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Professional Eyebrow Techniques: What to Expect at the Salon

Eyebrow Shaping, Tweezing

Some people believe that eyebrows make a big impact in someone’s appearance, based on whether they’re too big or too thin. If you have trouble keeping your eyebrows even and well maintained, it’s sometimes easier to have them done by a professional. A good thing to remember: The thinner the brow, the more maintenance you need!

There are three general eyebrow-shaping methods used by salons and spas. Each method has pros and cons, so here are a few helpful tips to know before your next visit to the salon.

Waxing is the most common technique used in salons. It involves hot or cold wax being spread on hairs outside the shape of the eyebrow, and then being pulled out quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Some higher end salons will use a blue or green wax that contains an anti-inflammatory, which is actually gentler than the typical honey wax used by most regular salons.

While the waxing may seem painful at first, it becomes tolerable the more times it’s done. During a wax treatment, the top layer of skin, consisting of dead cells, are removed along with the hair. The skin may become red or irritated, depending on the sensitivity of the skin, typically anywhere from an hour to a day. To reduce redness or swelling, place a towel soaked in ice water on the brows, or apply witch hazel to the irritated spots. Don’t schedule a brow wax immediate before a big day! Allow, at most, one week for any unsightly swelling go down, as well as little red bumps that may form around the brows.

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Having your eyebrows waxed can provide lasting effects for anywhere from 2-8 weeks, depending on the hair growth. The length of time doesn’t differ from tweezing, but waxing can assure an even shape and a template for you to maintain at home with the tweezers. The price really depends on where you go to get your eyebrows waxed, but most salons run anywhere from $10-50 per session.

Waxing is best for people who have large eyebrows, or people who have never tweezed them before, because it gives them a shape to work with at home. Most aestheticians wax larger areas around the brow and do touch-ups with tweezers, making it faster but not necessarily less painful.

The next treatment is called ‘Threading’. This technique is an ancient form of hair removal that uses only a strand of 100% cotton. This strand of cotton is twisted among multiple unwanted hairs at the same time and pulled, resulting in many hairs being pulled at once. The strand is used three to five times per brow to remove all hair.

This technique is the least painful, similar to tweezing. The amount of time these effects last is equal to tweezing or waxing, which is 2-8 weeks depending on the growth of the hair. It’s also much more expensive than waxing, running from $35-60 dollars. Threading is quick and almost painless in comparison to waxing, and is starting to grow increasingly popular in U.S. salons.

The last option in eyebrow shaping is Electrolysis. With this technique, the aesthetician puts an electrical current into each hair follicle via a small needle. The electrical current zaps the hair and prevents it from growing back. Since hair follicles can only be destroyed at certain early stages. Therefore, it’s necessary for many electrolysis treatments to completely get rid of excess hair.

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Since the brows are being pricked by needles, the pain factor is probably the most high out of tweezing or waxing, but taking aspirin before a session can help alleviate pain. Hair removal is permanent in this method due to the zapping of the hair follicles.

Electrolysis can be very expensive, and 15 minute sessions may cost anywhere from $15-100 dollars. Most eyebrows require 8-12 sessions to completely get rid of unwanted hair, and appointments need to be scheduled at least one or two weeks apart. While this method can be expensive and time consuming, it may be worth it to women who experience quick re-growth and want something permanent.

There are many options out there for eyebrow shaping, so it all depends on the time and money you want to invest.