Everything You Need To Know About Brow Lamination

Beauty trends change over the years, and we can say the same about eyebrows. What's happening in one country might seem obsolete in another. While full, arched brows are trendy in the U.S., it's a different case in Korea. In Korea, straight brows are in because they make you appear younger. That's because it's closest to their natural brow shape, so instead of changing the shape, they just accentuate it a bit. Whether you're a fan of full, arched brows or prefer the straighter option, beauty aisles are filled with brow products to create the perfect brows to frame your face.

If you don't want to do your brows every day and have spare change, microblading is a great option. Microblading is a technique that employs semi-permanent ink — think of it like a tattoo — to give the illusion of fuller brows, per Allure. In fact, New York-based cosmetic tattooer Bethany Wolosky tells the outlet, "I dip the needles into pigment when I make each hair stroke, and I ask clients to sit and let the color sink in for a few minutes after I'm done drawing." And voila! It's like you were born with stunning eyebrows. 

Microblading involves needles, but those who prefer a less intense route to thicker, fuller-looking brows can try brow lamination because big brows are very in style. Move over, microblading, because it looks like brow lamination is the next big thing in eyebrow trends to get perfect-looking brows, and we guarantee you'll want them, even though it's much more temporary than microblading (via Perfect Frame).

What is brow lamination?

Brow lamination is a noninvasive procedure in which brow hairs are straightened to stay straight and look fuller, per Byrdie. It gives you a more natural look where your brows look thicker and fuller, and it can last up to eight weeks. Though it's gaining a lot of popularity in the U.S. now, it has been trendy in Iran and Russia for many years. Melanie Marris, an eyebrow stylist and founder of Brow Code, told the outlet, "This procedure is best for anyone who wants to make a thin brow appear full within 30 minutes, as well as, a more full brow to appear fuller and more fluffy." Now the secret to getting Cara Delevingne's eyebrows is out.

Once you straighten your brow hairs with a chemical solution and set them using a fixing solution, you can also add a little tint to your brows to make them darker (via Brow Heaven). Then, your hairs are combed into place, and your brows look bigger. If you love doing your brows every morning, this is a great way to wake up with perfect brows where you won't have to spend any time or use eyebrow products to make them look picture-perfect, though it will take that part of your routine away from you, even if only temporarily. 

How to get ready for brow lamination, and what to expect?

Though brow lamination is painless, it does involve chemicals, so it's important to do a patch test to ensure you aren't allergic and always be extra careful if you have sensitive skin. When prepping for your appointment, it's best to avoid retinoids for a few days prior as they can make your skin more sensitive, per Colair Beauty Lounge & Med Spa. Since you can't get your brows wet for 24 hours after the procedure, try to avoid swimming and exercises that make you sweat a lot as you don't want to ruin them.

According to Lash Perfect, the total appointment typically takes between 30 and 40 minutes, though it can be even shorter. The technician applies the straightening solution for about 30 minutes and then sets the brows with the fixing solution for about eight minutes. After this, you're ready to walk out the door.

 After being extra careful for a day, you can style it with a spoolie or add extra brow product if you'd like. Depending on how well you care for them for the first 24 hours — and depending on your skin type — the brow hairs will stay put for a good six to eight weeks. After that, when they're not standing up straight like before, it's time for a little refresh. What's more, applying oil or a moisturizing cream can keep your brow hairs healthier for longer.

How is brow lamination different from microblading

Fuller, thicker brows are very in style and both brow lamination and microblading can help you achieve this look, but there are some key differences. Brow lamination differs from microblading because there are no needles or dyes involved, so it's more wallet-friendly and takes a shorter time than microblading (via Adore Beauty). Microblading is more long-lasting and won't require as frequent follow-ups as brow lamination. Sometimes, it can be hard to differentiate between the two as both results are equally impressive.

What's more, Dr. Pallavi Sule, dermatologist and aesthetic physician, tells Vogue, "Microblading is a rewarding procedure especially for people have very fine eyebrows or no eyebrows." It's a great way to frame your face and feel more beautiful; however, people with specific health issues or allergies to tattoo inks should avoid it, so check with your physician first. According to Real Beauty School, brow lamination is better for those who want a fuller brow look or someone with out-of-control brows as it sets them in place and looks feathered. It's much cheaper than microblading and painless. With either choice, your brows will look on-point, and it'll save you time getting ready every day as they'll always be ready for your next selfie.

Potential side effects of brow lamination

Brow lamination is done so close to the eyes with chemicals that you must practice caution. Since the skin around the eyes is "the thinnest, most delicate of the body," Shari Marchbein, a New York City dermatologist, tells Allure, "it is especially prone to irritation, so harsh chemicals from this brow lamination could cause eczema, which is characterized by red, dry, itchy, and inflamed skin." Marchbein also adds that using chemicals on your brow hairs too often could damage them the same way hair suffers if you are a fan of bleaching or chemically processing the hair on your head. Therefore, you have to be extra careful and only use quality products.

Like any treatment that uses chemicals, there are always some risks involved. TatBrow notes that you could experience swelling, redness, and irritation if you have sensitive skin or are allergic to the chemicals used. They don't recommend it for folks with rosacea or eczema, for instance. Since you're "perming" your brow hairs to straighten them, it could damage or dry your brow hairs. Then, the issue of the chemicals getting in your eyes. Do your research and only trust a licensed artist for your brow lamination. Though you can also get a kit to do it at home, ensure to read the instructions, and if in doubt, go to a professional.

The cost of brow lamination

Brow lamination is the new alternative to microblading and is considerably cheaper, though it lasts for a shorter amount of time. The cost of brow lamination depends on your city and the artist performing it, but it will cost you about $65, per Byrdie. If you live in bigger cities like Miami, Florida, it's slightly more expensive and could cost around $90. Furthermore, Nina Nurian, the founder of Nurian Brow Experts, recommends to the outlet that those with thicker hair get it redone every eight weeks, but if you have fine hair, she suggests you wait 10 weeks.

Meanwhile, ccording to PMUHub, the average cost of brow lamination in the U.S. is about $85. However, it can be anywhere between $35 to $250, depending on "the location, demand for the treatment, competition in the area, technician's experience and exclusivity of the salon." For example, PMUHub's research shows that it costs, on average, $53 in Olympia, Washington, and $130 in Los Angeles, California. The final price can also depend on whether you add waxing, threading, or tinting to the whole package.

Ultimately, the average cost in the U.S. ranges, but one fact remains: it's cheaper than microblading.