3.4 Brow enhancement processes

In terms of the brow enhancement sequence, each brow artist will have a different way they like to do things. As you learned earlier, waxing can open pores, so some brow artists like to tint the brows first, whereas others will do this last, especially when using henna to achieve a crisper result. If your client wants a brow lamination treatment and henna, you should do henna colouring first and then wait at least 3 days before doing the brow lamination because the henna and brow lamination chemicals can react but we will cover this separately. Our expert recommends the following sequence:

For the purposes of your training, in this module, we follow this sequence. As you practice your skills, you will determine which sequence works best for you. There are also numerous brow service techniques, and it would be impossible to cover them all in one course. As such, in addition to our expert tutorials, we have also included video tutorials from a range of brow artists and online influencers so you can see different people in action. As you work through this module, take the time to watch all of the videos and access the supporting resources. If you come across a particular brow artist you like, then subscribe to their channel and social media handles!

There is a lot to learn as a brow artist, so we suggest that you take detailed notes throughout this module and in the skills hub, where you will see our expert at work! In the skills hub, you will have an opportunity to apply and practice the techniques you will need to become a successful brow artist. As you will learn in an upcoming module, it is important to note that all of the products you use during brow services are decanted onto a palette, and you must never double dip into a wax pot! Sanitation and hygiene is a must to ensure that bacteria and other nasties are not spread from client to client.

Prepping the brows

The first step when preparing for a brow service is to wash and sanitise your hands in front of the client. This clearly shows that you are professional and that you take health and hygiene seriously. The next step is to prepare the brow area. Skin preparation is absolutely essential when performing brow services. You might be tempted to go straight into brow mapping, but you should never skip the skin preparation steps. There are three main steps for skin preparation:

During each step of the skin preparation process, you have an opportunity to clearly identify the clients face shape, eyes shape, brow shape and skin type! As you are applying each product, you can not only view their features closely, but you can also feel them. When working product in with your hands, you will also be able to identify any contraindications such as dry patches, scarring or blemishes. If you do identify contraindications, remember to discuss this with your client. Each step in the skin preparation process is explained in the table:

Makeup removal When booking appointments, you should always request that your clients arrive without makeup; however, this is not always possible. If your client has just come from work, they may have makeup on, so you should ensure that you have makeup remover in your kit just in case. There are lots of makeup removers on the market, and we will look at a few in more detail in a later module. In your kit, you should ensure that you have regular eye makeup remover for standard makeup removal and oil-free eye makeup remover to easily remove any waterproof products your client may still be wearing
Cleansing Even if your client arrives makeup-free, it is important to give the skin a cleanse. You can simply use a cotton round and micellar water to get rid of any dirt or excess oils that may have built up throughout the day. If you prefer, you can also use foam cleansers or cream cleansers.
Exfoliating Once the face is free of makeup and cleansed, you may also need to exfoliate the area if the client has not exfoliated the day before. Using a gentle exfoliator can help to buff away dry skin, leaving it feeling soft and nourished. Gentle exfoliation can also help to ensure that wax grips the hair and not the clients’ skin.

There are numerous products available on the market for pre-waxing, and you have a pre-wax mist in your kit to use. Most pre-wax sprays are like an all in one product that will generally include natural antiseptics (like tea tree) to desensitize the skin and help to remove any remaining dirt, makeup, or oils for a cleaner, more efficient waxing treatment.

Once the eyebrow skin is prepared, the next step is to brush the brows. This is an excellent way to really see what you are working with and to determine the direction of hair growth. If your client has super unruly brows, you may also want to give any long stray hairs a trim. This will just help to further define the hair removal area when you commence brow shaping.

Brow mapping

As covered earlier in this course, when we are mapping clients brows, we are essentially marking measurements on their face to determine where the brow line should start (head), where the arch should be (body) and where the brow should end (tail). Brow mapping is absolutely essential to ensure your work is symmetrical and to complement your clients’ natural features.

