Brows are the center point of your face, so yeah, they’re pretty important. Take actress Yara Shahidi’s stunning brows for example: Aren’t they the first thing you marvel at on her face? Same. Now, back to brows. This is coming from someone who gets emotional when her brows aren’t perfect. I’ll never forget the night of my high school homecoming. I was 16 and so in love with the way my face looked with my brows arched—it was peak brow honeymoon phase. I wanted to look my very best for my crush, so I went to my favorite brow salon on a crowded Friday evening before the dance. In a cruel twist of fate, though, the distracted stylist rushed through my appointment, leaving me with skinny, crooked, not-cute brows. This was the first time I’d experienced a brow mishap, and I cried my little eyes out. To say that brow moment was scarring feels like an understatement.
Brow trauma is real. If you find yourself getting carried away in front of the mirror while plucking and trimming your brows—you know, getting slightly scissor happy—don’t think it’s the end of the world. Believe me. I’ve since recovered and now have the full, bushy brows of my dreams. It may seem like there’s no way you can reverse the damage done, but there is. In fact, we tapped brow experts to share tried-and-true tips on how to fix overplucked eyebrows. Trust: The professionals have seen it all, so their word is gold.
First things first, don’t freak out. It’s hard to think of this in the moment, but brows don’t grow back overnight. “Over-tweezed eyebrows are a super downer, and to be honest, I would recommend letting them breathe for six to eight weeks before seeking a professional,” Soto says. “Patience is the key!” With eyebrows, sometimes you have to allow them to go through an “ugly” phase when attempting to mount a full brow comeback. Keep in mind that as your eyebrows are growing back, they are also falling out, just like any other hair on your body.
Let Your Brows Breathe
While you’re letting them breathe, there are products to get you through, though. “Caring for your brows in between appointments with an oil will also help to condition the existing brow hair as well as stimulate new hair growth,” recommends Patel. Try double-duty products that also boost hair growth. “The BBB London Brow Build Gel, which is enriched is mini microfibers, will coat tiny baby brow hairs and literally help you ‘grow’ and build your brows,” explains Patel.
“The BBB London Nourishing Brow Oil contains seven essential oils, including rosemary oil, which has been used for centuries to promote hair growth," says Patel.
Also, Patel brings up the important point that you can totally fake it until you make it with subtle makeup tricks to help cheat a fuller, thicker brow (more on this later).
Apply Essential Oils
As previously mentioned above, this stuff will save you. But here’s exactly why: This brow oil includes lavender, rosemary, and sweet almond. “Rosemary and almond oil stimulate hair growth while lavender soothes and hydrates the skin,” says Patel.
Make sure that you are diligent with any brow growth product you use. We recommend applying a brow oil or serum nightly to stimulate hair growth.
“What many people do not know is that rosemary oil has the same properties as castor oil in terms of nourishing brow hairs. It has been used for centuries as an aid to promoting natural hair growth.”
Next up is the beloved castor oil. The holy-grail brow-lengthening product known for its brow-growing powers that always win the race. “Caster oil carries a natural antibacterial and antifungal properties and is rich in vitamin E,” says Lerma. “It is highly recommended to test a small patch of your skin for any allergies before thoroughly applying to the brow area. This can also be added to your lashes as well.”
Roman also points out that castor oil is a healthy alternative for those who want to go the natural route. “[Caster oil] is perfect for vegans and those that want a purely natural approach to caring for their brows,” Roman says. “It has so many nutrients to help speed up the growth process.”
Castor oil is clearly a crowd favorite. It’s important to note that consistency is essential if you’re craving real results. “I personally use it on a daily basis, and it definitely helps keep my eyebrows nice and full,” says Soto. “It is a consistency thing, so it only works if you use it every day! Essential oils are another proven route to take in stimulating hair growth. Rosemary and lavender are two that will do the trick!”
Try a Serum or Oil
“Collagen promotes skin health, along with hair and nail growth,” explains Lerma. “Added health benefits to consuming collagen are it may reverse skin aging, improve digestive health, help build muscle and burn fat, and last but not least, reduce cellulite. Vital Protein Collagen Powder has been my current go-to, and the powders are also sold in individual packets, which is perfect for the woman on the go.”
Roman recommends this brow-enhancing serum that soothes and moisturizes. “It has essential oils that help to provide healthier looking brows." Essential oils seem to be a major trend when it comes to the brow growth cycle.
According to Roman, this is a purified eyebrow serum that helps you achieve bold, thick brows in a short time.
