Aestheticians have been busy bees in 2019, and although the year is coming to an end, there’s still time to try something fresh and step into the new year with your brows on point. Eyebrow extensions are the latest edition to the wide range of innovative brow styling techniques on the market. Technically, they have been around for some time, but they have only just started getting the attention they deserve.
As the next logical step from eyelash extensions (which were the next logical step from hair extensions), brow extensions are a great option for anyone reluctant to get permanent makeup for whatever reason.
So let’s get into the basics and learn a bit more about eyebrows extensions.
What are eyebrow extensions?
Beauty enthusiasts who’ve had their share of salon-hopping can probably already guess what we’re dealing with here. Similar to eyelash extensions, eyebrow extensions means extra hairs are added into the brow arch in order to make it fuller. This procedure is borderline permanent makeup; on the one hand, there is no skin breaking involved, but on the other, the treatment can replace eyebrow makeup and the results will last for a certain period of time.
However you classify it, the treatment is a great way to avoid reapplying makeup onto your brows every day. It’s also a perfect gateway to microblading, as you have the chance to try out the filled in look without commiting for two years.
Who is a good candidate for eyebrow extensions?
Permanent makeup that involves injecting pigment has some health restrictions; it’s not suitable for people with diabetes, hepatitis, HIV, pregnant women, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy etc. Eyebrow extensions, however, are 100% non-invasive and anyone can get them.
Extensions are generally used to fill in sparse patches, but a whole arch can be reconstructed on clients who have no brows for whatever reason.
Beauticians often have clients who come for extensions right before special events such as weddings or prom nights. So if you have a special event, consider brow extensions as a way to eliminate at least one beauty concern.
How are eyebrow extensions done?
This is a relatively straightforward and simple procedure, although it takes patience and a steady hand. It implies individual hairs are glued either onto the natural hairs (with lash extensions, this is called the one-on-one technique), or directly onto the skin between the follicles. The technician uses tweezers for maximum precision. The hairs are mostly artificial, synthetic fibres.
Step 1: Plucking excess hairs
The session begins with plucking. The tech will pluck all stray hairs and modify the shape of your arch. They might pluck your brows a bit differently than you usually do, but their professional experience allows them to give you the best possible arch shape according to the shape of your face and the rest of your features. So don’t complain just yet.
Step 2: Drawing the outline
This first step usually doesn’t take long. Having plucked the stray hairs, the tech will draw the outline of the desired arch shape (hardly anyone works with a free hand). At this point, you can check if you’re satisfied with the shape. You can customize it to a certain point, but again, sometimes it’s best to listen to the pro.
Step 3: Gluing the hairs
The next step is the glueing itself. The amount of artificial hairs added obviously depends on the number and state of your natural hairs. The basic application is generally 75% natural hairs and 25% artificial, but eyebrow extensions can be done on clients who have no eyebrows due to certain conditions such as alopecia, or as a result of chemotherapy. Even overtweezing can cause hairs to stop growing. Each artificial hair is dipped into the adhesive, or the glue, and placed right next to the root of your follicle. And that’s it.
It’s a general tendency for technicians to use stronger glue when extensions are glued onto pre-existing hairs, and a gentler one when they are applying them onto skin in order to minimize the chances of an allergic reaction. In either case, it’s a good idea to ask what type of glue your tech uses. Formaldehyde-free glue is the better option, since formaldehyde can cause irritation to the skin.
What types of eyebrow extensions are there?
The eyebrow hairs obviously come in different colors: black, blonde, red, auburn, and all the shades of brown between these. There are two types of hairs: natural hair that is generally mink, or artifical, which is what most salons use. The length of the hairs is generally 5-8 mm, just like natural hairs, and they are thinner than eyelash extensions; the finer the fibre, the more natural the result.
What are the effects of eyebrow extensions?
Eyebrow extensions give super realistic results. As we’re dealing with actual hairs, the chances of the end result looking fake are minimal to non-existent. As an extremely large number of individual hairs can be glued onto (or between) the natural hairs, the brow arches can be made thicker, more voluminous, and the shape of the arch can be slightly modified. Brow extensions are a perfect way to fill in sparse patches, as the technician can add more hairs where necessary. A whole new arch can also be created if there are no natural hairs.
The best part about this procedure is the fact that it’s totally customizable. The hairs used vary in thickness, length, and color. So the brow expert can assess where to put more hairs and where no filling is needed.
Aestheticians claim brow extensions don’t damage the natural hairs, so there is no risk of eyebrow thinning as a longterm result of the procedure.
How long do eyebrow extensions last?
As we’ve already stated, eyebrow extensions are not permanent makeup per se. The hairs are glued onto the surface of the skin, they are attached only by the glue. The extensions last for up to two weeks (similarly to eyelash extensions) if glued onto the skin, or up to 4 weeks if glued onto the natural hair, right at its root. The extensions glued onto the natural hairs will stay on for the whole growth cycle, which varies from person to person, unless you apply mechanical force onto them.
However, some factors can cause them to fall off in a matter of days. The biggest enemy of extensions is oily skin. If your skin is particularly oily, the sebum will reduce the hold of the glue and your extensions will fall off within a week. The other factor that can ruin the extensions is your own activity.
How can I make my extensions last longer?
- The first step towards keeping your extensions for a whole growth cycle is to touch your face as little as possible. Apart from transferring dirt and germs from your hands onto your face, you can literally rip out the extensions without even feeling it. Be especially mindful after washing your face; it’s better to gently tap your face with a towel instead of pressing hard and rubbing. For the same reason, try to avoid the brow area if you’re doing any kind of facial exfoliation.
- Apart from mechanical damage, some products can cause the hairs to fall out. You should stay away from oil-based products such as oily makeup removers and facial creams, as oils can break down the glue.
- You are free to use makeup (you should avoid brow makeup, as you’ll rip out the extensions during both application and removal, though you won’t need any anyway), just be a bit gentle when you’re removing it.
The aftercare instructions are quite straightforward. Just like after getting eyelash extensions, you’re supposed to avoid getting the brows wet for about 24 hours, as water can weaken the adhesive within this period. While microblading has a long list of strict aftercare instructions, this is more or less it with brow extensions.
How much do eyebrow extensions cost?
The cost of eyebrow extensions can vary greatly. It starts at around $90 and goes up to $200 for an initial session. There’s always the option of having a corrective fill-in (or a refill, as the techs call it), which obviously costs less – around $50. The price depends on the amount of work the tech puts into your brows and the number of hairs added. So the reconstruction of a whole arch can get quite pricey.
Eyebrow extensions are a great way to try out a look of filled in eyebrows without commiting to microblading. It’s also one of the best options for brow reconstruction, as it gives three-dimensional results.
Although the results might not last as long as we’d like them to, they look very natural and can take care of a number of problems we face with our brows: thin or thinning brows, sparse patches, assymetrical arches. The cost of this treatment is significantly lower than that of microblading or similar procedures, but then again, it also lasts significantly shorter.
Eyebrow extensions are totally customizable and there are no restrictions in terms of who can get them. Just remember to plan the timing ahead if you have any special occasions coming up!