20 Things You Didn’t Know About Brows

I’m thrilled to debut a brand new mini series on the blog: What About Brows? Sometimes I forget about my brows. I mean, can you blame me? I have bangs. Poor little brows, I’ve neglected them for so long but now it’s time for me to go where my brows have never gone before (OK— not ever, more like… not in a while)… the wonderful world of tweezers, waxing, threading, pencils and gels and more brow worthy products. Over the next several weeks, I’m on a mission to try every brow service out there, every brow raising product and everything else in between. But first, 20 things you didn’t know about brows.

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20 Things You Didn’t Know About Brows

  1. The original purpose of eyebrows was all about function. Eyebrows protect your eyes from rain and sweat. When a drop of moisture hits your eyebrows, your brow catches that drop and redirects the flow sideways around the eye.
  2. Eyebrows don’t lie. Surprised? Angry? Worried? Eyebrows are the punctuation marks to your emotions.
  3. The average cost of a brow-lift by a cosmetic surgeon is $2,500.
  4. The average cost of a brow shaping service is $25.
  5. In the U.S., more than 3 million people lose their eyebrows every year. Yikes!
  6. The good news? Eyebrow wigs exist. Eyebrow wigs are made from human hair woven into a delicate lace base and then stuck to skin with an adhesive.
  7. And on that note, a shaved brow can take up a year to grow back completely.
  8. Camels have three eyebrows. Talk about some extra maintenance!
  9. Eyebrows are the slowest growing hair on the body.
  10. Eyebrow hairs grow individually, one per follicle (in comparison, the hair on your head grows in one to four hair follicular units).
  11. The average life span of the hairs that make up your eyebrow is just four months.
  12. Forget palm readings— in China, long eyebrows are universally considered a sign of good fortune.
  13. Before eyebrow pencils and gels, the Sumerians would use a blend of galena and lampblack (soot from an oil lamp or other flame) mixed with vegetable resin and animal fat to enhance and blacken the brow.
  14. Following the reign of the Medes in Persia, king carried their personal cosmetic cases—containing kohl and tweezers with them into battle.
  15. Craziest eyebrow invention? Perhaps the eyebrow curler, a serrated upper jaw meets the smooth lower jaw with one big chomp-down. Um, no thanks.
  16. The Mona Lisa doesn’t have eyebrows. Renaissance Florence fashion encouraged complete shaving of eyebrows.
  17. As the pitch of your voice rises, so do your eyebrows and vice versa. Bet you’re trying that as you read this, aren’t you?
  18. Wearing malachite powder around the eyes was believed to summon the power and protection of Hathor, the ancient goddess of beauty, joy, love, and women.
  19. The world record for the longest eyebrow hair belongs to Toshie Kawkami of Japan—it was almost six inches when easured in Tokyo in 2008.
  20. Best museum-quality unibrow: Frida Kahlo. Duh.

Most of these brow raising facts came from Raising Eyebrows, a personal guide to fabulous eyebrows by Cameron Tuttle. Special thanks to Benefit Cosmetics for sending me the brow glasses! Have a question about brows? Tweet me @politics_pretty #whataboutbrows

Photography and graphics by Divya Ooi