TikTok’s new straight brow trend could ruin your eyebrows forever, warns expert

Love them or hate them, skinny brows are one of those trends that keeps coming back. The 90s nemesis of the bushy brow look picked up the pace last year thanks to nostalgia over Baywatch-era Pammy, and now 2023 has added its own spin: the straight skinny.

As the name suggests, the trend involves creating a straighter shape to the outer half of the eyebrow. Fans of the straight brow claim it gives the entire face a lifted appearance, no surgery required. It's already got over 2.4 billion views on TikTok with celebrities like Julia Fox and Bella Hadid rocking the trend,

But – and you knew there was going to be a but – it might just have consequences you never anticipated. Since eyebrows don’t exactly grow in this shape on their own, the look is achieved by either shaving or plucking away at the natural arch. And as many over-plucked 90s gals know to their cost, what comes out doesn’t always come back.

“By removing eyebrow hair through plucking or waxing you are damaging the follicle,” warns Dr Greg Vida, senior hair reconstruction surgeon at Harley Street Hair Clinic. “It is important to consider this when attempting to follow any kind of eyebrow trend and understand the risk that your eyebrow hair may not grow back after over-plucking, or may grow back sparsely."

A safer option, he says, is to shave your eyebrows. “The follicle remains untouched under the skin. Therefore, if you are attempting an eyebrow trend your hair will grow back quicker if shaven. However, it can still take up to three or four months to achieve full regrowth due to a variety of factors, including genetics, and vitamin and mineral intake.”

It’s also important to remember that just because a brow is trending, it might not translate to your face. “Everyone’s eyebrows are unique,” notes Dr Vida. “It is important to acknowledge this before trying any eyebrow trend as a certain shape will look different depending on your bone structure, the shape and size of your eyes, and the distance between them.

Straight brows certainly don’t suit everyone, warns TikTok creator @clownshoess who has shared her regrets over the trend she first tried back in 2019. “I think it’s really easy to get carried away… I feel I just look angry in every picture from this time period,” she laments before flashing up a snap of Star Trek’s Mr Spock. “That’s what I looked like,” she admits.

Rather than doing anything you might regret, perhaps the safest option is to try the straight brow filter and just fake it with make-up.

If it’s too late and you ARE suffering from sparse brows, whether from overplucking or other factors such as alopecia, it’s possible to get them reconstructed, says Dr Vida who offers eyebrow transplants atHarley Street Hair Clinic“Reconstruction can create a natural-looking eyebrow for those with thinning or damaged eyebrows or those with no hair at all,” he explains.

“The treatment uses a follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant technique. This entails a surgeon taking donor hair from the scalp and extracting the single follicular units and transplanting them under a microscope to the eyebrows to achieve a fuller brow.

“The procedure is extremely delicate and uses a specialist extraction tool to remove single grafts of hair which are then prepared under a microscope in preparation for the transplant. The donor hair is then placed into the browline in a certain density and angle to mimic natural growth.”

While there are no scalpels or stitches involved and regrowth results are permanent, it’s a highly specialist process that will set you back between £2,500 to £6,000 and takes 10 months for optimum effects. Perhaps the best advice is to just work with what nature gave you…


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