Bleached brows have slowly become a trend this year, its search term is up by 160% on Pinterest and had a sudden surge at the end of July 2020 on Google Trends. Celebrities and models have been sporting the contrasting look from the tail end of last year and its most notably seen in the fashion world, being described as ‘editorial’. Rihanna even had bleached brows on her recent June 2021 Vogue Italia cover. The ‘disappearing hair’ look can go either way, and even if you’re a fan of defined eyebrows like myself, you still may want to try out a strong, bleached style. After reaching out to some inspirations for some guidance to no avail, I went ahead with it anyway.
Maybe I wanted to try something impulsive and felt like it was a good time at the beginning of summer, so I tried ‘bleaching’ my eyebrows last weekend. It’s imperative to do a patch test, so I did so on a little area of arm hair, with caution due to areas of eczema. The skin underneath the hair started off alarmingly red after I left the cream mixture on for longer than the specified time to see if it would truly go bleach from black hairs. Sure enough, the hairs on that tiny patch of my arm turned golden blonde (not bleach however) and the redness soon disappeared. I was in the all clear.
After waiting 24 hours from the patch test, I started the quick process on my eyebrows. Going for the most price-friendly and vetted option, I used the Jolen creme bleach ‘mild formula with aloe vera’ from Boots. The little box comes containing a kit of creme, accelerator powder, a mixing cup and spatula.
First, you simply wash the area you will bleach in cold water with soap and pat it dry, then mix 3 parts of the creme in the mixing cup (up to the first line) along with a measured capful of the accelerator powder using the tiny spatula. Once the mixture is blended, you just apply it to the area of hair you wish to bleach and make sure its covered completely. The box tells you to wait 8 minutes to remove the application and then if its not bleached, to reapply the mixture for a further 5-10 minutes but if you have dark/black hairs like mine, I would go ahead and leave it on for the additional time as my eyebrows were still dark after the initial 8 minutes. After 18 minutes past, I saw bright blonde hairs poking out on top of the mixture so assuming they had been bleached, washed it off with cold water and patted it dry. It’s important to leave the bleached area free of any heat or direct sunlight for the following 24 hours. Do beware if you have dark hairs like mine, that the results can be auburn/ginger instead of an intended bleach – especially against a darker skin tone.
I turned to my mum and she said “it looks like there’s something missing from your face”, so it was confirmedly a risky decision. Up close, the hairs are pointedly blonde, again not bleach, but far away, they look disappointedly auburn/light brown so start to blend in a little. So much for an impulsive change.
If you do want to go full on bleached brows, I’d recommend trying the ‘original formula’ Jolen instead, or other brands too, because the mild version I bought is probably part of the cause of my end results. I could also try the mixture for a third time to see if the hairs go even lighter, but I feel the current light brown/blonde/ginger colour can at least pass with my lighter hairstyle now and still look ‘professional’. Against my natural black colour 2/4 hair, similar to the faux locs, the lighter brows blended in to my face a lot more due to the contrast with my hair, which achieves the effect of changing the light and shade structures on your face. But with lighter hair, the lightened brows actually go together so it seems as though there’s been no change made and nobody really notices unless I point it out.
Lastly, if you wish to try this, its probably best if you have more definitive, thicker eyebrow hairs than I do (after plucking in my younger years destroyed their bushiness) so the colour makes more of an impact. Either way, I love the trend on others and its always good to experiment – even if you fudge it up, your hair will eventually grow back underneath.