Stray Eyebrow Hairs Driving You Nuts? How To Tame Them The Safe Way

The pencil-thin eyebrows of the Y2K era might have led to some questionable brow maintenance (i.e., plucking them out one tear-inducing hair at a time), but at least they required little to no daily primping. Besides the weekly or bi-weekly plucking sesh, these thin, arched brows were generally undemanding. The thick and coiffed brows of today, on the other hand? They require a bit more day-to-day upkeep. 


Unless you're shelling out cash for eyebrow laminations or committing to more permanent solutions, like tattooed brows, taming grown-out brows is likely part of your everyday beauty routine. And as tempting as it might be to grab the tweezers — or worse, hairspray or gel — to prune or slick your brows into submission, doing so can do more harm than good. 

With a few tools and a spare five minutes, you can tame the bushiest of brows without damaging your brows (or eyes) in the process. 

Step one: Trim, don't tweeze

To tame unruly brows while maintaining a modern look, try reaching for a small pair of scissors instead of tweezers. Eyebrow scissors, cuticle scissors, hemostats, or hair shears are best suited for this job (not your kitchen scissors). In a tutorial posted on WatchMojoFashion's Youtube channel, makeup artist Lisa Slim explains how to split the brow into three distinct sections. 


Slim finds "Section A" by placing a spoolie at the corner of the nose and angling it just past the corner of the iris. "Section B" is the arch or curved part of the brow. Finally, "Section C," or the tail, is the rest of the brow that extends past the eye. Trimming each section separately allows you to follow the natural growth pattern of the brows and prevent bald patches or too-long trims. 

With your spoolie or brow brush, use short strokes to brush out each section according to where the hair naturally wants to fall. Then, use a small pair of scissors to trim the uppermost excess hair in each section. Slow and steady is the name of the game here. You can always cut more of your brows off, but as anyone who survived the pencil brows of the '90s knows, you can't put those brows back on


Step two: Shape and stick

Next, it's time to shape your brows, ideally according to your face shape. There are several products you can use for this job, and ultimately, it depends on your personal preference. Eyebrow pencils, pomades, or eyeshadow and a small, angular brush can all achieve the same effect — opt for whatever technique you feel most comfortable using (Smitha Deepak has a great online tutorial on Youtube that demonstrates how to use these different products). 


For the most natural look, avoid overfilling or creating harsh, distinct lines. Use Mother Nature to your advantage by applying your brow product along the natural edge of your brow, starting at the bottom and moving up until you've achieved your desired thickness. Then, blur any thick or noticeable lines with a spoolie or finger. 

Finally, perhaps most importantly, set your brows with a high-quality brow gel. Using short, upward strokes, start with a small amount and build as needed. Too much brow gel can become flaky if left to dry on the hair. You can use your finger or a clean spoolie to wipe off any excess. And voila — beautifully coiffed brows with no pain, irritation, or headache.