Everything You Need To Know About Bleached Brows
by BRENDA L. / DEC 22, 2022
Reading Time: 7 Minutes
Trends come and go, and if you’ve been paying attention to this year’s fashion, by now you’re probably familiar with things such as the money piece hairstyle, the copper hair renaissance and the ever-popular curtain bangs, often paired with big 90s blowouts or soft, loose curls. And as the 90s and the noughties have taken over the web and social media platforms alike in record time, some of the most recondite beauty trends of the naughtiest era ever have spawned back in modern times - both bringing back a wave of nostalgia and birthing new trends that, at first, may seem difficult to understand.
Whilst bell-bottom jeans, butterfly prints and crimped hair belong to the former category, bleached brows are definitely part of the latter – making the latest editorial look that many a supermodel have been rocking both on the catwalk and at premieres and local events. What’s so hot about the bleached eyebrows trend? Let’s find out together.
1. Why Do Models Bleach Their Eyebrows?
Some say that this is an innovative way to get an alien look, perfect for edgy fashion collections and straying away from the classic beauty standards that characterised fashion walks and related events over the past few decades. Some others are convinced bleached brows are nothing but a modern twist born to imitate the 90s infamous skinny brows, leaving plenty of room to your eyes and forehead to dominate the scene without overplucking your natural eyebrows.
2. Bleached Eyebrows: Where Do They Come From?
Just like hair, eyebrows have a long history of trends and styles that began way before the bleached brow trend. Long before Julia Fox, Lizzo and Bella Hadid experimented with bleached eyebrows, there have been huge trends surrounding the area above our eyes.
From the eyebrow lamination where you can get your brows cow-licked against your forehead for days to the feathered eyebrows, where instead you just brush them in a tomboyish fashion; before that, we’ve observed thick and bushy eyebrows stealing the limelight thanks to Cara Delevingne, who revolutionised the eyebrow beauty standards as we knew them back then.
Whilst our brows were recovering from years of overplucking, waxing and threading to get them just like Gwen Stefani did, a few minor trends popped up during the early days of Instagram, such as the “braided brows” and the “squiggly brows” – mostly involving makeup and photoshop skills to achieve extreme looks aimed at a digital audience. So what are we doing with our brows now, and why?
Eyebrows have the power to completely change the way one perceives your natural features and face shape, and depending on how you style them this can give your gaze a whole new look. Ask supermodel Bella Hadid and her tactical use of face-tape for example: doesn’t that temporal lift make her eyes look fierce and almost intimidating?
Bleached eyebrows, however, are not an outstanding, revolutionary idea (although to a newbie it may seem that way): they have been sported before by avant-gardists such as Linda Evangelista in the 90s, and they have deep roots in an unusual place that, unknowingly to most, is a pool of inspiration to modern designers and fashionistas: the raving scene.
But this isn’t the only possible origin behind the bleached brows trend: the look also reminds of the huge forehead that gained popularity during the Elizabethan era, when people used to pluck away eyebrows and even bits of their hairline to have their forehead look as wide and large as possible, symbolising a higher class status.
3. Bleached Brows Trend: How To Bleach Eyebrows?
If your eyebrows somehow managed to survive years of plucking, styling, waxing, threading, gelling, and tinting, and you’d like to give a shot to this cool trend, the first thing you should keep in mind is: don’t do this at home!
Despite the dozens of tutorials online and the “bleaching kits” popping up all over the web in a desperate attempt to make money out of the latest trend, bleaching anything (from your hair to your eyebrows) is a chemically strong process that should always, always be done by a professional. You’re not only risking to get an uneven, brassy color that you’ll need to correct: your hairs can potentially break, and the side effects of using chemical products around your eyes are quite undesirable – including extreme side effects from bleach potentially coming in contact with your eyes, such as corneal scarring and blindness.
If you’d like to get your eyebrows bleached, speak to a qualified hairdresser and evaluate the situation together. What is the state of your eyebrows? Is there enough room between them and your eyes for them to work safely with bleaching products? How does your skin react to a patch test? Etc. etc.
Bleaching your eyebrows at home is dangerous, and besides that you may not be able to get the so-longed editorial look as seen on Kendall Jenner and Nicola Peltz anyways. Why? Let’s get a bit technical.
Bleach lifts the color in your eyebrows the same way it would do it on your hair – however, this isn’t enough to get the daring blonde typical of a runway look: if you’re starting with naturally dark eyebrows with dense pigmentation, chances are you’re going to be left with a brownish finish, far from what Julia Fox’s arches look like.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that leaving the bleach on for longer will keep on lifting the pigments in your brows – you’ll need the right amount of oxygen volume for that, and even after you’re done there’s a last, extremely important step to take: toning. Yep, the goal is to get your eyebrows to blend in with your natural skin color, not to stand out in a flashing bright yellow fashion. In order to achieve that you’ll need to apply toner on your brows – again, something that only an expert colorist is qualified to do with safe and satisfying results.
4. How Long Does Bleaching Eyebrows Last?
Eyebrows take regrowth to a whole new level: you may think that your tresses take ages to grow at the desired length (thank God hair extensions exist), but bleaching your eyebrows will make your jaw drop at the speed your facial hair can grow. If you’ve been tinting your eyebrows before you’ll know that with the right aftercare and by preventing your arches from coming in contact with water and soap (much like you would do after a microblading session), the brow tint can last up to two weeks before starting to fade away.
Bleach doesn’t magically fade from your hairs, however. As it’s not something that deposits on your brows but rather attacks the pigmentation inside of them, the only way to get rid of it is to grow it out.This means that your eyebrows’ hairs will start showing roots, and to regain your natural eyebrows you’ll need to either dye your eyebrows dark again, or you’ll need to be patient and look patchy whilst waiting for the bleached hairs to fall off and get replaced by natural ones.
The regrowth process happens incredibly fast, meaning that your brows will start showing their true colors (pun intended) within a couple of days after your bleaching session. If you’re looking to get the look for a specific event, make sure you book your salon appointment accordingly to get your eyebrows bleached on time to look fresh and flawless!
Bleached eyebrows are a trendy concept inspired by editorial looks from the past and, perhaps, even from obsolete beauty standards from centuries ago. Although initially frowned upon (I’m sorry, the puns truly write themselves today!), the look has quickly gained popularity and has been rocked by A-listers such as Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Lizzo, Julia Fox, Hailey Bieber, Kaya Gerber and the Hadid sisters (to name a few). Soon enough, the term “bleached brows” has bled outside of the haute couture universe and skyrocketed on platforms such as TikTok, quickly becoming a cult trend for online fashionistas all over the world.