Forget Microblading: Brow Lamination Is the Secret to Thick, Fluffy, Instagram-Worthy Brows

If you have unruly brows, this will change everything.

Updated 10/27/19

Amy Lawrenson 

Brow Lamination is the beauty treatment I never knew I needed, but wow, did I need it. For as long as I can remember, I've had to deal with brow hairs that have a mind of their own, sprouting out in different directions like siblings that drifted apart as they got older. No matter how much I brushed them or saturated them in brow gel, they didn't look like the perfectly-groomed brows I'd see on Instagram. You know the ones—they adorn the models made over by the very brilliant Nikki Wolff (otherwise known as @nikki_makeup on the 'gram). Despite having had microblading and bought a tin of Soap Brows, my brows still didn't have that certain je ne sais quoi.

In fact, last year, Wolff did my makeup and while it looked so good I was distraught to wash it off, my brows just didn't look like the models' brows she's famous for making over. I needed to know their secret. What did they have that I didn't?

The Secret to Perfect Brows, Revealed

On my quest for the truth, I discovered brow lamination. Now, let's face it, some people have naturally wondrous brows that are perfect in every way but if, like me, yours misbehave, this is the holy grail brow treatment you need to know about.

It involves straightening the brow hairs so they lie straight, full and in the right direction. Because the brow hairs are straightened your brows look bigger, too.

Now that I'm based in Amsterdam, I went to this city's brow queen, Nina Nurian, founder of iBrowBar, a luxe salon in a very chic part of town. Nurian created the Brow Lift treatment, which involves threading, brow lamination (using vegan lotions) and tinting, so you leave with brows that appear microbladed but without the pain or downtime. Nurian told me that women in Iran and Russia have been straightening their brows for years "I thought, why not bring it to the Netherlands?" she pondered. And so she did.

After you've had a patch test and you've got the okay, the whole process only takes about 45-minutes.

The Brow Lamination Process

1) Nurian started by cleansing my brows and marking out the shape she wanted my brows to be. She then threaded any stray hairs to get a good initial shape.

2 ) She then fluffed up my brows using a tool and solution that coax the hairs into a straight, neat shape.

3) A straightening lotion is applied to the hairs and they are flattened under clear wrap and left for 30 minutes. This lotion opens the hair follicles, straightening and shaping the brows. After the allotted time, the lotion is removed.

4) Setting lotion is slicked on and left for eight minutes.

5) Hydrating oil serum is applied to nourish the hairs, as the first lotion is a little harsh.

6) Finally, Nurian tinted my brows to help elevate the look of fullness.

There is no real downtime, per se, but you may just get a little redness from the threading. After the treatment, you can't get your brows wet for 24 hours, so be sure to schedule your brow lamination so you can avoid showering/exercising/getting caught in a downpour afterwards.

Once the 24 hours is up, all you have to do is give your brows a brush each day using a spoolie to ensure they look groomed. You shouldn't need to fill your brows, but you can use your brow soap or gel to add definition.

How Long Does It Last?

Your brows will last like this for five to eight weeks, depending on your hairs. If you have thick hairs, Nurian says you can get away with having the treatment every eight weeks, but if your hair is fine you should leave it 10 weeks. "We always check the brow hairs before giving a treatment to make sure they are strong enough," notes Nurian.

Brows Get Better With Time

What's super interesting is that Nurian told me the treatment helps to coax your brow hairs, so they start to grow in the direction you want them to. The whole treatment also helps to boost hair growth, so eventually, you'll be able to extend the time between treatments.

The Result

I'm still totally shocked that these are my brows! I usually wear glasses, but I'm now thinking about rimless alternatives (the kind that makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes sometimes wears) because I can't bear to hide my brows behind frames. Let's put it this way: I've already scheduled in my next brow lamination appointment.

Brow Lift at iBrowBar costs €55 (around $62).
Brow Lamination is available at, among other salons, Brow Bar London in the UK and at Eye Design in New York but expect to see it popping up elsewhere soon.

Related Stories