Between shaving facial hair and getting regular trims, mens eyebrow grooming can easily be overlooked. Thick, bushy brows are always on trend, and while there are no rules, having a proper maintenance routine for them can help shape the face and define certain areas. "Thick brows that aren't groomed can feel heavy and sometimes flat," says Joey Healy, eyebrow specialist and owner of New York-based brow bar, Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio. "Even bold, dense eyebrows can benefit from a little architecture built into them to help support the facial features." Eyebrow grooming for male-aligned people doesn't necessarily mean removing a lot of hair, shaping them like an Instagram model, or creating high or dramatic arches. Some people just want to keep that classic masculine look, just a little cleaned up. Below, we've outlined seven easy steps so you can learn everything there is to know about properly grooming men's eyebrows. Keep scrolling to find Healy's expert tips on how to shape thick eyebrows and keep them trimmed at home.
Brush the Brows
Healy recommends brushing the brows as a first step. Using a spooly—like the E.l.f. Eyelash & Brow Wand ($2)—brush the brow hairs up to prep them for trimming.
Trim With Brow Scissors
Sometimes all the brows need is some trimming without the need to remove any hair from the follicle. Healy recommends starting with clean, dry brows that are free of skincare, sunscreen, or any other product. "Usually thick brows get really dense, specifically in the center, which is where you want to trim the most," he explains. "Focus on trimming the longer hairs—this means trimming less in the front and less in the tails." We love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Scissors ($23) to help keep brows look light and in place.
And when it comes to maintaining the trim, Healy notes that while everyone is different, usually every two to four weeks is ideal.
Choose Grooming Method
Tweezing and waxing are common methods for grooming and shaping men's eyebrows, and everyone has their own preference. "I feel tweezing is a superior method for everybody (thick and thin eyebrows alike) because there is no heat or chemicals, and the lines can be soft." says Healy. "It also gets one hair out at a time, and is more artistic and precise." When compared to thinner brow types, Healy notes that it's easier to overwork thick brows and make them asymmetrical because there's more to work with. "With thick brows, the idea is that they inherently look more natural," he says. "To retain that look, tweezing (versus waxing) allows you to expertly tidy up the brow while still maintaining its thick qualities."
Still, if you're a die-hard waxer, you can still achieve tidy brows. When it comes to the wax itself, a hard wax (versus soft) is recommended, especially for beginners, as it's easier to get more precise control.
- Fill in: Before waxing, fill in your brows with an eyebrow pencil or powder according to the shape and style you want—this will minimize the risk of removing too much hair and will give you the desired result in the end.
- Cleanse: Use a pre-wax cleanser to remove any oil or residue.
- Apply: Apply the wax in the opposite direction that the hair grows. Unlike waxing larger parts of the body—where you'd apply the wax in the same direction of hair growth (back, legs, arms)—it's more effective to apply the wax against the direction of growth on areas containing shorter hairs.
- Remove: If you're using a hard wax, wait for it to dry before pressing firmly and pulling off against the direction of growth. For soft wax, use a muslin cloth to press firmly on the area, then pull it off in the opposite direction using a quick motion.
- Tweeze: Follow up with tweezers to remove any stray hairs.
Tweeze With Care
"Begin tweezing the hairs that are really off the brow bone," says Healy. "Then, focus on giving yourself an arch about two thirds of the way out so that they don't feel heavy." When thick brows are dark, they have the tendency to feel heavy (this isn't usually the case if you have lighter brows). Thus, giving a little arch relief can help give the brow a nice lift. To get the perfect tweeze, Healy recommends using good daylight and a high-quality tweezer. We're big fans of Tweezerman's Platinum Silver Slant Tweezer ($23), which features a 25-degree slant that makes it easy to grasp tiny brow hairs.
But, what about figuring out where your brows should start? Healy says to pinch the tweezer together on its skinny side and rest it against the bridge of your nose. That's where they should start. "Avoid using your nostril edge as a guide," he says. "Instead, put it right against the nose bone and ensure each brow is equal distance."
Don't Overdo It
No matter the method you choose, the most valuable thing to know when grooming eyebrow hairs is knowing when to stop. Avoid using a magnifying mirror if you're tweezing (as this will make it easier to get fixated and over-tweeze), and maintain control throughout the process. "If there is a brow hair you're not sure about, don't take it," says Healy. "This has always been my tip for maintaining thick brows." Lean back from the mirror every few minutes to get a full picture.
If you opt for tweezing, Healy recommends putting a time limit on your grooming session to avoid over-tweezing. Aim for roughly 10 minutes of cleanup every week or two.
Use a Brow Gel
A brow gel can help with keeping unruly brows in place. Healy notes that for thicker brows, tinted brow gels are ideal, as "powders and pencils can sometimes make thick brows look too heavy." He recommends Hard Candy's Fiber Brow Gel ($7) for the subtle dimension and volume it adds.
Best Products for Thick Brows
Up your eyebrow game with these brow-enhancing products.
"This is the ultimate three-in-one product because it individually coats the hairs, adds density by filling in the brows, and offers strong hold," says Healy.
Healy recommends using a peptide-based serum to condition and maintain thick eyebrows, like this one from Grande Cosmetics.
Looking for a polished eyebrow look? Opt for a translucent formula that gives hold and keeps thick brow hairs in place.
Prep your skin for waxing with this citrus-scented spray that opens up the pores, raises hair follicles, and removes dirt and debris.
This kit has all of the waxing essentials to make grooming thick eyebrows a breeze: a hardening formula that doesn't require strips, two spatulas for easy and even application, and a post-wax oil that soothes and calms irritated skin.