You will see a detailed tutorial video later in the course on brow mapping. For now, a visual example of brow mapping is shown below:

The example shown uses a brow mapping thread that looks a lot like dental floss; however, it is pre-inked, so the marks are lined for you as you press the string onto the skin. This is the type of brow mapping thread included in your supplied training kit.

This level of detail when brow mapping is usually used in permanent makeup applications but is a fantastic way for you to precisely determine your clients’ brow shape. This is the technique you will learn later in the course.

When you are starting out with brow mapping, don’t rush – take your time and do the marking and measurements correctly. Using brow mapping thread is super simple, and after a few practices, you will be good to go. It is critical when marking points and lines that you use clear markings. If your lines are fuzzy or you have doubled up, it will be harder to determine what hair needs to stay and what needs to be removed. If you make a mistake, remove the line completely and do it again.

As you learned earlier, face shapes and eye shapes have an impact on the sort of brow style that will be most suitable for each person. When you use brow mapping, you should achieve a symmetrical result each and every time, but there can be differences, especially when it comes to the arch of the brow.

The angle of the arch can be manipulated with brow mapping, and the curve may change depending on what your clients want and what will be most flattering. In terms of the most complimentary brow shapes for each face shape, the table provides a quick reference guide for what you should aim for and what you should avoid when selecting a specific brow shape with your client:

ShapeBrow shape you should aim forBrow shapes to avoid
RoundArched browToo round or flat (straight)
SquareCurved brow shape following the natural shapeHard angled brow
OvalSoft angled browBrow arches that are too high (hard angled)
HeartSoft angled browBrow arches that are too high (hard angled) and super straight lines
OblongFlat shape, with straighter linesAngled brow
DiamondCurved or soft angled browBrow arches that are too high (hard angled)

If you would like to learn more about eyebrow shapes for face shapes, access the resources linked:

Colouring the brow

Once the brows are mapped, if your client has opted to have a colouring service, you can begin colouring the brows. When you are starting out, it is good to map first so that you can get your ‘game plan’ together with the client before you begin your service. As your skills develop, you may want to mark your brow mapping lines after the tint or dye is complete.

When you are mixing colours, it is always good to do this in a mixing dish, and you must always follow the instructions for each product. Processing times and the ratio of dye and developers will vary from product to product. In turn, always make sure you know exactly what you need to mix and how long the dye needs to stay on.

When you are applying colour of any kind, you want to make sure that you first apply a barrier cream, an oil or a product like Vaseline outside of the ‘brow zone’. Tints, bleach, and lighteners can creep a little bit outside of the brow zone without too much hassle, but with henna – you have to be precise! When coating the brows with your chosen product, you need to make sure that you saturate the hair and really work the product in. Using bleach or lightener as an example, if you only apply a thin layer, then it is likely your clients’ brows will end up patchy!

Once again, you will see a detailed video tutorial on colouring the brows with tint later in the course.

Brow shaping

Once brows are coloured, you can then begin shaping the brow using your chosen hair removal technique. In this course, we will focus on hot wax hair removal, however, as you develop your skills and gain experience as a brow technician, you may opt for an alternative technique.

The basic procedure for hot wax is as follows:

  1. Warm the wax to the recommended temperature, and test the temperature on the inside of your wrist
  2. Dip your wax stick into wax, and apply to your first area of hair removal in the direction of hair growth
  3. Leave the first stick in place, and dip your second stick and apply to your next area of hair removal
  4. Once applied, remove your first stick against the direction of hair growth, flip the stick, dip in wax and apply to your next area of removal
  5. Repeat the above process until all areas of the brows have been waxed

Once again, you will see a detailed video tutorial on hot wax hair removal later in this course. Once you have completed your waxing, you may also want to brush through the brows and trim any longer hairs with trimming scissors. Trimming the brows can happen at any stage of the brow service, and you will usually do this a couple of times.

