You know how some people say that eyebrows should be sisters, not twins? Well, what about if yours are not even distant relatives at this point? You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to get that sisterly bond back and be able to sport a set of eyebrows that are healthy, facially defining and even envy inducing. Ok, so the last one isn’t so important, but if you have found yourself suffering with thinning, uneven or just lack-lustre eyebrows, you will definitely get a kick out of the compliments that fly in once your brows are back to their old selves.
I absolutely love how eyebrows can changes a person’s face. From the way they are groomed to the expressions that they are able to convey. Eyebrows are really important to our own identities and it is easier than we think to get them looking great, so right now, maybe all that is needed is a little guide and a push in the right direction to beat those brows back into shape.
The Purpose of Eyebrows
Why do we even have eyebrows? I mean, granted we might look a bit weird without them, but that’s only because we are so used to them being ever-present on every face. If we took them away though, would it really make much difference physically?
The answer is yes and no, especially in current times, as we tend to mess around with them so much now that they are nowhere near as close to their original purpose as they once were. The eyebrow is actually a barrier for the eyes, similar to eyelashes, preventing water and sweat from dripping into the eyes so we can maintain our sight. The difference with eyelashes is that they are protectors against dust, debris and other particles that try to find their way in.
As humans have evolved, the need for body hair has become less important so we tend not to grow it as much as the first humans did. On the face, the eyebrows and eyelashes have pretty much remained a constant across all of us and are both things we are all born with. These days, we have products and processes that can stop perspiration, towels that can wipe away sweat and umbrellas that can stop rain from entering our eyes. We are quite lucky really to be able to protect our eyes even without eyebrows, so the need for them too, has diminished.
However, there is one more thing that eyebrows can do really well – communicate! Think about how many times you’ve had an eyebrow raising moment at hearing or seeing something shocking. Think about how many times you’ve frowned at something you didn’t like; your eyebrows were the leading force in expressing those emotions and you wouldn’t have been able to convey those same reactions in a non-verbal way if it weren’t for them.
This might not seem important but seeing as up to 95% of all communication is non-verbal, eyebrows really account for a lot of the ways we express our feelings to other people. It isn’t always a blessing though; our eyebrows make hiding our emotions even harder to do and even more difficult to fake. But it’s a small price to pay for having a great set of brows so I’m sure we can all deal with that.
General Eyebrow Health
So, if our eyebrows are destined to be excellent communicators, they might as well look good while they do it. If they are going to hang around, they can at least pay their dues and flatter our faces while remaining healthy and strong.
Well, eyebrows, like a lot of other things on our body such as our lips, hair and skin can tell us a lot about our body’s health. If there is something wrong with these things, they are usually a good indicator that something else might need attention. This could range from a hormonal imbalance to an illness or condition that may need treatment, so it is important to listen to what your features are telling you.
One thing that is usually (unfortunately) occurs in all of us over time, is thinning hair and hair loss. This goes for our eyebrows too, which means as we get older, the follicles stop producing hair like they used to, and it makes it harder for them to grow back or look as full as they once did. But as this is just a slow transition in life it doesn’t usually mean there is a problem to be worried about.
That being said, there are things we should all be doing to slow down this process and to keep our brows firmly in place for as long as possible. Nutrients aren’t just for our bodies; hair needs it too and this includes eyebrows. Deficiencies in minerals, fatty acids and Biotin can be the number one reason that hair starts to thin and fall out so our food intake should account for these things to look after everything in one go.
Aside from eating foods rich in nutrients, we can always apply oils directly to our eyebrows to help stimulate the follicles and to add strength and shine all in one go. Oils such as castor oil, coconut oil or even olive oil are good for adding the vitamins and natural proteins that encourage healthy hair growth. But if you do this, be careful to not over-apply and to wash off with warm water and a soft cloth after about 30 minutes. Even if you don’t see any growth improvement with this, you will be able to see an improvement in colour and vibrancy, which can give the illusion of fuller brows so it’s a great method of eyebrow care.
If applying your favourite food prep oils to your eyebrows doesn’t do it for you, or sound like it will be anything but greasy, there are always other options to get eyebrows back in check. Eyebrow conditioners are a thing now and when you think about it, we wash and condition the hair on our head, why wouldn’t we look after our eyebrows in the same way?!
