Where have my eyebrows gone?

Where have my eyebrows gone?
Me, 5 years ago.

I think my eyebrows look pretty good for my age, sure they’re not Brook Shields bushy, but they’re not too thin, or sparse looking.

Beautician, at a Blink Bar 6 weeks ago when I went to book an appointment for eyebrow threading (my first time).

I’m sorry, but you really don’t have enough eyebrow hair for me to book you in. I could tackle the few stray ones if you like, no charge?

Me, at home in front of the mirror.

How the hell did I not notice my eyebrows were missing?

Me, 8 weeks later, back at Blink Bar after using bucketloads of L’Oreal Paris Clinically Proven Lash Serum, morning and night.

I’d like to make an appointment please…

Where have my eyebrows gone?

Yes, I have eyebrows again and THIS is my saviour:

L’Oreal Paris Clinically Proven Lash Serum for longer, thicker looking lashes. The ultra-soft serum brush allows for precise application to the lash root with a silky-smooth formula, for beautiful and nourished lashes.

Enriched with a lash-caring complex of nourishing ingredients including Castor Oil and Vitamin B5, whilst Filoxane and Hyaluronic Acid help to strengthen and reinforce lashes over time.

Ensures lashes stay beautiful and helps repair damage caused by heavy mascara use, extensions, and false lashes.

HOW TO USE

  • Brush onto the upper and lower lash line, allow to dry for 60 seconds before applying mascara.
  • For best results apply twice a day in the morning before mascara and at night after makeup removal.

REVIEW

I know what you’re going to say – BUT THIS IS FOR LASHES!

Yes, that’s true, but I have a theory that lash products can also be safely used on eyebrows*, I mean it’s still hair, isn’t it? NOTE – I wouldn’t use an eyebrow product on eyelashes, that would just be asking for trouble.

I also believe the majority of serums – cheap and expensive, DO work, but ONLY if you KEEP ON using them. My reckoning was that I’ll try a cheap(ish) one first, and then if I see tangible results, I’ll buy more, if not, I’ll go back to expensive, but guaranteed results and buy RapidLash/Brow.

The reviews for L’Oreal’s lash serum are mostly positive, but that didn’t sway me, the price did. If I’m going to use a product long term**, then obviously, I’d prefer a cheaper price point.

The serum is housed in a clicky pen you twist to release the serum. It’s an odourless, non-runny serum, with a soft brush applicator at one end – no drama. I really should’ve noted how many pens I went through in 8 weeks, but I’ve got them dotted around the house so I lost count. I can’t see how much product is in it (tiny silver print on a white background is not reader friendly to my 56-year-old eyes). But, all I can say is – you don’t get a lot.

Skeptics will say these serums don’t/can’t work and eyebrows grow back at a rate of 0.14 mm to 0.16 mm*** per day anyway. But think of hair as a lawn, feed it properly and it will grow.

Also be prepared to wait at least 6 weeks to see results, you don’t know what stage of the growth cycle you’re at, so be patient. Eyebrows didn’t fall out overnight, so they will take time to regrow.

Of course, the sad fact is that eyebrows may never  grow back. Age, health and hormones are all conspiring against us!

TOP TIP

If you find your eyebrows are thinning with age, or they’re very fair, get them professionally tinted, it’s definitely worth it. The tint will pick up every last hair and instantly make them look fuller.

My eyebrows had thinned terribly, they were a good shape, but they looked as if I’d plucked them into a very fine line. I was really shocked, especially as I saw them every day and applied Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows. I just hadn’t noticed how miserable and sparse they’d become.

TOP TOP TIP

When you have eyebrows tinted and your natural skin tone is fair, ask for the lightest shade. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? The first time I did it, I chose Dark Blonde, fearing any lighter would make my eyebrows disappear completely.

It was the wrong shade. I thought it looked a bit dark afterward, but everyone assured me it was fine and that I was imaging it. I can’t trust Mark to give me a straight answer when we’re leaving the house and I ask him if I’m a bit clowny looking ie too much blusher, or a bit draggy (too much foundation). He will lie because he knows I will march straight back indoors for urgent ‘repair’ work.

Still, I didn’t think it was that bad until my youngest son Alex, (18), saw me and said – this is a direct quote

You look like a Russian shot putter who had a monobrow that was shaved in the middle.

