Everyone knows what false eyelashes are, but what about false eyebrows?
Are they really a thing?
Not only are eyebrow wigs an actual product, but they’re also gaining traction a temporary and even ongoing way to get full, three-dimensional brows.
What are Eyebrow Wigs?
Eyebrow wigs (also called false, fake, lace, or stick-on eyebrows) are realistic eyebrow replicas made of hundreds of fibers (usually human hair) attached to an inconspicuous lace or gel base. The base is put on a person’s existing eyebrows or forehead with a special adhesive.
In many ways, eyebrow wigs are similar in concept and construction to wigs designed to be worn on the head. Of course, because of their small size eyebrow wigs are more delicate and need to be replaced more often.
Brow wigs come in many natural colors that can be chosen to closely match or contrast with your hair color, depending on your preference. A variety of shapes, lengths, and widths are available, with effects from natural to glamorous.
Origin of Eyebrow Wigs
History has recorded the use of false eyebrows over the centuries.
In modern times, they got their start in the medical context, replacing the lost brows of people living with alopecia (an autoimmune condition), trichotillomania, and the effects of chemotherapy to treat cancer. Brow wigs have been invaluable in supporting people going through these medical challenges.
Many individuals in the drag community were also early adopters of eyebrow wigs.
Lately, eyebrow wigs have been moving into the mainstream. In the fashion world and in popular culture there’s been an emphasis on eyebrows for the last few years. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ideal brows to withstand this attention. But just about anyone can get better-looking brows simply by wearing brow wigs.
Lately there’s been a huge surge of interest in false brows. For example, as of today (March 10, 2019), a YouTube search for “eyebrow wigs” resulted in a top video that’s had 3.4 million views and a second-place video with 1.4 million views.
How Do Eyebrow Wigs Work?
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding eyebrow wigs, but once you become familiar with them, you’ll see they’re very straightforward to use.
You’ll need the wig itself and a special adhesive formulated for eyebrow wigs. Also helpful are an eyebrow comb or brush, tweezers to help place the wig, and some kind of applicator for the adhesive.
The lace eyebrow should be chosen for its aesthetics (how well its appearance matches your preferences), and the adhesive should be chosen for its all-around strength. (One highly rated product is Cardani Eyelash Glue and Eyebrow Adhesive.)
Decide on whether you’ll shave off your natural brows (if any) before applying the eyebrow wigs. If you do shave your brows, allow a little time before applying the wigs in order to avoid any irritation from the adhesive. Most wigs can be worn either over your natural brows or on hairless skin.
There are a few advantages of applying the wigs to bare skin. One is that you may get a truer and longer-lasting bond on skin rather than hair. Another is that false eyebrows may feel uncomfortably hot if they’re worn over your natural brows. You may also be more aware of loss or slippage of a brow wig if you’re wearing it on your skin (versus over your existing brows)..
Whether worn on bare skin or eyebrows, the application process is similar:
You evenly distribute eyebrow adhesive to the brow wig, and then you carefully position the wig on your brow, starting at the inner side of the brow near your nose and moving outward toward your ears. You can use tweezers to avoid getting adhesive on your fingers.
You have a few moments before most adhesives set, and you can use this time to fine-tune the most flattering and strategic position. When satisfied, press lightly on the eyebrow wigs until the adhesive is set. Like anything else, you’ll get better at doing this with practice.
When it comes time to take off the brow wigs, start at the inner side of the brow near your nose and use an oil-based makeup remover on a cotton swab to gently coax it off. Then use an adhesive remover to take any traces of adhesive off your wig.
Frequently Asked Questions About Eyebrow Wigs
How long can I wear eyebrow wigs? It’s recommended that you remove the eyebrow wigs daily to clean them as directed by the manufacturer and to let your skin breathe. That said, some people wear eyebrow wigs for two or three consecutive days.
How long do eyebrow wigs last before I need to buy new ones? If properly taken care of, eyebrow wigs often look nice for several months of daily wear. The better care you take with them–avoiding exposure to excessive sweating, harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, improper cleaning, sleeping in them–the longer false eyebrows will last.
Are there eyebrow wigs for men? Men tend to have eyebrows that look quite different than women’s. So there are eyebrow wigs made especially for men that are thicker and less arched. These wigs are designed to look like men’s own natural eyebrows.
Are there eyebrow wigs for children and teens? Though few if any products are marketed specifically for young people, existing eyebrow wigs can be ordered that are as good a match as possible with the desired brow. For example, thinner, lighter brows might be a good match for a lot of kids. You can measure and even create a template of a brow perfect for the wearer. (This may seem time-consuming, but it would have to be done only one time, and copied thereafter.) Then, you can cut the wig to get a custom fit for the smaller face. To cut eyebrow wigs, focus on the backing. Bend it back slightly when cutting and allow uncut hairs to extend over the backing for a more natural look.
