Eyebrows are often an afterthought in a man’s grooming routine. The beard, mustache, and hairstyle take precedence while the importance of eyebrows sometimes gets ignored.
But your eyebrows are among your face’s most important features and making them look their best will enhance your overall appearance. A sloppy, unkempt set of ‘brows never looks good, which is why we’ll devote this space to how to groom men’s eyebrows.
We’ll discuss the various methods for eyebrow trimming, how to choose the right eyebrow shape for your face, and look at some ways you can make your eyebrows thicker.
How to trim your eyebrows in 7 easy-to-follow steps
Some of you may remember Andy Rooney, the television writer and commentator who rose to fame thanks to his weekly appearances on the 60 Minutes news program several decades ago. If you don’t remember him for his witty, frequently cynical views of modern society, you probably remember him for his eyebrows.
To say Rooney’s ‘brows were bushy and overgrown is a vast understatement. Birds could’ve nested in them had they wished. They protruded above his eyes like well-worn strips of a Brillo pad.
Rooney’s eyebrows became part of his persona, not unlike Superman and his cape. And why that’s all well and good, we don’t think most men would dare leave the house with mega-brows such as Andy’s.
So, unless you want to be like Rooney, here are some steps and tips for keeping your eyebrows trimmed and the nesting birds at bay.
1. Trimming your eyebrows should be part of your regular grooming routine
Keeping your eyebrows trimmed and looking their best should be a priority. Make ‘brow grooming part of your routine to keep them in check and nicely shaped.
However, you don’t want to trim them too much or alter their natural shape. That’s why it’s crucial to know the tools and techniques you’ll need.
It’s also important to get to know your eyebrows, i.e., their shape, how far they stretch across the bridge of the nose, their general thickness, etc.
2. The general rules of the road for shaping your eyebrows
Here are four things to keep in mind for keeping your eyebrows well-trimmed:
- The two should look the same
Symmetry is important for men’s eyebrow grooming. Each eyebrow should be a mirror image of the other.
- Keep them apart
The uni-brow look is, well, not a great way to rock your appearance. You want two brows, not one, so make sure there’s visible skin between them.
- Wider than tall
Don’t let your eyebrows become too “tall.” They should arch over your eyes, as if framing them, and you’ll achieve this look if they’re more wide than tall. That true for all men’s eyebrow shapes.
- Uniform length
Make sure that the eyebrow hairs are of the same length, if possible. Don’t let them become too long but don’t trim them too short, either.
3. Choosing your eyebrow trimming option
There are several methods for how to shape men’s eyebrows, all of which we’ll discuss next. Which one you choose depends on several factors, such as your tolerance for discomfort, how long you want the results to last, how much money you want to spend – and more.
Be wary of shaving your eyebrows, however. Shaving them as you’d shave your beard will leave your eyebrow hairs with rough, blunt ends, and you risk shaving off too much hair.
Let’s move on to the various methods for how to trim eyebrows.
4. Eyebrow tweezing
For many men, basic eyebrow tweezing – in which you pluck individual hair from your ‘brows with a tweezer – is sufficient for keeping things trim and neat.
Among the many advantages of eyebrow tweezing is that it involves removing one hair at a time. That makes it fairly simple to maintain the shape and appearance you prefer. Moreover, because it only requires a pair of tweezers, it’s an inexpensive option when compared to others.
On the downside, tweezing can take time and it’s not all that comfortable, if not a bit painful at times.
But, if you need only to remove minimal hair, particularly the stray follicles that stand out from the rest of the ‘brow, then tweezing is a good option.
Some rules for how to pluck your eyebrows include:
- Start from the bottom – Tweeze from the bottom of your eyebrows up so that you don’t alter their natural shape.
- Use the right tools – Always use a high-quality pair of tweezers, such as Mayki’s Professional Tweezers, or even a precision eyebrow trimmer – such as this one made by Wahl.
- Comb first – Use a comb or your fingers to stroke the eyebrow hair upwards to that the stray hairs stand out from all the rest. That makes it easier to identify those that need plucking.
- Unibrow prevention – Plucking is a great way to get rid of any hair that may grow between the brows and, if left unguarded, will form a never-desirable unibrow.
5. Trimming with scissors or a trimmer
An eyebrow trimmer, such as the one we just mentioned, is an excellent tool for reducing stray hair and excess thickness. Many of the best mustache and beard trimmers are good for trimming eyebrows, and may even include an attachment designed for the job.
Trimmers work best for controlling the depth of your eyebrows, although they’re not as good for shaping their outline.
