A lot of energy expended by modern humans goes into trying to pretend we aren’t mammals. In most societies, the heaviest burden of hair removal falls on women, but men are generally expected to keep themselves looking at least more evolved than Neanderthals. Got a beard? Keep it trimmed. Got a unibrow? Bummer. When two eyebrows become one, a lot of people feel free to judge the owner of those brows—male or female—as having poor grooming habits. Unfair, sure, but it means unibrow hair removal is one of the oldest and most respected forms of manscaping. If you’re fond of your unibrow, more power to you. But if you see yourself as more of a multi-brow man (or woman), options abound to get rid of your unibrow.
Unibrow Removal Options
Pluck your unibrow. Plucking is a good option if your unibrow is sparse, but if you have more than a few stray hairs between your brows, tweezing them out one by one can be a slow and painful process, and you’ll probably be better off using one of the other options listed below. If you can get by with it, plucking a unibrow has some definite advantages. For one thing, it’s free, assuming you already own tweezers. And since it involves pulling the hairs out by the follicles, it takes weeks for a plucked unibrow hair to come back to haunt you. However, new hairs will appear in the meantime, so you’ll probably need to tweeze stragglers every couple of days.
Wax your unibrow. Waxing is probably the most popular method of large-scale eyebrow hair removal, and why not? It gets the job done quickly, with relatively little pain, and keeps eyebrows looking well-groomed for at least two or three weeks. Eyebrow waxing is pretty inexpensive, as salon procedures go, but if you can’t budget in a professional wax, at-home waxing kits with miniature strips for facial hair removal are easy to come by. Since errors in eyebrow grooming can be embarrassing, follow the kit’s instructions carefully (including the part about cleaning and preparing the skin), use a steady hand, and plan for the area between your brows to be red and irritated for a few hours afterward.
Shave your unibrow. No, really. The idea that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker and darker is a misconception, so you can safely shave unibrow hair. However, because shaving cuts off the hair at the surface of the skin rather than pulling it out by the root, a shaved monobrow will require more maintenance than a waxed or plucked one. Depending on how quickly your facial hair grows, you may even need to go over it with a razor every day. Use a small, specially-designed eyebrow razor for a more precise shave, and reduce stubble and skin irritation by letting shaving cream sit between your brows for a few minutes first. Wetting your skin prior to cream application helps as well.
Get rid of a unibrow with facial hair removal cream. Like shaving, depilatory cream removes unwanted hair at the surface of the skin rather than at the root, so a unibrow removed using this method would need touch-ups at least once a week. Unlike shaving, hair removal creams use chemicals to dissolve the hair, so they aren’t actually recommended—by me or their manufacturers—for use around the eyes. If you’re determined to try it anyway, be sure to use a product made specifically for facial hair. Nair, Avon, Sally Hansen, and many other companies offer facial depilatory creams that are gentle enough for the sensitive skin of the face. But be careful of your eyes, darn it.
If the hair between your eyebrows is mostly short and fine, you may be able to bleach it. Facial hair bleaching creams usually contain hydrogen peroxide to lighten the color of unwanted hair, plus moisturizers to soften the hair and condition the skin. This isn’t a solution for every unibrow, since the bleach may not completely penetrate thicker hairs, blond hairs may still show up against darker complexions, and bushy monobrows will probably just look striped. But a barely-there unibrow could be rendered unnoticeable with an application of bleaching cream every couple of weeks or so.
Natural Eyebrow Grooming
Eyebrow threading, a facial hair removal technique that originated in India and the Middle East, involves rolling intertwined cotton threads along the skin to lift a line of hair out by the follicles. Threading has been gaining popularity in America because it’s quicker than plucking, more precise than waxing, and safe for sensitive skin.
Sugaring is a natural, homemade alternative to waxing. Recipes vary, but they generally involve heating a mixture of granulated sugar, lemon juice, and water to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, then letting it cool until it can be spread on the skin comfortably and covered with a strip of cotton cloth. When the cloth is pulled quickly away, your unibrow will come with it. If you aren’t much of a cook, commercial sugaring preparations are also available.
Nad’s (go ahead and laugh—I did) offers a complete line of natural, environmentally friendly hair removal products for both women and men. Their Facial Wand or Facial Wax Strips are perfect for getting rid of unibrows.
Permanent Unibrow Removal
Laser hair removal is a popular semi-permanent option for getting rid of unibrows and other unwanted facial hair. It involves sending a strong beam of light beneath the skin, where the heat of the laser is absorbed by dark-colored hair follicles, damaging them and slowing future hair growth. To achieve long-lasting hair removal, you can expect to undergo about half a dozen treatments spaced several weeks apart. Laser hair removal is most effective at removing dark hair on light skin; it simply doesn’t work on light-colored hair, and it can damage dark or tanned skin.
Unlike laser hair removal, electrolysis is really, actually permanent. It also works on skin of any complexion and removes hair of any color. During an electrolysis session, the electrologist inserts a needle-like electrode into the follicle of each visible hair, one at a time, damaging the follicles with a mild electrical current. The process prevents regrowth of the treated hairs, but as new hairs grow in, they will need to be treated as well. If you choose electrolysis to get rid of your unibrow, it will probably take at least five sessions over a number of months to eliminate all the hair between your eyebrows.
Prescription Hair Removal Cream
Technically, it’s more of a hair prevention cream, but there is an FDA-approved prescription medication for treating synophrys—that’s the medical term for a unibrow—and other unwanted facial hair. Vaniqa (eflornithine HCl) works in the hair follicles by blocking an enzyme that’s required for hair growth. You’ll still need to remove existing unibrow hairs by plucking, waxing, or using one of the other eyebrow hair removal methods described to the right, but after applying Vaniqa cream between your brows twice a day for a month or two, you should start to notice fewer hairs growing back in.