Can I wear makeup with eyebrow wigs? Yes. Lots of people successfully wear foundation under eyebrow wigs, but the foundation can decrease the strength of the adhesive bond. To get the best possible bond, it’s better to first apply foundation and then carefully remove a tiny area of foundation, exposing bare skin exactly where the brow wig will be placed. Besides foundation, some folks like to wear eyebrow pencil or powder over their false eyebrows. This can work well to enhance the brows, especially if care is taken to blend the color on and beyond the wig. A spoolie (mascara-type) brush does a good job of blending.
Can I get eyebrow wigs wet? Eyebrow wigs and good eyebrow adhesives are designed to resist sweating. Showering while wearing eyebrow wigs shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s not recommended to soak or submerge the false eyebrows while wearing them. Some people go into the water at a beach while wearing them, but it’s a good idea to avoid the harshness of chlorinated pool water.
How do I clean my eyebrow wigs? After removing any traces of adhesive with an eyebrow adhesive remover, gently swish around your eyebrow wigs in mild shampoo in a bowl of cool water. Rinse, pat dry, smooth brow hairs in their natural direction, and allow the wigs to air-dry on a flat surface.
What Are Benefits of Eyebrow Wigs?
When it comes to eyebrow enhancement, you have lots of choices. Permanent makeup (PMU), eyebrow transplants, eyebrow extensions, and regular makeup are just a few ways to create or emphasize brows. With the many options available to replace or enhance eyebrows, why would someone choose eyebrow wigs?
Complete coverage. A key advantage is that eyebrow wigs address total eyebrow loss. People facing this challenge often want a complete solution for replacement of their eyebrow hair. Unlike eyebrow extensions, which can be used only by people with some existing brow hair, eyebrow wigs can be used even by folks with complete brow loss.
Natural appearance. Eyebrow wigs are also a common choice of people who want a natural as opposed to a made-up look. Eyebrow wigs are woven with realistic individual fibers or actual human hair. They look three-dimensional because they are three-dimensional. While permanent makeup is a great choice for a lot of folks with extensive or total brow loss, results vary depending on an individual’s unique skin characteristics and a technician’s skill. PMU can look lifelike, but results can’t be guaranteed. To avoid the appearance of wearing makeup, some teens, men, and women who have never used cosmetics may feel more at ease with false eyebrows than with PMU
No commitment. Eyebrow wigs are also a good choice for people looking for a temporary solution. Eyebrow wigs can certainly be used as someone’s ongoing way of styling their brows, but they seem to be used often as a temporary solution due to health circumstances. Lace eyebrows are also convenient for special occasions when all-around more dramatic makeup is worn. Some people have multiple sets of eyebrow wigs, including some for everyday wear and some for more formal wear.
Low cost. Another benefit of eyebrow wigs is their cost. False eyebrows are available at a wide range of price points. Some are as low as $13 for a pair. A typical cost for a mid-range pair with a great reputation is about $50. With good care, they usually last for several months. Compare these costs with eyebrow transplant surgery ($4,000 to $8,000 USD) or micropigmented or microbladed brows (usually $350 to $800 and up, with ongoing yearly touch ups at $100 and up).
No risk. Eyebrow wigs are risk-free. Because wearing false eyebrows doesn’t involve breaking the skin, there’s no risk of infection or scarring. And, there’s no need to worry about the possibility of a bad result that’s difficult, risky, and expensive to revise.
A few disadvantages to eyebrow wigs include the daily upkeep and the possibility that one will fall off.
Time required. The daily maintenance is a real issue, but for many folks it may be an acceptable trade-off for the advantages eyebrow wigs offer. Experienced users might spend ten minutes a day or less using false eyebrows, but it takes practice to get to that point.
Possibility of eyebrow falling off. Getting a firm bond that will hold the lace eyebrow in place all day is essential to feeling confident. Each individual’s body chemistry is unique. Some people have great success in finding an adhesive that lasts well for them in just about any conditions. But some trial-and-error may be involved, requiring patience and commitment to the process.
The Bottom Line
Though anyone can enjoy wearing eyebrow wigs, people who’ve experienced complete or extensive hair loss from chemotherapy, trichotillomania, alopecia, or other medical conditions can find false eyebrows life-changing.
False eyebrows are ideal for people with enough time to apply them daily.
To get the most out of brow wigs, it’s best to be motivated to learn the art of applying them. There is a learning curve, but the skill is attainable by just about anyone determined to master it.
What Do You Think?
When did you first hear of eyebrow wigs? Have you ever worn them, or do you know someone who has? Let us know about it in the Comments section below.
Do you have any questions about eyebrow wigs? Be sure to let us know because a lot of people are probably wondering the same thing! Thanks for taking the time.
Here’s a 2017 Glamour magazine article that gives a quick overview of eyebrow wigs along with a video of a woman having them applied.
Here’s a 2017 Allure magazine article that describes the experience of the writer, a woman living with trichotillomania, as she tries out two different brands of eyebrow wigs.