Unibrows

Modern humans go to a lot of trouble trying to pretend we aren’t mammals. In most societies, the heaviest burden of hair removal falls on women, but men are generally expected to keep themselves looking at least more evolved than Neanderthals.

Got a beard? Keep it trimmed. Got a unibrow? Bummer. When two eyebrows become one, a lot of people feel free to judge the owner of those brows—male or female—as having poor grooming habits. Unfair, sure, but it means unibrow hair removal is one of the oldest and most respected forms of manscaping. If you’re fond of your unibrow, more power to you. But if you see yourself as more of a multi-brow man (or woman), options abound to get rid of your unibrow.

You can do everything from groom the unibrow regularly to take more permanent measures to get rid of it. Here are a few of your better options.

Best Ways to Get Rid of a Unibrow

Pluck your unibrow

For most people, plucking the unibrow is the easiest method for controlling it, and generally semi-permanent. After the first plucking, which may be a little painful, regularly maintenance should be relatively quick and painless.

Plucking is a good option if your unibrow is sparse, but if you have more than a few stray hairs between your brows, tweezing them out one by one can be a slow and painful process, and you’ll probably be better off using one of the other options listed below. If you can get by with it, plucking a unibrow has some definite advantages. For one thing, it’s free, assuming you already own tweezers. And since it involves pulling the hairs out by the follicles, it takes weeks for a plucked unibrow hair to come back to haunt you. However, new hairs will appear in the meantime, so you’ll probably need to tweeze stragglers every couple of days.

Our favorite facial hair plucker is a 4-piece set from RoosterCo.  You can find it here on Amazon.  This tweezer provider a few different angles and ends, allowing you to find the right one so you can get the grip you need on the hair.

One tip — wet your eyebrows with warm water before plucking. This makes the hairs a little easier for the tweezer to grip, and for some reason makes the plucking feel a little less painful.

Wax your unibrow

If plucking sounds a little tedious, then waxing might be your answer…. as long as you either get professional help, or do it with great care!

Waxing is probably the most popular method of large-scale eyebrow hair removal, and why not? It gets the job done quickly, with relatively little pain, and keeps eyebrows looking well-groomed for at least two or three weeks. Eyebrow waxing is pretty inexpensive, as salon procedures go, but if you can’t budget in a professional wax, at-home waxing kits with miniature strips for facial hair removal are easy to come by. Since errors in eyebrow grooming can be embarrassing, follow the kit’s instructions carefully (including the part about cleaning and preparing the skin), use a steady hand, and plan for the area between your brows to be red and irritated for a few hours afterward.

We strongly recommend that if you are waxing yourself, you not only follow the directions closely, but considering having a friend with waxing experience help you.  If you have the budget, consider going to a spa to let a professional do it.

Shave your unibrow

Shaving is a temporary solution for unibrows. With the popularity of bodyscaping and manscaping, more people own high-quality clippers and shavers than ever before. It works for unibrows, but it is not a permanent fix.

The idea that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker and darker is a myth, so you can safely shave unibrow hair. However, because shaving cuts off the hair at the surface of the skin rather than pulling it out by the root, a shaved monobrow will require more maintenance than a waxed or plucked one. Depending on how quickly your facial hair grows, you may even need to go over it with a razor every day. Use a small, specially-designed eyebrow razor for a more precise shave, and reduce stubble and skin irritation by letting shaving cream sit between your brows for a few minutes first. Wetting your skin prior to cream application helps as well. To keep the area groomed, you could use something like the Panasonic Facial Trimmer sold on Amazon.

We highly recommend using a trimmer designed specifically for facial hair. The risk of a cut that is even 1/4 inch too wide would result in a pretty funky-looking eyebrow.

Use facial hair remover cream

Like shaving, depilatory cream removes unwanted hair at the surface of the skin rather than at the root, so a unibrow removed using this method would need touch-ups at least once a week. Unlike shaving, hair removal creams use chemicals to dissolve the hair, so they aren’t actually recommended—by me or their manufacturers—for use around the eyes.

Because of the potential dangers, always use any type of hair removal cream as directed by the manufacturer, and ideally with someone who has experience using them. The unibrow removal will probably be less perfect or precise than if you went to a spa or salon and had a pro do it. Plus, the creams seem to irritate some peoples’ skin, causing a rash or burning. It kind of depends on the person, but know that it can occur.

If you’re determined to try it anyway, be sure to use a product made specifically for facial hair. Nair, Avon, Sally Hansen, Veet, and many other companies offer facial depilatory creams that are gentle enough for the sensitive skin of the face. But be careful of your eyes, darn it. Veet has a good option, from Amazon.

Bleach your unibrow

If the hair between your eyebrows is mostly short and fine, you may be able to bleach it. Facial hair bleaching creams usually contain hydrogen peroxide to lighten the color of unwanted hair, plus moisturizers to soften the hair and condition the skin. This isn’t a solution for every unibrow, since the bleach may not completely penetrate thicker hairs, blond hairs may still show up against darker complexions, and bushy monobrows will probably just look striped.

But a barely-there unibrow could be rendered unnoticeable with an application of bleaching cream every couple of weeks or so.

Again, using any type of chemical so close to the eyes is risk business, so this is not my #1 choice.

