How To Get Thicker Brows: Makeup, Products & More
Participating in hair and makeup trends can be fun, lighthearted, and fairly harmless. Why? Because what makeup look or hairstyle you do today won't impact you forever—brows, on the flip side, aren't so forgiving.
So if you've bleached your brows one too many times or gone too far with the tweezers, we send our condolences. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your brows appear thicker. Ultimately, it may take a combination of a few of the methods below—here's what you need to know if you're on the journey to thicker, fuller brows.
How to get thicker brows with brow care.
The first step: Put together a brow care routine. This doesn't need to be 10 steps long or hyper-complex, but you do want to be mindful of what you put on your brows (and what you don't). Here are a few basic steps to consider:
- Don't touch them for a month: If you've been shaping your brows your whole life, you may not know what your natural shape is in the first place. "Everyone's a little different, and everyone has different rates of growth with their hair, but I would say you want to go at least four weeks to see an optimal result," legendary brow expert Joey Healy tells mbg. Here are more tips on regrowth.
- Use a brow growth serum: Next, add a brow growth serum to your daily routine. Look for ingredients like castor oil, peptides, jojoba oil, panthenol, keratin, caffeine, and hyaluronic acid.Here's a list of eight clean and effective choices if you want to start shopping ASAP.
- Be gentle with other topicals: One rule brow expert Sania Vucetaj swears by: Don't let your skin care graze your brows. The heavy creams and oils that your facial skin loves may weigh down your brows, forcing the hairs to droop down and preventing growth in the right direction. If you get some face cream on your brows, wipe it off with a damp rag.
- Lay off sticky gels: If you're going to use brow gel to keep your brow hairs standing up straight, opt for a lightweight and flexible formula. Gels that feel like super glue won't do your brows any good when it comes to growth—in fact, they can actually cause the delicate hairs to stick together and even fall out.
- Visit an expert: If you're struggling to identify your true brow shape or grow out the hairs, visit a brow specialist. These experts will help you identify an arch that fits your face and will result in fuller-looking brows. Plus, they can teach you how to maintain and shape them them at home.
How to get thicker brows with makeup.
Some people will want makeup to help their brows appear thicker, especially if you just started out on your brow journey. There's plenty of room for experimentation here, and loads of products to help you along the way. Here's a quick breakdown of your main options:
- Using a brow gel: As noted above, brow gel can be great for keeping your hairs from sticking out of place. Remember to use a gel that's flexible and feels more like a serum than a gel. If need be, carry a spoolie in your bag to refresh them midday.
- Using a brow pencil: If you have sparse patches and need to replicate actual brow hairs, then brow pencils will be your best friend. "I think pencil is nice when you have to work on the perimeter at all, maybe one brow is lower than the other and you want to fill in the top line, maybe you need to kind of extend the tail, pencils you can kind of mark it up a bit more," Healy says.
- Using a brow powder: "Powder I believe is the easiest way to immediately add density to the brows," Healy explains. So if your brow shape and length are up to your standards but you need a bit more thickness, powder will be a better option. Of course, feel free to combine these methods, too.
How to get thicker brows with semipermanent treatments.
Say you've been trying to grow your brows for a few years with little to no progress—what else can you do? You may consider one of these semipermanent treatments:
- Brow tinting: For anyone with lighter hair color (light blonde, strawberry blonde, etc.), brow tinting might be just what you need. At the salon or brow studio, you can get your brows tinted a bit darker to match your hair color and appear thicker.
- Microshading: Microshading is the process of inserting tiny dots of semipermanent ink into the brow to reflect a dense, full arch. If you like the look of powder over pencil, microshading will probably be your best fit.
- Microblading: Microblading is to pencil as microshading is to powder—meaning microblading mimics real brow hairs, working to fill sparse patches, extend the brow tail, and outline the shape if needed. This method is better for someone looking to keep a makeup-free look on the brow or one who wants to tend to the structure of the brow. Still not sure which you prefer? Check out this story for a deeper dive.
Why brows thin.
If you want to grow out your brows, you'll want to first make sure you know why they're thinning in the first place:
- Age: Just as you can expect to lose the hair on your head as you age, the brows may follow suit. This type of hair loss can't be fully prevented, but you can start using brow growth serums early on in an effort to preserve your brows for as long as possible.
- Over-plucking: Plucking can easily become addictive, and you may be working in the wrong direction if you're not sure exactly where you should be extracting hair from in the first place. Vucetaj's tip: Fill in your brows as you normally would before going in with tweezers. This will ensure you don't over-pluck in areas that actually need to stay put.
- Health concerns: Losing your hair (brows included) can be a sign of an underlying health concern that has nothing to do with cosmetics and beauty practices. If your brow hair loss came on suddenly or it's paired with loss of hair on the head, it's best to visit a medical professional for a check-in.
- You naturally have thin brows: Not everyone is born with super-thick and dense brows—that's OK! Remember that as long as you're tending to your brows and you feel satisfied with their appearance, there's nothing more you need to do.
Can you make eyebrows thicker naturally?
Using brow serums with ingredients like peptides, castor oil, hyaluronic acid, and caffeine can help stimulate brow growth, contributing to thicker-looking brows. In order to make your brows look their best sans makeup, avoid touching your skin care products to your brows—otherwise, they may become weighed down.
What stimulates eyebrow growth?
Caffeine, peptides, castor oil, hyaluronic acid, and keratin can help encourage better hair growth when applied as a brow serum. For the best results, look for these ingredients in a pre-formulated eyebrow serum. Here are 8 of our top picks to get you started.
At what age do eyebrows start thinning?
Most people start to experience thinning hair in their 40s, eyebrows included. However, some people never experience brow hair loss, and others may see it earlier than expected. Remember that each person is different, and if you feel concerned about your brow loss, it's best to visit a medical professional.
As you can tell, there are many ways to encourage thicker eyebrows. From serums to makeup and even semipermanent tattoos, you have plenty of options if you're craving arch density. The first step to increasing brow thickness and maintaining your arch: Determine your brow shape—here's how.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including skin care, women’s health, mental health, sustainability, social media trends, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends and innovations, women’s health research, brain health news, and plenty more.