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Eyebrows help keep our eyes clean and clear, and can help us communicate. They also help define the looks of our faces. And just as people’s bodies come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, so do eyebrows.

There’s a significant number of factors that may affect the appearance of your eyebrows. Eyebrow hair loss, for example, can be caused by some medical conditions and medications.

While ideal eyebrow appearances vary, one popular look is that of full, well-defined eyebrows. Eyebrow extensions are one way to emphasize the appearance of brows.

Read on to learn about eyebrow extensions, how they’re applied, and more.

Eyebrow extensions are strands of mink or synthetic hair that are glued directly onto your brow hairs and to the skin around the eyebrows. This is done using surgical adhesive.

Many beauty enthusiasts are now writing about the procedure as more people choose to enhance their eyebrows using this procedure. A growing number of salons offer eyebrow extensions.

Most people get eyebrow extensions applied in a salon by a beauty professional. According to beauty salon websites, eyebrow extensions are applied strand by strand. Some beauty enthusiasts apply eyebrow extensions at home using application kits.

Because the procedure is time-consuming and difficult to perform on yourself unless you have experience, let’s go over how it’s performed at a salon.

Step by step

  1. Your provider will help you decide what kind of eyebrow extensions you want: natural mink fiber or synthetic.
  2. Your eyebrow hair color will be matched to your extensions.
  3. Your face will then be gently washed and dried. Next, brows are tweezed into the desired shape and outlined lightly using an eyebrow pencil.
  4. Individual eyebrow extension strands are applied one by one using a tweezer. Each strand is dipped in adhesive before being applied to the skin or in some cases to existing hairs.

Depending on how many eyebrow extensions you need applied, the entire application process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more.

The cost of the procedure depends on how many extensions you get. Most applications have a base cost of about $50 for subtle use of extensions, but can go up to a few hundred dollars for a more extensive application.

You can expect your eyebrow extensions to fall out on their own after 5 to 14 days if glued to the skin. They’ll last a few weeks if glued to your natural eyebrow hairs.

Compared to other types of eyebrow-enhancing procedures, including microblading, eyebrow extensions are noninvasive. However, it’s important to note that the procedure hasn’t been studied by cosmetic researchers.

Anecdotal reports list several benefits eyebrow extensions have over other procedures:

  • little risk of side effects
  • little-to-no discomfort
  • cheaper than other alternatives (besides, in some cases, makeup)
  • relatively quick application time
  • no recovery time

Generally, eyebrow extensions are a simple and noninvasive procedure. Yet, like most cosmetic procedures, there are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Avoid getting your eyebrow extensions wet for 24 hours.
  • Avoid touching your eyebrow extensions. This can cause them to fall out faster.
  • Eyebrow extensions aren’t permanent.

If you want to maintain the appearance they create, you’ll need to keep getting new extensions every 1 to 2 weeks — and that can cost a considerable amount of time and money.

If you have no eyebrows, uneven eyebrows or sparse eyebrows, eyebrow extensions can help lend a fuller, healthier look. Here are some before-and-after photos of what your brows can look like with a little help from extensions.

Microblading and nanoblading are two similar methods of adding semi-permanent pigment to the skin beneath your eyebrows. They’re another popular cosmetic option for people who want to change the shape and style of their brows.

Like eyebrow extensions, microblading and nanoblading can add color and fullness to your brows.

In microblading, a tool containing tiny needles is dragged across your eyebrows. This tool pokes shallow lines into the uppermost layer of your skin, mimicking the shape of your individual hairs. These lines are filled with pigment to match your eyebrow color.

The nanoblading process is more similar to traditional tattooing. A needle is quickly inserted into the outer layer of your skin rather than dragged.

Microblading and nanoblading aren’t permanent tattoos, which send ink deeper below your skin’s surface. They last between 1 and 3 years before a touch up is necessary. That’s far, far longer than eyebrow extensions can last.

Compared to microblading and nanoblading, eyebrow extensions cost less per session but can cost more over time to maintain the results.

You can expect to pay between $400 and $800 for an initial microblading or nanoblading session, and smaller amounts for touch ups after 12 to 18 months.

On the flip side, because the results of microblading and nanoblading are semi-permanent, it’s difficult to immediately change your look if you’re unhappy with it.

While costlier in the long run, eyebrow extensions have several benefits over microblading and nanoblading. For example, eyebrow extensions are a non-invasive procedure.

There’s no recovery time, risk of infection or discomfort involved, like there is for microblading and nanoblading, which also require significantly more aftercare than eyebrow extensions.

There are other ways to make your eyebrows look fuller and thicker. Besides eyebrow extensions and microblading and nanoblading, you may want to consider the following:

Eyebrow extensions are one of a few ways to boost the appearance of your brows. While they can be costly and aren’t long-lasting, beauty enthusiasts say the procedure is quick, with little risk of any discomfort or side effects.

If you’re tired of applying brow makeup daily, but don’t want to commit to microblading or nanoblading, eyebrow extensions might be the right procedure for you. Consult a beauty specialist to discuss your options.