairs the eye area by excising excess fat that may impair a person's vision. The result can create natural appearing eyelid creases along with a smoother appearance in the eyebrow region.
Dermal Fillers Dermal fillers can be a valuable resource to plump up deep furrowed lines and static wrinkles, which are lines that remain even when a person isn't smiling or frowning. Hyaluronic acid fillers can help replace the natural substance and volume that lessens as folks age.
Dermal filler injections such as Restylane® or Juvederm® placed in proper locations can improve frown lines and wrinkles in a non-surgical process.
Heavy Brows: How Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® May Help
Injections of Botox®, Xeomin® and Dysport® work to block nerve signals to muscles, which then help to reduce the look of frown lines between the brows. The improvement that the injections can bring to the glabellar lines and dynamic forehead wrinkles can also prevent wrinkles before they even form. However, incorrect placement of the injections can make brows droop and cause a heavy brow look. That makes it essential to visit an expert injector for your injection needs.
The small forehead muscle areas and brow locations where injectables such as Botox®, Xeomin®, or Dysport® are popularly injected are the same muscles used for pulling the brows in a downward position. Therefore, it helps to visit an injection expert who understands how to properly use injectables to improve horizontal forehead lines.
Xeomin® is comprised of solely botulinum toxin type A, while Botox® and Dysport® contain other additives that require the substances to be refrigerated before use.
Treating the horizontal lines alone may not suffice. Instead, treating heavy brows and horizontal forehead lines with injectables in a precise and artful manner can provide the procedure results desired. Neurotoxin injections are also better as a preventative measure or with fine lines. These types of injections will not help patients with sagging skin.
Droopy heavy brows and deep wrinkles in between the eyebrows can inadvertently cause aged, angry, or inaccurate facial expressions. A prominent brow and eyebrow ridge might indicate high levels of testosterone - but some patients feel that their brows make them appear too masculine or upset.
As such, a plethora of procedures - both surgical and non-invasive - which can assist those who would like their heavy and droopy brows lifted. Be they use Botox® injections to temporarily relax the forehead muscles responsible for pulling the brows downward, or plastic surgery operations to cut off excess skin and lift sagging brows and eyelids, there are lots of options for individuals who are ready to update their appearance.
AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Huang W, Rogachefsky AS, Foster JA Brow Lift with Botulinum Toxin PubMed; 2000-01-01
- Barry L Eppley Forehead/Brow Reduction or Augmentation with Custom Implants for Enhanced Facial Profileplasty PubMed.gov; 2019-10-01
- Sarit Cohen Forehead Lift Using Botulinum Toxin PubMed.gov; 2018-02-15
- American Academy of Dermatology Many Ways to Firm Sagging Skin