Eyebrow lamination is an often noninvasive and painless eyebrow procedure that straightens brow hair to change its direction, fill in gaps, and create fuller-looking brows.

Some people may try laminated brows to fix certain issues with their eyebrows, such as those with:

  • naturally thin brows
  • unruly hair that is difficult to style
  • hair loss due to the usual aging process
  • overplucked or overwaxed brows

Eyebrow lamination can be an alternative to microblading, eyebrow gels, or other styling methods to achieve a specific arch shape.

In this article, we explore eyebrow lamination and its associated benefits and risks. We also look at the costs involved with the process, how long it lasts, and the alternatives.

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Eyebrow lamination, also called brow lift or brow sculpt, is a reasonably new procedure that involves applying a chemical solution to straighten and lift eyebrow hair. A solution breaks down the bonds in each strand, allowing a provider to move them in any direction.

The procedure varies slightly depending on a person’s desired look. However, it usually involves the following steps:

  1. A cosmetologist will begin by doing a patch test to check for allergy or sensitivity to the lifting cream, a keratin-infused straightening cream.
  2. Once a person does not experience a reaction to the cream, the cosmetologist will begin the procedure by cleaning the brows, the area, and marking out the shape that best suits the person’s face shape and brows. They may also thread the brows to remove stray hairs.
  3. The provider uses an applicator to apply the lifting cream onto the brows. The cream breaks the hair bond and relaxes the hair cuticles, allowing them to manipulate the brow hair into a new shape.
  4. After the application, the cosmetologist will brush the hair up in a uniform direction. They will then cover the area with a plastic wrap for several minutes. The setting time varies depending on a person’s brow texture.
  5. Next, the cosmetologist removes the lotion and applies a solution to set the hair in its new place. They cover the eyebrows with a plastic wrap for several minutes.
  6. The cosmetologist removes all traces of the products.
  7. Lastly, they will apply nourishing oil or serum to replenish the eyebrows’ moisture and condition them.

It is important for a person to avoid getting their eyebrows wet with the following for 24 hours:

  • sweat
  • steam
  • water
  • makeup
  • skin care products

It is also important not to use exfoliants such as retinol to prevent skin irritation for 72 hours.

The process takes about 45–60 minutes. After the procedure, a person may opt to add traditional eyebrow grooming services such as:

  • tweezing
  • threading
  • tinting
  • waxing

Learn more about different types of hair removal here.

People may choose to have their eyebrows laminated for several reasons, such as:

  • The procedure is usually noninvasive and pain-free.
  • It can give a natural look.
  • It does not use needles and semipermanent makeup.
  • The brows often look bolder, fuller, fluffier, and thicker.

Eyebrow lamination can help people with:

  • naturally thin, curly, or unruly hair that grows in all directions
  • uneven eyebrows
  • eyebrows that lack definition or shape
  • thinning hair due to age or illness
  • gaps in brows due to overplucking or overwaxing

Like any other beauty treatment, the cost depends on the provider, their location, and whether they charge an additional fee for add-ons. Typically, an eyebrow lamination can cost around $50–$120.

Some people consider brow lamination affordable compared with other eyebrow treatments, such as microblading and nanoblading.

The effects of laminated brows typically last 6–8 weeks. Laminated hair naturally grows out following the usual growth cycle of brows, which is around 6–8 weeks for many people.

Regularly moisturizing and conditioning the brows can help prolong treatment effects and keep them healthy.

While eyebrow lamination is often painless and noninvasive compared with other procedures, it still carries potential risks and side effects. These are related to the chemicals the provider applies to the hair.

The area near the eyelids is delicate and sensitive, making it prone to irritation from harsh chemicals. Irritation may occur in the skin over and beneath the brows.

Potential side effects include:

Eyebrow lamination may not be effective for people with:

Like chemically treated scalp hair, eyebrows can become dry, weak, and prone to breakage.

Caring for the eyebrows with oil or moisturizing cream is vital to keep them looking healthy. Because of this, a person may want to avoid getting more than one treatment within 6 weeks.

There is also a risk of irreversible skin damage if the chemical accidentally runs into the eyes during the procedure. A 2021 research review reported that eye complications related to treatments to the eye area could range from dry eyes to vision loss.

Eyebrow lamination and microblading are different procedures.

Microblading is a tattooing technique that involves using needles to add semipermanent dye strokes to the eyebrows.

Eyebrow lamination strengthens and lifts the hairs so that a provider can reshape them, achieving a fuller, thicker look without the use of tattoos.

Several eyebrow treatments are available as alternatives to eyebrow lamination to achieve fuller, thicker brows:

  • Microblading: This procedure uses needles to make tiny cuts on the skin and insert semipermanent ink in the form of strokes to create a fuller look.
  • Nanoblading: This involves using sharp, flexible nanoneedles to create fine hair strokes that resemble the dimension and diameter of natural hair. Unlike microblading, it causes minor trauma to the skin because it does not go as deep.
  • Eyebrow tattooing: This is a permanent tattoo procedure that places tattoo ink in the deeper skin layers. Instead of strokes, tattoo artists tattoo the entire brow line.
  • Microshading: This is another type of cosmetic tattoo procedure. Instead of placing full strokes, microshading involves placing fine dots to “shade” the eyebrows, creating a shadowy, ombre effect.
  • Brow gels: These work like mascara for the eyebrows, tidying the eyebrows and keeping them in place. They can also volumize, add color, and lift brows.
  • Eyebrow tinting: This process involves applying semipermanent dye over the eyebrows to define and enhance the shape of the eyebrows.
  • Eyebrow penciling: People commonly use pencils to fill in sparse areas in brows or add volume and definition to the brows.
  • Injection: Those who want to change the position and shape of their brows may also consider Botox injections.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve the pigments or color additives for cosmetic use that providers use in some of these procedures.

Brow lamination is becoming an increasingly popular procedure for creating fluffier and thicker brows. It may help people with various eyebrow issues.

However, like other eyebrow treatments, it comes with potential risks and side effects that range from skin irritation to vision loss. It is essential to look for reputable providers and licensed professionals with extensive experience in eyebrow lamination.

It is also crucial for a person with certain skin conditions to check with a dermatologist first before undergoing any treatment that may aggravate their condition.