Eyebrow lamination sounds a bit odd (borderline scary) but actually it's a gentle and useful treatment that can help you fake fuller-looking brows for months at a time. And while some may associate laminated brows with outrageously fluffy looks on the Instagram generation, this is fast becoming a favored beauty solution for grown-up women.
Why? Because eyebrow lamination is a subtle beauty tweak that saves you time and effort. Even if you didn't succumb to the thin arch trend of the '90s, your brow hairs may have become sparse over time. If that is the case, even the best eyebrow gels or eyebrow tinting at home can feel like a constant effort. And a treatment that create a beautiful eyebrow shape without daily grooming could be a welcome relief.
“I’ve seen incredible results from skeptics who have been put off lamination because they think it will look ‘too much'," agrees HD Brows' Brow Stylist, Jamie Long. "What people don’t know is that it can also work as a corrective treatment, which can realign brow hairs into your desired position, making them easier to manipulate. I’ve not had a single nervous client ever regret it." Intrigued? We've spoken to the experts and gathered all the facts to find out if eyebrow lamination is right for you.
9 eyebrow lamination FAQs, answered
1. What is eyebrow lamination?
"Eyebrow lamination, also called brow sculpt or brow lift, is essentially a perm for your hairs, which can create a fuller more defined style," explains brow expert Samantha Trace. That doesn't mean you'll leave the salon with curly eyebrows. In fact, this treatment actually does the opposite, as Leigh Blackwell of The London Brow Company explains.
"Brow lamination involves straightening and lifting the hairs using a chemical solution, which allows the hairs to move into your desired shape, therefore covering any gaps or stray areas," says Leigh. And the best bit? "Eyebrow lamination can be adjusted to personal preference," says Samantha. "We can create a full and fluffy brow or a sleek and straight brushed up look, depending on what the client wants."
2. What do laminated brows look like?
Laminated eyebrows look straighter, thicker, and fluffier all at the same time, and are customizable depending on your natural brow shape and the look you want to achieve. This makes it an excellent option for anyone struggling with how to fix uneven eyebrows at home.
“Be sure to let your stylist know what look you want to achieve in your consultation, they will have heard of every brow trend out there," advises Jamie. "A good tip is to go to your appointment with some inspo photos and your HD Brow stylist will talk you through exactly what you can expect." What eyebrow lamination can't do is fill in gaps, so if you have very sparse patches either makeup, or a semi-permanent solution such as having your eyebrows microbladed might be a better idea.
3. How long does brow lamination take?
The eyebrow lamination treatment should take between 45 to 60 minutes for the entire appointment depending on your hair type. This can also be combined with eyebrow tinting and threading if desired, which is usually optional and costs a little more (around £10 or $10-$20). The treatment can also be performed at the same time as a lash lift for maximum efficiency.
4. What happens during the appointment?
This varies depending on your desired look and eyebrow shape, but usually follows this protocol:
- Your technician will map out a shape and style to suit your brow and face shape.
- A straightening solution is applied to the brows to soften the hairs and relax cuticles.
- Your eyebrow hairs are then brushed upwards in a uniform direction.
- The straightening solution is removed and a fixing (neutralizing) solution is applied.
- The fixing solution is removed. Most people also then have a shape and tint too.
- To finish a moisturizing cream or serum is applied.
Your technician can advise on specific aftercare, but as a general rule, it is essential you do not get your brows wet for 24 hours after eyebrow lamination. So no showering, exercising, or anything else that would build up a sweat, but daily brushing of your brows is encouraged.
5. How long does eyebrow lamination last?
"Results can last for up to 12 weeks, so it really is brilliant brow investment," says Leigh. Generally, the eyebrow lamination will begin to grow out with the natural growth cycle of your brows, which for most people begins around six to eight weeks. If you like the effect you will need to repeat the treatment every few months to keep it looking its best.
6. Is eyebrow lamination bad for your brows?
Just like when you perm your hair or have a length, volume and lift (LVL) treatment on your lashes, brow lamination disrupts the hair bond and softens the hair cuticle, which is what enables the hair to be manipulated into a new shape.
This process could create weakness and damage to your follicles over time, which is why it is essential to combat this by applying a nourishing product to strengthen the brows after the lamination process. If you repeat the treatment too often, or sooner than six weeks, you increase the risk of damaging your eyebrows.
7. Is brow lamination safe and does it hurt?
"It's totally safe," says Leisa Roberts, founder of Brow HQ. "A patch test should be done beforehand to ensure you are not allergic to any of the solutions and ingredients. It is also important to make sure you have your treatment carried out by a qualified technician."
Unless you experience a rare side effect from the chemicals used (these can include swelling, redness, peeling, itching, and bumps) You shouldn't feel any discomfort at all. "There is no pain at all," says Samantha. "The process is relaxing, you shouldn't experience any irritation during the treatment. It's quite therapeutic having your eyebrows brushed."
8. Does brow lamination work on thin brows?
"Yes," says a spokesperson for beauty service Blow Ltd, "eyebrow Lamination can work well on sparse brows as the hair can be directed to cover gaps in brows and make existing hairs appear fuller. It won't make your brows fuller, but it will define them and create the illusion of a fuller brow."
9. How much does brow lamination cost?
Like any beauty treatment, the price depends on where you go. From our research, we found it cost between £40 and £85 per session in the UK, and around $50 to $100 in the US. Compared to other treatments, like having your eyebrows microbladed, lamination is very affordable. This is because the process is quicker and far less invasive.
If you are going to try lamination in a salon it's important to choose a licensed professional with the relevant experience. You can use sites like Treatwellin the UK and Booksy in the US to find well-reviewed individuals in your area:
- Find brow lamination technicians in the UK via Treatwell
- Find brow lamination technicians in the US via Booksy
How to achieve a DIY brow lamination effect
Perming of any sort should not be attempted at home, especially when you are dealing with the eye area – always visit a technician with expertise and knowledge of safety procedures. However, if you are not sure you want to commit to the treatment, you can achieve a fluffy, fixed-in-place eyebrow lamination effect at home with Eylure make-up artist Sara Sordillo's tips:
- "Using a cotton pad and micellar water clean your brows. This is important as oil from products can break down the glue.
- Apply a small amount of lash glue on a spoolie (Sara recommends Eylure Brush & Wand Duo) You want to ensure that it is evenly spread.
- Brush your brow hairs down. This is to help your brows stay in place all day as the underside of the brows will stick better after step four.
- Apply a small amount of lash glue, again to the wand and this time brush your brow hairs upwards.
- Once the hairs are brushed up run the spoolie along the top line of hair to create the shape to your brows.
- Use the middle of the Brush & Wand duo to flatten the hairs that don’t lay flat.
- Let the product set and you now have amazing laminated brows. If you need to fill in any gaps or sparse areas do this once the product has dried."
Our beauty editor recommends...
Eylure 18-Hour Lash Glue | RRP: $6.54/£5.50
This strong yet removable glue is of course designed to work with the best false eyelashes, but also gives brushed-up brows serious staying power and a laminated effect.
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As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.
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