8 Tips for Maintaining Your Brows, From South Asian Women
South Asian beauty is home to many beautiful practices, ranging from ancient ayurvedic methods to innovative eyebrow threading techniques. Diving deep into hair removal methods is fun (ever watched an oddly soothing ingrown hair removal video?), but it’s even more exciting when we get to represent South Asian culture.
With a background in caring for dark and thick eyebrows, these brow experts who hail from Indian and Bangladeshi backgrounds have years of rich heritage and experience behind their helpful tips. Ravy Mehroke is the CEO of innovative Bombay Brow Bar and is obsessed with all things eyebrows and infusing Ayurveda with hair removal. Anisha Kiri is a self-made virtual brow assistant and salon owner. Noshin is the owner of The Brow Guru and is passionate about creating personalized eyebrows. Ahead, we asked them for their best eyebrow hacks and advice, just in time to spruce up your look before fall rolls around.
Ahead, find eight South Asian-inspired tips to grow the best brows of your life.
Prioritize Brow Health
Often, when we talk about maintaining our hair and skin health, brows are usually left out of the conversation. According to Mehroke, the eyebrows are just as important as the other significant parts on your face because they’re such a defining feature.
“Brow health includes the health of your hair,” Mehroke explains. Keep them well-groomed and watch how more confident you may feel. Since South Asian women often have prominent eyebrows, they maintain a routine and stick to it.
Kiri also supports educating yourself on how your brows frame your overall face and which brow goals you want to achieve. Whether you’re going for the thick, brushed-out look or thinner arches, make a specific schedule with the style you’re aiming to achieve.
Setting brow goals will help you use what you already have to achieve a customized shape that uniquely fits your face. “This means your eyebrows can be tweaked to enhance your best features, maybe even taking years off your face,” Kiri mentions.
As difficult as it may be, being patient is essential when it comes to growing your brows. “It will take about between three to six months to see change, whether that’s having a more defined shape or creating fuller brows,” says Mehroke. Like any hair growth or physical transformation, it takes time.
Your eyebrows are continually growing and changing, so it’s best to embrace them at every stage possible. You can get them microbladed or henna tattooed, but threading allows you to change how your eyebrows look over time. Being patient will allow you to experiment with different looks instead of having the same style consistently.
As Noshin explains, taking time to understand your eyebrows will be worth it in the long run. “It’s always best to grow out your eyebrows with the advice and guidance of an experienced eyebrow artist,” she says. “When a client reaches out to me about regrowing their brows, I always start their ‘brow rehab’ journey by evaluating their hair type, growth cycles, and beauty routine.”
Noshin says that you should also edit your cosmetic collection if you’re on the journey to refined brows. “If you want to grow in your brows, it’s best to ditch harsh brow products like pomades or wax-based pencils, which can be abrasive on new, fragile growth when you’re applying and removing it,” she explains. “You can still come in for threading appointments while growing in your brows. We just shape around the areas you’re trying to grow in and leave some room for the growth to come in.”
“Threading is a 6,000-year-old art originating from South Asia and the Middle East. It’s the original form of epilation, and it’s extremely precise as individual hairs can be targeted, allowing for a delicate and detailed shaping with long-lasting results. Although threading has deep cultural roots, it’s also more widely available and accepted as an alternative to waxing or tweezing,” Noshin explains.
Noshin acknowledges clients can also set the pace with their pain tolerances and go as slow or fast with comfort levels. They can choose to stop at any time because individual hairs are being plucked, rather than removing whole strips of hair at a time.
Both Kiri and Mehroke agree with the many benefits that threading has to offer. “It’s much more gentle and can help you achieve defined sharp lines,” Kiri says. Overall, Mehroke approves threading as a healthier option with less room for harsh skin irritation while being a natural process.-
Pre-Book Your Next Appointment
“I encourage clients to pre-book appointments, so the temptation to tweeze at home is discouraged,” Kiri mentions. Regularly scheduled appointments encourage you to make the most of your natural shape, induce consistent growth, and not irritate the skin.
