Managing the Unibrow

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Monday 11th October 2010
In this article
  • Why you?
  • Getting rid of the unwanted hair.
  • Tips and tools for shaping your eyebrows.
Managing the Unibrow

Got unibrow?

Having one eyebrow spanning the area over your eyes (instead of two distinct brows) can be an embarrassing problem. We live in a culture with very specific ideas of how much hair is "normal" and how much is unwanted and unattractive. And the hair in the middle of your brows is generally considered unattractive in today's culture. Want options? Check out these SharpGrooming tips:

Why You?

It's easy to look around and think you are the only one suffering from the unibrow problem. But as with most problems, you are never alone. Why some men have a unibrow and others don't stems from a couple of different reasons.

Heritage can play a large role in how much facial hair you have. Some genetic lines and ethnic heritage typically have more body and facial hair growth than others. Moreover, if your background has given you darker hair and lighter skin, body and facial hair will, of course, be more obvious to the eye.

Heredity also can't be ignored. Odds are against you if your father had a unibrow and strong facial hair growth. These things usually pass from generation to generation.

Getting Rid of the Unwanted Hair

Getting rid of that unwanted hair in between your eyebrows can be difficult. While some methods claim permanence, the results vary from person to person, and the method you choose will depend on the strength of your growth, what treatment you can afford and your willingness to maintain your eyebrows on a regular basis.

Tweezing or plucking. While hardly pleasurable, tweezing is often the best option for most SharpMen. You can do it in the privacy of your own home and can pluck away stray hairs as soon as they appear. With small metal tweezers, you literally pluck the hair from you face. The method is time consuming since you have to take away one hair at a time (more than one is extra painful), so this method may not be ideal for anyone with a very full unibrow.

You can also visit a beauty professional who will do the initial grunt work, shape your brows and leave you to maintain a more manageable amount of hair. Most aestheticians or cosmetologists who service women’s eyebrow shaping have male clients.

Waxing. Waxing involves spreading hot wax over the area targeted for hair removal, placing a strip of cloth over the wax, rubbing vigorously and then ripping the cloth — along with the wax and the hair — in one smooth stroke. This technique removes the hair and hair root, and is generally considered to be longer lasting than plucking (the roots take several weeks to re-establish themselves). While this is painful, the method takes only seconds and the sting disappears quickly.

While there are many home waxing kits that will allow you to wax your own unibrow, SharpMen are strongly advised to go to a professional beauty salon for this treatment. First-time home waxers have been known to hurt themselves or wax off more hair than they intended, with unattractive results. Waxing lasts a few weeks and then you will need to go back for another session.

As with plucking, most aestheticians and cosmetologists who service women also accept male clients.

Electrolysis. Electrolysis uses a small needle to pass an electric current into the root of the hair, in order to kill the root and permanently arrest the regrowth of the unibrow. Regardless of what you’ve seen on late-night infomercials, you’ll need to go to a professional or beauty salon for this one. Since each hair is treated individually, full effect generally requires several sessions. Moreover, each treatment can be relatively expensive.

Electrolysis is one of the methods of hair removal that claims to be permanent — and it is for many. Of course, as with anything, there’s a disclaimer on the back of the box: permanence is not guaranteed.

Laser treatment. This area of treatment is still relatively new and includes a number of variations. All claim to be permanent. The success and amount of treatment you require greatly depend on the strength of your hair growth, the fullness of your unibrow and (sometimes) the color of your hair. Most treatment courses are slightly more expensive than electrolysis.

One example of laser treatment, the Epilight method (http://www.epilight.net/), uses pulsed light to remove hair and impair hair growth. First, a cool gel and a hand-held treatment unit is applied to the skin. Then, in a flash, pulses of light penetrate the skin and disable the hair follicles. When the gel is removed, much of the hair is wiped off with it. The remaining hair in the treated area falls out within a week or two.

Another treatment involves a beam of light passing through the skin, to the hair follicle where it is absorbed. "The laser energy is transformed into heat, which can disable the follicle, leaving the surrounding skin unchanged." This method is called Gentlelase.

Each type of session usually lasts 20-60 minutes and you can find local dermatologists through your area's dermatology association or search the online Laser Treatment Doctor Referral database.

Does any of this hurt? In some cases, a lot. With some laser light treatments, the closer the technician is to the bone, the more pain the patient feels. Then of course, there’s the burning. Some laser hair removal lightly burns the skin surface in addition to the hair roots (which will scab over and be obvious, you realize). Ever had a "light" burn? They hurt, too, right?

Of course, when compared to the short treatment time and permanence, many SharpMen may decide that laser treatments are their best bets.

Tips and Tools for Shaping Your Eyebrows

Even if you regularly go to a beauty salon to have your unibrow removed, you will always need to do some maintenance at home. There will be stray hairs you'll want to get rid of. Alternatively, you may have decided that your unibrow is not full enough to necessitate a trip to the salon, or you may just have fuller brows than you'd like or stray hairs that are annoying you. Whatever your reason, you're in need of some tips for grooming and shaping your eyebrows.

Leave it to SharpGrooming to bring you some eyebrow shaping tips:

  • Get a good magnifying mirror. The Conair Deluxe Halo Lighted Mirror is the ultimate option with triple and regular magnification and a light to help you along.
  • Get a GREAT pair of tweezers. There’s nothing more annoying than a dull tweezer that lets go of little hairs — just when you thought you had them. Once you’ve got your great pair, sharpen or replace them often. Try it once and you’ll never go back. We recommend the Tweezerman line of tweezers. They’re made with a variety of grips and edge slats, but all are terrific and come with a guarantee and free re-sharpening.
  • Pluck just out of the shower. It is easier and less painful to tweeze hairs when you first get out of the shower. The steam and water will have opened your pores and loosened their grip on the hairs.
  • Map out your route. So where should you eyebrow begin and end? Hold a pencil or nail file against the end of your nose, straight up to your eyebrow. Your inner brow should begin where the pencil rests and end about half a centimeter past the outer corner of your eye. SharpMan Tip: If you’ve spent money on a professional, let him or her determine the "line" of your eyebrows, and then don’t pluck within that line. Avoid messing up something you’ve paid good money for!
  • Keep the eyebrows balanced. The last thing you want is for one eyebrow to be thinner or shorter than the other. So alternate plucking each brow every few hairs and watch the balance between the two. It's a good idea to mark exactly where you want to pluck before you begin, to avoid taking too much on one side. See SharpMan Tip above.
  • Don't over-pluck. Pluck slowly and take away only those stray hairs that are particularly obvious. See SharpMan Tip above.
  • Clean up. Wipe the area with an antiseptic wipe to clean and close pores when you are finished tweezing.
This article last updated on Wednesday 13th October 2010
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