In the years before Cara Delevigne's impeccable arches became our end goal, eyebrows took on a lot of interesting forms, due to equal parts DIY work and the super-skinny shape considered the norm. But there's still hope, even if yours once resembled commas more than actual brows and Sabah Feroz, brow expert at Blink Brow Bar, shared her pro tips on how you can nurse your arches into a more flattering shape.
To start, step away from the tweezers and book an appointment with a brow threading technician. Threading already-thin brows may sound counterintuitive, but the motions can actually help reactivate hair follicles laying dormant after years of overtweezing, and make sure to squeeze in a tinting service to darken those finer strands and impart a fuller appearance. "If someone overtweezed their brows and it's taking forever for them to grow back in, they need to see a professional who can actually look at their brows, see the shape, and determine how much can grow back in," she tells InStyle. "When we're threading, we'll leave the hair that is supposed to be there, and leave them to grow in for six to eight weeks." Following your appointment, you'll want to pick up a brow conditioner like Blink Brow Bar's Nourishing Brow Oil ($30; birchbox.com) and apply the treatment nightly to stimulate new growth while keeping the existing hairs hydrated.
"The active ingredients are sweet almond, rosemary, and lavender oils," she explains. "Back in the day, these are the things people used to use to stimulate hair growth, and you can also use it to condition your lashes." Resist the urge to tweeze out those stray hairs your technician left behind, as they're there for a reason. In six weeks, they should fill out to a more prominent shape, at which point you can revisit the salon for a touch-up. If possible, try to see the same professional as they'll have a better idea of how much hair has grown back, and exactly what needs reshaping.
Another factor to consider? The products you use during the day to fill in your arches. Make sure to stick to soft formulas like pomades or powders, as they're more gentle and won't pull out any of the delicate hairs you've worked so hard to re-grow. "Try not to use pencils. If they're too hard, they'll destroy the hair that's already there, and people who have gaps in their brows sometimes end up creating more gaps this way," says Feroz. "Your brow hairs are completely different from those on your head—they're not as strong, so you have to be gentle."
Feroz recommends defining your brows by outlining the natural shape first, then going back in with your powder to fill in any spaces that need extra love. Your eye makeup remover is just as important, so stick to an oil-based version, and try not to rub them too hard. If you treat them right and stick to regular threading and tinting appointments every six weeks, your arches should be able to make a comeback. "After a while, you'll start to see your natural shape and you'll feel more comfortable leaving them alone," she adds.