Eyebrows frame the face and say everything without saying a word. Like any beauty hot spot they require maintenance, an easy enough routine for healthy brows, but some have less material to work with. Excessive plucking or conditions like hypothyroidism, alopecia or medical treatments can render eyebrows sparse and uneven, making it difficult to obtain a healthy brow. With the recent trend of thicker, fuller brows showing little sign of slowing down, a new, semi-permanent treatment aims to do for brows what now-ubiquitous eyelash extensions have been doing for lashes.
Little Lash Boutique in Babylon Village is the first area specialty salon to offer the treatment, dubbed semi-permanent eyebrow extensions. Created by a Canadian company that offers certifications for technicians performing the procedure, the proprietary eyebrow extensions are similar to the synthetic hairs the salon relies on for lashes. Holding the faux hairs in place is an adhesive specially formulated to bond with skin. The glue is similar to medical grade wound closure glue and allows the Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) fiber hairs to adhere without negative reaction or irritation.
Treatments range from a level one fill to a level four complete reconstruction, depending on how much hair a client needs to achieve the desired look. Level one is a minor revamp to address small improvements ($50-$85), like enhancing the tail area of the brow, filling the inner brow or fixing a scarred or patchy area of hair loss. Level two doubles total eyebrow thickness ($100-$135), often necessary after years of overenthusiastic hair removal. Major reconstruction starts at level three for those with little natural hair ($150- $200), by adding shape to uneven or excessively damaged brows. The most involved treatment is a complete, two-hour restoration for those with no brows (level four, $200-$250), often the result of treatments like chemotherapy.
That transformation can be a life changer, said the salon’s owner Joann Donnelly. Before this procedure was developed, women with total brow loss had limited options: Glue-on eyebrow wigs, permanent makeup or trying pharmaceutical hair growth agents all with varying results that often looked unnatural. But even those with mild to moderate thinning can benefit from the extensions. The faux hairs eliminate the need for daily makeup and clients feel they look natural enough for a special event or everyday wear, said Donnelly as she prepared for a level one fill in.
Clients recline on a massage table while Donnelly cleans and exfoliates the brows. The extensions are available in eight shades ranging from honey blonde to dark brown, and the hues look remarkably natural. The individual strands are so tiny, just millimeters in length, it’s hard to imagine they can come together to make a noticeable difference. Over the next hour Donnelly gathered individual faux hairs and placed them onto the brow with tweezers. She filled in and enhanced the ends of the client’s brow and added to the “fan” area near the nose, which many women over-pluck. She finished the treatment by trimming the new hair and shaping the brows to look natural.
The synthetic hairs were an almost-identical match to the client’s own dark brows. Results didn’t look unnecessarily more dramatic—although they can if a client desires. Instead, the result is a naturally robust brow that was freshly shaped. Hairs are fixed in place but do shed over 7 to 21 days, depending on individual skin variations. Newly applied brows should be kept dry for the first 24 to 48 hours then makeup can be worn over them, although that may shorten their lifespan. But plucking is out once the brows are complete. “You won’t be able to tell the new hairs from the existing hairs,” cautioned Donnelly.
Besides being in style, thicker, longer brows have an air of healthy youthfulness. It’s the kind of beauty improvement that will have friends noticing a brighter, fresher or prettier look without really knowing why. Brow addicts can then come in for fills to keep up the fuller look or let them fall out gradually.