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Fact checked by Jennifer Chesak on May 13, 2019.
I think skinny eyebrows run in my family, not because we have fine hair, but because we must be genetically predisposed to overplucking. Just about every woman in my family, at one time or another, has fallen victim to surgical-grade tweezers and home hot wax kits.
I can vividly remember my grandmother sitting before her three-way cosmetic mirror and carefully, painstakingly applying her eyebrows for the day. After years of tweezing them down to just a few wispy hairs and filling the rest in with a pencil, she finally shaved them off and starting using stencils to draw them in.
She had a massive selection of different shapes to choose from, all purchased from a mail-order catalog (this was before Amazon). You just pick your style, slap ’em on where your eyebrows are supposed to be, and color away. One day, you’re Elizabeth Taylor; the next, Clara Bow.
I think I was about 13 when my mom informed me that it was time to start taming the caterpillars on my face. She took me to a salon to get my first professional eyebrow wax. I left with shapelier brows as well as second-degree burns on the skin around them. You’d think that would have turned me off to the whole thing, but it didn’t. I tweezed and waxed for more than a decade before I realized that I may want to give my now-spindly eyebrows a break.
Which is all to say that when I heard Healthline was testing out an eyebrow serum, I was the first to volunteer (literally). I’ve spent the last few years trying to repair the damage I’d done to my brows.
I swore off wax and now only pluck an errant hair here and there. I’ve researched and tested various DIY techniques to help regrow hair, like exfoliating the skin around your brow bone then conditioning the hair with castor oil every night. I even spent many nights going down internet rabbit holes reading up on microblading, which still just seems a bit too extreme and scary for me.
While my brows have filled out a bit more since I ditched waxing and tweezing, they’ve never returned to their former, fuller, glory — and I’m not sure they ever will. Waxing can be an efficient way to remove hair, but it can also damage the hair follicle, slowing or preventing regrowth.
I can mostly get by thanks to a wide range of tinted eyebrow gels, but I was still eager to test out the brow serum to see if it would help. I figured that the worst thing that could happen would be that, well, nothing would happen.
Before getting started, I did a little research on the product and, of course, read a bunch of user reviews.
For this experiment I used RapidBrow eyebrow-enhancing serum. It’s worth noting that the RapidBrow site and packaging doesn’t claim to regrow brow hair, but just enhance the look and feel of existing hair.
The user reviews were mostly positive. There were a ton of confidence-inspiring before and after photos showing thicker, fuller brows. However, they did note that these results didn’t last on their own; you’d have to keep using the serum to maintain your new brows. The few negative reviews I read were mostly from people who were disappointed that they didn’t see results.
You can buy RapidBrow direct or you can find it at most Walgreens or CVS stores and even Bed Bath & Beyond.
Apparently, there’s an issue with counterfeit products out there (gasp!) masquerading as RapidBrow but using different ingredients, so be sure to check the site for approved sellers to make sure the product is legit before buying.
RapidBrow boasts its “Hexatein 2 Complex” formula, which, according to their website, contains six ingredients designed to condition, tame, and volumize eyebrow hair:
- polypeptides, which are short chains of amino acids that help build proteins
- keratin, a type of protective protein that makes up your hair, nails, and skin
- biotin, a type of B vitamin that also benefits hair, skin, and nails
- apple fruit cell extract, which
may have some anti-aging properties
- panthenol, also known as vitamin B-5
- sweet almond extract, which is often used in hair products as a strengthening agent
There are, of course, lots of other ingredients in the serum: water, glycerin, dimethicone, and a bunch of other things I can’t pronounce, much less spell.
Before starting I did a quick allergy test to make sure the serum didn’t irritate my skin. The last thing I want is a rash around my eyes. I didn’t experience an adverse reaction, but some reviewers commented it gave them a rash. Everyone’s skin is different, so always be sure to do a spot test before diving in.
Applying the product was really easy. The applicator looks like a mascara wand, and you just swipe it on each brow the same way you would with a brow gel. The bristles on the wand are a bit coarse, but I think that’s also meant to help with exfoliation to help stimulate the hair follicles. If you have really sensitive skin, you may want to be gentler with the application.
The instructions said to apply one coat of the serum two times a day, so I just added it to my normal morning and evening skin care routine. It only needs a minute or so to dry, so it added a tiny bit of time to my morning routine if I was putting on makeup. Otherwise it was a pretty seamless addition to my skin care regimen.
The serum dries clear. Although it did get a bit flaky at times, this usually wasn’t an issue, and I could still wear it under my tinted eyebrow gel.
I didn’t have any illusions that after two months of using an over-the-counter serum I’d have Brooke Shields’ brows (and neither should you, let’s be real). At most I was hoping to fill in some of the patchy parts and possibly use a bit less makeup to fill them in from now on. If my brows grew in, great! If not, thank goodness for Boy Brow, right?
After the first two or three weeks of using the serum, I didn’t notice much of a change. My left eyebrow has a slightly patchy section, and I was specifically monitoring that section for hair growth, assuming that would be the easiest way to detect a change.
At the end of the fourth week, I swear that the patchy section seemed a bit fuller — or at least, less sparse — than before. The second month was when I started to see more noticeable changes. My eyebrows looked a bit thicker, and the patchy section did fill in. Some days I even forgot to wear my beloved tinted brow gel.
I definitely noticed some new hair growth, which has also made my brows look a bit messy… but at least they’re fuller than before.
After 60 days of using RapidBrow, I definitely saw results and am happy to know that I didn’t damage my eyebrows beyond repair with all that waxing and tweezing years ago. However, the results don’t last. I’ll likely have to keep using RapidBrow to maintain the effects.
At $50 a tube (which lasts about two months), that can be a steep investment over time, especially if you only see minimal improvements. But the price is in line with most comparable brow treatments on the market.
Overall, RapidBrow seems like a safe and easy option if you’re looking for a way to enhance your eyebrows and make them appear fuller.
That said, I’m not all that upset about my 90s-skinny brows. Sure, I could have spared myself the torture of hot wax all those years, but it was also a rite of passage of sorts.
I’m happy with the slight change I’ve noticed after using this serum, but I think this experiment also reminded me that my eyebrows are fine just as they are. Yours probably are, too!
Note: Results may vary.
Erin Petersen is an editor and content strategist based in Oakland, California. She currently works as an editorial director at Healthline and leads the Women of Healthline Committee. She loves that her work allows her to combine several passions: storytelling, health advocacy, and womxn’s empowerment.