If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the last thing you want is unruly eyebrows to distract from your peepers. Whether you like to rock thick brows or thin or prefer to brush straight up or to the side, we all want our eyebrows to fall in line and not take on a mind of their own. Training your eyebrows to grow — or at least go! — in the right direction can help you look more awake and polished even when you’re makeup-free.
From bushy unruly brows to thin, barely-there ones to that random stray that just won’t lay down(!), learning how to train your eyebrows requires a few good tools and some tips from the pros.
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Can You Train Your Eyebrows to Grow a Certain Direction?
Just like the hair on your head, the pattern of your brow hair is unique, explains brow guru and owner of Ramy Beauty Therapy, Ramy. “Your hair pattern is like a fingerprint, even on your eyebrows,” Ramy reveals. Just like you can’t get rid of a cowlick on your head, you can’t completely change the direction of hair growth in your eyebrows.
But that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with that stray eyebrow hair with a mind of its own. Similar to how a hair stylist can cut and style your hair to work with or help hide a cowlick, “you can sculpt your brows into your desired shape by trimming and tweezing them correctly,” says Ramy.
What Tools Do I Need to Groom Unruly Brows?
Ready to tame your brows? If you don’t want to go to a professional brow shaper, you can groom your eyebrows yourself with a few good tools and products. “All you need are slanted, angled tweezers, baby scissors, a spoolie brush, a mirror and good lighting,” says Ramy. And time. Ramy suggests setting aside at least 40 minutes so you don’t feel rushed and get tweezer-happy, leading to thin eyebrows.
How Do I Groom My Eyebrows at Home?
Once you have your tools and your time set aside, take a deep breath and get to work. Use Ramy’s three golden rules for taming brows at home:
- Trim first. “If you have excess length, trim the hairs first. If you trim your brows first you’ll see that you don’t need to tweeze as much as you thought in order to get perfect brows.”
- Work in straight lines. “Keeping the line straight from below the front of the brow to the arch prevents the dreaded hook-shaped brows.”
- Be conservative. “The biggest mistake is overdoing it. If you take a conservative approach, you can always remove more later. When in doubt, don’t pluck it out!”
Read more: The 19 Do's and Don'ts of Perfect Eyebrows
Which Brow Shape is Best for My Face?
Rounded. Straight. Soft Angle. S-shaped. Knowing which eyebrow shape will look best on you depends on the shape and structure of your face, explains Ramy. “Your eyebrows should align with your bone structure. While your bone structure is not perfectly symmetrical, if you align your brows to your bone structure, they will always look great!”
For most faces, you can find where your ideal eyebrow should start by holding a makeup brush or a pencil vertically against the side of your nose. Where the pencil lands by your brow hair is where your eyebrow should begin. The arch of the eyebrow should peak where your brow bone protrudes the most, Ramy directs. And the ending? Hold the brush or pencil at the side of your nose and angle it towards the outer corner of the eye. Tweeze any stray hairs that extend beyond.
Confused or too nervous to start plucking? Put the tweezers down and head to a pro. “If you truly have no idea how to achieve the brows you want, it’s a good idea to have them professionally shaped and then maintain the shape at home,” suggests Ramy.
What Products Do I Need to Tame Unruly Brows?
Once your eyebrows are groomed and shaped, you may find that you don’t need any beauty products to keep them in place. But, if you have uncooperative brows that still need some encouragement in the right direction, consider an eyebrow gel to help hold the hairs in place. Don’t have eyebrow gel on hand? Ramy suggests Vaseline, pomade, or hair gel to be used in a pinch to tame unruly brows.
How to Prevent Eyebrow Hair From Pointing Up
If you have a really rebellious eyebrow hair that sticks straight out vertically from your face, skip the tweezers altogether and choose scissors instead, says Ramy. “Trim the hair so that it doesn’t stick out. If you pluck them you risk creating a bare spot in your brow.” Since the average eyebrow growth rate is six to eight weeks for a new eyebrow hair to grow back, avoid tweezing any unruly or grey hairs in the middle of your brow to avoid noticeable sparse spots.
You can make your own eyebrow-taming wax product at home. Deborah Grayson of iVillage.com recommends heating a mixture of two teaspoons grated beeswax and one teaspoon of castor oil in a heat-proof dish. Place in the microwave oven until the wax melts. Pour it into a clean container and let it dry until it is solid.
Be careful if you choose to pluck or trim stray eyebrow hair. Plucking a single stray hair might not change the shape of your brow, but you can end up removing too much hair if you try to remove multiple hairs. If you trim a long eyebrow hair too short, it may be more difficult to hold it down with an eyebrow-taming product.
Kate Bayless is an accomplished writer covering lifestyle, health, travel and parenting with bylines across the web at sites like Prevention, LivingHealthy, Babble and Momtrends as well as national glossies like Parents and Fit Pregnancy.