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We've all got a favorite feature. Mine happens to be my eyebrows.
I've always had bushy, thick eyebrows (I got called caterpillar eyebrows one too many times in high school, but that's a conversation for my therapist, not the internet). For years, I would get them waxed or threaded just to get stray hairs in the middle and on the sides, but I never did anything crazy with shaping them. About four years ago, I stopped doing anything to them altogether, except for the occasional pluck sesh here and there.
Well, that recently changed when I got my eyebrows laminated for the very first time.
To say I was skeptical would be an understatement. I had stopped waxing and threading my brows because sometimes they would come out thinner than I wanted, so I just quit - cold turkey. My brows are my favorite part of my face, and the thought of going through with a treatment and having something happen to them made me nervous. Funnily enough, I've been considering eyebrow lamination for months now (thanks, TikTok). So when this story fell in my lap, it just felt like fate.
So, what is eyebrow lamination?
"Brow lamination is essentially a straight perm for your eyebrows, but what it's doing is it's gently opening up the hair follicle so that it becomes flexible and pliable so that I can then reset it to lay in a desired direction," said Taylor Easton of Salon Tewl in Bellevue.
Easton is a licensed aesthetician and skin therapist. She got her license in 2018 and joined Salon Tewl about a year later in 2019, where she provides a handful of skin, lash and brow services. And she's the one who made all my eyebrow dreams come true.
Eyebrow lamination originally stuck out to me because I use soap brow products to achieve a longer, fuller, more dramatic look when I do my makeup. So when I found out there was a treatment that could give me that desired look and it would stick for four to six weeks, I was intrigued. Processing time also varies depending on the client, and the brow hairs can be trained over time to possibly go longer than 4 to 6 weeks between treatments.
Don't have huge brows? Don't fret. Easton said this service works for people of all brow types and can give different outcomes:
- For thinner brows: Lamination can give desired fullness and help with symmetry.
- For thicker brows: Lamination will give added thickness, fullness and flexibility in styling your brows.
Here's a before and after of someone who has thinner brows than me, so you can get the gist of what lamination can do for different brow types:
Leading up to my appointment
As I said, I was skeptical about taking on this story. This treatment was new to me, and even though I had read up pretty extensively online, I still had some lingering questions — and I sent Easton a lengthy text of them. But, hey! She answered them all, and my mind was at ease. Here's our exchange:
- Abby: My eyebrows are my favorite thing on my face. I just want to make sure that this won't damage them? I used to have hair extensions, and they wrecked my hair. I just don't want anything to happen to my brows.
- Taylor: Brow lamination will absolutely not damage your hairs in any way. It is a chemical process, but the product I use is quite gentle on the hair, and by following proper aftercare, the health and integrity of the hairs are never compromised.
- Abby: I've read so much online, and you can never know what to actually trust. I have pretty big, bushy eyebrows. I've read lamination is better for thinner brows. Is that true? I want to make sure I'm a good candidate for this.
- Taylor: Lamination is honestly for just about everyone. Whether bigger or smaller brows. It's all about customizing it for the person and how YOU want to wear and style them. It's not cookie-cutter or one size fits all, which is so great.
- Abby: Would I need to get my brows done before? Like I mentioned, they're my pride and joy, I haven't had them waxed or threaded in years because I'm afraid of someone making them too thin. So I usually just pluck them every few weeks.
- Taylor: The service I provide comes with any waxing and shaping, and we can also tailor that to your needs and wants. My aesthetic is that of very natural and full brows. I myself have very full brows and always prefer to maintain that with clients' brows as well.
- Abby: I use self-tanner, also, will that be a problem?
- Taylor: Self-tanner isn't a problem. You could use it no problem 24 hours after the service. I have clients who self-tan all the time.
After that, we set my appointment. To prepare, all Easton said was not to use any skincare actives like AHAs, BHAs or retinols a couple of days before (easy enough).
Day of my appointment
When I arrived at the salon, Taylor met me in the foyer and took me back to her service room. I sat on the chair, and we chatted a bit about my eyebrows, what I typically do to them and how I like to wear them. Since I have naturally thicker brows, we decided to essentially keep them the size and shape they were already but touch up with tweezers to get rid of any strays that didn't need to be there.
She explained the three-step process to me, and we dove right in. First up, we had the "perm stage," where she applied the perming gel to my eyebrows. She warned me that this step has a very strong... aroma — and boy, she was not exaggerating. Thankfully, I was wearing a mask, so that helped with the smell. But regardless? A small price to pay for beauty.
When she was finished applying step one, she placed a thin piece of plastic wrap over them and let it do its magic for about 15 minutes, and she would remove the wrap to brush them every once in a while.
After that, she applied a "neutralizer," which essentially sets the shape. Like step one, this also sat for about 15 minutes under a thin layer of plastic wrap. And finally, the last thing she did was pluck the strays, and I was done! We decided not to tint my eyebrows since I have a lot of hair naturally, and we thought with how I wear my makeup, this would look the best.
When it comes to aftercare, here were my tasks:
- Do not get them wet for 24 hours
- Apply a regenerative cream with a spooly brush for the first 24 hours; then apply it only once each night that follows.
- Use conditioner on them in the shower to keep them moisturized.
She also offers maintenance appointments in between laminations, which includes any shaping and tinting necessary, as well as two types of Olaplex conditioning treatments. This extends the life of each lamination and the integrity/health of brow hair.
The process itself was pretty simple, and the results are insane. I mean, just look at them!
I'm not going to lie. I had major mad scientist vibes for the 24 hours prior to washing them for the first time. They looked... intense. But after that first wash and conditioning, they plumped back up to their normal texture. When I tell you wherever I brush them, they stay, I mean it. I can style them straight up for a more dramatic look, or I can style them more subtle for a day-to-day look.
As much as I loved them with no makeup, it wasn't until Friday when I put on a full face for the first time when I really saw the results. Typically, I use soap brow to style and a brow pencil to draw in individual hairs to create a more full look — because of the lamination, I was able to skip these steps and still achieve the look I love. Overall, I give eyebrow lamination a 10/10. I mean, I scheduled my next appointment before I even left the salon during my first if that says anything!
Easton's hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Eyebrow lamination typically costs $80 or $100 with tint and includes waxing; aftercare purchased separately. Learn more and book an appointment online.
While the products, services and/or accommodations in this post were provided without charge, all of the opinions within those of the author and the Seattle Refined editorial board.