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Natural and bold brows may be all the rage now, but it wasn’t so long ago that having boasting amazing brows meant keeping them thin and barely-there.
If you were one of those over-pluckers (along with Lena Dunham and practically everyone in this office) you’re probably paying the price for being so on-trend then with thinning brows. In fact, according to dermatologist Zoe Diana Draelos, over-plucking in our youth is the most common cause of eyebrow loss in maturity.
This is because each time a hair is plucked, there is a chance of permanent follicular damage and no regrowth.
It also doesn’t help that as we grow older, our brows thin out anyway, as hair conveniently starts growing everywhere we don’t want it. (We’re looking at you, chin.)
So what can you do about it? Don’t pick them out in despair, and instead consider one of these four options.
1. Eyebrow Extensions
Yes, these really are a thing.
First created in Australia last year by Final Touch Brows, brow extensions are individual hairs that are attached to your natural brow hairs to create a 3D effect.
As Final Touch Brows owner Danielle Kurukchi explains, they're a growing popular option for women who have over-plucked in the past.
"Brow extensions are ideal for everyone, whether they are a client who over-tweezed and needs some extensions to thicken her brows while her natural hairs grow back in. Or someone who feels their brows are too far apart and need to be brought in closer," she says.
The process is similar to that of lash extensions, and tinting and brow shaping are also available during treatment.
The extensions last up to three weeks and are a great option if you don't want have the time or the inclination to fill in your brows on a daily basis.
"The extensions really do offer that 3D effect brow products can't always achieve," says Kurukchi. "Some clients come in every week as they want their brows looking perfect all the time, while others only get them done for special occasions."
While everything is done in the salon, care is required at home to keep them looking good. They cannot get wet for the first 24 hours and after that you must keep them clear from shampoo and conditioner while washing your hair, do your makeup around them and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
2. Eyebrow Makeup
The most obvious option for thinning brows is to fill them in with makeup, although it can be a daunting and intimidating task if you don't know what you're doing.
"Make friends with a brow powder," advises Samantha Taylor, Beauty Director at Bellabox.
"I favour a powder over a brow pencil as it is easier to use, and gives a more natural look. Take your brush and hold it up against the side of your nose and align it with the corner of your eye - this is where your eyebrows should begin."
"Then move the brush over to the outer corner of your eye, keeping one end on your nose. This is where your brow should finish. Gently brush your powder on in the direction of the hair growth. Apply a brow gel to keep your brows in place, and use a highlighter pencil on the brow bone to define the arch," she says.
"Invest in a good angled brow brush that is full bristled and short for extra control and it will do all the hard work for you. (Post continues after gallery.)
3. Eyebrow Growth Products
Another option is to give an eyebrow serum a go, which strengthens eyebrow hairs to promote growth. And it works.
Lena Dunham took to Instagram a few weeks ago to share her impressive results of using eyebrow growth product Revitabrow. "I don't even care if I find out this product has impregnated me with a devil baby because that is how happy I am to wake up with some semblance of eyebrows," she wrote in classic Lena style. (Post continues after gallery)
Unfortunately it's not widely available in Australia, but there are a number of local alternatives including the Soshan Cosmetics Brow Boost ($39.95), Talika Eyebrow Enhancer ($52) or the Elizabeth Arden Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum ($99).
4. Cosmetic Tattooing
The final, more permanent option is to look to cosmetic tattooing. Also referred to as micropigmentation, the technique subtly draws on the missing hairs in fine detail.
Again, it's a good option for those who don't want to waste time pencilling in their brows everyday.
"It works by introducing a colour pigment, made of safe non-reactive substances, into the skin with a disposable needle," explains CozTatt Specialist Cosmetic Tattoo Practitioner, Tara Byrne.
"Unlike traditional tattooing, the needle penetration in cosmetic tattooing is shallow and feels like a scratching sensation on the skin," she says. "We try to make it as pain free as possible and anesthetic is also used."
Byrne also says that healing is almost immediate, with many clients able to walk straight out the door looking fine.
"It will initially look stronger in colour, but your permanent makeup will soften to a natural-looking, beautiful colour in two to three weeks," she says. "It's recommended to wait six to eight weeks and then return for a follow up appointment if an adjustment is needed."
Byrne advises that cost of quality brow tattooing can range from $450 to $700 plus, although it depends on who and where you go.
What do you use to fix thinning brows?