I’m not a ‘petite’ lady and I have shoulders like a linebacker, so this did grieve me somewhat. Alex calls me Olga now and I fear that nickname is here to stay.

TOP TOP TOP TIPS

To lighten eyebrows that are too dark.

I feel I’m an expert here because I became obsessed with the darkness of my eyebrows.

Firstly, ignore everyone who says they will lighten in 5 days, yeah this is true BUT YOU WANT THEM LIGHTER NOW!

I tried a few things which went a little way to help tone them down. When your brows are super duper dark, you will take the slightest lightening effect as a victory.

  • Makeup

An obvious, temporary cover-up, but necessary in an emergency. Matt cream eyeshadow, held in place with a dab of hairspray.

  • Exfoliation

It gets rid of dead skin cells, right? So should slough off a bit of dye. It worked a bit too.

  • Washing Eyebrows with Shampoo

Makes sense. They (internet) say that tinted brows fade over time with regular washing, so why not scrub them vigorously with soap laden cotton buds 20 times? It’s as if you’ve had 20 showers! This helped.

  • A ‘Detox’ Shampoo

New to me, but yes, I can see how it would help. Plus I’d just bought a bottle of John Frieda detox shampoo, this also worked a little bit too.

  • Bicarbonate of Soda

I read this everywhere on the net. Make up a paste of Bicarbonate of Soda and water and leave it your brows on for five minutes before rinsing. NOTE – Baking Power is not the same thing.

I didn’t have any Bicarbonate of Soda, but I DID have a tube of Arm and Hammer toothpaste with Bicarbonate of Soda! I mixed a little of the paste with a few squirts of the detox shampoo and left the mixture on my brows for 5 minutes before rinsing it off.

Then I did it again, and again and again. It was the best at taking my brows down a notch, but it did make them very sore, so I applied a layer of Savlon Antiseptic Cream in between manic applications of this miracle mixture – which I may yet patent.

NOTES

If you’ve had threading or waxing with your tint – and most salons offer this service as a bundle, then do NOT try any of the above. Skin will be broken and you’re inviting infection in.

Time, of course, was the best healer. I’ve also been downgraded to Olga, the Angry Birds Ballerina – I’ll take it.

SHOPPING INFO

L’Oreal Paris Clinically Proven Lash Serum £14.99 Boots **** 3 for 2 offer – Reader, I bought NINE.

NOTES

* I’m not a doctor etc etc. If your eyeballs fall out because you used a lash serum on your eyebrows, don’t come looking for me. Although if your eyeballs fell out then you wouldn’t be able to find me anyway.

** With a bit of a break in the middle, in case my brows got ‘used’ to them (is that really a thing?) and it loses its effectiveness.

Source
***Debunking Medical Myths: The Eyebrow Shaving Myths – Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA, USA

****Affiliate link

PS

Older Ladies + Threading = Agony.

I felt I needed a horse tranquilizer to get me through the pain. I had the most gentle woman threading my brows, but the pain and the sound in my head of thick, wiry hairs being ripped out made me want to beg for mercy.

I’m so sorry if I’m hurting you, she said, but you have a couple of ‘strong’ hairs.  

I don’t want to scare you because it was only a few rogue hairs and my pain threshold happens to be very low. Indeed, through the tears streaming down my face, I could see others having their ‘taches and chins threaded without a care in the world.

CONCLUSION

You’re getting older, your eyebrows are thinning:

  1. Get them tinted professionally (a reputable company will perform a patch test 48 hours beforehand). This will immediately make you feel better because you’ll see every last hair and things suddenly won’t seem that bad.
  2. Use a good lash/brow serum. The Rapids DO work, but they’re costly, especially over time. The L’Oreal one is a good compromise.
  3. Wait (in hope) for regrowth and then get them threaded (kinder than waxing on mature skin) into a good shape. From personal experience, the ladies at Blink Bar know instantly how to shape them to suit your face. I was thinking of going in with some photos of eyebrows I liked, but my friend said don’t be so ridiculous and she was right.

Apologies for this marathon post, but I wanted to give you all the information *I* would’ve wanted to read. My eyebrows are certainly not lush and bushy, but they are there now when they weren’t before.

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