If you can’t fight the temptation to tweeze, follow Kiri and Noshin’s foolproof steps. “Only remove hair from just above the socket of your eye. Do not remove any hair close to your brows, as you never know which hair holds the key to your brand new shape,” Kiri says.
“A good trick is to take a picture of your brows right after an appointment to use as a point of reference. You can also overfill your brows with a pencil and work around the shape you’ve drawn in.”
Noshin also says a slanted face razor can also help prevent significant brow mishaps if you’re tempted to DIY at home. “When you pluck the hairs out at the root, it weakens the hair and it can grow back much slower and more sparsely,” Noshin explains. “A razor will prevent that and allow for a less risky at-home shaping experience. Remember maintenance and cleaning are the goal, not shaping.”
Apply Plant-Based Balms and Serums
If you’re in between appointments and want to speed up growth, you can incorporate hair growth balms and oils into your daily routine. “The trick is just to let the brow hair grow out fully, while balms and oils assist with progress,” Mehroke explains.
If you’re confused about which products to buy, Noshin recommends seeking professional guidance. “Reach out to your local eyebrow threading artists and estheticians for tips and advice on your brows.”
Noshin approves of Vegamour’s vegaBROW Volumizing Serum, and calls B Masked Skincare’s Grow n’ Glo Lash + Brow Serum a personal favorite. “This is the one I use, and I’ve seen improvements in my brow growth journey,” Noshin adds.
It would help if you also were careful after getting your eyebrows threaded as well. Instead of applying heavy creams and harsh chemicals, eyebrow artists usually choose natural remedies if there is any redness, according to Mehroke. Plant-based balms are the preferred way to go.
Use Brow Makeup and Gel for a Fuller Look
Mehroke acknowledges experimentation with makeup is fun and highly encouraged when it comes to your brows. Products like tinted brow gels give a fuller look if you have less hair. If you have a lot of hair, use brow makeup powder. “However, look for plant-based products and fiber-based gels, which will give you a natural look.” Kiri also loves The Brow Fix by EyebrowQueen for an all-day hold. “It allows clients to create a laminated, brushed-up look at home,” she says.
“Glossier’s Boy Brow has been a favorite brow gel of mine for many years.” Kiri also likes Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Brow Wiz for creating precise hair-like strokes and NYX’s Micro Brow Pencil for a more affordable option.
Look for Aestheticians with Gentle Techniques
When you’re putting your eyebrows into someone else’s hands, it’s crucial to do a bit of research. Before going to the salon, you want to make sure your aesthetician is experienced and has solid technique, whether you’re going for waxing, threading, microblading, or other eyebrow services.
“It takes years to be skilled at threading and knowing where to apply pressure,” Mehroke mentions. Most threading artists use antiseptic, antibacterial, and sensitive threads, like aloe or polyester, as regular sewing thread will cut your skin.
According to Noshin, most threading artists are South Asian, racialized, or immigrant women who personally understand the importance of having good eyebrows, so they know how to create eyebrows specifically for your needs. “Just as any other beauty service, the relationship between an eyebrow artist and her clients is trusted and sacred. Remember to be clear and vocal about your brow goals to your brow artist.”
Less is More
Noshin, Kiri, and Mehroke all agree that less is more when it comes to eyebrows. Though it can be tempting to head to the salon anytime, going too often can do more harm than intended.
“Going every two or three weeks in the early 2000s was common because that was the trend,” Kiri says. “But I encourage clients to embrace thicker brows. My clients visit me on average every six to eight weeks,” Kiri says.
According to Noshin, if you have absolutely no idea when to go to the salon, pay attention to your brows. “You’ll know you’re ready for your next appointment when your brows start losing their shape and when the excess hairs that were removed have started growing above the surface of your skin.”