When I was a surly teenager I was obsessed with music videos. I would get up at 6 am every Saturday morning so I could watch the Top 100 Hits, from the bottom up, on TV. I wasn’t only there for the music. I was also there for the dance moves. I spent the first 3 hours of those mornings honing my skills, bouncing around the living room learning as I followed along, in preparation for my big future career of choice: backup dancer for music videos. When I was 14, Madonna featured heavily in my repertoire.
Take note: those thin, perfectly manicured eyebrows.
One hormone-hued Saturday morning, innocent and easily influenced, I decided I too, needed a pair of delicate eyebrows in place of the wilderness that grew upon my face. I went to my mother’s private bathroom, rifled through her drawers, and uncovered the holy tweezers that I watched her pluck her eyebrows away with, too. It was my first autonomous venture into womanhood.
The memory of actually plucking my eyebrows is hazy now. What I remember clearly is the way my girlfriends ooh’d and ahh’d at my accomplishment a few days later: the perfectly slender 90’s eyebrow. They asked me if I could do their eyebrows too, and I peacocked around feeling quite superior. #leo
Fast forward 20 years and the trend has changed. Au natural, bushy, unkempt eyebrows that frame your face and look like a pair of caterpillars have taken residence above our eyes are the new promised land and I want in. Guarantees that these new eyebrows are certain to be the fountain of youth fuel my fire and I start thinking about how can reach this elite status of facial hair arrangement too.
My friends tell me about micro-blading but I’m too much of “natural” girl to enjoy that look. Others tattoo on eyebrows or fill them in with powders or have them dyed. And while all those tricks work, what I really want is the real thing. I decide I will have to actually top plucking completely, with the peril of looking like a maniac for a while and let them grow back in. After many hours of consulting Pinterest, my friend Nadia gave me a handful of encouragement and told me “Give it a year. Leave them alone for a year, and you’ll never have to pluck your eyebrows again. You’ll see. They’ll be perfect.”.
I decide to commit. It is May 2018.
The first few weeks were downright rude. Random hairs started pushing through in arbitrary places. With their new-found liberty, one eyebrow hair decided to take up residence in the middle of my forehead (excuse me what… I erradicated this issue almost immediately) and another almost on my eyelid. I was newly single and figured that this would at least sort the men from the boys. Any man who took offence to my peculiar eyebrow growing design was clearly not for me.
After a month a pattern started to form… It seemed that a few millimetres below my current eyebrow line, a second eyebrow line was beginning to grow. Great. Now I got to saunter around with four eyebrows instead of two?! I complained to anyone who would listen about my resolution to not touch my eyebrows for an entire year and the demise of watching them grow in such a sporadic and unordered way. Several women recommended Castor Oil as a wonder-cure. Apparently, this magical oil would speed up growth and make my eyebrows bushy and full instantly.
Desperate, I drop Castor Oil on my fingers each night and massage it into my growing brows fervently, hoping that in the morning many new hairs would sprout. To my anguish, the process remains slow and gradual.
Three months later, I started to have some hope. The weird bedraggled look had softened and while there was still a clear second brow line forming beneath my eyebrow, the hairs were getting longer and new ones were growing, week by week. I keep up my Castor Oil ritual and occasionally seek out images of women with big, bushy, beautiful eyebrows to stay motivated.
Suddenly, spending hours in front of the mirror perfecting my arches was replaced with leaving them the fuck alone, and I had so much more time and less inclination to micro-manage and control what was happening on my face. That change, in itself, felt like a relief. One nostalgic afternoon I recall with regret, my Italian Nonna telling me never to touch my eyebrows when I grew up because the ones I had were perfect. I wish I had listened to her.
It’s coming up to one year. 11 months to be precise. Only now am I starting to see the full potential of my natural eyebrows. The second brow line is starting to fill in and up, and the new hairs are starting to grow long enough to meet the OG. I am beyond excited and relieved that this experiment is victorious. I am grateful that I didn’t listen to the naysayers or those who told me to just get them filled in. I am glad I let nature take its course and reward me with the fluffy caterpillar-like eye-frames I’ve been dreaming of. I promise, as soon as my eyebrows have reached capacity I will gift you with the proper photo documentation. Let me hide them with my bangs/fringe a while longer…
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