As mood-altering and face-defining as a red lip can be, brows have a similar power to completely transform a face. But if you’ve been experiencing the forever struggle of sparse arches or you’ve found yourself in recovery mode from a grooming mishap—the good news is that you can get them growing.
Ahead, two experts share what you should and shouldn’t do to help make your arch enemies your most powerful face-framing ally.
Get to the Root
Brow expert Giselle Soto says that internal factors like poor nutrition, alopecia, aging, hormones, and stress can be equally as responsible as more practical reasons for sparse brows like over-tweezing—which can cause the hair follicle to actually become inactive—and clogged pores from makeup and creams, which stops the hair follicle from opening up and inhibits growth.
Adjustments to these things can get your hair growing, but it’ll take some time to figure out reason is holding you back from your best brows. Soto says that if you’ve always had thin brows, there a chance that they won’t grow in any more than the current state they are in. However, it’s worth making a few adjustments to your diet and grooming routine to see if you notice any changes.
Give It Time
Compared to other hair on our bodies, brows tend to need a bit more time and coaxing to sprout — so try to be patient. “Unfortunately, you can’t stimulate our hair to grow any faster than your body naturally would. Eating a clean diet does increase your chances, however eyebrow hair growth takes time,” says Soto.
If you’ve had a brow mishap, it can typically take 6-8 weeks for your brows to fully grow back in. While everyone has a different skin regeneration timing, this is the minimum amount of time you’ll need to see a difference in this particular area.
Try a Serum
It’s going to be a labor of love, but Soto says that if you’re willing to put in the time, the best way to get your arches growing is to commit to a brow serum. You can either mix one up yourself using equal parts of castor, Vitamin E, argan oil (1 teaspoon of each), or layering castor, rosemary, or lavender essential oil onto them everyday.
“Massage the oil into your eyebrows for 2-3 minutes before bed, leave it on overnight, and wash it off the next morning,” Soto explains. If you prefer a store bought treatment, look for ingredients like peptides, Keratin, and Biotin, which all help stimulate and boost and rebuild the hairs and follicles.
Be Careful When Shaping
Whether you’re a waxing devotee or prefer threading to tweezing, both Soto and Jaimineey Patel, head of training at Blink Brow Bar London, agree that the way you shape affects how your brows grow. “Waxing causes the brow hair to grow back at the slowest rate compared to all the other shaping methods,” says Soto, who also notes that sugaring also has a similar growth effect as waxing. If you prefer threading or shaving the hair will grow back quicker, but keep it mind that it will also fill in with a spiky edge, which will impact how it looks and how your fill-in (with products) turns out.
Patel says that overplucking, is a major factor in regards to poor hair growth. She recommends avoiding tweezing all together, but says that if you can’t resist, make sure you are removing only the hairs that are outside of your brow shape.
Mind Your Skincare
Many exfoliants and peel off mask are extremely harsh on the eyebrow region, which will cause hair to fall out. Patel also adds that any stringent products like alcohol-based face treatments can be dehydrating to the skin and should be avoided around the brow area. It can strip the natural moisture that your brows needs to flourish.
Camouflage the Patches
While you wait out the six weeks before new hairs fill in, use a soft powder and highlighter to hide the skimpy spots. “The contrast between the light highlighter and dark brow powder will camouflage the sparse areas,” says Soto.
Patel recommends a brow gel enriched with mini microfibers to coat tiny baby brow hairs and give the illusion of thicker, fuller brows. Or a brow pen or pencil with a fine, nimble tip that you can use to gently draw upward strokes through the brow to resemble brow hairs. When you’re ready to get growing, or at least look like you are, give one of these brow boosters a go:
Blink Brow Bar London Brow Build Gel
Tiny little microfibers within a tinted gel base stick to sparse spots to make it look like your brows are a lot fuller and thicker than they really are.
$28 at Net-a-Porter
While it’s not a brow growth formula, what skincare serums do for stressed out skin, this nourishing conditioner that has peptides, lipids, biotin, and green tea extract, does for compromised brows.
$110 at Revitalash
Benefit Brow Contour Pro
Click each of the four sides on this elementary school throwback pen to either fill, shape, highlight and define.
$34 at Benefit Cosmetics
BrowFood Velvet 3D Brow Glide
Fill and go with a formula that’s a liquid pomade, thickening gel, styling wax, and conditioner all in one. It’s really pigmented so it’ll look like your brows are tinted and once you swipe it on, it stays put for the day.
$24 at Lashfood
Joah Brow Down to Me Precision Brow Pencil
Use super-fine tip to recreate the look for natural brow hairs and then the spoolie end to brush any strays into place.
$9 at CVS
Credit photo. StyleCaster