The Truth Behind Brow Lamination

You’ve seen it across Instagram, your favorite influencers preach about it, and now the girls in the office are raving about it- but what is eyebrow lamination and why the heck is it everywhere?

Eyebrow lamination burst onto the scene as an innovative alternative to microblading and microshading. The trend started in Russia, and quickly took Europe by storm. By 2019, it was all the rage in North America, but consumers and salon-goers everywhere still have a lot of unanswered questions. At Tintery, we’re the experts of all things brow, and we’re here to break down the mystery behind 2022’s hottest brow trend.

To put it simply, eyebrow lamination is a chemical semi-permanent process that keeps your brows uplifted, glossy, and smooth. Essentially, it’s a perm. The procedure results in high volume, often darkened, perfectly shaped brows. Lamination enthusiasts have spoken out about how it simplifies your daily makeup routine, and gives you a 24/7 brow gel look. The downside is brow lamination will cost you a pretty penny if you're visiting Vancouver salons, with prices averaging $90, and lamination only lasts 6 weeks.  

What people tend to forget when a new beauty trend hits the scene, is often they are re-iterations of trends from the past. Perms were hugely popular in the 1980’s, and aside from big curly locks going out of style, perms were left in the past due to their high ammonia formulas which dried hair out and caused immense damage. 

Is there a dark side to brow lamination that no one seems to be looking at? 

The chemical that keeps your brows laminated and uplifted is a compound called Ammonium Thioglycolate. It’s used as a chemical hair straightener, and also used as a reducing agent in textiles. According to the National Library of Medicine, Ammonium Thioglycolate is listed as corrosive, toxic, and a skin irritant that can lead to burns, rashes, eczema,  and central nervous system depression. Yikes. 

If you’re a skincare aficionado, brow lamination also means putting certain products on hold. Retinol, and AHAs and BHAs (exfoliators) are chemicals that do not mix well with lamination. That means a month prior to your appointment it is recommended to avoid certain skincare products to avoid any skin irritations. 

Can I get the laminated look, without the harsh chemicals?

Yes. It’s 2022 and truthfully there’s a beauty hack for everything (some more safe and effective than others). Although not a permanent solution, brow gels and soap brows are the safest and easiest way to achieve the uplifted high brow look. Soap brows require an old-school bar of soap and a mascara wand, and will give you the same permed look. If you need to fill in sparse areas for a fuller volume look, a brow pencil works great. Just about any bar of soap will do the trick, but we prefer natural options that are sensitive skin friendly. 

But our personal fave? Brow Gel. Brow Gels have come a long way since their pomade ancestors, and although not a permanent solution, brow gels are so easy to apply it makes it worth the daily application. 

When we were designing our Tinty Brow Gel formula, we had 3 goals in mind. The first, to get laminated looking brows that lasted all day long. That means sweat-proof, water-resistant, life-proof brows. The second, to have a brow gel that doesn't harden, flake, or leave a white residue (for the love of god who wants crispy brows?!). And lastly, to create a brow gel with entirely natural ingredients- that means vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, paraben-free, sulphate free, gluten-free, fragrance-free, and dye-free. Ultimately, brow lamination is about giving you the power to change the direction of hairs and fixing them in place- and brow gels can do just that. 

Lamination may be the hot trend today, but like any beauty trend, it will fade. Having a chemical-free solution to achieve the same look means your brows also won’t fade! As a female in her late 20’s, I’m not new to fad beauty trends. I survived the era of pencil-thin eyebrows, ombré hair, and bedazzled nails. Feathered brows are today's look, but what will tomorrow bring? This is where I beg the question: beauty, but at what cost? From my experience, any beauty trend that compromises your skin or hair is certainly not worth the long term risk. My advice? Grab a brow gel and get the laminated look for a fraction of the cost. Your brows will thank you.

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