Should Your Groom Be Grooming His Eyebrows?
Makeup artist and eyebrow expert Ramy Gafni breaks down what men should know about maintaining their eyebrows before the big day.
"Guybrows" is a term I came up with that refers to men's eyebrow grooming. I've been quoted saying "Guybrows" in The New York Times and several men's magazines, so I eventually decided to trademark the word. But what are guybrows and how does it differ from brow shaping for women? Most men's main concern is, of course, to improve their appearance, but they don't want anyone to know they have their eyebrows groomed. Women want to improve their appearance and don't care who knows it. When I first started shaping eyebrows nearly 20 years ago, my clientele was almost exclusively female, but today, men make up 50 percent of my business! Here, I break down some things your guy should know about taking care of his brows before the big day.
Skip the Wax
My preferred method for grooming eyebrows is tweezing and trimming because it offers the most precision and control. When tweezing, you remove one hair at a time. Waxing doesn't offer this precision and for men, waxing the brows can leave an overly groomed, hard brow line, making it obvious that the man's eyebrows have been groomed. Threading men's brows offers a little more control than waxing but is still not as precise as tweezing.
Just Go for a Clean Up
Sometimes a man simply needs a subtle trimming of his eyebrows and nothing else. As we age, some people's brow hairs begin to grow excessively long. A little trim is sometimes all one needs to restore the eyebrows they enjoyed in their younger years, with little or no tweezing necessary.
Less Is More
I'm even more conservative in removing hairs than usual. I'd rather have the client ask me to remove more hair than tell me he thinks I overdid it. In fact, when grooming a man's eyebrows I often leave behind some "stray" hairs that flatter the brow line and help to avoid an obviously groomed result.
Many times, when guys discover what I do for a living, they'll tell me they just have their barber trim their brows with his electric clippers when they get a haircut. They expect my reaction to be horrified and they're always surprised when I tell them I'm ok with that. It's better than walking around like Andy Rooney! In my book, How to Fake Real Beauty, I say that the enemy of beauty is not bad features, it's complacency. What does horrify me is when I meet a guy with eyebrows that are insanely long, bushy, or otherwise in need of some attention and the guy will say, "I know I need to do something, but if I start, I'll just have to keep it up." My standard reply is, "So you're never going to shower again or have a haircut? Because you'll just have to do that again too." The upside of this scenario is that if a man does try grooming his brows and isn't happy with the results, his brows will return to their natural state in about a month.
The key to keep in mind for men is that eyebrow grooming should be about fine-tuning the brows, taming them a bit, but not get into shaping them too much. That's where you'll run into an undesirable result. Guybrows is all about taking a very conservative approach, following the natural line of the brow and the man's bone structure, and never ever looking like you just stepped out of the salon! So tread lightly, and trim those brows into shape!