I suppose the difference is the follicles are more delicate, the growth cycle is shorter and the skin underneath and around the eyebrow hairs have more exposure to daily elements, particles and makeup. There are also not as many of them, which makes each and every eyebrow hair as precious as the next. So, when it comes to keeping them clean and conditioned, we can’t afford to be so forceful about it.
This is where an eyebrow conditioner comes in. It needs to be gentle yet pack a punch as well as being easy and convenient to use. Take Xbrow Eyebrow conditioner as an example, this little number comes in a small tube the size of your favourite mascara, has an easy applicator wand, and enough serum to last with small, daily applications. Rather than coating your brows in olive oil and then having to remove it after half an hour, this stuff can be left on overnight and doesn’t leave a residue behind.
The best thing about an eyebrow conditioner is not only does it make brows look shinier and healthier, but it also actually stimulates and strengthens the follicles to encourage hairs to grow fuller and thicker. I don’t know about you, but I know my brows could do with that kind of boost right about now. As each year rolls by, one more eyebrow hair seems to refuse to grow back as full as it once was and I have to mostly rely on daily makeup to achieve my eyebrow goals, which in turn is probably not helping the cause in the long run. An eyebrow conditioner really can’t do any harm so in the search for great looking eyebrows, this is a fantastic option.
Hair Removal and Grooming
This is where things get a bit tricky again, especially if you’re on a quest to get back your fuller eyebrows. It can be so tempting to pluck away those strays and go back to a shape you have always known, but these days, the “ungroomed groomed” look is so much better than the “barely there” look of days past. The more eyebrow there is, the more there is to work with, and most eyebrow technicians or makeup artists love to have a base to create a great shape with. This becomes a harder task when eyebrows have been tweezed to within a millimetre of their lives.
Sure, rocking a monobrow or super thick and fluffy eyebrows may not be your dream, but it really does leave more options when it comes down to your eyebrow shape. So where possible, leave your hair removal to the experts and only reach for the tweezers to have a tidy up, not reshape your brows entirely, if you are looking for your own perfect eyebrow, then shape has so much more to do with it than you may have first realised.
There was a time when whatever eyebrows people were born with was what they stuck with for their whole lives. As we mentioned earlier, they served a purpose, and the aesthetic was never part of that purpose. But once makeup became a sign of wealth, intelligence and stature, it was pretty much given that eyebrows would never be the same, nor would they have to.
You only have to look at images from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Romans to see that eyebrows were a treated as a prominent feature and represented different things in a woman’s life. Even the early Hollywood starlets in the 1900’s jumped on the eyebrow trends that made them stand out on both stage and screen. But it is only truly now in the 2000’s that eyebrow shape is being thought of more. Rather than following a passing trend of high arch eyebrows, super-thin eyebrows or straight-as-an-arrow eyebrows, the thing really is matching your brow shape to your face shape for a more flattering all-round look.
So, for someone born with a curvy eyebrow who is used to plucking under the arch to really emphasise it’s height, today might opt for a slightly lower arch and a thicker body to the eyebrow to flatter a long face. Or someone with rounded eyebrows may now be sporting straighter eyebrows to flatter a round face. The shape of your face is not necessarily going to fall into one exact category, but it will always have a matching eyebrow shape that help them both compliment each other.
So even if it means a trip to the salon or a home appointment by your favourite technician, the best way to find out what eyebrow shape will match your face is to have a proper consultation. Never, try to reshape your own eyebrows based on a picture or a celebrity with great eyebrows that you like, it is always worth spending the money to get them right. If you need to fake it with makeup in the meantime, that is always a good way of experimenting with your own shape, different shades and gradients on a less permanent basis. At the end of the day, you can just wash it off (gently) and try something new.
Eyebrows have come a long way over the years, it’s so good to be in a time when they are celebrated in their own way once again, not for stature or wealth but for flattery and making us feel good about ourselves with confidence. You may think the perfect eyebrow doesn’t exist yet, but with a little effort and willingness to try something new, you may be closer to perfect than you think.