Some have thick ones, some have thin ones, some only have one! Yes, I’m talking about eyebrows. Throughout my life, my relationship with my brows has been complicated, but the reasons for it have wavered over the years. The younger me was on a Christina Aguilera / Nicole Richie wave; I hated my eyebrows for being too full and desired a pencil-thin look.
As the trend swung from pencil thin to thicc, I was left in a nebulous cycle googling the magic behind the brows of Lily Collins. It’s weird to think a specific style of facial hair can trend, but, alas, here’s yet another instance of a societal tool used to instill relentless self-doubt. No matter how you like yours -- I have some thoughts on eyebrow care (or don’t care! in which case enjoy my sentiments and stop reading here)
Let’s begin with grooming. There are multiple methods of shaping your eyebrows but here are a few of the more popular ones:
Tweezing (the DIY) It’s cheap and something you can do at home, either to completely shape your brows or as a touch up in between professional sessions. This method is great because of its precision in pulling out singular hairs from the root. If you can’t stand the pain, then tweezing may not be your best choice. It’s not quick – like alternative methods (namely, waxing). I remember the first time I tweezed my eyebrows and it involved a lot of tears, mostly from the eye whose corresponding eyebrow I was tweezing. Please, learn from my mistakes and take a step back from the mirror to view your whole face every 30 seconds or so. It’ll help guide the shaping of your brows and prevent over-tweezing. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it easy to get tweezer-happy. If I don’t periodically step back, I keep finding “stray” hairs until I end up with an eyebrow that’s half as thick and half as long as when I started.
Waxing (the Quickie) You can get this done almost anywhere. A kiosk in the middle of the mall, the nail salon, a waxing salon, laying on the middle of your bedroom floor squeezing a towel while your friend tries out her new Nair strips (not advised). There are two types of wax: soft and hard. Soft wax involves applying warm wax to the skin then a thin piece of paper or cloth on top of it. The cloth/paper is then ripped off, removing the hair from the root and wax. Hard wax is spread on top the skin then left to cool to a solid. Once it’s solid, you rip it off removing the wax and hair from the root. This is great because it removes all the hair in one swoop, you only have to flinch once. However, unlike tweezing and threading it isn’t ~as~ exact. I say this with hesitation because it is still very precise, but by removing all the hair at once you don’t have the same control over shape as the other methods.
Threading (the OG) this hair removal method started in ancient Asia.* Threading involves using a thin cotton or polyester thread that is twisted. It is then “rolled” across the skin as the thread loops around short rows of hair to remove them. Threading gives you the advantages of being quick similar to waxing but with the precision of tweezing. Despite being around since the dawn of time, threading did not gain popularity in the western world until the 20th century. As it continues to become more popular, more salons are able to offer its services. In addition to more threading, exclusive salons are opening up.
*exact geographical origins are disputed as sources vary from crediting the Middle East, India, and China for being the first to use threading as hair removal method.
Whether you’re trying to nurse back a bad wax or take care of what you have here’s the key to perfect brows: drinking lots of wate---lmao jk. By this point I think we all understand that drinking water is great for your body and apparently if you drink enough of it all of your relationship/life/health problems will go away, but here’s a more specific care guide:
Jamaican Black Castor Oil (aka JBCO) JBCO comes from pulverizing the castor oil plant seeds and roasting them over a wood fire, giving JBCO its smoky smell. It is full of nutrients like vitamin E, omega-6, omega-9 fatty acids, linoleic acid, etc; (that’s a whole of science talk for this sh*t is the real deal). JBCO facilitates hair growth and works as a moisturizer as well. Run this through your eyebrows before bed and your brows will thank you.
Vaseline It may be an old wives’ tale that Vaseline helps grow thick eyebrows, but that doesn’t mean you should rule it out as a product in your eyebrow care routine. Just as it saves those rough elbows and heels, Vaseline is a great moisturizer for your brows. Moisturized eyebrows are healthier and therefore look better, it’s a way to enhance what you already have. Rub Vaseline on your eyebrows before bed or/and in the morning. If used in the morning, Vaseline doubles as a pseudo eyebrow gel. Just make sure to comb through it with a spool brush.
Flaxseed is small brown and golden seeds full of the fatty acid omega-3 needed to grow thick eyebrows. You can incorporate this into your care routine in two ways, topical or ingested. You can apply flaxseed oil directly to your eyebrows and let it sit overnight. If ingested, you can eat/drink it in a variety of ways. Grind it up and add it as a boost to your smoothie. You can mix it up with your granola and have it over yogurt. Flaxseed has a slightly nutty flavor; you can put it whatever you think it’ll taste best in.
Now that we’ve talking about growing and shaping your eyebrows, let’s talk about a couple of ways to enhance them.
Pencil Great for precision filling. If you have any sparse spots, want to refine your arch, or extend the tail, an eyebrow pencil is your friend. Pencils easily help define your brows and give you control over how intense you make them.
Gel Great for setting brows and adding a little color. If you have thick brows I would recommend this because it helps set unruly hairs for a refined look. Even those without thick brows can use it to help eyebrows hold their shape.
Powder Great for adding a little oomph. If you don’t have any major brow issues I would recommend using powder just to give your eyebrows a uniform look. Powders make your brows look fuller and more dense perfecting a thicker look.