You can also buy scissors dedicated to the task of trimming eyebrows, such as Tweezerman’s Brow Shaping Scissors, and they work well for snipping the stray, scraggly hairs that grow apart from the rest.
Before you trim, take a hot shower or apply a hot, wet washcloth to your eyebrows to loosen and soften the hair and open up skin pores. Next, use a fine-tooth comb to comb your eyebrow hair upward. You can also use the comb to hold stray hairs in place before you trim them.
Start trimming from the outside end of your eyebrows and cut the longer hairs along the top line of each. Once you’ve finished, comb the hair straight down while checking for longer hairs that point toward your eyelids. Trim those hairs until they line up with the rest of the bottom of the eyebrow.
6. Eyebrow Waxing
While waxing may not be for the faint of heart, it’s a standard – and effective – method for hair removal. It’s also useful for grooming eyebrows.
Waxing involves layering a strip of wax over the affected area of hair growth and stripping it off quickly in the opposite direction. The strip may be heated and the wax soft or hard, and you can sometimes use it more than once per area.
Cold wax, which is taken directly from the container and applied to the skin, is another option, although it’s not as easy to get a thin layer as it is with heated wax. Some people find cold wax to be more painful, as well.
Which leads us to the white elephant standing in the middle of the room; yes, waxing is often painful fellas, just as you’d expect from a process in which a strip of wax is ripped from the skin as it pulls hair out from its roots.
On the other hand, women frequently use waxing as a hair-removal technique and, hey, they can handle the pain. Why not men, too?
All cringing aside, waxing has its advantages. It pulls out multiple hairs at a time and usually provides clean, neatly-defined, results that last a long time. You may not need to repeat the process for a couple of months, depending on your natural hair growth.
Waxing is particularly effective for men who have an abundance of eyebrow hair, including a lot of growth between the ‘brows. Indeed, you can easily wax away your worries of developing a uni-brow.
You can even buy home-waxing kits, which many use, but keep in mind that refining your waxing technique may take time, and errors may be evident for all to see. Instead, you invest your time and money in the services of a professional technician.
7. Eyebrow threading
Threading is another option for removing eyebrow hair. Its origins trace to the Middle East and South Asia and its techniques involve a relatively simple process.
The traditional method of threading, which remains popular today, uses twisted cotton threads that catch and pull out hair in a smooth line. It allows for more control than waxing, and some say it’s less painful – although pain is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak.
Threading’s precision is a definite plus because, unlike waxing, you can target individual hairs without damaging the skin around it.
Keep in mind that threading isn’t a DIY project. You’ll need to seek the services of a professional if you want the best results. Prices and results may vary from technician to technician, so it pays to do your research before you set up an appointment.
Some final thoughts on eyebrow grooming
No matter what eyebrow grooming technique you choose – plucking, waxing, threading, trimming – you always want to be careful not to overdo it. Start slow and avoid taking too much off. Remember, you can always trim more hair if your ‘brows are still a bit long and bushy, but you can’t put it back.
Another crucial step is identifying where your eyebrows begin and where they end. You don’t want your eyebrows to be too close together or too far apart; instead, make sure that they start proportionally to the bridge of your nose. Your eyebrows should end, generally speaking, at the outside corner of your eye.
As you age, your eyebrows require more care to keep them looking their best. Eyebrows tend to get bushier as we age and, unless you want them to become bird’s nest or a place to plant a garden, you’ll want to be diligent about keeping them trimmed.
It’s also OK to leave a few gray hairs in your ‘brows. Plucking too many of them can leave things looking a bit sparse. Besides, some gray hair can give you a distinctive look. The bottom line is that your eyebrows should match the color of your hair.
Choosing the best eyebrow shape
Not all eyebrow shapes fit work for every man and it comes down to face shape. We’ve talked at length in previous articles about the importance of face shape and choosing the proper beard and hairstyle and similar rules apply to eyebrows.
Here’s a look at four basic face shapes and the eyebrow styles that suit them best:
Men with oval faces – which are very common – have a chin that’s narrower than the forehead. An oval face has balanced proportions and usually features high cheekbones.
Flat eyebrows look good on oval faces, and the straighter you keep them the better because it makes your face look rounder and more balanced.
A round face shape features full cheeks and very few angles, if any, and usually has the same length and width.
If you have a round face, go for an eyebrow shape that features angles, because it will balance out the roundness of your face and make your eyes stand out. Soft, angular eyebrow shapes work best.
A square face has strong jawlines, a square chin, and a broad forehead. The width and length of the face are proportional.
