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Our Guide to Perfect Brows

Not only do eyebrows keep perspiration and other debris out of our eyes, but they are essential to facial identity and communication in humans, explains Psychology Today. Every one of us has a distinct brow shape which defines us – remove our brows, says the journal, and it becomes difficult for others in our group to know who we are and what we’re feeling. But whilst our eyebrows may be unique to us, they may also be untidy, overgrown, sparse or – dare we say it – meet in the middle. Never fear – nature can be improved upon! Here’s how…

How Does Eyebrow Hair Grow?

Eyebrow growth and shape really is a genetic lottery. Other than genetics, other factors affecting the growth of eyebrows include:

  • Diet – malnutrition can cause eyebrow hair to fall out
  • Skin conditions – like eczema and psoriasis, which can damage skin and hair follicles
  • Fluctuations in hormones – for example, during pregnancy or due to thyroid problems
  • Medications – the contraceptive pill and anti-depressants, for instance, can slow growth
  • Self-inflicted injury, like trichotillomania (hair pulling)
  • Too much plucking and waxing.

Does Eyebrow Hair Grow Back?

Under normal conditions, eyebrow hairs renew themselves, replacing those lost through natural causes. However, if too much trauma is inflicted – via excessive hair removal, for example – growth will be severely impeded and might even be permanently affected. Over-plucked eyebrows take up to a year to recover – all the more reason to proceed with caution when considering a brow reshape.

Eyebrows Through the Ages

Beauty ideals have fluctuated throughout time, and eyebrows are no exception – the well-heeled in Ancient Rome plucked stray hairs with tweezers, women of the courts in Renaissance Europe were more heavy-handed, de-emphasising their brows altogether and Japanese noblewomen shaved eyebrows, painting in replacements higher up the forehead. In modern times, we’ve seen eyebrows come and go, as well – from the heavily plucked look of the 1930s and 1960s, through the arched ‘Hollywood’ brow of the 1950s and the luxurious, natural brow of the 1980s. After the overtly groomed look in the noughties, fuller brows are making a statement once again. The moral of the story – in order not to look dated in years to come, best not to follow fad brow fashions, but just do a little tidy grooming here and there!

What Shape Should My Eyebrows Be?

Eyebrow threading and waxing is, well, waning. The word on the streets right now is ‘power brow’. The look is:

  • Groomed but full
  • Bold but defined
  • Natural, without severe lines and angles.

How to Stimulate Growth of Eyebrow Hairs

Need help to correct over-plucking?

Try one of the scientifically-designed lash and brow serums now on the market – like Elizabeth Arden Prevage® Lash and Brow Enhancing Serum

Or dab a little good old-fashioned Vaseline on the brows before going to bed at night.

See a Professional Brow Artist?

Yes, indeed! If you don’t have the confidence to have a go at shaping neglected brows yourself, or if over-grooming has ruined them, see a professional brow artist at a spa or lash and brow bar. Particularly abused brows may need several appointments, TLC and plenty of time to come right. Remember, gents – you can go, too!

Famous Eyebrows from History

Remember what we were saying about eyebrows and facial recognition? Their characteristic eyebrows have given these personalities – and their legacies – a certain je ne sais quoi:

 

Author: South African Spas