Standing Appointment is our review series that investigates the best new and notable cosmetic procedures in the aesthetics space and determines whether or not they are worth trying for yourself. This week, our beauty writer tried a brow lamination treatment.
I’ve been told that I have nice eyebrows since I was a teenager. But even though my Middle Eastern brows are naturally full, they still require quite a bit of maintenance. I’ve had them trimmed, tweezed, waxed, and threaded more times than I can remember, and I can’t go anywhere without a good brow gel on hand to keep them from looking unruly. So when I heard about eyebrow lamination, a keratin-like treatment that could make a lazy girl’s daily makeup routine even lazier, I knew I had to try it.
Eyebrow lamination has been around for awhile, but is more popular than ever as people seek to achieve fluffy, fuller brows (thanks, Zendaya and Lily Collins). I visited Lashes by Chito, a brow and lash studio in Brooklyn, and asked the founder Chito all of my brow lamination questions. She walked me through the process before I received the treatment myself, and left me with one warning: “You should not try this at home.”
Price: $100-$150 on average
Best for: Straightening and relaxing brow hairs, creating fuller and more defined brows that can easily be brushed and styled into place.
What we like: Instant results, quick process, no side effects or downtime, suitable for sensitive skin and all skin tones.
What we don't like: Only lasts four to seven weeks.
What Is Eyebrow Lamination?
Eyebrow lamination is a two-step chemical treatment that helps brow hairs appear more relaxed and lifted — think the feathered brow look that’s popular on TikTok and Instagram, where brow hairs are brushed up, instead of out to the sides. Lamination makes even the unruliest brow hairs soft and malleable, so you can brush them whichever direction you want them styled. Eyebrow lamination is a great, pain-free alternative to microblading, which is a more permanent procedure. If you’re into the look you get from soap brows, brow lamination can be make it easier for you to achieve the look; once your brows are laminated, a light gel is all you’ll need to keep them locked in place.
The main ingredient used in lamination is the same as what is used in perm treatments: ammonium thioglycolate. If you have sensitive skin and are prone to redness, you should be sure to mention this to your brow expert.
The Brow Lamination Process
During my brow lamination process, Chito first applied a priming solution to my brows, which she says “breaks down the cuticle” in the hair. Then, she placed a plastic wrap over my brows to seal in the solution and set the timer for two minutes. “[The plastic wrap] keeps the brows flat and allows them to process in a straight manner,” explains celebrity brow specialist Joey Healy.
After two minutes, Chito applied another round of priming solution to further move the brows into the desired direction. This time, the plastic wrap is applied for seven minutes. Healy says that you’ll need to apply a neutralizing agent after, so the bond of the hair “reforms in this new straightened, laminated look.”
The most important step, according to Chito, is to apply a keratin-based solution in the end that will add the protein back into your brows that the treatment may have removed. This ensures that your brows will stay strong and undamaged.
How Long Does Brow Lamination Last?
"Brow laminations typically last for about a month, but for some people it can be longer or shorter,” says Healy. “The one tip for extending the length of the results is not getting them wet for a period of time, generally 24 hours after getting them done, which includes excessive sweating.”
Brow Lamination Before/After
Before lamination, I had to lock my brows in place using a clear, heavy-duty brow gel — recently, I even used Schwarzkopf’s got2b Glue Gel, a hair gel meant for spiky hairstyles.
Usually, I feel like brow gel doesn’t hold my brows in place from day to night; they also can start to flake during the end of the day. Brow lamination didn’t totally eliminate the need for brushing or brow gel, but it definitely helped my brows stay in place more easily and require less product to do so.
Brow Lamination Aftercare
The brow lamination experience was super quick, easy, and pain-free. Chito carefully explained each step as she went. There was no downtime, which is important to me as I am always on-the-go. The whole process took about 30 to 40 minutes. I didn’t do anything to prepare except skip my clear brow gel that day. When I got home, I tweezed around the perimeter of my brows to clean them up a bit.
I would definitely do it again. My brows look as full and thick as ever and I keep getting complimented on them. Lamination is best for people who already have fuller brows and just need a treatment that will enhance them for a fuller, more feathery look.