Bleached, non-existent brows have become commonplace on the runway, if not yet on the subway, over the last few seasons. Lara Stone is the obvious poster girl for this look, and it has slowly become ubiquitous at shows and in editorials. Take a look at the recent SS2011 runways: Marc Jacobs, Alex Wang, YSL—nary a brow in sight.
I’ve seen this look enough now that it doesn’t seem as shocking, bizarre, and otherworldly as it once did. Is this a sign that it’s a trend that’s ready for adoption by the masses?
I spoke to hair colorist Laurie Foley, who was responsible for the brows–or lack thereof—at both the Marc Jacobs and Rodarte SS2011 shows. Laurie has her own salon, L’Atelier de Laurie and is a Wella Color Ambassador. She’s been a professional stylist and colorist for 33 years, with a specialty in innovative and challenging hair trends.
Laurie doesn’t offer the process at her salon, because well, she can’t. It’s not what hair dye is manufactured for. (In the medical world, when you use a drug for something for which it wasn’t originally intended, it’s called an “off-label use.” Same concept here.) Read on.
Fashionista: What’s the process for bleaching the brows?
Laurie Foley: At the Rodarte and Marc Jacobs shows, I began the process by protecting the eyes with cotton pads, as well as the surrounding skin with Wella Performance Plus, a low pH conditioner that prevents chemicals from wandering and causing irritation. I then used Wella Professionals Blondor Lightening Powder, the most gentle of lighteners, to lift the color.
F: Is there long-term damage if you bleach, then re-dye back to the original color?
LF: Damage to eyebrows can occur if the lightening process is not done by someone experienced. But, re-coloring your brows back will not create damage if a low or no ammonia color product is used.
F: Is this easy to do at home or do you recommend an expert?
LF: Safety first! And I must stress that dyeing one’s brows is for show purposes only! I definitely do NOT recommend doing this at home! See someone very experienced if you’re interested in trying out this new trend. Typically, brow dyeing is only performed during a hair color process and ONLY if a waiver is signed beforehand. (Author note: Yikes.)
F: Is there any temporary way to get this look?
LF: While the dye itself is permanent, eyebrows grow incredibly fast and in about 4-5 weeks, they will have completely grown out. This is such a wonderfully fun and extreme look that it’s really meant for just a temporary “wow”!
F: Is there a certain skin tone/hair color that seems to pull this look off best?
LF: Blondes or brunettes with already extreme hot or cool tones tend to look great with this high-impact style. The brows have to match the personality, and chances are someone with an already radical hue has the personality to fit. Aside from personality, this style also looks best on strong, prominent facial structures and makes a strong impact, as you saw on the runway models this past season.
F: Do you think it could ever go mainstream? What feedback have you heard from the models? It seems like some of them keep the look post-shows.
LF: Let’s just say it’s for those that like to have a little fun now and then! Models dig the look, and they have a blast with it! Some do keep the color even after the show, but of course, it only lasts for about 4-5 weeks. They rock it for a short period, and then go back to their natural color.
There you have it. Like impossibly long limbs and fabulous shoes that never get manufactured, this trend may stop with runway models.
If you’re disappointed by this, remember….strong brows are back, too!