Boob implants, I totally get. Bigger, rounder, gravity-defying boobs are desirable. Dental implants, I totally get. People need those for oral health reasons. I even get cheek and chin implants for those who seek to enhance their looks and who want fuller cheeks or a stronger chin. But eyebrow implants? Those are a thing now, if you want Cara Delevingne- and Lily Collins-like, thick, bushy, and full brows. After all, for those of you keeping score at home, Delevingne trumped World Cup star Cristiano Ronaldo in the Great Brow Off.
Now, about those implants.
What's being implanted is hair — not fat, duh! — harvested from other areas of your body. The hairs are relocated to the brow region to fill in sparse areas that may have been damaged by too much plucking or waxing. Since those popular browscaping methods can cause some root damage, your brow hairs tend to grow in thinner and more sparsely, so the effect is cumulative and doesn't seem to be reversible. Thank you to the '90s and its thin, barely there brows, since we're paying for it now. Plucking, tweezing, and waxing aren't the only culprits for thinning brows. There are genetic and dermatological reasons that can cause you to suffer from too-thin brows. Just sayin'.
Those thick and defined Delevingne/Collins brows are all the rage in 2014, however, since they frame the face and make you look younger. That's probably why a U.K. plastic surgery group reported recently that there has been a 45 percent increase in brow implant inquiries since 2010. The fuller brow trend has officially taken off.
Byrdie laid out the captivating, step-by-step details about how the procedure, designed to combat and improve upon the effects of too much pluckery, actually works. Spoiler: Your brows are gonna scab over.
If you want thicker brows and using cosmetic products isn't an option for you, well, you can endure this procedure and hopefully end up with these results.
Looking good, Lily Collins. Don't you just love how her inner brow corners are deliciously messy and almost unkempt? They offset the artful arches.
Yep, I am starting to get it. Who wouldn't want a perfectly thick and long brow such as this?
The official medical name for eyebrow implants is follicular unit extraction. It works like hair transplants that dudes get at Bosley outposts. So, a surgeon takes hairs from all over your body — the scalp, the legs, and the arms are donor regions— and transplants them into incisions made along the brow line. About 400 follicles are relocated to the brow area in a two- to three-hour session; I used to get eyelash extensions and it took about that long. Lash add-ons were not painful. Unless, of course, you consider painfully boring a form of agony, since I had to lay down and remain still with my eyes closed while listening to zen, New Age music, which didn't do much to drown out the beeps indicating that I had emails and texts flooding my iPhone, making me squirm and stress.
The brow implant healing process takes two weeks. The brows will scab, the hairs will fall out, and regrow. The cycle of follicular life begins again. Maintenance consists of brow trims every few days but that might be worth it to get Kim Kardashian-like eyebrows.
Brow implants ain't cheap, either. A full set can set you back anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000.
All that? To copy Delevingne's full framers? It feels a bit extreme, especially since full brows can go out of vogue as easily as they came into it. You can be stuck with really thick brows if thin ones quickly become a thing again and if you want to keep up with trends, you're sorta screwed.
And what if you hate 'em?
In both cases, you are going to have to pluck and wax again, creating further damage.
That said and all things considered, if you're game and you need and can't live without a bold brow, it seems like a quick and not-so-invasive procedure.
Those might not create super duper thick brows, but they will enhance them in a cheaper, less drastic way.