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It seems like everyone wants lush, full brows these days—but not everyone is genetically blessed enough to have them. Add to that the fact that you still may be dealing with some sparse spots leftover from that infamous over-tweezing incident of 2002, and scoring said bushy brows can be more challenging than ever.
While filling in your arches with pencils and pomades is a good solution, there are now plenty of over-the-counter brow serums that can deliver long-term improvement. “The latest non prescription brow serums are designed to enhance the thickness of the brow hairs you do have and help stimulate growth in areas that are sparse,” explains Gretchen Friese, a trichologist and BosleyMD stylist. You will have to be patient; it can take anywhere from three to six months of use to see maximum results, adds Friese. That being said, you should start to see at least some improvement in as quickly as a few weeks, given that the growth cycle of your brow hairs is shorter than for the hair on your head, notes hair health and scalp expert Shab Reslan, an advisor for HairClub.
Commit to using any one of the best eyebrow growth serums below and get ready for A+ arches.
Both Friese and Reslan recommend this pick. “The formula contains zinc and biotin, both of which are essential for healthy hair follicles,” says Friese, who also lauds it for being vegan and cruelty-free and notes that you can start to see results in as little as 30 days. Reslan agrees, and calls it her, “go-to brow product.”
“I like that this works quickly, usually within six to eight weeks,” says Friese, who adds that it’s also easy to apply. (Byrdie Email Editor Karli Bendlin is a fan too, as are plenty of happy Sephora reviewers who rave about the effects.) A combo of vitamins, antioxidants (from botanicals such as ginseng root, chamomile flowers, and bearberry leaves), hyaluronic acid, and amino acids work to enhance sparse spots and overall leave brows looking fuller and bolder.
Broadly speaking, eyebrow growth serums are a pretty pricey product category, making this more affordable option all the more noteworthy. Despite its wallet-friendly price tag, it still contains many of the same effective ingredients as its more expensive counterparts—biotin, panthenol, amino acids, keratin, plant stem cells, and more. Brush on the clear formula once per day and the brand says you should start to see the effects in as little as 60 days, a claim many happy Ulta reviewers back up.
Hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and with botanically-derived ingredients, this is choice for those with allergies, sensitivities, or contact lens wearers, according to Friese. Hydrating hyaluronic acid conditions the hairs, while biotin promotes growth. Per the brand, the best results can be seen after 90 days, though they do offer a complete money-back guarantee if you aren’t totally satisfied with the product.
“This contains ingredients that I can stand by such as peptides, lipids, biotin, and green tea extract, which is rich in panthenol to condition and strengthen brows,” says Friese. She also applauds it for being hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and vegan, as well as free of both parabens and phthalates. The product garners rave reviewers from satisfied users too, who note that while it takes some time, it does in fact work.
Byrdie’s editorial director Faith Xue says this is the only eyebrow serum she’s ever consistently used: “The applicator has a doe-foot tip, which I liked better than the super-skinny brushes,” she explains. Bonus points for the thicker, gel-based formula that stays put and doesn’t drip, delivering botanically-based conditioning ingredients that help make brows look and feel denser.
For those looking for a product that can pull double duty on both brows and lashes, try this multi-tasker. It’s specially formulated with a combo of peptides plus flower, fruit, and nut extracts that strengthens the fragile hairs at the root. Plus, it both encourages new growth while simultaneously working to prevent loss of existing hairs for a one-two punch of efficacy.
You’ve likely heard of biotin as a superstar ingredient in many oral and topical hair health products; the B vitamin works similarly well for your brows. Byrdie’s Senior Social Media Manager Kelly Gallagher vouches for this biotin-based formula in particular. Alongside biotin, there’s also a potent protein complex full of amino acids, keratin, and peptides to keep your arches strong and healthy, rather than sparse and fragile. FYI, while most brow growth serums are meant to be used once a day, at night, this one should be used morning and night.
“While not a common ingredient in many other serums, this formula uses pentapeptides, which are often recommended to stimulate hair growth at the follicle,” explains Friese of another one of her picks. (The botanically-derived peptide works to stimulate keratin genes, and subsequently hair growth.) At the same time, antioxidant-rich grape stem cells offer protective benefits to help safeguard fragile hairs.
It can be tricky to find a completely clean version of a brow serum, but this one fits the bill. The ingredient list touts a litany of good-for-your hair (and skin) oils; think antioxidant-rich argan and castor oils to help promote healthier, stronger, fuller brows. There’s also caffeine in the mix to help stimulate hair follicles. All you have to do is massage a drop or two into each brow for 20 to 30 seconds.
While you can also use this for the hair on your head, it’s not recommended to be used on lashes.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She’s worked hard to get her brows healthy and full after a brief stint of overzealous waxing during high school and relies on many of these brow growth serums throughout that process.
Meet the Expert
- Gretchen Friese is a certified trichologist and BosleyMD stylist, as well as the director of Foushee Salon Spa in Colorado. She received a certification in trichology and hair loss in 2016.
- Shab Reslan is a hair health and scalp expert in New York City. She’s an advisor for HairClub, and also the host of the podcast Hair Like Hers. She is a trained trichologist through the United States Trichology Institute and a member of the American Hair Loss Council.