Even though my waxer once told me that my eyebrows were a beautiful color in the ninth grade (I haven’t forgotten, BTW!), they aren’t perfect. If I don’t brush them out and gel them down, they tend to look a little sparse and wimpy, which isn’t exactly the look that I’m aiming for. But doing this day in and day out can get a little tired, so when I heard about brow lamination, a boy-browification treatment for your arches that lasts upwards of six weeks, I was sold.
Often referred to as a brow lift, the after effect of lamination is really meant to make your arches look fuller and flatter by perming the brow hairs. While other brow treatments do this by adding pigment (brow tints, for example, dye the hair, while microblading adds pigment to the skin surrounding the arch), this treatment is actually meant to focus on the texture of your brow hair. By straightening and lifting the hair, arches appear fuller and take up more space on the face. “Basically, it’s redirecting the hair in the way and shape [that] you want it to go,” says Josh Beeler, a lash and brow specialist at Shen Beauty in Brooklyn. “A lot of the times we use it to redirect the brows to make them appear thicker and fuller or flat.” Here’s what they look like usually:
As I sit down for my own lamination treatment (which at Shen costs $90), he explains that the treatment itself involves a repeated process of soaking and combing the brows with a solution that helps them retain the full shape I’m going for. After examining my brows, Beeler coats strands with a white, chemical gel that looks and smells very similar to hair dye. He brushes on the treatment, repeatedly combing my eyebrows up and out to manipulate their shape. Then, he covers each brow with a piece of clear tape, which allows the chemicals to fully soak in for about six minutes before repeating the entire process four more times.
As I wait, I ponder how easy my mornings are going to be without the constant gel shellacking. “That’s what’s really great about this treatment. It’s easy, and you can just get up and go,” he says. “It can really benefit anyone whose hairs are unruly, whose hairs grow in different directions, or anyone who just wants their brows to appear a little more groomed.” After about 40 minutes of rotating treatments, Beeler takes off the final round of tape, plucks a few stray hairs, and brushes my brows out one last time. Then, he hands me a mirror for the big reveal and, let me tell you—I am blown away. My eyebrows look like nothing short of a Glossier Boy Brow ($16) ad. See the pic above as proof.
Post-brow lamination, there are no risks or downtime—you just can’t get your eyebrows wet for 24 hours, says Beeler. It’s been almost two weeks since the treatment, and I’m still in love with them. They look as good as they did when I left Shen, and take “low-maintenance” to a whole new level. Instead of constantly having to re-groom my brows and slathering on heaps of brow gel, I wake up, sweep a spoolie over my arches to fluff them up, and then I get the show on the road.
BTW: Here’s what happened when What the Wellness host Ella Dove tried a lash lift:
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