Why all the brow treatments we grew up with are actually horrible

Back in the 2000s, we all thought we were sooooo smart with our $10 weekly eyebrow waxes.

Well, turns out we were being hoodwinked, and probably causing permanent damage to our eyebrows.

Brow guru Sebastian Latiolais gave us these details and more when we recently paid his studio a visit in NYC. According to him, it all comes down to the difference between hair removal and brow artistry.

Hair removal is what waxing and threading are all about. They’ll change your appearance, yes, but the physical removal of the hair is what the technician’s focusing on first. The priority is to get rid of hair, not to make your brows look their best overall.

READ ALSO: Thin eyebrows might be coming back

Brow artistry, on the other hand, is three-dimensional, Sebastian told us. It’s similar to makeup artistry in that it’s best done in three dimensions instead of two — that’s why doing your own brows in the mirror will never stack up to getting them done by a pro.

Sebastian got his start in the 90s, “when we were finishing up with the big wax trend,” he said. “The McDonald’s arch — really thin.”

He started paying more attention to his clients’ brows, and noticed they became hooked, coming into his salon monthly instead of just for special occasions.

“The brows really make a different in anti-aging, making the eye look rested, popping the cheekbones, making the face brighten up,” he said. “Seeing the confidence it gave women became really addictive, really fast.”

But speaking of addictions: our collective waxing and threading problem could be doing more harm than good. Waxing can cause scar tissue to develop and prevent your brows from ever growing back. Threading, meanwhile, can alter the growth course of your brows, making them appear more bushy and unkempt when they grow back.

And don’t even get Sebastian started on microblading, the temporary brow tattoo technique also known as 3D brow embroidery — he insists that most people don’t need it. In fact, he says a lot of aestheticians are recommending microblading out of laziness. If their clients just waited for their brows to regrow on their own, they wouldn’t need microblading.

READ ALSO: Turns out most people shouldn’t get their brows microbladed

Oh, and about that regrowth: it can take six months to two years. Today, Sebastian puts his clients through a brow rehab program, forbidding them from touching their brows. He says that with enough patience, you can get your brows to grow back fully even if you’ve wreaked havoc on them through waxing and threading.

Speaking of fully grown brows: Sebastian predicts that the thick, thick, thick brows we’ve seen over the past few years are about to give way to a slightly more manicured look. They won’t be anything near the McDonald’s arches of the early 2000s, but they’ll be a bit more groomed.

“Next, we’re taking the full brow and manicuring it with an arch to bring out your features,” he said. “For a while, we were really lost. [The full brow can make you] look tired. But the placement of the arch is crucial, because if it’s not right, it can make you look surprised, it can make you look angry. There’s an art behind reading the face and knowing where to put that arch.”

It seems like now, women are scared to even touch their brows because such a full look has become de rigueur — but Sebastian says this isn’t a bad thing.

“They should be scared to touch it, because it’s their face,” he said. “We recommend you don’t tweeze yourself. How can you do your own brows if you’re not an aesthetician? You shouldn’t be doing it, just like how a hair stylist doesn’t touch their own hair.”

Check out our video with Sebastian below for more details.


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