In the pursuit of better brows, a girl's got her options. There are pencils, waxes, tints, gels, and powders—all for filling, defining, and darkening your arches. There are even tattoos and implants, though those will cost you a pretty penny. Well, now there's a new and exciting way to get the thicker, fuller brows you dream of: eyebrow extensions. Like eyelash extensions before them, the process is poised to be the next big beauty trend, and we're bringing you everything you need to know.
What Are Brow Extensions?
Just like with hair extensions and eyelash extensions, eyebrow extensions involve gluing hair (in this case, synthetic hair) to your existing eyebrow hairs—or, if you have none, the skin itself—to create the appearance of naturally thicker and fuller brows. Brow extensions been around for about a year, but only recently started showing up on service menus at brow bars across the country. The concept is so simple and genius that it's almost surprising they weren't invented and popularized earlier.
What Do You Need to Know?
Though we'd heard about eyebrow extensions for a while now, the first time we saw what they looked like in real life was in this photo of Nine Zero One salon co-founder and owner, Riawna Capri. Capri got hers done by Mae Manalo, a makeup artist and eyelash stylist at Nine Zero One, who works with some of the best brows in the business, from Selena Gomez's to Julianne Hough's. The eyebrow on the left shows the result of eyebrow extensions, while the brow on the right is the "before."
You can clearly see what a difference they make; the "before" shows a sparser arch with a patch or two, while the "after" shows off a gorgeously defined, filled-in brow worthy of a Delevingne. Manalo told Cosmopolitan that they're seeing a huge reaction to the service, and that demand is growing. "Brow extensions are now gaining traction in the U.S., since the application is so similar to eyelash extensions," she said. They're currently offered at Nine Zero One by appointment, as well as at Master Lash in Santa Monica, Calif., and Wink Brow Bar in New York City.
How Are Brow Extensions Applied?
The process involves the brow expert (who should be a licensed aesthetician) applying the small synthetic hairs to either your own hairs or the skin itself, using adhesive glue and tweezers. The expert will assess the best brow shape for you based on your face shape. Next, the expert will "build out" the brow with the hairs. The goal is for the brows to look natural, so the expert will place them in varying sizes and degrees of thickness in a pattern that looks real. Explained Capri to Cosmopolitan, "We can customize the amount of hairs we need in the exact place to make them look perfectly imperfect." The process takes around an 90 minutes and costs about $150, depending on where you go.
The after-care is similar to eyelash extensions: After a 24-hour no-water zone (because it can weaken the adhesive initially), you are free to wash your face, apply makeup, and live your life normally. The only real limitation is staying away from oil-based products, which can break down the glue. The extensions last between two and three weeks, with a longer duration if they were applied to your own existing hairs, and a slightly shorter duration if they were applied directly to the skin. The hairs fall out naturally, not in one giant clump, so you wouldn't have to worry about an embarrassing half-brow situation. Also, like with eyelash extensions, you can go back for "fills" that cost less and take a shorter amount of time than the original application. We have to say, we're crazy impressed with the results and cannot wait to try this out ourselves.