"Statement Brows" Are Trending, But Do They Mess With Hair Growth?
Back in 2020, when masks covered up most of the makeup real estate, we predicted more beauty fans would experiment with eye looks. The market certainly responded with vigor: From graphic liners to eye gems to eyelighters, it was all eyes on eye products. Now, nearly three years later, people's interests still haven't changed—they've just shifted a few more inches north.
Statement brows have become all the rage recently—think bleached, alien-like arches, rhinestone decals, and ethereal, pastel hues. But your brows are finicky little face framers; if all that pizzazz sounds like a recipe for weak, overworked brows, well, you might be on to something.
Statement brows are certainly trendy, but you don't want to make said statement at the expense of fluffy brow goals. Below, we asked a brow expert to shed some light on the situation.
Why are statement brows so popular right now?
Your eyebrows help you convey emotion—for example, you might furrow them in confusion or raise them in surprise. And makeup is a form of self-expression, no? A bold "party" brow can help draw the focus to those face framers. After all, little stands out more than a glittery set of arches.
"The idea of wanting to 'live out loud' is why I think a lot of people are participating in this statement brow trend," adds brow expert Joey Healy. Of course, iconic pop cultural moments like HBO's Euphoria have also inspired the masses to embrace an avant-garde, editorial makeup style. Eye decals are now part of the everyday—it makes sense why folks want to draw attention to their eyebrows, too.
I'd also be remiss not to mention the chokehold the Y2K aesthetic has on fashion and beauty as of late. The trend extends into eyebrows, too, but in a much more elevated, modern manner, says Healy.
"The Y2K era had lots of shimmery eye shadow, glossy lips, and a lot of fun with makeup, but the brows were sort of this afterthought," he notes. "Now, we still hold on to that Y2K look but done better with more attention on the brows—an extension of that fun look but with more precision and detail!" So you might coat the brow hairs with an icy hue, just like you might swipe a frosted shadow across your lids.
Does it mess with hair growth?
Here's the unfortunate truth: "Statement brows can absolutely affect hair growth," says Healy. Dye and bleach can be harsh on the strands, especially when done in excess, and even glues and soaps used for a glittery, laminated brow can cause damage over time. "If your hairs are a bit more sensitive or fragile, these products can actually cause you to remove the hairs," Healy says. And as those who fell victim to the over-plucking craze of the '90s and early aughts will tell you: Brows can take a while to grow back.
Sure, pasting on a couple of rhinestones may sound harmless, but these still have the potential to tug out hairs. "Anything that dries down with too much adhesive [is] not great," Healy says.
The bottom line? Compared to other beauty ventures (like, say, nail designs), eyebrow trends are not as forgiving. Constantly switching up your "party" brow sounds like a cute idea, but be warned: It can degrade brow health in the long run if you're not careful.
How to safely play up your brows.
It's not all doom and gloom! Technically, you can lean into the statement brow trend without wreaking havoc on those poor strands. Says Healy, rely on color cosmetics (like shadow or brow powder) rather than dyes. "These products are easy to apply and easy to remove," he notes.
Here, find a quick tutorial:
- First, take inventory: "Look at all of the products that you love but you never use," says Healy. "Maybe you have a very colorful eye shadow palette, but you only use that one taupe brown shade from the overall color story—you can make use of the brighter options that your eye is attracted to, like the hot pink or the neon orange, as a brow powder! Or, maybe you have a lime green eyeliner pencil that's been sitting in your makeup collection since last Halloween; you can use this now as an eyebrow pencil to give yourself colorful brows."
- Lay the foundation: For a faux-bleached look, dot some concealer across your brow and use a brush, your fingers, or a makeup sponge to lightly blend. Depending on your hair color and skin tone, you might need a lighter shade of concealer than you might use for your under-eyes. You don't have to "bleach" your brows before moving forward, but the muted base will help any subsequent color and sparkle pop even more.
- Get creative: "Your statement brow is up to your creativity and vision," Healy adds. He recommends using a bit of bright eye shadow on the tails for a colorful ombre or drawing a thin line right underneath the brow with a colorful eyeliner to underscore it. You can also use a glittery liquid liner (like this Glitter Pill from Half Magic Beauty) to fill in the arches and give them a galactic effect. The options are endless!
- Add a gem, if you please: If you're itching to hop on the "disco" brow trend, you can add a sequin or two, Healy says. Just "use a gentle lash glue (if you have a latex allergy, opt for a latex-free lash glue)," he notes. "Be very careful with the removal of it."
- Set the look: To make sure your brow makes a lasting statement, swipe on a clear brow gel to set your work. Healy's own Brow Structure Clear Set works like a charm, as it dries down to a lightweight, non-crunchy finish.
Trends come and go, but brow health is always top-tier. That said, you can totally test some statement brows without damaging those fragile strands. "Just look at your makeup bag and see what you already have," adds Healy. "More often than not, you can find products that you already own to create these incredible looks."
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.