Eyebrows are a complex facial feature—and there’s a lot to know about these two patches of hair above your eyes besides the fact that a fabulously well-groomed set à la Cara Delevingne can induce envy within you. The makeup aisle filled with pencils, plumpers, gels, powders, and pens should have already clued you in that brows are big, but the art of filling them in and defining them just scratches the surfaces of their reach. Take a look before and check out these 10 tidbids of brow info that no one ever fills you in on.
1. The skin around your eyebrows can be super sensitive, thus the red or pinkish hue that appears after waxing. However, this is largely due to your skin type and how likely you are to react to irritants. It’s always suggested that you don’t get your brows done on the same day you have something super important to do, as that red color doesn’t always disappear quickly.
2. Eyebrows have a big biological purpose for being on your face to begin with! According to the BBC, eyebrows help protect your eyes from sweat, rain and other substances entering your eyes. Makes you think twice about plucking them too thin, doesn’t it?
3. Just like the hair on your head, your eyebrows can start to thin as you age. Thinning brows can also be attributed to hormonal issues, medical treatments, nutrient deficiencies, among other things.
4. You’ve heard of eyelash extensions, but did you know that eyebrow extensions are a thing, too? Just like your lashes, it’s a method used to make your brows appear fuller and thicker. Some methods include taking individual hairs, synthetic or real, and gluing them into your brows and have been said to last about two weeks.
5. Your eyebrows play a part in facial recognition. Psychology Today reports that participants in an MIT study were asked to recognize digitally altered faces of celebrities, some of which were without eyes while others were without eyebrows. The participants were more likely to recognize the faces that were without eyes than the pics that were without brows, proving that brows are key in identifying.
6. There are a ton of ways to groom and remove eyebrow hair, allowing you to pick the method that works best for you and your brow type. Tweezing has yet to lose its grand status of popularity, as it’s easily achievable (and affordable) at home using tweezers, is a precise touch-up method, and doesn’t require much prep. Waxing and threading are two other common options—the latter being another accurate and natural-looking approach to grooming this area.
7. Brow restoration processes include semi-permanent and permanent solutions to thickening and filling in your brows. The semi-permanent solution includes lightly scratching synthetic hairs into the surface of the skin. The permanent solution, which show results in about four months, requires a more serious, surgical procedure.
8. Changing the color of your brows in today’s day and age couldn’t be simpler. You can request that your colorist dye your brows a similar color to your hair (if you’re making a big change) or you can always reach for pencils, pens, powders, plumpers, and gels that come in a variety of different colors and prices.
9. The best eyebrow shape for you depends largely on your face shape. Experts explain that if you have a round face, a round arch isn’t the most flattering choice, as those with that face shape should lean towards a more dramatic arch. Those with a heart shape face should try a soft arch, square face shapes should try an angular arch, and those with oval face shapes should try defined brows.
10. Research suggests that unplucked brows can have up to 1,100 hairs per brow and that the average lifespan of a brow hair—the time it takes to grow in and fall out—is about four months.