This treatment promises fuller eyebrows in less than an hour
Here's what you should know about brow lamination.
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From the thin, penciled brows of the ‘90s to the thick, dramatic ones of a few years ago, the world has seen an array of eyebrow trends come and go. A style that's risen in popularity in the last couple of years is fuller-looking, combed-through brows—a look achievable for the day with styling products or for longer with a brow lamination treatment.
There's no downtime associated with brow lamination nor is it a permanent commitment to the feathered look it imparts, making it a sought-after treatment for anyone seeking more shape and structure to their eyebrows that lasts up to eight weeks. We spoke with brow lamination artist Lisa DiGiulio of Lisa Brows and Beauty to learn everything you should know about the treatment—and how to get a similar look at home.
What is brow lamination?
Brow lamination is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment typically performed at brow bars or beauty salons that involves using a keratin-infused chemical solution to straighten the eyebrow hairs and give them a fuller appearance. "[The products used are] made with naturally-occurring compounds that break down the bonds in each hair and allows them to be manipulated into a new direction,” says GiGiulio.
The treatment can be done no matter the denseness or thickness of your natural hairs. If you have naturally full and unruly brows, brow lamination can offer structure and a more wispier shape. If you have sparse, thin, or over-tweezed eyebrows, lamination can make them appear fuller. Depending on where you get it done, one treatment costs anywhere from $75 to $150 and lasts between four and eight weeks, depending on your natural hair growth cycle, the direction your hair grows naturally, and your dedication to aftercare.
While the chemical solution is safe and specifically made for the hair on the face, there's always a risk involved when using a solution of this nature. "Damage [in the form of hair dryness or frizziness] can occur if you repeat the treatment sooner than six weeks," says DiGiulio. Damage can also occur if proper aftercare isn't followed (more on this coming) or if the hair is over-processed during the treatment, which is why it's important to go to a professional who can monitor how your eyebrows are taking to the treatment.
What's the process of brow lamination?
You'll be asked to avoid using exfoliants and retinoids on your face for five days leading up to your appointment, as these can increase skin sensitivity to the solution and lead to irritation. You'll also want to grow the hair for as long as possible because your brow lamination artist relies on the hairs' length to create the appearance of a fuller brow as well as to fill in gaps. "If the eyebrows have been trimmed in the last month, I suggest growing them out for at least another month before scheduling a brow lamination appointment," says DiGiulio.
As far as the process itself, a brow lamination artist will first cleanse the eyebrows before applying the chemical solution and combing the hairs in an upward and outward direction. From there, a neutralizing solution is applied, which sets each hair into its new shape. Brows are then cleansed again, tinted (if desired), trimmed, and conditioned, says DiGiulio. The last step typically involves applying a moisturizing lotion to prevent irritation and potential dryness that the solution may cause to the hairs and skin.
The whole process takes about 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the shape of your brows and the length and density of your hairs, and doesn't involve any discomfort unless you have extremely sensitive skin. If you're concerned, let your artist know beforehand and they can perform a patch test to see how you react before applying the chemical all over the eyebrows.
How do you take care of eyebrows after brow lamination?
As with all cosmetic treatments, aftercare is important to ensure you get optimal results. Immediately following your treatment, and for the first 24 hours, it's important to avoid any activity that would introduce moisture to the brows, as this can disrupt the bonds, cause the brows to lose their laminated shape and shorten the lifespan of the treatment. This includes washing your face, showering, doing strenuous workouts, or introducing heat or steam. Because the chemical solution may cause skin sensitivity post-treatment, you'll also want to avoid using oils, lotions, makeup (including brow products), and makeup remover wipes in the area for the first 24 hours, as these can further irritate the skin."After 24 hours, you should still avoid oil-based products, as they may cause the 'lift' to release prematurely," says DiGiulio.
Can you do brow lamination at home?
Before heading to the salon, you may be curious to see what your eyebrows would look like with a combed-upward, thick style. To achieve a similar look at home, try these brow products.
1. For a strong hold: PaintLab Brow SculptSoap
This clear, solid brow pomade thickens, shapes, and grooms eyebrow hairs for lamination-like results. Try this If you're looking to add fullness to thin, sparse brows or control unruly hairs. The jar includes a spoolie to brush through the gel-like substance and then the brows.
While testing the PaintLab Brow SculptSoap, we found it to have a strong hold for all-day wear without feeling sticky or hard on the brows.
2. For a quick fix: Pyt Beauty Holy Grail Brow Gel
If your brows are lush but unruly, a clear eyebrow gel, like this one from Pyt Beauty, is an easy fix for reining them in. This formula is lightweight and flexible, yet still offers hold for untamable brows. It also contains ingredients like pro vitamin B5 and olive leaf extract to condition the hairs. It can double as a pre-mascara eyelash primer to make it last longer on the lashes. Get the Pyt Beauty Holy Grail Brow Gel from Ulta for $16
3. For a subtle tint: Em Cosmetics Micro-Fluff Sculpting Brow Cream
This tinted brow cream is a fan favorite for its ability to shape the brows while imparting color where needed. The formula contains moisturizing vitamin E and hair-strengthening kaolin, and doesn't make the brows feel stiff after it dries.
To apply, use the wand to brush the brow hairs upward and outward, then follow up with a brow pencil if you want more fullness.
4. For long-lasting color: Revlon ColorStay Semi-Permanent Brow Ink
If you've been wanting to try out brow lamination, but don't want the commitment, this liquid brow ink from Revlon offers a semi-permanent solution. It promises fuller, more defined brows for up to three days.
Its unique design and multiple application methods offer a lot of grooming options.You can use the pointed tip to fill in sparse gaps, the small tip to outline your brow shape, the long, flat side to intensify your natural brow color, and the spoolie to diffuse and groom.
5. For a conditioning treatment: Nulastin Brow Shape Altering Serum
This brow serum claims to improve hair density and thickness in about 12 weeks using naturally derived elastin and keratin. To apply, the brand recommends using short, vigorous motions and running the applicator brush through clean, dry eyebrows twice a day in the morning and evening. The result should be fuller eyebrows—the ultimate goal of brow lamination.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.