Help for Thinning Eyebrows

It’s not just that all those years of overplucking finally catch up. It’s that midlife brows thin or lighten to the point of invisibility. Not to worry: Even over 40, brow wow is still possible.

By Lois Joy Johnson

Go to a pro — once. That’s the Rx from Anastasia Soare, the Beverly Hills brow stylist who has transformed the faces of Oprah and Madonna, as well as Sharon Stone, Kim Cattrall, and Catherine Deneuve. "At 40, most women have too little brow left from years of compulsive tweezing," she says. "My goal is usually to put back rather than to take away. What looks best on mature faces is a medium-full brow with a gentle arch."Learn to layer."To achieve a clean shape quickly, your top tool is brow powder," Soare says. "It does a great job of filling spaces where hairs are sparse or completely gone. To make the powder stay put, sandwich it between a wax priming balm and a brow gel top coat." Bonus: Tinted gels also help hard-to-color gray or white hairs blend in. Jordy Poon, of the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City, says, "Even used alone, a clear gel makes any brow look glossier, sexier, and more professional."Want regrowth? Try Rogaine.To replenish overplucked brows, Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City dermatologist, says, "Dip a Q-tip in the Rogaine for Men formula — it’s stronger — then dab balding brows twice a day." Why it may work: Rogaine contains minoxidil to revitalize hair follicles, shifting them from dormancy to an active growing phase. Unless the follicles are permanently damaged, you may see results within a few months. Several other regrowth products are on the market; the FDA is testing to see if they’re safe for use on brows.Brow vs. hair color: Avoid matchy-matchy.Blondes look best with brows that are dark blonde, taupe, or light brown; redheads and brunettes, with light to medium brown; raven-haired brunettes, with dark brown. If your hair is highlighted, brows should be the darkest tone or undertone. For gray hair, says colorist Rita Hazan, "a hint of your natural hair color is best."Try a template.When creating a new shape, use a template; it’s a foolproof way to get the proportions right. Each kit contains several plastic cutouts, so use trial and error. Look for the stencil that matches up with your desired shape Cut stragglers from the line.Trimming long brow hairs is essential but tricky. "Brush the brow straight up with a spooley," Soare says. (A spooley is the wiry brush often found at the end of a brow pencil.) Then use a small, straight scissor — not the manicure type — to snip hairs evenly in line with the top of the brow. Brush the hairs down and trim along the bottom."Originally published in MORE magazine, September 2008.

First Published Mon, 2009-04-06 18:12

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