To see some hot wax applications for yourself, watch the videos linked:

Aftercare and finishing touches

Once you have completed hair removal, you will want to brush the eyebrows through and pluck any stray hairs you may have missed. To help with the redness, you should apply a post-wax soothing product to the brows. There are lots of products available, and you have been provided with an after wax oil to use in your kit. When selecting aftercare products, you will want to ensure they have soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and also ingredients that are hydrating to ensure the skin is well nourished.

Before the client leaves your treatment area, you should evaluate eyebrow shape against client expectations and make any fixes as necessary. If you are also applying light makeup to fill in parts of the brow or to contour/highlight, be sure to talk your client through the process so that they can maintain their #onfleek brows at home. Don’t apply too much makeup, as this can aggravate a waxed area. As part of your aftercare services, you should also recommend home care, complementary products, and book in any future treatments. Home care tips after a brow wax include:

  • Avoid touching the waxed area for at least 24 hours
  • Do not use harsh exfoliants as the skin will be sensitive, and this can cause further irritation
  • Avoid the gym, sauna, or any rigorous exercise as sweating after a brow wax can cause inflammation
  • After showering, make it a point to moisturise the skin around the eyebrows to soothe it and replenish lost moisture

Brow lamination

Before we finish this module, we will take a look at the brow lamination process. If you can remember back to the current trends lesson, brow lamination is a chemical perm to straighten brow hairs which can help clients to achieve a soft full fluffy brow look. This is a more advanced technique, and if done incorrectly, it can fry the hair and cause damage. In your supplied kit, you have a brow lamination kit that will have all of the products you need to perform a brow lamination service. Here are some examples of brow lamination before and after:

All brow lamination kits will come with their own set of instructions, but they will all usually follow the same sequence. You will generally use two solutions when laminating brows – a perming solution and a setting solution. So, how does it work? Put simply, the perming solution breaks the bonds of the hair and allows them to form into a new shape. Once processed, you then apply the setting solution so that the hair is fixed into that position. Your supplied training kit includes both of these, as well as a keratin solution to help restore moisture back into the brows. To perform a brow lamination, you will need to:

  1. Prepare the eyebrows and skin area in the same way you would when waxing
  2. Comb the brows neatly in the desired direction that you want them to stay – this is important!
  3. Apply an even layer of the brow perming solution using a mascara wand
  4. Apply a strip of wrap over the brows and wait the desired time period
  5. Remove the wrap and brow perming solution using a damp cotton pad
  6. Apply an even layer of the brow setting solution using a mascara wand
  7. Apply a strip of wrap over the brows and wait the desired time period
  8. Remove the wrap and brow perming solution using a damp cotton wool pad
  9. Apply keratin oil

Most brow artists tint the brows after the first two steps of the lamination is complete. When using henna, you must do this 3 days prior to the lamination, or some brow artists apply henna 24 hours later. Henna and the brow lamination solutions do not go well together, so to avoid reactions, it might be best to use a tint. In terms of post-treatment aftercare, you should recommend the following to your clients

  • Keep brows dry for 24 hours because excess moisture can cause a slight curl/frizz to the brow hair
  • Avoiding excessive rubbing or touching of the treated area for 24 hours
  • Do not apply make-up or undertake further eye treatments for at least 24 hours after your treatment
  • Do not allow prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or heat
  • Do not apply Retin-A, AHA or exfoliate around the brow area for 72 hours on either side of the treatment
  • No self-tanning products should be used on the face for one week prior and 48 hours after treatment

If you would like to learn more about brow lamination, access the resources linked:

As you will have seen in the videos, when working with brow lamination solutions – you need to work quickly and be precise! You should always apply timers to ensure that you do not overprocess any of the solutions. It is best for you to absolutely nail your eyebrow tinting technique first so that you have the motor skills to work with brow lamination products. When doing brow laminations, we recommend you do the lamination process first, then tint and then finish with the wax. Remember, when we do hair removal, we are pulling the hairs from the follicles, and we are aggravating the brow area somewhat. we are opening up the pores, so you do not want to get any lamination solutions or tint.

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