[2020 Beauty Beginner Tips] Answers to 7+ Most Frequently Asked Questions on Brow Lamination and Non-Surgical Eyebrows
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What is brow lamination?
There’s one thing you probably think of when you hear the word “lamination,” and that’s the glossy plastic coating your grade school teacher would give to certain papers to increase their longevity. Now, just like every other trend from the 90s, lamination is making its way back into our lives. But instead of papers getting the treatment, it’s eyebrows.
Brow lamination offers a freshly combed, styled look that lasts up to four weeks, says Brittni Alexandra, brow artist and owner of B.Beautiful in Toronto. How does it work? An aesthetician trims and shapes brows into a desired look, applies a perming solution (also known as “lifting” solution), and then places a plastic shield on top to set the formula. After the shield has been removed, a neutralizer is applied and set again with the plastic shield, followed by a hydrator. The result? Brows that are tidy and lifted and require minimal fuss until the perm grows out.
Now, there’s a bit of confusion about the final look of eyebrows after the lamination process. If you look at #browlamination on Instagram, you’d assume it results in hairs that are glossy and stuck to your forehead, but that’s not true, says Brittni. “The final look is more natural,” she says. “The gloss you see in the pictures is just eyebrow gel, and your brow hair can actually still move.”
We followed influencer Marianna Darlene (@mariannadarlene) to her brow lamination appointment at B.Beautiful to get a closer look at the process and to have all our questions answered.
Who’s a good candidate?
Whether you have au naturel brows like Marianna or had microblading or ombré brows done, you can benefit from brow lamination. Who shouldn’t get it done? Anyone with limited eyebrow hair. “Brow lamination simply works with what you have,” says Brittni, “so if you don’t have enough hair to be lifted, it’s not going to do anything.”
How does the application process work?
After trimming and shaping brows, the aesthetician works in patches, combing hairs up, applying the gel, and combing them up again for the desired straight and separated look. “The perming solution, the adhesive, is like glue,” says Brittni, “so you have to do a little bit at a time because it dries really quickly.”
Is it safe?
Brittni says there’s no need to worry about getting a reaction from her perming solution as she uses natural products. But, not everyone uses the same products, so she recommends checking with your aesthetician to learn about the products they use and doing your research before your appointment to ensure the process is safe for you.
Can it ruin your brows? Not likely—unless you overdo it. “You don’t want to do it all the time as it can lead to damage,” says Brittni. “It’s just like perming your hair.” She recommends waiting four to six weeks between treatments.
(Check out the potentially toxic ingredients you may be using every day.)
What are the neutralizer and hydrators for?
The neutralizer deactivates the lifting cream and helps remove the perming solution, says Brittni. The plastic shield simply holds the neutralizer in place.
The hydrator nourishes brows and the skin underneath to keep them healthy after the perming process.
What other treatments can you get with brow lamination?
You can’t have microblading or ombré brows done at the same time as brow lamination, but you can have tinting done, which Brittni actually recommends. Tinting can give brows better shape and definition.
How long does it last? How much?
Some aestheticians say it can last for up to 6 weeks, and Brittni says it lasts up to about 4 weeks. Note: Once the brow lamination is complete, you are forbidden to wet the hair for at least 24 hours at the risk of deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate—well, not exactly the “ammonium thioglycolate,” I’ve just always wanted to use that Elle Woods quote, but getting them wet will deactivate the perming solution.
As for the cost, it varies, but can be anywhere between $50-100.
Will I still have to style them?
An eyebrow pencil can help create a stronger shape and fill in any sparse areas. You may still want to brush your brows to style them, but the lamination helps them hold their shape. “You won’t need to use brow gel,” says Brittni, “but you can use clear gel just to make them stick.”