This is a not-so-natural product that Soto says works. “However, there isn’t anything clinically proven to help grow your eyebrows faster than their natural growth cycle,” she adds. “Also, nothing will help with growth if you have damaged hair follicles.”
Build Your Routine
In need of a fast brow routine because you have somewhere to be? Follow Soto’s step-by-step guide below.
1. First, apply a thin layer of highlighter (one shade lighter than your skin tone) to the brow bone.
2. Then, using a flat brow brush, blend the highlighter in a “windshield wiping” motion up to where the eyebrow should be and create an outline. Blend the remaining product down into the eyelid.
3. Next, using brow powder, lightly fill into camouflage the over-plucked areas within the outline you created.
4. Lastly, set the eyebrows using a clear brow gel to ensure that the product lasts.
Now that you’re in the know of a routine, let’s talk exact products.
For patchy or uneven brows, Patchel recommends reaching for a creamy formula like BBB London’s Brow Sculpt. “This helps to fill in any sparse patches and gives a smooth, natural-looking matte finish,” says Patel.
Lerma has a time-friendly trick and a more detailed process if you have a few moments to spare. First up is the routine to turn to when you’re in a rush. “The time friendliest way to fix an over-plucked brow is to use a brow pomade to fill in the hollow and sparse areas of the brow,” she says.
In terms of tools, she loves Moda Pro Brush Line BMX-498.
“Use Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow to underline the brow and lightly the feather in the brow shape to mimic the natural appearance of hair growth,” she says.
“Set any unruly hairs with Glossier’s Boy Brow Gel,” she adds.
When you have more time in the mirror, try out the below, which has only a few extra steps.
“My favorite products for filling in is Soap Brow styling product, which gives a fuller-looking and natural brow. I dip into the Soap Brow and brush it throw the brow in an upward motion,” instructs Lerma.
“Then, I take Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder and fill in an upward motion first defining the brow shape from under the brow and arch and working my upward. Finishing off with the highest point of the brow,” she says.
Soto’s a fan as well. In fact, she suggests staying away from pencils and pomades because they tend to be on more of the “waxy” side, which when applying can be a little rough and harsh on the brow and may cause you to accidentally tug out hairs resulting in unwanted sparse areas. “For a natural look, I love using a good brow powder like Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo to give the illusion of a full set of eyebrows,” she says.
“This can be a tough period while growing out your brows back to what they were. That in-between stage is just frustrating to some, especially if one is a brunette,” explains Roman. She loves the above brush from Kevyn Aucoin and is also a proponent of Glossier’s Boy Brow. “Also, adding a very light touch of concealer on your brow bone can help conceal all the new growth,” Roman adds.
Leave It to the Pros
“I do not recommend tweezing in between appointments,” warns Soto. “Not only does this mess with the hair growth cycle, but also it messes with the shape of your eyebrows. Leave all your brow problems to the professional.”
Roman agrees: “It’s best to leave it to a professional for any tweezing unless you really play it safe and are just tweezing two to three hairs. However, please leave the tweezing to your professional brow expert. Some people just can’t keep their hands off of their brows, and if that’s the case, then I often give them an ‘eyebrow lesson’ by filling them in to the desired thickness, and together with a hand mirror, I teach and show them exactly where to touch and where not to touch on the brow.”
Lerma recommends staying aware of your lighting. “If you are a tweezer, I would recommend being in a natural light area near a window,” says Lerma. “Fill in your brows and style them like they are newly groomed, and then carefully tweeze around the brow to avoid over-plucking.”
Eyebrow cycles vary. So, it’s important to keep in mind the shape you’re searching for. “To keep your brows looking prim and in shape, we recommend a visit to our trained therapists every two to three weeks,” explains Patel. “This can be dependent on your hair growth, though; you may be able to get away with leaving them three to four weeks. Ask yourself: How perfect do you want your brows to look? As a rule, if you’re tempted to pluck out a stray, it’s time to visit the professionals.”
On the same accord, Soto notes that everyone’s hair regeneration grows at a different pace. “For some people, eyebrow hair will grow back quickly and need maintenance every two weeks. For others, it could take a couple months and sometimes longer. However, I typically recommend my clients come see me approximately every three to four weeks to preserve their brow shape. If clients come in sooner than necessary, it may not allow the brows to properly grow in where needed. If clients come in too late, it forces the artist to have to completely reshape the eyebrows.”
In short, keep a close eye on how quickly or slowly those hairs grow in overtime. Hopefully, you’re encouraged if you overplucked your brows. Remember, it's just a matter of time until your brows are bushy and full once again.