Routine maintenance of your eyebrows is important because like everything else, brows age.
You might start to see these changes as early as your late thirties as lower estrogen levels that accompany aging can cause hair to become smaller in diameter. But luckily, there are plenty of options that address all areas of concern.
TZR spoke to industry expert, Delphine Breyne on how to go about maintaining healthy, natural brows for the decades to come.
Concern #1: Fading Brows
Brows gradually fade over time due to the natural aging process but also sun exposure, so semi-permanent makeup such as microblading is a great way to attack this issue while ensuring a long-lasting result (which can be up to one year).
Since this treatment is essentially temporary tattooing of the brows, it should be handled with precision and care. Delphine Breyne, founder of Delphine Eyebrow Couture in New York City, says she always takes the measurements of the face, eyes, and brows before customizing the color base to the natural hair color. Then, using a tiny needle, she scratches the skin and drops some pigment where needed (numbing cream is applied for comfort).
The result is a fuller, natural-looking brow in a shade that complements the individual. She warns that achieving a desired result may require multiple treatments as the ink can react differently depending on skin type. In expert hands, this is a natural way to achieve a thicker more youthful brow.
Concern #2: Thinning Brows
Thinning brows are not only disheartening but can point to a health issue; the loss of the outer third of the brow (known as “lateral eyebrow loss”) is considered to be a unique characteristic of hypothyroidism. For this reason, it’s important to have your brows assessed by a dermatologist. Take caution in removing too much hair from the “tails” of your eyebrows.
For those experiencing general age-related thinning, Breyne suggests avoiding waxing, plucking, or even sleeping too often on your side after micro-blading the thinned-out areas.
“When I do a treatment, I always ask my clients to sleep on their backs — specifically not their sides — for at least two weeks to ensure they don’t remove the ‘tail’ of their new brows, as this is where people generally thin,” she notes. “I typically advise clients to use a plane pillow — one that goes around your neck — because it works very well to protect the new brows with its support to prevent side-sleeping.”
For those with thinning brows, it’s important to have a skilled technician pluck them so you don’t risk overdoing it yourself.
Concern #3: Over-Tweezed Brows That Won’t Grow Back
Over-tweezing is a common mistake that many have made in their youth (or even adulthood!) Breyne says that she has clients who followed the skinny brow trend of the ‘90s and want her to bring back the brows that they removed 25 years ago.
“My response is always the same; ‘let’s start little by little so we can ensure you are comfortable with the process, my technique, and how your own facial structure has changed with time,’” she says. “This last part is important — even the way people see themselves changes over time.” She reminds us that going slowly is crucial as “it’s easy to add, but hard to remove”.
Concern #4: Recovering From A Bad Brow Service
“Many people reach out to me with previous [permanent] tattoo work or microblading that left more to be desired, and most of the time – more than 80% – I am unable to work with them as clients at that moment because my technique is so light and natural that it will disappear in a few weeks,” says Breyne. “Instead, I refer them to a great dermatologist who will perform laser removal first.”
Fortunately, it’s possible to recover from treatments gone wrong. With proper removal, growth serums, products, and upkeep, brows can be restored. However, the best course of action is prevention through picking a technician that’s certified — and whose work matches the aesthetic of your desired result.
While microblading is generally safe, like any dermatological procedure, it’s important to vet the person doing the microblading before you go for this treatment as it’s minimally invasive and semi-permanent (and oftentimes, pricey).
And Breyne emphasizes finding an artist whose technique matches the style you are looking to achieve, as you’re buying into someone’s aesthetic. “With this type of treatment, it’s not something that you can easily return, like a handbag you don’t like anymore — this is your face, and you deserve the best.”
Whatever brow routine you choose, just know that like the hair on your head, your arches will change as you get older, too. The silver lining? There are plenty of at-home and professional options to enhance your brows along the way.
Learn more about Delphine's microblading eyebrow services.