Natural Eyebrow Grooming

Eyebrow Threading

Eyebrow threading, a facial hair removal technique that originated in India and the Middle East, involves rolling intertwined cotton threads along the skin to lift a line of hair out by the follicles. Threading has been gaining popularity in America because it’s quicker than plucking, more precise than waxing, and safe for sensitive skin.

Eyebrow threading has several advantages, making it perhaps my #1 technique for getting rid of a unibrow.  First, it allows for the most precise removal line of any of the options, outside of a wax done by a pro. Second, it does a great job of getting at the smaller hairs in addition to the larger ones. Third, eyebrow threading only focuses on the hair, so there is really no contact of a chemical or tax with your skin. Finally, eyebrow threading is not has painful as it perhaps sounds.

The cost of eyebrow threading in most markets is comparable to that of a spa or salon wax.  Like a wax, you definitely want a trained professional to do this procedure.

Sugaring

Sugaring is a natural, homemade alternative to waxing. Recipes vary, but they generally involve heating a mixture of granulated sugar, lemon juice, and water to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, then letting it cool until it can be spread on the skin comfortably and covered with a strip of cotton cloth. When the cloth is pulled quickly away, your unibrow will come with it. If you aren’t much of a cook, commercial sugaring preparations are also available.

Be careful anytime you are self-administering a home-based procedure. Lots can go wrong, and when it happens on your eyebrow, the mistakes are very visible.

Nad's

Nad’s (go ahead and laugh—I did) offers a complete line of natural, environmentally friendly hair removal products for both women and men. Their Facial Wand or Facial Wax Strips are perfect for getting rid of unibrows.

Nad’s products can be found on Amazon and are not limited to the eyebrow shaping tools, but they tend to be some of its better sellers. If you want to spend under $20 to try and address the unibrow, before dropping significantly more at a salon, it might be a decent first step.

Permanent Unibrow Removal

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a popular semi-permanent option for getting rid of unibrows and other unwanted facial hair. It involves sending a strong beam of light beneath the skin, where the heat of the laser is absorbed by dark-colored hair follicles, damaging them and slowing future hair growth. To achieve long-lasting hair removal, you can expect to undergo about half a dozen treatments spaced several weeks apart. Laser hair removal is most effective at removing dark hair on light skin; it simply doesn’t work on light-colored hair, and it can damage dark or tanned skin.

Lasers are not toys. Like so many other things on this list, consult a pro or somebody who has experience doing this.

Electrolysis

Unlike laser hair removal, electrolysis is really, actually permanent. It also works on skin of any complexion and removes hair of any color. During an electrolysis session, the electrologist inserts a needle-like electrode into the follicle of each visible hair, one at a time, damaging the follicles with a mild electrical current. The process prevents regrowth of the treated hairs, but as new hairs grow in, they will need to be treated as well. If you choose electrolysis to get rid of your unibrow, it will probably take at least five sessions over a number of months to eliminate all the hair between your eyebrows.

A series of electrolysis treatments usually begins with an in-office consultation.  Be sure the person doing your electrolysis is trained and certified.

Prescription Hair Removal Cream

Technically, it’s more of a hair prevention cream, but there is an FDA-approved prescription medication for treating synophrys—that’s the medical term for a unibrow—and other unwanted facial hair. Vaniqa (eflornithine HCl) works in the hair follicles by blocking an enzyme that’s required for hair growth. You’ll still need to remove existing unibrow hairs by plucking, waxing, or using one of the other eyebrow hair removal methods described to the right, but after applying Vaniqa cream between your brows twice a day for a month or two, you should start to notice fewer hairs growing back in.

Unibrow FAQs

How did I get a unibrow?

Blame your genes.

A unibrow is a decidedly genetic trait — a recessive gene to be specific.  It is something you are born with the programming for.  Nothing that you did, or didn’t do, caused it to appear. It was going to happen the whole time.

Are unibrows rare?

Not really.  Lots of people have them, but it is hard to clearly label someone as having a unibrow or not. Sometimes there is a gradient of hair in between the two brows, sometimes it is lighter, sometimes it is heavier, so what is a unibrow to one person might not be to another.  Like with balding, graying hair, and other hair-related traits, it varies.

Does a unibrow grow back?

Depending the method of getting rid of your unibrow, it can grow back.  If you do not want your unibrow to grow back, the most permanent technique for ridding yourself of it is electrolysis, a multi-step procedure done by a trained and certified professional.

Contrary to popular belief, a unibrow does not grow back thicker when it grows back after shaving, waxing, or other more temporary treatment.

Are a unibrow and a monobrow the same thing?

Yes. The words unibrow and monobrow are used to describe the same thing — a brow that extends from above one eye to above the other with no complete break.

Do unibrows get worse with age?

They can, in a way. For many people, the amount of hair that grows in places where it did not before often increases. This goes for ear hair, nose hair, wild hairs sticking out of your head, and eyebrows and unibrows.

At the same time, though, the hair in your eyebrows can bet both lighter and patchier with age.  So, while you might have more random hairs popping up in the middle of your eyes above your nose, it is likely that the hairs will be lighter and you won’t have a true “unibrow” look….. but rather just a few hairs that could use an occasional plucking.

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About the Author

Amber Luck Ronning

Amber Luck Ronning