Professional eyebrow shaping: What you need to know

How to get’and maintain’gorgeously groomed brows

Professional eyebrow shaping: What you need to know

Source: Web exclusive: October 2011

‘Some people are gifted with beautiful eyebrows and know exactly how to groom them,’ says Alisha Noon, a Vancouver-based eyebrow stylist and makeup artist. But most of us are better off with professional help’if not on a regular basis, then at least once, just ‘to see how they should be shaped, and then you can maintain them on your own.’

Just like an interior decorator can give you a brand-new perspective on your living room, an eyebrow specialist can transform the way you see your facial features. ‘When we look at ourselves, we have such a different view of what might look good that we don’t see the possibilities,’ says Noon. ‘A single hair can change the entire shape of the brow, which in turn changes the shape of your face.’

Another reason to see a pro: it’s easy to overdo it on your own. If you make the mistake of removing too many or the wrong hairs, they can take a long time to grow back’and sometimes never do. ‘Plus, how many of us tweeze stray hairs in a hurry as we’re running out the door?’ asks Noon. ‘A professional will take the time to do a good job and is better at seeing the big picture.’ Here’s what you need to know before your first visit.

How to find the right eyebrow specialist

The best way to find a great brow expert is through word of mouth. ‘Find a few different people whose brows you love and ask who does them,’ suggests Noon. ‘As soon as you hear two or three people repeating the same esthetician’s name, it’s pretty safe [to book an consultation].’ Once you meet, make sure you check out her arches’most brow specialists do their own, says Noon. ‘I would definitely go to someone whose brows are in keeping with what you want for yourself.’ The look right now is a fuller brow that follows your natural arch.

Be cautious about seeing just any esthetician’even if you’re pleased with how she tends to unwanted hair on your other body parts. ‘Just because you can wax a bikini line doesn’t mean you have the gift of shaping eyebrows,’ says Noon. ‘You need to be careful about who you go to, even with professionals.’

Before you get your eyebrows shaped professionally

Ideally, you should come to your appointment with at least two to four weeks of hair growth‘the more hair your esthetician has to work with, the better. But if you can’t wait that long, go ahead and book the appointment. ‘I can usually improve the shape anyway,’ says Noon. ‘The idea is to cultivate it so they’re easier to grow out. That’s better than having you get impatient and sabotaging your efforts [by tweezing the hair yourself].’

How often should you maintain your eyebrows?

About once a month is the norm for professional brow upkeep. ‘You can absolutely maintain them on your own, but hair grows in three different cycles,’ says Noon. ‘Usually between the three- and six-week mark is when things start to go a bit amiss, even if you don’t have a huge over-growth of hair.’ That’s when it’s time to revisit the shape with a professional’s help. 

The rest of the time, you can remove stray hairs yourself with a pair of slanted tweezers. (Because it’s easier to make mistakes with the top of your brows, only tweeze from underneath.) ‘Just take out what comes in and make sure that you’re not going so close to the shape that you’re changing it,’ says Noon. ‘If you ever question whether a hair should come out, the answer is always no’that’s what you save for your appointment with your esthetician.’