This Is Exactly What To Do (& Not Do) If You've Over-Plucked Your Eyebrows
Considering brows come in all shapes and sizes, the term over-plucked brows has a different meaning for everyone: It can certainly refer to raw, pencil-thin wisps, yes, but it can also mean a few errant, uneven brow hairs. "Brows are all about proportion, so even removing just one wrong hair can completely throw off your angles," says esthetician René de la Garza, founder of Brow Down Studio.
But no matter your brow archetype (naturally sparse, bold, and bushy, et al.), experts do have a bank of tips to recover your arches from a plucking gone wrong. Below, a plan of action for the tweezer-happy among us:
1. Put down the tweezers.
First and foremost, put down your tools, and step away from the mirror. When you make a tweezer mistake, you may be itching to fix the problem by removing more and more hairs (If I just even out the tails...). Which, more often than not, creates a snowball effect for sparse, gappy brows.
Either see a professional to reshape your brows, or leave them be—as you'll see, there are other ways to make the brows even without sacrificing more delicate hairs.
2. Have patience.
In case you didn't know: Brows do grow back, assuming you haven't completely damaged the hair follicles (which can happen with repeated pulling, like waxing or tweezing). Just don't expect to sprout new brow hairs overnight; as brow expert Joey Healy tells us, "Generally, four to six weeks is when you'll experience what most brow specialists refer to as a 'full regrowth'; however, there are people who tend to see growth in up to eight to 10 weeks... The majority of your regrowth will be seen in four to six weeks, sometimes eight."
3. Use a brow serum.
Which brings us to our next point: If you'd like to encourage growth, experts recommend you reach for a brow serum, specifically one with castor oil or peptides. While there's limited research that speaks to eyebrow growth, in particular, both of these ingredients contain nutrients that feed the delicate hairs and help combat free radical damage and inflammation (which, in turn, has been shown to help manage hair aging and hair loss).
Castor oil, in particular—which has been used for ages by people of many cultures—is also both an emollient and an occlusive, so it can penetrate the strands with ease as well as seal in moisture. (And, lo and behold, moisturized brows do tend to grow in fuller.) Read up on how to apply it here.
4. Fill them in.
We'll say it again: Tending to over-plucked brows takes patience and gentle care. But while you're waiting for brand-new brow hairs to make their appearance, you can, of course, fill in sparser areas to even them out.
First, says de la Garza, comb the brows upward to gain a sense of your eyebrow shape. Use a brow pencil (like his Precision Brow Pencil, which is infused with vitamin C—more antioxidants to protect the hairs from free radicals!) and use light, upward strokes to create wisps of hair in gappy areas.
"Apply more color saturation to the tail and a blended front of the brow," he notes, but make sure to keep light pressure and start slow, building up intensity as necessary. And if you've filled in your brows too dark? "You can always use a clean spoolie to blend," he says. Finish with brow gel, if you please, to give the look some staying power.
If you've over-plucked your brows, we've been there. Don't panic! Simply put down the tools and give your brows a break—if you haven't damaged the follicle, they should eventually grow back, and you can support the process by coating them in moisture and hair-healthy antioxidants. And while you wait: Brow products, like pomades, powders, and pencils, are your friends.