Take a gander at photos from the ‘90s are you’ll see a recurring beauty look among A-listers like Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, and Tyra Banks: Pencil-thin eyebrows. Fast-forward to today and the mantra has remained constant over the past few years: the bigger, the better (even these celebrities who fell victim to the overplucking craze are on board). But, if you don’t naturally have a set of feathery arches, TZR tapped experts to see if the brow regrowth serums on the market are the real deal.
First off, technically there are no hair growth enhancers that have been specifically proven to regrow brows — but there are general hair growth products that have been shown to work, which you could potentially repurpose for use on your brows if you're feeling adventurous. “The only ingredient proven effective for general hair growth is minoxidil,” Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic chemist and founder of The Beauty Brains, tells TZR. However, there are some serums on the market that have been shown to work wonders on growing brows.
Whatever you choose to apply to your arches — be it an off-label lash serum, peptide-rich brow conditioner, or natural oils — you can enhance their effects by exfoliating first. “Before application, use a spoolie brush to firmly brush the brows back-and-forth and get rid of any flakiness or build-up,” says Robin Evans, a New York City-based brow expert who's worked with Emily Ratajkowski. “That way, the products you are using will penetrate better.”
Below, the pros give the low-down on the most popular brow regrowth serums, which actually deliver results. Lily Collins-status here you come!
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To start, you’ve probably heard of Rogaine, the preventative hair loss line for men, at one point or another. Included in the formula is the active ingredient minoxidil, which works by prolonging the growth phase of hair. Some brave beauty enthusiasts have even tried applying Rogaine to their eyebrows with a Q-tip and love the results — but it goes without saying that this isn’t a method that’s been tested and approved by the company. Therefore, if you’re going to try this out yourself, be extra careful when applying it to the brows so that you don’t get any of the product in your eyes.
As for prescription-strength Latisse, Romanowski confirms that the popular serum does work on eyelashes because of the active ingredient, bimatoprost. However, he notes that applying the product to your brows is an off-label use that’s not necessarily recommended. But, that hasn’t stopped those in search of amazing arches from trying — and many say Latisse can work wonders for balding brows. That’s because bimatoprost is part of the prostaglandin family, a group of lipid compounds that interact with cells to enhance their natural function.
And when prostaglandins like bimatoprost and isopropyl cloprostenate (the active ingredient in Rodan + Fields’ Lash Boost) come into contact with the lash line or brow bone, they incite the growth of new hair. But as with any ingredient that has profound effects, there are some risks involved. “If you are using it on your eyelashes, there is a chance that your eyes can permanently change color,” Romanowski says. Seriously — prostaglandins have been shown to turn light eyes brown, as the Latisse site warns.
Rodan + Fields Lash Boost
Again, as the name implies, Rodan + Fields’ Lash Boost is intended to use on the lashes, not brows. To add to that, CBS reports that Rodin + Fields was sued in 2018 for failing to disclose the side effects of Lash Boost’s active ingredients, “including change(s) in iris color, eyelid drooping, itchy eyes, eye [and] lid discoloration, thinning and loss of eyelashes [and] loss of eyelash hair, eye sensitivity, eye infections, and vision impairment,” according to the lawsuit. It’s worth noting that prostaglandins are banned in Canada — so proceed with caution, especially when using them in an unconventional way (like on your arches).
Despite the fact that many of the brow growth serums on the market don’t include ingredients that have been shown to encourage growth, products like Grande Cosmetics GrandeBROW and RevitaLash RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner consistently earn five-star reviews from users who swear they work. “Many of these products contain peptides, vitamins, and oils to help strengthen and condition brow hairs,” Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist and founder of BeautyStat, tells TZR about the product. While these ingredients won’t make new hair grow, they may prevent existing hair from falling out — which gives the appearance of thicker, fuller brows.
As it turns out, Evans says, “If you’re going to use a brow serum, I would recommend GrandeBROW.” However, the expert adds, “But you have to keep using these products to keep the results.” As soon as you discontinue the use of a brow conditioner or lash growth serum, your brows or lashes will return to their normal state.
Evans also recommends plain old castor oil as a natural remedy. “Apply it topically to the skin under the brow with a Q-tip,” she says. “The results will not be as immediate as with a brow growth serum and will be a little more subtle, but it’s a more natural solution.” This checks out, according to Robinson. “Castor oil may work to condition and strengthen the hair,” he explains.
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