The eyebrows frame the face, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll go to great lengths to maintain them. Decades ago, that might have meant waxing them into the thin, C-like shapes that were popular with pop stars and supermodels alike. And in recent years, you may have leaned into an on-trend bushy look. However, nothing can put more of a damper on things than eyebrow thinning. Whether it’s due to aging or over-manipulation (yep, those C-shapes might be catching up to us!), thinning brows can impact anyone. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help. No matter the cause of your thinning eyebrows, these expert-backed tips will help you create the appearance of thickness.
6 Tips for Thinning Eyebrows
1. Stop plucking!
Over-tweezing might be more harmful than you think—even if you’re simply swiping at stray strands.
“The skin scars quickly when the hair is plucked, leaving a permanent bald area,” explains Yoram Harth, MD, board-certified dermatologist and medical director of MDhair. Yikes!
On the bright side, this doesn’t mean you must give up shaping altogether. “It is helpful to give your brows time to grow back at least 20 percent before you tweeze or get them reshaped,” says Yetty Bames, eyebrow specialist and makeup artist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger, NYC. “With time, consistency, and input from an expert, clients will soon be able to tell on average how long it takes for their brow hairs to grow back.” You can adjust your shaping schedule from there.
2. Try a permanent makeup option.
In recent years, long-term eyebrow solutions have risen in popularity. Standard procedures include brow tinting, microblading, and lamination—but they’re not all created equal, especially if your brows are already on the thin side.
“The best solution is microblading because you can really create the brow you want, and it lasts for two to three years,” says Ramy Gafni, eyebrow expert, makeup artist, and founder of Ramy Cosmetics. Gafni also suggests tinting, which coats the hairs and makes them look thicker.
Alternately, Gafni says to skip the brow lamination. “I do not recommend brow lamination as the chemicals are harsh on both the skin and the brow hairs, and it only lasts for a few weeks.” It could exacerbate brow thinning over time.
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3. Add a brow serum to your routine.
Brow serums are another popular option for achieving a fuller look. “Eyebrow-growth serums won’t necessarily make your brows grow faster or thicker, but they can help to strengthen and condition your eyebrow hairs, which may give your hairs a thicker and healthier appearance,” dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, told Cosmopolitan.
Many of them are packed with vitamins and amino acids that are good for your delicate brow hairs. Gafni adds that the simple act of brushing through your brows with a serum can help growth by increasing blood flow to the area and exfoliating the hair follicles so that they’re unobstructed.
4. Fill your brows like a pro.
One of the easiest ways to achieve fuller-looking brows is with makeup. Items you’ll want to consider are brow pencils, powders, and gels. “Each product can be used together or independently to fill and enhance the brows,” says Bames.
Start by selecting your makeup color. “Choose a brow filler that is either neutral (think taupe) or two shades lighter than your brow hair color,” says Gafni. If you’re using a powder, try a stiff, angled brush. From there, fill in your brows with hair-like strokes.
Then, “use a separate brush to brush through your brows to blend and remove excess product,” says Gafni. “This will result in great-looking natural eyebrows and not made-up-looking brows.” You can use a spoolie (a small brush designed for eyebrows) to brush through your brows should they get unruly throughout the day.
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Dry skin is a sneaky factor that can contribute to thinner brows. It’s sometimes caused by a condition that can lead to brow hair loss, such as eczema, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis. But it can also make a person more likely to rub or scratch the eye area, which can pull out individual hairs and have a thinning effect.
“When my clients struggle with dry or flaky skin, I encourage them to regularly moisturize their faces while paying special attention to their brows,” says Bames. “Softly massaging and combing them with a spoolie or mascara wand does the trick.” Your skin will thank you too.
6. Get medical conditions ruled out.
Lastly, you’ll want to point out your thinning brows to your doctor. While benign factors like aging and over-tweezing might cause them, they could be due to a medical issue.
“These include thyroid disorders, inadequate diet, iron deficiency, or vitamin D, biotin, or zinc [deficiency], which can also slow or stop hair growth,” says Harth. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.