Beauty trends come and go, but a great bold eyebrow is forever. Face-framing and statement-making, full brows are classic and—unlike the pencil-thin look of the ’90s—easier to maintain in your daily beauty routine. But you might have heard of a new take on the bold-brow look that’s been taking social media by storm: eyebrow lamination.
Brow lamination offers the illusion of fuller, fluffier brows through a three-step process that uses your natural eyebrow hair. Many have turned to this chemical procedure as an alternative to microblading, as it helps fill in sparse brows without any tattooing. Curious about brow lamination ourselves, we went ahead and got our brows laminated. You can watch our experience below. And if you want to learn more about this new brow trend, keep scrolling for a few things expert brow artists want you to know before you book an appointment!
About the Expert:
A semi-permanent treatment, brow lamination is essentially a perm for your brows. Sorella Waxing and Beauty Bar owner Eva Gonzalez points out that "brow lamination is a three-step process that relaxes the brow hair, giving us the ability to redirect the hair in an upward position, creating the illusion of a thicker brow shape." Your sparse natural brows will appear instantly fluffier after just one session.
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Like a perm or keratin treatment, brow lamination offers similar styling benefits for your brow hairs as it does for the hair on your head. "The hair is permed and set into a new position, resulting in a fuller brow," notes Stephanie Perez, New York's leading brow and lash artist.
While Gonzalez does note that "all hair types and face shapes can benefit from a lamination" and that "those with unruly brows will benefit most," there are some brow types that might not be right for this process. "You do need to have natural brow hair," Gonzalez notes. "So if your hairs are sparse, microblading or ombré shading might be a better option for you."
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Perez also notes that most brow types are able to achieve fuller brows with this process, though she stresses that those with "extremely thin or sparse brows" should avoid brow lamination because it's a chemical treatment. When you don't have enough hair, whether it be due to overplucking or hair loss, you won't notice a difference. In fact, it could end up doing more harm than good. This is why you should always consult with a brow artist before taking matters into your own hands.
Benefit Cosmetics’ global brow expert Jared Bailey says, “Brow lamination is good for almost anyone with brow hairs. Contrary to what people might think, this service has a major impact to all types of brows—from fine and sparse to thick, curly, or dense.“
Before the brow lamination process begins, Perez notes your "eyebrows must be outgrown for at least four to six weeks to achieve the best results." The more natural brow hairs you have to work with, the better the outcome. Gonzalez shares that "clients should avoid tweezing and waxing their brows, but most importantly, do not trim your brows at least four weeks before your brow lamination. Working with a blank canvas will give you the best results, as it allows your brow artist to fully customize your brow lamination to suit your face."
If your brow artist has determined you have enough hair for the process, it's time to get started. The three-step process is relatively fast too, only taking anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes. Gonzales notes that many of her "clients typically take a nap, as the process is very relaxing."
The first step in the brow lamination process utilizes a perm solution. "The solution is specially designed to be used on the brows," notes Gonzalez. "This is what will soften the hair, giving us the ability to redirect the hair into the new shape."
Next comes a fixing lotion "that strengthens the hair and helps keep them pliable." And the final step "is a regenerating cream that hydrates the hair and seals in your lamination results."
Once the chemical process is done, the brows are often trimmed and groomed with wax or tweezers to ensure they remain in their desired shape for as long as possible. If this sounds familiar, that may be because the process is somewhat similar to that of a lash lift.
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Aftercare plays a huge role in how long your brow lamination results will last. If you do everything right, you should expect the lamination to hold for four to six weeks. For the first 24 hours after the process, Gonzalez says to "avoid steam, water, makeup, and skincare products on your brows."
After your 24 hours are up, Perez recommends using a "deep conditioner daily and castor oil three weeks post lamination to promote new hair growth." Gonzalez suggests "you use a hydrating oil that contains vitamin E to hydrate the brow hairs. The hydrating oil should be used nightly for a minimum of seven weeks after your lamination" to keep your brows moisturized. Castor oil, avocado oil, and argan oil are all great options.
Bailey says you should avoid prescription retinoids for at least two weeks after getting a brow lamination treatment. He also suggests avoiding any medical-grade chemical peels and microblading for one month prior to your appointment. In addition, “We ask people to avoid any chemical treatments on their brows prior to lamination,” says Bailey. “Make sure it's been at least two weeks since your last brow tint and 6-8 weeks since your last brow lamination.”
Brow lamination can last anywhere from four to six weeks. “Slowly over the course of those 2 months your hair begins to regain its natural bend and curve,” says Bailey. Again, it will depend on how well you care for your brows post lamination, along with your hair's unique texture and thickness. Gonzalez shares the results can sometimes last up to seven weeks, though it all depends.
After the six-week period, you should get your brows relaminated to ensure they maintain their desired shape. Going too often could be damaging to both your actual eyebrow hairs and the delicate skin around your eyes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get other brow treatments, such as a brow tint or shaping, should the need arise in the meantime. Talk to your brow artist, since they'll know what to do.
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The cost for brow lamination varies depending on where you go and the brow artist doing the process. It can range from $75 to $250, though it's typically somewhere between $130 to $175. Be sure to call the salon or brow artist beforehand to get a more accurate estimate on the total brow lamination cost. And, as with all beauty treatments, check reviews, before-and-after photos, and credentials to make sure your brow artist is qualified before booking.
At Benefit Cosmetics locations, you can get your brows laminated for $80, which includes shaping the brows. If you bundle with a lash tint, you can save 15 percent and pay $98, says Bailey.
Officially, no. Both brow artists stress that this isn't a process just anyone can do. "To achieve a beautiful, healthy, and fluffy lamination, we need professional grade products that are only available to licensed professionals, which is why you should never attempt to laminate your own brows at home," urges Gonzalez. "Many at-home lamination products are too harsh and will likely make your brow hairs dry and brittle, causing gaps and hair loss in the brows." To avoid overprocessing, she stresses seeking a professional who knows how to correctly use the chemicals.
The good news is you can copy the style temporarily using a few handy brow products you might already have. "If you want to skip the visit to the salon, I recommend a brow soap like ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Brow Freeze or BENEFIT COSMETICS 24-Hour Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel," shares Gonzalez. "These are some of the many great brow gels out there that you can use when you want to achieve the at-home brow lamination look." Perez is also a big fan of the BROW CODE Lamination Kit.
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