Why Bushy Brows Are the New Hipster Beard

Why Bushy Brows Are the New Hipster Beard


Are bold brows on their way out, or here to stay?

For those of us who naturally have sparse or thin eyebrows, the trend for the bushy brow is a little annoying. All the way back in 2011 (that’s a decade ago), Cara Delevigne was already in the spotlight and sporting her trademark bold brow. She’s often credited with starting the trend and it’s not difficult to see why. Now that laminated brows are the latest thing, some of us have started wondering if the trend for bold brows has gone a little too far. Once upon a time every man around was sporting some kind of facial hair, thanks to the rise and rise of the hipster beard, but now the tides have turned. Might there be something similar around the corner for our eyebrows?

How the Beard Began

Most trends come from a place of scarcity. Before the beard trend, there had been a good twenty years when beards were reserved for lumberjacks and Father Christmas. Soon, a few handsome trendsetters started growing out their face fuzz, then a few more followed until almost every barista in the world was sporting facial hair of some description. Beards were still slightly counter-cultural, but they were growing in popularity. What happened next though, was the turning point. Beards and moustaches became so cemented in hipster culture that they began to overspill and before long found themselves firmly in the mainstream. It wasn’t long before articles were being written about the best beards in poker. The last time we checked, the poker world wasn’t hopelessly intertwined with the hipster world. Beards became mainstream, then, just as a standardised lack of facial hair had birthed the beard movement, the opposite happened. Beards became so mainstream that it became hip to shave. So, what does all of this have to do with eyebrows?

How The Brows Evolved

Whether or not Cara actually started the bold eyebrow trend is up for debate, but if we’re to look at it from a similar point of view to how the beard started, we might come to a clearer conclusion. As the men of the world had been sporting minimal facial hair, the women of the world had been sporting minimal eyebrows. The 90s was a time of super-thin, overplucked brows and that bled over into the turn of the millennium. By the time we made it to 2010, the world was ready for a change and Cara happened to be the figurehead of that movement. Bold brows were becoming more obvious on the catwalks and, though it took a few years, this trickled down to the everyday consumer. Before long all of us were filling in our brows with powders and pencils, some more successfully than others. Now a decade later, most of us have honed our skills a lot and our brows look better for it. Also, we’ve had plenty of time to grow them, or realised that our brows were so overplucked in the 90s that they’re never growing back.

What’s Next For Our Eyebrows?

Laminated brows create a fuller fluffier look


Brow lamination is one of the more recent eyebrow trends, where each hair is brushed upwards and held in place with a setting gel. The effects last for around a month and give a full, fluffy brow look, without looking too heavy with makeup. For those who enjoy a very full, very thick look, microblading has also seen a surge in popularity recently. This technique creates a semi-permanent tattoo on the eyebrow area, where the artist draws each hair stroke individually. There are now plenty of ways to imitate the look of a thick brow that are a million miles away from the slugs we drew back in the noughties. Unfortunately, this proliferation of perfectly polished precision brows means that we might be approaching the end of the brow trend. For men it went right back to clean-shaven; although we’re not imagining people will start shaving their eyebrows off in droves, the chances of going back to a more slimline brow shape seem pretty high.