Despite what my drunken, albeit convincing, college roommate Jimmy grumbled while shaving off a single eyebrow at exactly 2:36 on a Tuesday morning back in 2015, science shows that brows are our most important facial feature. They help us convey emotions, and according to studies, we recognize people by their eyebrows more than anything else, which explains why I never once saw that roommate again.
As such, maintaining the integrity of your eyebrows — and not belligerently removing one, since, “But, Ian, I’m pirate now” — is a pretty good idea, especially if you want to look like an approachable human being. Alongside eyebrow expert and Rock N’ Brows founder Sarah Agajanian, let’s look at how to keep your brows in check.
How to Trim Bushy Brows
Do your brows look like overgrown ferns? Do you have trouble seeing because two large bushes are blocking your vision? Do you have nightmares about turning into one giant eyebrow? Good thing fixing long, straggly brows is super easy: Using small scissors and a spoolie brush (or just any fine-tooth comb), Agajanian suggests brushing your brows upward, following the direction of the hair growth, then trimming the excess ends. Sayonara, eyebrow nightmares!
There are, however, some people whose genetic makeup lends itself to the formation of particularly bushy eyebrows, and Agajanian says they’re probably better off leaving the sculpting to the professionals. “Anyone who’s Italian, Persian, Armenian or who just has a strong hair gene usually goes to a professional to do their brows,” she says. Sure, it might be more work, but count yourself fortunate to have a thick head of hair!
How to Turn a Unibrow into a Double Brow
Besides visiting a salon for waxing or a dermatologist for laser hair removal, “The only way to fix a unibrow is to tweeze the hairs,” Agajanian says, emphasizing the importance of not being too pluck-happy. “The beginning of your brows should never extend past your nostrils.”
How to Beef up Skimpy Brows
If you have trouble raising your eyebrows — like when your drunk friend suggests shaving one off — because they’re made up of 10 individual hairs in total, the following advice is just for you. “There are several options for brows that are too light or sparse: You can have a professional brow artist or hair colorist tint your brows to make them show up more, or you can consider using a brow growth product, like GrandeBROW or castor oil to stimulate the follicles,” Agajanian explains. “The more extreme option is microblading (i.e., semi-permanent tattoos); however, most technicians do this improperly and make it look obvious. I’d try the other options first.”
There is one other more intense, last resort, red alert, nuclear option: Eyebrow transplantation. Again, though, this is probably best reserved for the most severe cases of eyebrow extinction.
Oh, Jimmy, if only we’d known this back when your single brow — and thus, you — went missing. How things might be different now…