Updated: Oct 4, 2020
Eyebrow lamination isn’t referencing the shiny syllabus your old highschool teacher used to pass out. No this is instead about the new trend that has recently made its way westward. Originating in Russia this method involves slicking up the eyebrows in a vertical direction and completing it with a high shine finish. This innovative technique, which is essentially a semipermanent soap brow, has been booming with popularity.
Brow lamination "takes your unruly or thinning brow hair and smoothes it out while also lifting the hair in a more vertical direction," says Amber Harrison, a brow expert and the owner of Brow Envy Ohio, which has salons in Cincinnati and Columbus. "The end result is super smooth brows that look like you have brow gel on them."
No matter what your brow concern is — gaps, thinning, overplucking, unruliness — brow lamination is an amazing solution and a great microblading alternative.
"It can give people the brows they have always wanted in less than an hour," Harrison adds. "It hides small gaps and gives the illusion of major hair growth. Most of my clients are 30s to 50s and have lost a lot of their brow hair, either through the natural aging process, illness, or just overwaxing. This is a noninvasive, temporary, but impactful way to fix their brows in an affordable way."
Brow experts in England, in particular, can't get enough of the dramatic results it creates. This comes as no surprise to me because brow lamination can quickly give you the arches of your favorite British celebrity, including, but not limited to, Cara Delevigne, Emilia Clarke, and Lucy Boynton — no matter what state your brows are in. Also, if you scroll through the 20,000-plus posts with the hashtag #browlamination, most originate from the city, and Leigh Blackwell, founder of the London Brow Company, is one of the pioneers of the treatment.
"It is the first time we have been able to re-create a client's brow without the need of needles or semi-permanent makeup," she explains to Allure. "With brow lamination, you can raise a client's arch, extend their tails, give them a fuller brow by lifting the brow hair or give them a messy, fluffy brow."
What is the brow lamination process like?
Brow lamination is basically a perm for your brows, as it gives them a set, uniform shape for an extended period of time. Instead of curls, a setting lotion helps brow hair stay brushed up and lifted upward for about six weeks. If you're lucky, "you can wake up [every morning] with bolder, fuller brows in a beautiful shape for up to two months," says Claudia Odey, a brow expert based in Bristol, England, who teaches brow lamination courses.
The actual process starts off by painting a lifting cream onto the brow, which "creates a chemical process that breaks down bonds in each hair, allowing them to be moved into a new shape," Odey explains. Next, the brow hairs are brushed up into place and a neutralizer is applied to "reform the bonds into their new shape," she adds. Then a nourishing oil is added to the brows to replenish their moisture after the chemical treatment process.
From there, the brows may be tweezed, waxed, or tinted, depending on the look you're going for, Blackwell adds. As for price, brow lamination costs £40 to £50 (about $50 to $60) in England, Odey notes.
Although you can expect your laminated brows to last up to two months, you can prolong the look with a clear brow wax, like the Iconic London Brow Silk. Because the trend is just starting to make its way to the U.S., the wax will also help you fake the look if you don't have access to a salon near you that offers the treatment.
Are there any downsides of Brow Lamination?
As amazing as brow lamination may sound, Shari Marchbein, a New York City dermatologist, has some words of warning. First and foremost, she's concerned about the eyelid skin itself, as it's the thinnest, most delicate of the body. "Therefore it requires special care and attention from the skin-care products that we use," she tells Allure. "It is especially prone to irritation, so harsh chemicals from this brow lamination could cause eczema, which is characterized by red, dry, itchy, and inflamed skin."
Another concern she brings up is the possibility of getting these caustic chemicals in contact with the eye itself, which could cause "potentially irreversible damage," she adds. Both of these worries are why brow tinting is frowned upon by experts and the FDA. Of course, people in the U.S. still continue to keep getting their arches tinted, so if you choose to proceed with the treatment, please do so with caution.
Marchbein also notes how brow lamination could harm your brow hairs themselves. "Just as overprocessing the hair on your scalp with chemicals and bleach can cause breakage, dryness, and even loss of hairs, the same holds true for eyebrow hairs," she points out. "Perms (at least those for the scalp) use a chemical called ammonium thioglycolate to break bonds in the hair, thereby changing the structure and texture of the hair. This is unnecessarily damaging to the delicate hairs."
With this in mind, conditioning and nourishing the brows afterward with an oil and moisturizing cream in the same way we do so with our hair after chemically treating it is essential, says Sarah Robinson, one of the founders of the Brow Atelier, which helps educate other brow experts on the treatment. Although the overall results give you a low-maintenance look, just be sure to keep the health of your brows (and eyes) in mind.
How can I learn Brow Lamination?
We thought you would never ask! With the recent migration west this service is rising in popularity but still new to the market. Our school helps teach you how to properly laminate brows while also teaching you how to market, find and land new clients to start making money ASAP! We offer classes online and nationwide. Just give us a call or go online to learn how you can secure your spot!
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