The bold and the beautiful: Make a statement with your eyebrows
The bold, defined brow remains a beauty staple: everyone, from catwalk models to Hollywood actresses (see Megan Fox’s Ava Gardner arches) is going for big brows.
But what if yours are fine, fair or straggly? Well, panic not. A host of high-tech treatments will give you back the brows you plucked into extinction, or simply never had in the first place.
Transplants and semi-permanent solutions are now more convincing than ever.
In the past few years, hair transplant surgery has become far more sophisticated.
Previously, it was almost impossible to replicate the natural angle and growth of the eyebrow and lashes.
Now, one follicle can be implanted at a time, and, crucially, surgeons are able to control the precise angle of the hair, which is very acute in eyebrows.
This new know-how can now be used to implant hairs into the lashline, too, giving you a fuller, thicker set of lashes.
Dr Bessam Farjo, who has been working on hair loss treatments and transplants since 1992, explains that hair transplant techniques have rapidly advanced since the days of plug-grafts.
During the latest procedures, a very thin strip of skin (6-7 cm long, and 4-5mm wide) is taken from the area of the scalp where the hair is softest.
The surgeon then removes each hair from the piece of skin with a thin needle. Next, he makes up to 50 tiny incisions with a scalpel where the eyebrow should be, and, using a needle, inserts each hair follicle into the incisions.
On average, it takes 65 days for an eyebrow hair to grow back after it's been plucked
The results are not immediate: it takes two to three months for the new hair to grow through the skin, and up to six months for a well-defined eyebrow. The new brows need trimming about once a month as the hair continues to grow as it would on your head.
Mary Hornby, 30, from Sale in Greater Manchester, underwent an eyebrow transplant with Dr Farjo. She began tampering with her brows at just 14: ‘I would over-pluck and be left with pencil-thin eyebrows, which at the time didn’t bother me,’ she says.
‘As I got older and wanted a fuller shape and I tried to grow them out. But repeated plucking had meant they had stopped growing.’
She found the surgery ‘a breeze’ - even if a somewhat lengthy three hours. ‘It was completely painless and all done under local anaesthetic,’ she says.
‘It took about six months for me to start seeing the results, but now I couldn’t be more thrilled. Dr Farjo has done an amazing job, easily surpassing my expectations and leaving me with beautiful, natural, full eyebrows.’
Eyelash transplants are more complicated, because of the delicate nature of the eyelid The cost for eyebrow transplantation is around £3,500, and about £3,000 for eyelashes. (Prices vary depending on the treatment required; go to www.farjo.com for information.)
Highbrow: Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Keira Knightley have enviable thick, dark eyebrows
Semi-permanent make-up has come on in leaps and bounds recently, too. Tattooing with ink, though, is now a beauty no-no. Ground-up mineral pigments are used instead for more realistic, subtler tones.
Try Tracie Giles’ 3D Hair By Hair Perfect Brows ( traciegilesinternational.com, £495-£650). The colour is custom-blended, so you can find the exact shade to match your skin tone and hair.
After using callipers to measure the face, Tracie draws on the suggested brow shape. ‘I always select a shape that will suit the face. Most people’s faces are not symmetrical, and giving them symmetrical brows can highlight that.’
Next, Tracie draws in the brow, hair by hair, using ultrafine needles. Avoiding a blocky line makes the look more natural. Apparently it’s just a bit more painful than being plucked or threaded.
Susan Bookbinder, newsreader and presenter of East Midlands Today, is in her early 40s and had noticed that her brows had become sparser with age.
‘I’d always had thick, dark brows, which I loved. But as I got older, I noticed they were less defined, and that they drooped slightly’
Susan had her brows drawn in by Tracie in September 2008. ‘Friends asked if I’d had a facelift,’ she says. ‘Tracie redefined the top line of my brow, giving me back that arch, and making me look more wide-eyed.’
Because the colour fades with time, you’ll need to top up every 18 months. Will Susan be going back?
‘Definitely,’ she says. ‘Tracie gave me back the definition I’d lost.’
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