I’ll be the first to admit that my eyebrows have never been perfect. For years, I suffered from trichotillomania, which meant my eyebrows constantly suffered from anxious pulling and plucking whenever I felt any sense of stress. By the time I took my lunch break, I would be left with skinny, barely-there remnants of hair. Sure, this look would have passed in the early 2000s, but in a world where Cara Delevingne’s bushy brows reign supreme, my patchy lines were just unacceptable.
Whether you’ve also been diagnosed with trichotillomania, had a bad waxing job, or were just born with wiry eyebrow hairs, we’re all too familiar with the insecurity of our messy furrows. We can always accept our brows for what they are, but if you feel like they could use a touch-up, there are quite a few ways to tackle them. When there’s a will, there’s a way to get fuller, thicker eyebrows.
With a little patience and the proper tactics, you can whip your brow hairs back into shape. Just follow these six steps for keeping patchiness and thinness at bay:
Step 1: Drop The Tweezers
This may seem like a no-brainer, but seriously: Keep your plucking tools far out of reach. The more you fuss with your brows, the thinner they will get, so drop the tweezers and wax strips for at least 12 weeks. The urge to pluck may be strong at first, but we swear it will be better for you (and your brows!) in the long run.
Step 2: If You Must Pluck, Pluck With Caution
If you MUST pluck, do so in a dimly lit room. This may sound completely counterintuitive, but Sania Vucetaj of Sania’s Brow Bar told Refinery29 that this tactic actually helps you from taking things too far since dimmer lighting will only allow you to see the truly stray, unruly hairs that aren’t near your brow line. You’ll also want to use a precision-tipped tweezer to grab as little hair as possible, like these fine slant tweezers from Tweezerman.
Step 3: Follow This Fool-Proof Guide
Use your eyes as a guide to the perfect brow shape:
- The beginning of your brows (also known as the “head”) should line up with the inner part of your nostrils.
- To find your arch, measure from the center of your chin across to the outer point of your iris.
- For your endpoints, measure from the edge of your nose to the outer corner of your eyes.
Pro tip: Most brow products come equipped with tips, so make sure you’re reading the box before tossing it away!
Step 4: Trim Your Eyebrow Hair
Just because you shouldn’t pluck doesn’t mean you can’t trim. Like the rest of your hair, giving your brows the occasional snip will help them grow out while also getting rid of dead ends and super-fine splitting.
To do so, first brush out your brows and indicate the overgrown hairs (they’re usually curving upward or downwards). Then, with a very light and cautious hand, trim with an adorably small pair of scissors, like these from Brow Gal.
Step 5: Use A Growth Serum
Fuller brows aren’t going to happen overnight—or are they? A growth serum can help stimulate hair growth while conditioning and nourishing your eyebrows. The best-selling RevitaLash RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner contains a fusion of follicle-stimulating peptides, vitamins, and extracts to enhance the thickness of your brows while maintaining a soft, velvety feel. Wipe some on overnight—or during the day if you’re going makeup-free—and let this product do all of the work for you.
Step 6: Opt For An All-Natural Oil
Are you a clean beauty freak? Then you may want to try any of the below natural oils instead of a growth serum, which is often filled with chemicals and harsher additives.
- Castor Oil: Many of my thin-haired friends live by this oil. Apparently, it helps stimulate hair growth at a fraction of the cost of expensive growth serums. But be wary about what you buy: Healthline reports that using castor oil that contains other oils or additives can lead to irritation and unwanted results. So, always make sure you’re checking the ingredients list if you opt for this natural hair growth alternative.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has forever been praised as an alleged cure-all for any beauty woes. Brittle hair? Coconut oil. Dry skin? Coconut oil. Now, if your brows aren’t looking so hot, slather on some coconut oil. And it’s not just folklore: The Journal of Cosmetic Sciences reports that coconut oil reduces protein loss, thus creating stronger brow hairs. Swipe a light amount of onto your brows overnight, and make sure to wash your skin in the morning with a trusty oil-based cleanser, like this one from Tata Harper (water-based cleansers won’t fully wash off the oil!). Warning: Pure coconut oil is a known pore-clogger, so those with acne-prone skin may want to steer clear.
- Jojoba Oil: One of the most underrated hair growth oils is jojoba oil. While it doesn’t stimulate the follicles, it actually helps moisturize the skin and strands of eyebrow hair, Healthline reports. Dryness can actually lead to breakage and brittleness, which is why it’s so important to keep your brows conditioned with a moisturizing component.
If you want to get a whole blend of natural brow-thickening ingredients, the RadRitual Foxy Locksy serum is filled with a fusion of botanicals like castor oil, CBD concentrate, and vitamin E oil to nourish and revive your brows. While it’s originally meant for your hair, it can also be used on your brows to stimulate growth and strengthen strands.
Step 7: Fake It ‘Till You Make It
Sometimes, it seems like brow hairs can take an eternity to fully grow out. But, that doesn’t mean you have to walk around with messy arches for weeks on end. You can easily fill in spots and re-shape your brows with an eyebrow pencil, powder, or gel. If your brows just need a light touch-up, go ahead and perfect them with a skinny brow pencil, like this fan-favorite from Anastasia Beverly Hills.
And if you have barely-there brows, then you may need a gel or a pomade to etch on definition and fullness for the time being. This pomade from Kat Von D Beauty will stay put for hours without smudging, budging, or fading.