The straight-brow fad on TikTok has amassed 129 million views. It’ll “raise” your face, but when will my hair grow back? I plucked my eyebrows to a pencil-thin shape when I was 14 on the advice of a so-called friend, and to this day I still think about that conversation.
What if I had ignored her advice? If only I had been able to observe her beforehand. What if we had never met? I wonder every morning as I fill in my brows with a brow pencil. The practice of partially shaving the ends of one’s eyebrows using a razor is shocking to anyone born after 1980.
But, as Sherrille Riley, CEO and founder of Nails & Brows, puts it, “The objective of becoming older is to learn.”
A salon in London’s Mayfair, says-
“We all did it so perhaps every generation must make their mistake now and repent later.”
Since the pandemic, DIY beauty trends in general have been on the down, but brow trends have been on the rise. Soap brows (in which bar soap is applied to the eyebrows with a spoolie brush to keep them in place), slim brows, and eyebrow lamination (like a perm for your brows) are just a few of the many brow-related trends that have emerged in recent years.
To “straighten” your brows and “raise” your face, the straight brow trend advocates shaving or plucking the eyebrow’s tail end. TikTok was the birthplace of the straight brow, which has since amassed 129 million views, but it was model Bella Hadid—the town crier of artificially enhanced beauty—who brought the trend to life. It’s not old but it’s not exactly new.
“In some ways, it’s a variation on what we call the Audrey brow, which is about making a brow straight and full. But that’s more about making the most of what you have, so brushing upwards and then tapering them out at the end like you would a graduated cut.I would never use a razor and would never remove entire sections of the brow. All in all, it’s not something we would encourage, and directs me to the curtailed brows of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock. I’m not on TikTok but it’s funny that they are doing this more than five years later and they’re doing it all wrong.”
The real issue, Riley adds, is that it will “unbalance your features” and “draw attention to your jawline because of where the brow ends”. Fine if you’re Margot Robbie. Less fine if you’re not. “And if you remove eyebrows with something like a razor, the rumors are true – it’s really unlikely that they will fully grow back.”
The Swiss brow expert and inventor of Rubis tweezers, Fides Baldesberger, is more agreeable.“It might give people flashbacks of overplucked 90s brows, but for those with round, oval, or heart face shapes, this brow style can balance features.”
She says still, there are rules-
“Make sure your skin is properly cleansed, including your brow hair area, before plucking or shaving the tails, Then, draw where you plan to cut off with a brow pencil and look at yourself in the mirror. Still on the fence? You can also test it out a few times using a spoolie with concealer to cover up the tails of your brows before fully committing to the look.”
If you want to do this, she says, “It’s important to understand that brow hairs can take anywhere between two and six months to fully grow back”. Just as important, she says, is knowing when to stop.