This Salon Treatment Is The Secret To Getting Fuller Brows

the master combs the eyebrows of the client after lamination of the eyebrows
Everything You Need To Know About Brow LaminationMikhail Reshetnikov / EyeEm - Getty Images

There's a running list of eyebrow trends that we've seen come and go over the years—and it always seems to get longer. From overplucked skinny brows to microblading your brows to the latest—brow microshading—our preferences are constantly evolving. Brow lamination, in particular, has gained a ton of popularity on social media in recent years. It's an innovative treatment that uses chemicals to semi-permanently set the eyebrow hairs in a vertical direction, giving them a brushed up look.

Meet Our Experts: Ramy Gafni is the founder of RAMY Cosmetics. Caela Bulzing is a celebrity esthetician. Melanie Marris is a celebrity brow stylist and founder of Brow Code.

If you find that your eyebrow hairs just can’t stay in place throughout the day, have gaps, or aren’t fully recovered from the days you spent plucking them, brow lamination may help your eyebrows appear fuller. Brow lamination “glues” the hair in an upward position to give the brows a fuller appearance and to cover sparse areas, says Ramy Gafni of RAMY Cosmetics.

While this sounds great, it's like any beauty treatment: You need to know what the benefits, risks, and costs are before heading to your favorite aesthetician or brow expert.

What Is Brow Lamination?

Brow lamination is essentially a perm for the brows, explains celebrity esthetician, Caela Bulzing. “It’s an amazing treatment for those with stubborn hairs that grow down or won’t stay in the shape you prefer,” she adds. It temporarily straightens and lifts brow hairs, similar to how a lash lift works, except it focuses on your eyebrow hair and not your eyelashes.

People typically get this treatment for the appearance of sleek, brushed-up brows, and like microblading or tinting, it gives you the look of fuller, fluffier brows. The major benefit is that it'll last longer than any brow gel or pomade you’d use to create the effect at home.

What Happens During a Brow Lamination Appointment?

There are a couple of steps that go into brow lamination that you should know about before scheduling the procedure. Here's how it works.

Step 1: Whether you want to do a consult the days leading up to your actual appointment or the day of, speaking with your brow artist beforehand is key. "The brow artist should always begin by discussing your brow goals and examining your natural brow shape, thickness, and hair growth," says Melanie Marris, a celebrity brow stylist and founder of Brow Code. While it may be tempting to just jump into it, taking this extra step will ensure that you get the result you want. The artist might also take this time to do a patch test to make sure you're not allergic to the product.

Step 2: The artist will use an oil-free foaming cleanser to clean your brows and rinse them off with a damp cotton pad. "It's crucial that the brows are thoroughly dried and free of oils for the best lamination results," says Marris.

Step 3: A chemical solution is placed on the brows to soften the hair follicle so that it’s able to be reshaped in any direction. A second solution will be placed to hold that shape. By lifting the hairs on your brows, you create a fuller, more prominent brow and shape. It will also accentuate the arch of your brow and add structure to the whole face.

Step 4: Finally, your appointment should include a full service to shape and clean up your brows. “My ultimate brow lamination treatment also includes a wax or tweeze and tint to create a fuller, timeless look,” Bulzing shares. They may also add a conditioner to soothe the area.

While it’s ideal to have a licensed, trained professional to do this treatment for you, you can laminate your own brows at home–just be aware that it may lead to brow damage if not done properly.

What Are The Benefits of Brow Lamination?

Brow lamination is great for those who want to put less effort into maintaining their brows. “Typically those that have trouble shaping their brow at home love a good lamination and those with full, long hairs like that the lamination keeps their hair in place,” Bulzing explains.

It's also a great alternative to microblading, a semi-permanent tattoo in which strokes are created over your brows to mimic hair. Brow lamination uses only your existing hair follicles and does not color the brows. The results of the former can last well over a year, whereas brow lamination only lasts about 4-6 weeks, which may be ideal for those not wanting such a permanent change.

How Much Does Brow Lamination Cost?

This obviously depends on where you decide to get your treatment, but in general, you should expect to pay anywhere between $75-$120. Bulzing says that the average is $115 per session.

How Long Does Brow Lamination Last?

You’ll find that brow lamination can last anywhere between four and six weeks. On some occasions, your lamination may last up to eight weeks if you look after your brows extremely well. As weeks pass, you’ll notice the shape of your brow relaxing a little and losing the laminated effect, which is a sign that it’s time to go and get your brows re-laminated.

Gafni says that if you’re looking to do something new to your eyebrows that isn't permanent, brow lamination can be a good start.

The Potential Side Effects Of Brow Lamination

With your eyebrow hair being so delicate, brow lamination may cause breakage, and if the shape doesn't hold up for long, the lamination may look half done as it fades–which, Gafni shares, is not particularly a good look.

If you're concerned that it will cause long-term hair loss, just know that that shouldn't be the case if done correctly. "It's really important to do your research when it comes to discerning what professional products salons are using on your brows, and following the recommended steps and aftercare tips to keep your brows nice and healthy," says Marris.

While brow lamination is not invasive, many people may face a few side effects like swelling, redness, peeling, itching and bumps, which are all related to skin irritation caused by chemicals found in the solution used to create the laminating effect. These side effects can occur directly below and/or above the eyebrows and may even extend to your eyelids.

If you have sensitive skin, rosacea, eczema or a history of contact dermatitis, you may want to speak with a dermatologist or brow artist beforehand to discuss possible sensitivities or alternatives.

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