Eyebrow Tinting 101: All Your Questions, Answered

Eyebrows are an extremely important part of the face. Not only do they protect the eyes from debris, sweat, and whatever else might cascade down from the forehead, but they also shape the face. Eyebrows can really make or break someone's look, that's why so many people invest in eyebrow maintenance like tinting, for example.


"Tinting allows a professional to manipulate the brow area by darkening the fine hairs that surround the perimeter of the brow to increase the width," brow expert Azi Sacks told Harper's Bazaar. "It also allows the specialist to darken the fine hairs in the inner core of the brow that are in less dense areas. This creates a longer brow line (brow tail) or fuller front and a more ideal shape."

As we've seen, eyebrow trends have been all over the place lately with some people embracing their natural brows and others bleaching them into invisibility. Because the hair is so short, eyebrows are actually a great place to experiment with fun and interesting looks. Whether you're looking to clean up your natural brows by enhancing them or want to toss in a random color to spice things up, eyebrow tinting might be a fantastic option for you.


Who's the best candidate for eyebrow tinting

Although anyone can get their eyebrows tinted, if they really want to, those with light hair and sparse eyebrows will get the best, most noticeable results. "The service is especially impactful for blondes and redheads, but brunettes get amazing results too because it picks up all the baby hairs to give a fuller look," brow expert Boom Boom told InStyle. "It's really natural-looking so you don't have to use brow-enhancing products as much, if at all."


It's also great for people who don't like long-term commitment. Whereas microblading, which is a semi-permanent tattoo, can last up to a year, and lamination, which is essentially an eyebrow hair straightener, can last up to six weeks, tinting doesn't hang around long at all. "Tinting can feel like a high-maintenance service, as the tint usually fades within two weeks and will be completely gone by week four," eyebrow expert Maxine Weiss told TZR. On average, one session costs anywhere from $20 to $40, depending on where you live.

What the process involves

As with any beauty-related procedure, first, you'll have a conversation with the eyebrow expert about what you're looking for and what they think is best for you and your brows. Once a decision is reached about the direction you'll be going with the color, it's time to start the enhancing. "I'd suggest 1-2 shades darker than the natural brow shade for the most natural flattering tone," brow expert Lauretta Power told Elle. Power's reason for this is that the initial color will fade by up to 20% the first time you wash your face after your eyebrows have been tinted.


"We try our best to give the most natural enhancement possible as far as color-matching," licensed esthetician Jeseé McSpadden told Byrdie. "I have clients that are natural redheads, and I sometimes mix three different colors to achieve a spot-on match." It takes no more than 15 minutes for the dye to do its thing, but of course, this can vary based on hair type and color. Afterward, the dye is wiped away and you can go out into the world with your new, fabulously tinted eyebrows. Any lingering eyebrow tint, which is common, can be removed with an exfoliant, shampoo, or makeup remover.

Possible downsides of eyebrow tinting

As much as eyebrow tinting can come in handy when trying to even out the color of your brows, in addition to it not being long-lasting, there's also the effect that the dye can have on the skin. "Brow dyeing is harsh on the skin underneath the brow and gets into the hair follicle, causing possible shedding and damage over time," eyebrow expert Sania Vucetaj told Allure. This factor can add to tinting feeling like it's high-maintenance because it requires staying on top of your hair follicle health. "Our motto is always to keep the follicle clean of products to allow and promote a healthy hair follicle."


Another downside that comes with eyebrow tinting is that sometimes the color can be wrong. "If the color is too dark or red, it takes up to two weeks to fade," said Vucetaj. "Because it's your face, you can't avoid noticing it, and can look harsh especially if your shape isn't perfect."

For people who don't want to commit to a long-term look that can be fairly pricey, eyebrow tinting is the way to go. It gets the job done, is painless (unlike microblading!), and immediately takes your eyebrows from zero to 10.