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What is Eyebrow Shaping?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 21, 2024
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Eyebrow shaping is a type of personal grooming that involves plucking and trimming the eyebrow hairs for a desired shape. Though both women and men may shape their eyebrows, it is a more common practice for women. There are various methods of eyebrow shaping that are popular.

The first method of eyebrow shaping is waxing. People typically do not wax their eyebrows at home; this practice is more common at salons. Another type of eyebrow grooming is threading. This type of shaping involves the use of a double strand of thread to remove eyebrow hairs all at once in a very straight, defined line. This practice is also not done at home.

The most common methods of eyebrow shaping involve plucking and trimming the eyebrows. This can be done at the salon or at home, and with practice and careful technique, excellent results can be achieved. There are many websites offering descriptive diagrams of the eye to illustrate where and where not to pluck, but in general, there are some helpful tips that everyone can follow.

The first is to trim long eyebrow hairs. Plucking these long hairs can make the eyebrows look sparse, so it is best to simply trim them. To do this, brush the eyebrows straight up with an eyebrow or eyelash comb, and trim any ends that stick up over the top of the brow line. It is best to use small eyebrow scissors designed for this purpose.

Next, the ends of the eyebrows should roughly correspond to the eyes. If a line is drawn straight up from the inner corner of the eye, that is where the eyebrow should end; for the outer corner, draw the line at a slight angle. Next, the arch of the eyebrow should appear before the last third of the eye. This is generally just outside the colored iris.

Go slowly when plucking an arch, only removing a few hairs at a time to avoid overdoing it and looking perpetually surprised. To finish, pluck any stray hairs below the brow line to give the eyebrows a clean appearance. Some people find success by using a brightly colored eyeliner or eyeshadow to highlight the areas that need to be plucked, to be certain not to pluck too much. If necessary, sparse areas can be filled in with eyebrow pencil or eyebrow powder.

No matter what type of eyebrow shaping method is chosen, keep in mind that eyebrows can take up to two months to grow back. If the same hairs are repeatedly removed, it is possible to damage the follicle, meaning the hair will never grow back. Do not shape eyebrows into a thin line with a dramatic, exaggerated arch, which will look unnatural. Instead, leaving eyebrows fuller, with a gentle arch, will generally give the face a much more natural appearance.

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Discussion Comments
By ginsberg05 — On Jul 12, 2010

Be sure to refrain from using a magnifying mirror while shaping the brows. These high definition mirrors often reveal what one would never notice normally, thereby causing excessive plucking. The end result to over-plucking can be small or sparse eyebrows. These are usually not as aesthetically appealing as more naturally occurring, well-groomed brows.

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