Look, I get that I’m nearing 30 and most of my friends are, too, so it’s probably too late for me to save you, but if you have children or you plan on having children, you can feel free to read this to them when the time is right. If I can help one teenage girl’s adulthood by sharing this tiny piece of wisdom, I will consider myself an accomplished woman.
I, myself, came across this piece of wisdom a few years too late when I read an interview with Rose McGowan in a magazine. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.
Here’s the lesson: DON’T SHAVE YOUR EYEBROWS OFF.
You see, when I was a teenager, I decided I wanted to be a sexy goth chick (which, P.S., I totally failed at, because I know sexy goth chicks now and they are totally sexy and I was totally not) and I decided that in order to do that, I had to get rid of my humdrum eyebrows and draw on sexy, dramatic ones.
I’m not going to lie to you. I have some insane photos of myself as a teenager, but I hate most of them, so while these aren’t the craziest brows, this is the only photo you’re going to get. This was in my post-goth-moving-toward-sexy(?)-nerddom-alterna-chick(?) phase when I was 16 or so. I learned how to play like, every Ramones and Misfits song on the guitar and wore lots of superhero t-shirts. It was a good time.
There they are.
Look, the truth is that sometimes, my eyebrows looked killer hot. And I got really good at drawing them in – a skill that has been incredibly useful to me in adulthood both for myself (about to get to that) and for all of the makeup I’ve done for people for photo shoots, plays I’ve produced, and so on.
But here’s the thing you don’t (I didn’t) think about when you shave off your eyebrows: they don’t grow back.
Wait a second, you’re thinking, I shave my legs and my armpits and my face (shout out to the guys reading my blog!) and those all grow back.
Yes, okay. They grow back.
But they may never be the same. And they may take years – YEARSYEARSYEARS – to grow back.
I think I fully shaved my eyebrows twice, maybe three times. Maybe. I did that some time when I was around 14-16 years old.
I am almost 27 now and only in the last year or two have my eyebrows started to look normal. I still struggle with the ends of my eyebrows, which are patchy. I still struggle with the fact that they grew back in a very ashy, light colour, too. So while I have eyebrows, they’re very light and I always have to fill them in. The last few weeks, I’ve been on a mission to let them grow in a bit thicker and my god, has that been a challenge. I swear I pep talk them every morning and they’re still coming in at a snail’s pace.
So yeah, there you go. When I read the Rose McGowan interview and she said something like, “it’s taken a decade and my eyebrows still aren’t back,” I thought wow, what shitty luck! Now, over 10 years after shaving my own, I’m like ROSE KNOWS, GUYS. ROSE KNOWS.
Tell your teenage daughters.
(For the record, I’ve known a couple guys who have shaved off their brows and they’ve never had this same problem. Lucky bastards.)