If you want big brows that will last forever, you have two choices: Stop tweezing and wait patiently for several months for them to grow — or get eyebrow extensions.
Like eyelash extensions, eyebrow extensions involve the meticulous placement of tiny, individual hairs along the brows — but, unlike eyelash extensions, there’s not much risk of permanent damage to your eyebrows. The service is relatively new, and I ventured to Townhouse Spa for my treatment. I arrived with only one request: Make my eyebrows thick and straight across, like a hybrid of Audrey Hepburn and Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” look.
Linda Howard, Townhouse’s master stylist, immediately began to work. She cleaned the area around my brows and examined their shape with a huge, magnified mirror. She said that my eyebrow hairs were long, which would be helpful while applying the extensions, since the extensions need to be glued to existing hair (they would slide off too easily if glued to skin), and that she would do her best to conceal my brow arch.
Linda’s brow extensions are synthetic, and come in different widths, lengths, and colors, to match the natural brow hairs as much as possible. Hair by hair, Linda dipped the individual extensions in a tiny vat of glue, and then placed them on my face. Since I couldn’t mindlessly scroll through my phone while Linda hovered over me to apply the extensions, eventually, I fell asleep, only to wake three hours later with completely transformed brows.
For the most part, my arches were gone. Instead I had strong brows — the kind that framed my face, creating a permanent state of deep thought. The synthetic hairs looked just like mine, though they felt slightly rougher to the touch. Linda estimates that she placed 50 hairs on each brow, and said the extensions would last two to three weeks, though with exercise, their lifespan could be much shorter. Though I hardly recognized myself with my new brows, my co-workers were split down the middle on whether they noticed a difference. To me, the new brows were liberating. I found myself skipping eye makeup, since my brows were already the focal point, and I dabbled in bright, bolder lip colors. These brows were fun.
Cleaning my face was the most trying part of the entire ordeal. I couldn’t wet my eyebrows, and Linda advised me to shower with a shower cap lowered to fit just above my eyes. Fearful of any wayward splashes near my face, I cleansed with Boots’ Micellar Water and a cotton round, followed by Nip + Fab’s Dragon’s Blood Fix Pads. After a few days that included a cycling and barre class, the first brow hairs began to fall, and by a week and a half, they were completely gone. Thankfully, they never irritated my skin, and didn’t take out any of my natural hairs (as eyelash extensions tend to do). My magical journey with big brows might have been over, but I can’t say that it wasn’t a really good time.
Eyebrow Extensions, $95 to $300 at Townhouse Spa.