I have never been the biggest advocate of trimming Brow Hairs (you see this an awful lot on Instagram). Back in Beauty School we were taught that this was a definite no-no. However over the many years as a Brow Perfectionist, I have come to understand that it has a very important place on occasion. Considerably more appropriate in overly hirsute instances and probably more commonly required when adjusting a #ManBrow.
To me trimming brow hairs is a last resort when you can’t go any further with brow control simply by sculpting and/or using directional products. Sometimes the hairs are growing far too lengthy to remain attractive in a bushier brow. Alternatively a client may be subject to the random ‘hair-horn’ protruding out from the crowd. Sometimes a person may even just have a rogue hair which has grown in such a way that trimming it would be a better solution than simply pulling it out – which may leave a gap.
Aimlessly hacking a straight line across the top browline like you’re performing topiary on an unruly hedge is NOT the way to trim a brow – no matter how aggressively the hair growth may appear to be and no matter many times you might see it on Instagram.
If you are not a hairdresser or you do not understand how to correctly cut a hair then don’t do it!
Often you will see technicians cutting across the top browline before even considering what specific shaping requirements are actually needed for each individual client. As a professional Original Brow Artist this action makes me feel terribly uneasy for the future of our clients’ faces. As these technicians are supposedly qualified Beauty Industry Professionals, it unfortunately displays an ignorance to the actual function of the eyebrow and no understanding that they are on your face to serve a purpose – not only for aesthetic appeal.
Cutting brow hairs too short can result in them losing not only their natural form but their natural function as well. In protecting the eye by deflecting debris and moisture, they need length and some flexibility. If they are too tightly trimmed, it means that the brows can’t do their job.
Precision trimming; discretely snipping one hair at a time is the ONLY way brows should be trimmed. It needs to be done in such a fashion so that it is unnoticeable that the hair has been cut. On rare occasions a much thicker brow may require some thinning out. This needs to be done with utmost care and absolute precision. Strategic snipping is only for the well rehearsed and extremely confident artisan.
This is where I should say: “Leave this Treatment to the Professionals”.
Unfortunately this is becoming more and more often the first go-to action a NEW Brow Artist will take – again because they have seen it so often on Social Media. Usually these choppy videos are demonstrated particularly by young Makeup Artists who ‘do brows’. They inadvertently display that they have little to no understanding of the shape of the hair strand after it has been cut; the way the actual hair lies within its place in the brow; and that “Crunchy” or prickly feeling after too many hairs have been bluntly trimmed.
Too much scissor action makes the brows look bristly (like a toothbrush) and feel ‘prickly’ (like a doormat). Too many times I have seen brows which have been cut too close to the upper brow line – or even below it 👀 Yikes! This dramatically loses the natural soft line of the brow and creates an unnatural appearance which can also be quite ageing on many faces. Clients will notice little black dots (newer hairs or even broken hairs) within the space of two days; and the shape will be far more difficult to maintain for any length of time.
Trimmed hairs are more likely to stand up on their ends creating the illusion of more space between the hairs due to visual foreshortening (👈Google that). With strategic trimming, the brow hairs will lay much flatter hence visually filling any natural gaps and giving a naturally fuller effect.
Think before trimming. Seriously consider how desperately do the hairs actually need to be snipped? Eyebrows that are trimmed don’t look natural when they are growing back. Additionally, the shape is dependent on how the eyebrow hairs lay, which can be compromised if the wrong hairs are cut too short. If you are working with a thin brow or one where the hair is quite sparse, should you really be taking any more hair away? Most likely not.
If some scissor action is absolutely necessary, strategic trimming is key. This is where the angle you hold your scissors is of utmost importance for a natural looking brow. This is best done, firstly with the correct type of scissors and secondly with lots of expertise.
Square and bristly “Instabrows” may appear neat and tidy at first but they will not last the distance. They are high maintenance and may not necessarily suit your natural face shape. A well groomed, easy maintenance and cleverly executed brow should flatter your face and leave your brows looking soft, fluid and feminine.
A trimmed Brow looks like a trimmed Brow.
Harsh and Bristly vs Soft and Natural.
Which do you think is more beautiful?
Talk to your Brow Artist about the best ways to embrace and enhance the beauty of your natural face shape. Scissors may not be necessary.
Trimming isn’t always winning!
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