Lowbrow vs. Highbrow: So long, Arches?

WriterMama on 21 Sep 2012 at 9:00am

PHOTO: 21 year over-plucked her eyebrows and underwent an eyebrow transplant procedure of 300 grafts per side.

Why being “lowbrow” isn’t an insult

For decades, women have been tweezing, plucking, sculpting, and even shaving off their eyebrows to create that high, thin, arched look that's seen as ultra-feminine. Meanwhile, a new study from the Clinical Plastic Surgery journal reports, eyebrows in general have been on a downward trend—in fact, they've been lowering for 60 years, and the arched look may be headed the way of the dinosaurs.

The proof is in the stars

Fuller, straighter eyebrows that rest closer to the eyes are in, and a new generation of celebrities are adopting the style. Look no further than Emma Watson, Camilla Belle, and Anne Hathaway, who are known for flaunting fully loaded, expressive eyebrows.

Why are women foregoing the tweezers and pencils? According to at least one industry pro, it's all about gender equality. Mark Soldin, a spokesman for the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, said in an interview with the Independent: “Upward curvature of the eyebrows was considered to be an attractive feminine feature in the past. We are finding that more and more women are looking for a flatter, straighter, more masculine look.”

Lowering procedures

For women seeking lower, thicker brows, there are procedures out there designed to drop the arch and thicken the hair—especially for lamenting over-groomers like Olivia Wilde who struggle to grow brows back.

To lower eyebrows, you can even skip the surgery. RealSelf doctor Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, an oculoplastic surgeon, says, “You can use Botox or Dysport to lower eyebrows and that's probably the safest and most effective way. It works by relaxing the muscles that lift the brows and therefore allowing the brows to drop.” Others doctors have even recommended starting with off-label use of Latisse and gauge results after eight weeks.

If your brows are thinning and you want to plump them up, you may consider hair transplants. “One or two hair transplants are the best choice to improve eyebrow appearance in men and women regardless of the cause of the thin or absent hair,” said RealSelf facial plastic surgeon Richard W. Fleming, MD. “The grafts can be used to create eyebrows, improve brow contour, or thicken thin brows.”


Are you one wishing for a fuller brow, or will you mourn the predicted passing of the eyebrow arch? Let us know in the comments!


Photo credit: dr. Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS