Love It or Lift It! Brow Lamination

Brow lamination is gaining traction internationally as a longer-lasting treatment for beautifying, emphasizing, and taming eyebrows.  If you haven’t heard of it, maybe that’s because eyebrow lamination goes by many other names, among them brow perm, brow lift, and brow sculpt.  Let’s take a look at this unique approach to getting great eyebrows.  It could be the best enhancement you never knew you needed!

What Is Eyebrow Lamination?

Like many other eyebrow trends, brow lamination is said to have originated in Russia. Once people started seeing pictures of these impeccably groomed, natural-looking brows, the treatment caught on in the U.K. and has more recently spread worldwide.

Brow lamination is a process that uses a chemical solution to restructure brow hairs and sculpt them in a new desired direction, greatly reducing the need for further styling for up to 8 weeks.  The goal of brow lamination is to give folks flawlessly groomed brows without all the time, effort, and products.

How Does Brow Lamination Work?

Whether you get your brow lift at a salon or do it yourself, you can expect a certain sequence of steps.  Your stylist or your DIY home brow kit may omit some of these steps or add others, but here’s an overview of what happens during your brow sculpting treatment:

  1. A patch test (recommended) may be done.
  2. A chemical straightening (activating) solution is applied.
  3. Brows are combed or otherwise styled into place.
  4. A plastic wrap (for example, Saran Wrap) may be applied over the brows to hold them in place while the straightening solution penetrates and restructures the eyebrow hairs.
  5. The straightening solution stays on the brows for about 7 minutes.
  6. The plastic wrap is removed and a setting solution is applied to the brows which stops the processing and sets the brows’ new texture and direction.  Brows may be combed into shape as the setting solution is applied. A few minutes later, eyebrows are washed.
  7. At this point, the lamination process is finished, and you may continue on with brow tinting or trimming if desired.  If you also want to remove brow hair (as in waxing or threading), it’s recommended to wait a few days after your brow lamination for any skin sensitivity to subside.
  8. You’re advised to avoid water, steam, and products for 24 hours after brow lamination to allow your brows to “cure” or set fully.

What Results Can I Expect with Brow Lamination?

Brow lamination can be thought of as similar to the better-known retexturizing treatments available for your hair, such as straightening, perming, or getting a Brazilian blowout.  (Note: Brow lamination treatments are formulated to be safe for use near the eyes, and products made for other hair shouldn’t be used on eyebrows.)  In the case of brow lamination, results can last up to 6 to 8 weeks.

Some of the visual results of brow perming include:

A brow that looks both groomed and natural at the same time.  You get a more controlled look because your brows have been chemically structured into a new texture and direction.  At the same time, the brows look natural because they’re your own hair (unlike other options such as microblading or eyebrow wigs).

A brow that can have either a feathery, tailored, or natural look.  Feathery brows are sometimes also achieved by brushing soap through your brows with a spoolie, but with brow lamination, little or no daily grooming is necessary. If feathery brows aren’t your favorite look, you can comb laminated brows to appear tailored or natural.  Your style can be changed from one day to another. 

A brow that seems fuller, shinier, and more defined.  Smoothing the brows upward extends the hair over skin and creates a fuller looking brow.  Shine and definition can be enhanced when all hairs are lying in the same direction.

An “instant brow lift.”  Brow lamination can in some cases create an illusion of a surgical lift or botox treatment.  Skillful lamination can give the appearance of a youthful, gently raised brow area, “waking up” the eyes and the upper face.

A brow that can mimic the look of microblading or gel (because brows are more uniform, defined, and controlled).

How Do I Maintain My Laminated Brows?

You probably already avoid using harsh products around your eyes.  If not, try to be mindful of the products you use after your brow lift.  Think of your brow lamination as you would any chemical treatment to your hair, such as coloring, straightening, or perming.  Treated hair needs extra TLC.

What Are the Advantages of Getting Sculpted Brows?

With brow lamination, you’re reshaping your eyebrows from the root, taming even the most unruly, downward-growing brows that have been resistant to other treatments.

People also find the time needed to apply brow makeup and products is eliminated or greatly reduced, thus simplifying your routine.

Another popular benefit is lamination being less invasive, painful, and permanent than microblading.

And, brow sculpting is easy to grow out if you don’t like it (unlike microblading).

What Are Some of the Drawbacks?

Some folks have noticed that the benefits of brow lamination aren’t as dramatic for thin, sparse brows as they are for medium-to-thick brows.

Another issue is the overall moderate upkeep.  Although your everyday attention to your brows is minimal, you do need to repeat the lamination process every 6 to 8 weeks.

Also good to consider is the possibility your brows will take a few days to get used to.  At first you might be surprised by the added volume and fullness.  But as you get used to this, as the brows settle a bit, and as you learn to comb your brows the way you like them, you’ll probably forget your brows were ever different.

Finally, lamination may be a little damaging to your brow hairs, especially if combined with another chemical service such as tinting.  The possibility of damage may be reduced by not repeating lamination and tinting more often than recommended and by conditioning brows regularly.  Castor oil is often suggested to support brow health and appearance

What’s My Investment of Time and Money?

A common price point in the UK at brow bars seems to be about 42 pounds ($55 US).  In the US, a professional service of laminating and tinting may set you back $175 to $250.  The length of time for a treatment varies from 30 to 90 minutes.

If you choose to do the procedure at home, you can expect to invest time in researching products and sellers and carefully reading kit instructions before you begin the DIY brow lamination.  Safety is a must with any products used near the eyes!  DIY kits are available online for $25 and up.

What Do You Think?

If I’ve forgotten to mention anything you’re curious about, please leave your question in the Comments section below.  I’ll be sure to reply.

I’d also love to hear from you if you’ve ever had brow lamination/perming/sculpting.  What was it like for you?  Would you do it again?

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