Grooming

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Bushy Eyebrows

And how you can do it, too.
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I knew my eyebrows were a problem when a coworker confronted me about them. "We need to trim your eyebrows," she said one day out of nowhere, trying to sound gentle, even helpful. The "we" was so supportive. 

I had made it to 27 without ever really giving much thought to my eyebrows, which are—yeah—bushy. Okay, even Eugene Levy-like. But that had never seemed like an issue before. Other than trying to make sure it always looked like I had two brows, I just let them be, doing their thing. It seemed odd, vain, and even unattractive for a man to fuss about his eyebrows.     

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Some of the most memorable idols of my youth were men with thick, even lush eyebrows. Peter Gallagher rightfully became a big-screen heartthrob at least in part because he seemed to stare right at the viewer from behind giant, unnaturally curved brows that told you exactly what he was thinking better than words could. Martin Scorsese’s wild, unkempt caterpillars added to his aura of unknowable genius. Same for Groucho Marx. They made you wonder, "What secrets are hiding in those brows?" 

To be clear, I have nothing against my eyebrows. I like them. They add character. They make me me. But you don’t always want people to notice your eyebrows before anything else, or wonder what’s hiding in them. (Especially if you’re not Peter Gallagher.) Plus, as I got a little older, I noticed stray hairs poking up and out, curling away as if they wanted to escape my head. If I caught this unfortunate look in the mirror, I would try to put them back into place, but it wasn’t much use. My eyebrows had ideas of their own. 

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Which brings me back to my coworker. I had honestly never considered trimming or how I might even go about such a thing. Do you go to a salon? A spa? Does it involve threads or wax?

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No, no, no, and no, unless you’re going for an extremely manicured look that will make people think you’re auditioning for a role on The CW. For everyone else, the procedure is simple, painless, and best of all, free and accomplished at home.

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If your brows are getting out of hand, here’s what you should do, as shown to me by my coworker: Grab a pair of scissors—any scissors will work, but avoid giant shears more appropriate for gardening—and find a mirror.

Purposefully mess up your eyebrows so longer hairs shoot up above where they should be. Take the scissors and gingerly—it’s important not to overdo this—cut at the top of your brow line so the excess hair falls away. 

And that’s it. Congratulations, you’ve taken care of your eyebrows. 

There’s nothing wrong with a bushy brow. Quite the contrary. The key here is to keep your bushy eyebrows contained. In addition to the rule that you should have two brows, your brows should not distract from whatever else is happening on your face.

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One man who clearly knows this is perpetually underrated actor Chris Pine, who finally distinguished himself from all the other Chris beefcakes of Hollywood and proved his worth to the masses in Wonder Woman, the second-biggest movie of the year. Pine excellently holds his own alongside Gal Gadot, pulling off a screwball chemistry that shines amid all the CGI-ed superhero and supervillain blasts. 

The thick, arched, sandy-colored eyebrows certainly help him. Those are no pretty-boy brows. But notice that they are not wild, either. They are contained, civilized. I am confident in saying that Chris Pine, or someone in his inner sanctum, definitely trims his eyebrows. I am also confident in saying that as I looked up at Pine’s face in Wonder Woman, glowing on the big screen, I realized that I had even started to love my bushy eyebrows, too.


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Brow Shaping Scissors and Brush by Tweezerman

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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