When I was young, I got my eyebrows waxed and they came back shitty. Since that fateful one-and-only time waxing, I’ve always been kind of disappointed with my eyebrows and their insolent refusal to grow–especially the left one because depending on how the hairs lay, it occasionally looks like I have a bald spot there. And not a cool, post-mugging eyebrow bald spot like Spike. No, just a regular old one, the kind that distracts you when you catch it in a mirror.

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The first lesson that should be learned form this is don’t start waxing your kid’s eyebrows too young. Don’t. I don’t care how alienated they feel in school, it’s important to remind yourself that 1) kids feel alienated by fucking everything in school, 2) thick eyebrows look awesome (especially on girls) and 3) if your kid ever decides of her own volition that she really, really needs to take them down a size and/or sculpt, not waxing too early will mean she has something substantive to work with.

(Sidenote: I really can’t emphasize enough how great thick eyebrows look and if you need more reminding, consider Hilary Rhoda, Jennifer Connelly, Audrey Hepburn, Brooke Shields, etc).

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So you’re in my situation and your eyebrows are a little sparse. Not only that, they’re sparse and if they’re not in exactly the right place, they can look pretty wonky. For this, I’ve historically padded them out with a simple dark brown pencil in addition to a tinted gel that will hold them in place, like Anastasia here (who didn’t finance this mention in any way nor have I ever gotten a sample from them, every tube of this stuff I’ve used I have purchased myself):

I read somewhere that Pat McGrath–probably the greatest makeup artist in history–said you should always double up on brow colors to “add dimension.” So I use a brow gel (in “brunette“) that’s slightly lighter than my natural brow color and kind of feather it all around, but I’ll also do some contour lines with a darker pencil (my brows are actually a lot darker than my hair, though, so I have to be careful about making them appear any darker). If you ever see me out at Fashion Week or something, though, don’t scrutinize my eyebrows, okay?

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Like I said, my coloring system has worked well for years. But one night I was staying awake late, lost in some sort of Wikipedia k-hole. I think I was researching Latisse because I wanted to know if it can really change the color of your eyes without warning. Not that I’m interested in using Latisse, mostly just, “Holy shit, that would be terrible!” Anyway, I got sucked into a spiral of beauty forums and before I knew it, I’d come across a discussion about the benefits of putting Rogaine on your eyebrows.

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It made sense. Rogaine makes your head hair grow, but probably not in the lush, Uncle Jesse way that some bald guys are hoping. I’d even seen some Rogaine before and after photos where the after reminded me of eyebrow hairs. I read through the whole thread and then figured I’d give it a shot.

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And so…

The next day I went to the pharmacy in my neighborhood, confronted with all different kinds of hair growth serums. Having done virtually no research besides “buy some Rogaine, maybe, and see what happens,” I just kind of stood there, slack-jawed, wondering what the teenage employee thought of this situation.

Finally, I opted for Women’s Rogaine and my reasoning was (verbatim) “I’m a woman. Women’s Rogaine is for women. Therefore, I should get Women’s Rogaine.” Airtight, if you ask me.

Tangentially, sometimes I don’t know how I can do simple tasks like, for example, walk and talk simultaneously.

Of fucking course it’s this color

On the walk home, self-doubt began to sink in and I started Googling around. Sure enough, Women’s Rogaine won’t cut it. Minoxidil, the medication that actually makes your hair grow, makes up a measly 2% solution in the Women’s stuff. I guess because ladies need dainty amounts of medication. Makes sense on account of our daintiness.

Apparently if you want this to work, you need a 5% Minoxidil solution and–in order to find that sweet sweet ratio of medication to inert other stuff–you’ll need to butch things up considerably:

Way manlier, right?

I know. It’s not really my place to apologize for all marketing efforts ever, but sometimes I feel compelled. Anyway, Men’s Extra Strength is what you need.

Anyway. A few months ago, I added “Rogaine your face” to my nightly cleansing routine. All you have to do is dip a q-tip in the bottle and spread it out across your eyebrows, focusing if you like on the thinner spots. I’d have taken photos if I thought I was going to blog this but I don’t really go through life thinking to myself, “I should photograph this shit so I can blog it later.” Which, granted, would probably make me a better blogger.

 

Now, here’s the caveat. Rogaine is not intended for use on your fucking face. In fact, all kinds of horrible things can probably go wrong! It could get like Latisse and your eyes could just up and change on you one day. Or, they could explode in a shower of blood. Honestly, this is a risk you have to be willing to take (exploding blood eyes).

As for ass covering: I’m not suggesting you put Rogaine on your eyebrows. What I am saying is that maybe if you accidentally drop a little on your eyebrows, by mistake, then maybe make that same exact mistake once a day for maybe a few months… you might see some growth there.

Now, I’ll cut to the chase: the results haven’t been dramatic but they have been noticeable. The Rogaine definitely filled in some of the more desolate parts. I still use that Anastasia gel because the light tint x holding the hair in place offers what we like to call “good coverage” but that routine is pretty relegated to nights out when I’m doing full makeup anyway. As for daytime (when I’m usually makeup free), naked brows are more acceptable.

So, to answer the question, “Will Rogaine make your eyebrows grow?”:

…It did for me, but some forum members reported no results. Realistically, you will not get full Brooke Shields brows in a week. You may, however, see growth if it’s been stubborn before and, eventually, you may see some fullness where there wasn’t before. That is, if you’re willing to overlook the eye blood thing and all the unspeakable horrors that may accompany this dangerous practice.

Let us know if you’ve tried this Rogaine move. Or better yet, if you’ve had similar sprase brow problems and found a better way to address them.