Despite the fact that I have pulled out my eyelashes for the past 18 years of my life (I am 21), I have found that my eyebrow pulling has physically affected the most. Maybe it a case of having adjusted to my long-term struggle with my eyelashes, compared to still having to adapt to my 5 year struggle with eyebrows. Either way, I have found that eyelash-pulling has been far, far easier to cover up than eyebrow hair loss, which is one of the main reasons why I see it as my main nemesis. It is so swiftly glossed over by most people who have never suffered from hair loss, and while I usually focus on the ignorance surrounding the emotional impact of hair loss, today the physical effects get their time in the limelight.
Eyebrows Frame Your Face
Since the aptly-named 'power brows' have been a huge beauty trend, the idea that eyebrows are of critical importance to your face is one that is still plastered over the media. Beauty journalist and bloggers alike are quick to harp on about how those two bits of fuzz above your eyes are sooo key to how you look; your face isn't complete without a pair of perfectly groomed brows. So, when we get disheartened about our lack of eyebrows, are we told that it is 'only hair' and it 'doesn't matter'? It seems a bit contradictory to say 'OMG BROWS ARE SO IMPORTANT' and then completely backtrack to make us feel better. I think I speak for most hair loss sufferers when I say that your face does look incredibly different without eyebrows. They do frame your face. I look in the mirror without my brows drawn on, and with no hair there whatsoever, I do agree that I look...a bit strange. I'm not saying it's 'bad' to not have eyebrows, but it does alter your appearance. This was reaffirmed during that weird trend of picturing celebrities without their eyebrows- it totally changed the way they look. So it may 'only' be hair, but that bit of hair does change the way you look.
Therefore, Filling Them In Is Important
With the beauty industry exploding with countless different brow products, all aimed at helping you to fill in your brows like a pro, this area of make-up is quite difficult to avoid. I am personally grateful for this beauty trend, as it means the fact that I have to draw on my eyebrows will typically go unnoticed; it isn't seen as weird because everyone is doing it and big brows are trendy! Whether you choose powder, tints, wax or pencil, not having eyebrows will call for this 'filling in process'. This is fine if you have eyebrows already there, but if you don't...
How The Hell Do You Fill In Brows That Don't Exist?!
This is the part which causes me most grief, and that I think is most misunderstood by others. I don't think people actually understand how bloody difficult it is to draw over something that isn't even there in the first place. Most may take five minutes maximum in the morning to quickly spruce up their brows and a few pencil strokes to fill them out, and then ask how it takes you so long to do it. Well, if you have eyebrows, you have a shape (however vague) to work with; it's like having a picture of a two zebras, and the only work you have to do it draw on a couple of stripes to complete the image. If you suffer from hair loss, you need to draw those zebra outlines, making sure that 1) they look like zebras in the first place, 2) both zebras are drawn fairly evenly to start with on the vaguely correct part of the paper, and 3) you include the final detail of the stripes to make them seem like the natural, finished product. So yes, it's a lot more work than if you had brows to start with, and it takes a helluva lot of time in the morning. If you suddenly lost your eyebrows, would you know where to start in drawing them on from scratch? It's much more difficult than you could ever imagine.
When They Don't Go Right First Time
It's all well and good having an image in your mind of what you want your brows to look like, but when it comes to drawing them on, it doesn't always go too smoothly. My mornings usually start off drawing one eyebrow on and thinking 'YES! It looks fairly natural. I think I can pass these off as my own...today is going to be a good day!'. Then I start attempting to draw it's sister on, trying the best I can to mirror the other one to make them look similar/natural/not massively weird. And this is usually where it goes wrong. It's either got too much of an arch, it's wonky, it's thicker, got more of a tail, is just a generally different shape and I'm left thinking, how could I draw on two eyebrows that look so dissimilar?! So you get the make-up remover out and start again. A lot of work, time and effort goes into not only drawing brows on from scratch, but getting them to look even and natural. It's not an easy job, and I'm lucky if it goes right first time!
Do you suffer from hair loss and don't have brows? Do you relate to the brow struggles too? I'd love to hear your thoughts.