Eyebrow lamination—13 things to know before perming your brows

Eyebrow lamination is the hottest new eyebrow trend to emerge

Brushed up eyebrows with eyebrow lamination
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even the best tweezers and the best eyebrow pencils can't fix an overly plucked arch. But what if you could perm your eyebrows to fake a fuller-looking brow? Well, actually, you can. Enter eyebrow lamination, a relatively new and non-invasive beauty treatment that can help give the illusion of a thicker line. Hello, perfect eyebrows!

Not just an Instagram trend for millennials and gen Z, this brow hair straightening treatment is fast becoming the new favored beauty appointment for women in their 40s and 50s. 

Even if you didn't succumb to the thin arch trend of the nineties, your hairs might have started to become sparse as you've aged or because of stress or illness. If that is the case, even the best eyebrow makeup or eyebrow tinting at home might not cut it. And a treatment that helps create a beautiful eyebrow shape without the daily drawing on of your brows could be a welcome relief.

Intrigued? We outline the facts and things you need to know so you can work out if eyebrow lamination is for you.

1. What is eyebrow lamination?

"Brow Lamination, also called brow sculpt or brow lift, is essentially a perm for your hairs, which can create a fuller more defined style", says brow expert Samantha Trace.  

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. Struggling to visualise what we mean? We've rounded up a few examples for you:

3. How long does brow lamination take?

Eyebrow lamination should take between 45 to 60 minutes depending on your hair type. The strength and thickness of your hair affect how long it will take. The treatment can be done at the same time as a lash lift so can be time-efficient.

4. What happens during an eyebrow lamination treatment?

  1. Your technician will map out the shape and style of your brows according to what suits your brow and face shape. 
  2. After a quick tidy-up, a straightening solution is applied to the brows to soften the hairs and relax the cuticles (see the above video). 
  3. Your eyebrow hairs are then brushed upwards in a uniform direction.
  4. The straightening solution is removed and a fixing (neutralizing) solution is then applied.
  5. The fixing solution is removed. Most people also then have a shape and tint too, which gives extra definition to your brows. This step is usually optional and costs a little more (approx. £10 or $10-$20).
  6. To finish a moisturizing cream or serum is applied. 

5. How long does brow lamination last?

Eyebrow lamination is a semi-permanent procedure. It should last six to eight weeks or the natural growth cycle of your eyebrows. If you like the effect you will need to repeat the treatment every couple of months.

 6. Is brow lamination bad for your brows?

Just like when you perm your hair or have a length, volume and lift 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 disruption by applying a nourishing oil to strengthen the brows after the lamination process. 

If you repeat the treatment too often, or sooner than 6 weeks, you increase the risk of damaging your eyebrows.

7. Is brow lamination safe?

"It's totally safe," says Leisa Roberts, founder of Brow HQ. She adds, "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 or buy an at-home brow lamination kit from a trusted source."

However, there are some potential side effects from the chemicals used in the procedure too. These include swelling, redness, peeling, itching and bumps.

8. Is brow lamination painful? 

Absolutely not. "There is no pain at all", says Samantha. "The lamination process itself is very relaxing, and you shouldn't experience any irritation during the treatment. It's quite therapeutic having your eyebrows brushed." 

9. Does brow lamination work on thin brows? 

"Yes!" says a spokesperson for beauty service Blow Ltd. "Brow 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."

10. How much does brow lamination cost?  

Like anything, it depends where you go, but we found it to cost anywhere between £40 and £85 per session in the UK, and around $50-$100 dollars in the US.

Compared to other eyebrow treatments, like microblading, lamination is very affordable. This is because the process is quicker and requires less training and tools.

11. Can I brush my brows after lamination? 

Sure! Go for it. 

One thing to note though, it is essential you do not get them wet for 24 hours. So no showering, exercising or anything else that would build up a sweat for one day, but the daily brushing of your swish new brows is encouraged. 

12. Is brow lamination for me?

If you are looking for longer-lasting results and fuller-looking on-trend brows, this would be a good procedure for you. Lamination helps those with happy eyebrows that lack thickness, or those with unruly hairs that need continually gelling into place. 

But if you like your hairs to do their own thing and to sit on your face subtly, then this might not be the procedure for you. 

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 Treatwell in the UK and XX in the US to find well-reviewed individuals in your area:

13. How can I laminate my brows at home? 

Nothing beats heading into the salon for the expertise and safety you will gain from trying a treatment like this. However, there are certified at-home kits that include patch tests and easy-to-follow instructions. These could be more suitable to those who have had the treatment before and know what style and result they would like to achieve. 

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Lydia House

All about beauty, Lydia House has been writing about creams and complexions for over a decade. Contributing to titles such as Women’s Health, Grazia, Stylist and The Evening Standard, Lydia also uses her vast knowledge of the industry to consult leading health and beauty brands like Rituals, Tisserand and The Inkey List. Spending her working life obsessing over ingredients and formulas, Lydia believes that feeding your skin from within is just, if not more important, than the lotions you slather on. And even with a busy life and work schedule, she will always find the time to fit in a pampering session (or two).