Let’s take a moment to reflect on the disastrous ‘90s and ‘00s brow trends. You know the type we’re referring to: the plucked-to-oblivion, weird skinny lines that flattered not even one single soul.
Thank goodness those days are in the rearview mirror. Today, it’s the healthy and fluffy brow – tailored according to your features – that reigns.
Achieving the look takes a bit of practice, but fortunately way less maintenance than the aforementioned micro-skinny brow. For the full rundown on how to get perfectly fluffy, well-groomed brows, we asked some pros to hit us with their best advice.
But First: Getting Healthy Brows
Thin, sparse, or otherwise lackluster brows have a few common causes. A big one is stress, which triggers hair loss via a temporary condition called telogen effluvium, notes Dr. Diane Madfes, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
She says that aging is another cause of eyebrow thinning, which is caused by decreasing levels of estrogen and testosterone. Other causes include poor diet/health, medical issues, and genetics.
“Unfortunately, however, the most common cause is a history of overplucking and aggressive waxing. This permanently damages the hair follicle,” warns Dr. Madfes.
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If major damage has already been done, then it can be impossible to re-grow hair. If the damage is minimal – or if you’re dealing with stress-induced or age-related thinning – then you have some good options.
You can start by putting your tweezers down and retiring the wax, says Dr. Madfres. Give your follicles a fair shot at healing and your hairs a chance to grow back. “Another important way to improve brow health is to correct the underlying medical condition.
For example, a [doctor-approved] thyroid or estrogen hormonal supplementation – whether bioidentical or prescription – can lead to early improvement,” says Dr. Madfes.
“Topicals can also help and should be started ASAP.” She’s a fan of prescription Latisse, which expedites the hair growth cycle.
Though originally intended for lashes, she says it works just as well on your brows. Results are usually visible in about 60 days. Another topical option is a prescription for a combo of tretinoin and minoxidil. This is something to ask your dermatologist or doctor about.
Got Sparse Brows? You’ve Got Options
The above technique will work for everyone, but if you’re dealing with super sparse brows (temporary or permanent) then it’s a bit tougher to get the bushy-browed looked. The good news is that you can totally fake it.
You can start by filling in your brows with a pencil or pen, as outlined above. You’ll likely need to spend more time doing it since you’re filling in more space. Remember, quick, light, hair-like strokes are the end-goal!
Outside of daily fill-ins, Otsuj recommends considering longer-lasting options such as brow lamination, brow tints, microblading, or powder brows. These are all semi-permanent brow treatments, and many specialists have truly perfected the art.
“Brow lamination is a gentle, chemical treatment that can help relax and redirect your existing hairs into place.
Combined with a tint, this service can last anywhere from four to eight weeks without the need for daily brow gel. If you have a decent amount of brow hair, but it is just very light, this also can bring your brows to their full fluffy potential,” says Otsuj.
She adds that semi-permanent brow tattooing – like microblading – can also be done in a way that looks soft, natural, and airy with upwards hair strokes to mimic a full and fluffy brow.
We asked Dr. Madfes about whether these were safe treatments for your brows, and she gave the green light. However, it’s important to go to someone who’s skilled and reputable.
“Dermablading done well is very helpful for people and doesn’t cause additional damage,” says Dr. Madfes. “The same is true for lamination and tinting. However, do make sure there is no allergy to the chemicals. If the brow [hairs] do break off – I have seen this happen – they should regrow.”
How do you prefer to wear your brows? And have you ever been guilty of a brow mishap (‘00s brows, included)? Let’s talk about it in the comments!