They were cool in the 90s, those thin, penciled on eyebrows that left many of us looking permanently surprised.
Sadly, long after the trend has died, die-hard over-pluckers still wear the same expression. Not in any sort of homage to the fashion era long past, but because they simply can’t grow them back.
Some suffer hair loss as a medical condition, an injury or as a side effect of medication, and are left browless as a result. And some simply have clumps of sparseness in between their fledging boyfriend brows they can’t seem to even out, no matter how hard they try.
Thankfully, there are solutions to aid eyebrow recovery. Here’s how to even them out according to the experts.
Get Yourself A BT
That’s a Brow Trainer – a bit like a Personal Trainer, but for your eyebrows.
“When it comes to over-plucked eyebrows, it’s important to find a brow expert who will take time assessing your brows during a thorough consultation,” Chermaine Kyriacou, a Browhaus Trainer and eyebrow expert, tells Shevolution.
“You will need to let your brows grow for at least two months before seeking professional advice. By doing so, this will allow the brow expert to see how much hair has grown, hair direction and any inconsistent patterns during this two-month period.”
Try An Oil Or Serum
If you prefer natural treatments, Chermaine suggests trying an age-old favourite, castor oil.
“A lot of women seem to be pleased with this remedy, but in all honesty, if your brow follicles aren’t damaged, they’ll grow back no matter what naturally.”
And for the more chemically inclined among you, “there are lots of brow conditioners/brow serums on the market like Browhaus Extend (£45) which promote hair growth.”
If you’re looking for a longer term solution to troublesome sparse or too thin brows, microblading could be the answer.
“Eyebrow Microblading is a form of cosmetic permanent make up or cosmetic tattoo which is a solution for defining eyebrows if you have over plucked your brows, need symmetrical shape or require a more enhanced or thicker brow,” Microblading expert Laura Kay, founder of Laura Kay London, explains.
“The procedure is performed with a very fine hand tool dipped into your colour matched pigment, mimicking the appearance of very fine hair to create fuller and even brows.
“A session can vary between 90-120 minutes, and we use topical anaesthetics to numb the area. Everyone has a different level of sensitivity and some of our clients find it a bit scratchy and others don’t find it painful at all.”
Laura’s microblading treatments cost from £395, including consultation of eyebrow design and full aftercare.
Here’s Refinery 29’s brilliant slo-mo video to show you exactly how it works.
No Brows? Go For A Combination Technique
With microblading, we can work with virtually any style of brow, whether full, sparse or non existent,” semi-permanent make-up specialist Sian Dellar says.
“We [see Sian’s website here] also offer a combination technique which is the same as hair stroke brows, except we then use that same shade to blend some shading in. This method would usually be used on clients with little-to-no eyebrow base to work with and needs a more structured look. This may also be a preferred treatment for somebody who has had work done on their brows before.”
Eyebrow Transplants Are A Thing
If being browless is giving your confidence a knock, and you have the money to spend, Dr Mike Smith, Director at the Hair, Mind and Body Doctor at The Plastic Surgery Group, could have the answer.
“I have seen a big surge in eyebrow transplant requests over the last few years with the likes of Cara Delevingne making the thicker eyebrow more fashionable,” he says. “Bad news for those ladies who have done years of plucking causing permanent damage. Eyebrow transplants are done under local anaesthetic so the patient is awake doesn’t feel any pain.
“300-500 hair follicles are extracted, usually from the back of the head, and inserted individually into carefully designed eyebrows. Each follicle contains on average 2.5 hairs. The procedure takes less than half a day although it can be up to 3 months before a person sees the full benefit. The effect should be permanent, we have never seen anyone back. The procedure on average costs between £3000-4000 depending on the number of follicles needed.”