3 Common Mistakes You're Probably Making With Your Brows — And How To Fix Them
In your quest for thick, healthy arches, did you know you can unconsciously hinder their full and fluffy potential? It's true: According to experts, brow etiquette is a tricky thing to master, and it's easy to overlook. These mistakes might not seem like the be-all and end-all, but because the eyebrow hairs are so fine and delicate, a little misstep can stand firmly in the way of your brow goals. The drama!
Not to worry: These mistakes are relatively easy to remedy. See below for the three most common brow blunders:
Forgetting to condition them from the inside-out.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with wielding a trusty brow serum (many people anecdotally swear by castor oil and peptide-infused options), but as the pros will tell you, real change happens at the internal level. Since your tiny brow hairs are, well, hairs, they, too, are made up of the protein keratin1. That's why keratin-building supplements (like collagen and biotin) can support your natural levels of the essential ingredient and, as a result, thick and fluffy eyebrows.*
You can, of course, coat your arches with a collagen-rich brow product, but again, those can get you only so far. Take it from brow expert Joey Healy: "It's best to use collagen supplements and a brow serum to have a two-way approach," he previously shared with mbg. Similarly, Kerry E. Yates, trichologist and founder of Colour Collective, notes, "To see any positive effects, you must take [collagen] internally versus topically.*" Research backs it up, too: One double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that taking both biotin and collagen supplements supported increased hair growth2 in women.*
Going against your natural brow shape.
When you groom those feathery arches, it's best to adhere to your natural eyebrow shape. While you may yearn for a bold "straight" brow or the definition from an arched peak, experts recommend working with what you have. Example: If you have a naturally rounded brow, it'll be quite difficult to manipulate it into an entirely different shape without tweezing them too thin (the horror!). You can slightly modify them to match a certain shape, insert a subtle arch perhaps, but "[It's about] leaning into what you have and not working too hard against it," Healy notes. Your brows are beautiful, no matter their specific shape! Enhancing their natural form can help them stand out best.
Tweezing to the point of trauma.
The very thought of plucking your brows too thin may elicit a shudder—that's because when you tweeze, and tweeze, and tweeze, you can actually damage the follicle. Once that happens, the hair will never be able to grow back, no matter how many serums you paint on. (Read: When a follicle dies, no ingredient will bring it back to life.)
"Plucking, tweezing, threading, and waxing all pull the hair from the root, and there's only so much trauma each root can take," board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., has previously told mbg about brow growth. "Repeating these insults to our hair root over time increases the likelihood that some hairs will never regrow, as too much damage has been done to the base of the root where the stem cells live." Use those tweezers for good—a stray hair here and there—and remain gentle on those delicate wisps.
Brow hairs are delicate and finicky—that's why these common mistakes can keep you from reaching your fluffy-browed potential. Although, there's much you can do to fix those errors, so no worries if you've slipped up once or twice. Baby those brows, and you'll be set.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.