Rounder eyebrows suit men with square faces because they help to balance the overall shape. To achieve a round shape, keep your eyebrows in line with your frontal bone while tapering them slightly at their ends.
Be careful not to give your eyebrows too sharp of a round shape, however, because that’s a look best suited for women.
A heart face features wide cheekbones and a broad forehead that narrows to a small chin. You can do a couple of things with your eyebrows if you have a heart face: you can trim them so that they have softer curves and smooth lines, or add a slight bend to them. But don’t make the arches too high.
8 ways to make your eyebrows thicker
Many men feel that thicker eyebrows give them a more masculine, rugged look. While bushy eyebrows come naturally to some men, others need to put in a little effort to make their’s thicker. The good news is that they’re not that difficult to achieve.
Here are some tips for “bulking” up your ‘brows.
1. Avoid hair removal
OK, makes perfect sense right? If you want thicker, bushier eyebrows, then you should avoid any method of hair removal, whether it’s waxing, plucking, or tweezing. Not necessarily forever, mind you, but not until you’ve let your eyebrows grow out to their fullest – which may take a month or more.
Only after a month, or however long it takes, should you snip away stray hairs that make your eyebrows look out of shape. Use scissors to trim the strays but don’t remove them by their roots. The goal is to allow the hair to keep growing while trimming only for shape.
2. Castor oil
Castor oil is a versatile product used to treat a variety of issues, including hair loss. It contains the necessary vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins that enhance hair growth and increase thickness.
To apply it, dip a cotton swab in castor oil and massage the oil into your ‘brows for a couple of minutes each day. You should notice positive results within a month.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is another natural remedy for treating thin eyebrows and, not to mention, sparse beards. It contains vitamins E and K, among other ingredients, as well as iron.
You can apply coconut oil to your eyebrows with the same method you use to apply castor oil: soak a cotton swab or Q-tip in the oil and then gently apply it to your eyebrows. You can apply it at bedtime and leave it on overnight before washing it off in the morning.
You should apply it at least three times a week or, for best results, daily.
4. Olive oil
Add olive oil to the list of natural remedies for thickening eyebrows. Olive oil is high in antioxidants and helps to protect hair from cell damage, and it even helps to make hair darker.
You can apply olive oil to your eyebrows with your fingers or use a cotton swab or Q-tip and massage it in for two to four minutes. Apply it daily for best results.
5. Vitamin E oil
Like the coconut, castor, and olive oil, vitamin E oil contains antioxidants that prevent damage to hair follicles that leads to hair loss. You can extract the oil manually by piercing a vitamin E capsule and then massage it into your eyebrows. Use it daily, preferably at bedtime (and leave it in overnight).
6. Lemon juice
The vitamin C found in lemon juice strengthens the hair and also removes excess oils which, in turn, helps enhance the flow of oxygen to your follicles.
Rub the lemon juice on your eyebrows for two to three minutes – be careful not to get any in your eyes – and then rinse it out with warm water.
7. Onion juice
Onion juice, particularly the juice of red onions, is rich in sulfur that helps to promote hair growth. The bad news is that it has a strong smell, but you can dilute it with lemon juice, water, or coconut and olive oil.
Apply the onion juice to your eyebrows with a cotton swab and let it sit for an hour before washing it off. You can use lemon juice to wipe it off if the odor is too strong.
Men who suffer from hair loss may have – and even should have – tried hair growth products such as Rogaine (minoxidil) to treat the issue, often with good results.
Recent studies show that Rogaine may even generate eyebrow hair growth. While age is a factor for reducing the thickness of eyebrow hair, some men have health conditions such as hypothyroidism and hypotrichosis (sparse or thinning eyebrows) that make it difficult to achieve the bushy ‘brow look.
One study compared Rogaine with a placebo to see if it helped enhance eyebrow growth over four months. Researchers determined that, at the end of the study, participants who used Rogaine saw better results overall.
Finally, a hair transplant is another option, albeit an expensive one. Hair follicles removed from the back of the head are transplanted into the eyebrows in a pattern that makes them look normal and natural.
The most effective men’s grooming routines involve an all-encompassing approach that address all parts of the body – and the eyebrows are no exception. A well-trimmed and shaped set of eyebrows enhances a man’s overall appearance and shows a commitment to the best grooming practices.
If you’re willing to make that commitment, you’ll have a choice of eyebrow grooming options, which we detail above. We hope this guide helps.
As always, we’d like to hear from you. Do you maintain an eyebrow-grooming routine? If so, what does it entail? We welcome your feedback.