Ex over-plucker’s guide to growing out your brows

I still remember how it starts. You start plucking your brows, suddenly you notice how uneven they are and then you pluck some more. And some more. Next thing you know, your brows are so thin, if you just put enough foundation on, they practically disappear.

Yes, using too much foundation was another one of my late-teen beauty mistakes.

Story of my life.

I mean, plucking my brows was like a ritual- just like acrylic french tips which I always did myself (it might have taken me 3 hours at a time, but my fake nails were my pride and joy back in high school, thank you very much). I’d put on some music or watch some Polish soap operas on my laptop, grab my tweezers, my round mirror, and I was in the zone for the next 40 minutes or so.

I can’t say that I was ever happy with my brows back then. I kind of knew I was over-plucking them, but I always told myself “just gotta get this one. And this one. Now, this one is the last one, I promise.” Those mofos were so thin, not even a brow pencil could help me. I mean, the point of using a brow pencil is to fill in those sparse, empty areas; each of my brows was one empty area covered with a handful of brow hairs, so…

I’m not exactly sure when my “over-plucked-to-full” transition started, but I have a feeling it happened right around the time my sister talked me into getting my brows threaded. And right then, was when I fell in love with threading. I loved the way my sister’s brows looked, so I decided grow mine out and try getting them threaded again (the first time didn’t do much since there wasn’t much to work with) I didn’t touch my brows for a month, hoping to grow them out a bit, but they were as thin and awful-looking as ever. They just would. not. grow.

That’s when I started using RapidBrow (since I already loved RapidLash). Not gonna lie, it worked quite nicely, although I do remember the formula irritating my skin a bit. The only problem was that just like RapidLash, it stopped working after a while and that even after months of use, it still wouldn’t help me grow out the missing tail of my left brow.

And in case you don’t believe me that my brows were bad… well… here’s the proof.

I mean, I’d like to ask myself “what was I thinking?!” but apparently, at that time, thin brows were very much “in”. At least it seems that I thought they were. 

I also went through a minor “Instagram brow” stage, although I still liked to keep them on a more natural side and didn’t exactly “carve’ them out; ’twas improvement, nonetheless. 

Here are my brows today. Quite the difference, eh?

There are so many reasons why I’m loving this more-natural look:

I don’t have to obsess about my brows being completely even;

I don’t have to be very precise when filling them in;

My brow-grooming routine takes me about 2 minutes every two weeks or so;

I no longer stress about those little stray brows around my brow bone;

Because my brows are so full now, I can finally pull off the foundation and brow-only look and skip the mascara.

I still pluck my unibrow hairs, tho, doubt that will ever change. Although, I’m one to never say never, so who knows.

So, the question is, what’s the secret, right? Well, as it turns out, it’s no secret at all. I’ve been using something that my Gran used (and she had the most beautiful brows); castor oil. She actually used it on my mom’s lashes too, after she cut them short with scissors when she was little, because she was annoyed that everyone was always talking about how long her lashes are (fun fact, decades later my sister did the same thing with her lashes when she was little. For the same exact reason. Weirdos.).

Castor oil is very thick and a little sticky and it’s very easy to apply too much. I like to mix 2/3 of castor oil and 1/3 of sweet almond oil and keep it in a clean (as in new) mascara tube. I wouldn’t recommend you use either of the oils straight out of the bottle- don’t try to dip any spoolies or brushes inside the oil bottles (I did it once and ended up with a painful stye). Olive oil works nicely for this too.

I use these mini plastic funnels to mix my oils. 

When I started the process, I’d use only castor oil for about two weeks- which was also around the time when I noticed a difference. Years of plucking caused my brows to be very uneven; all it took was two weeks for them to start looking more like sisters and not distant cousins who’d only met once at another cousin’s wedding and haven’t seen each other since. Now, because of how thick castor oil is, I’d apply it on my brows and wash it off after 30-40 minutes (you can also just do this using a cotton round). I don’t like the idea of going to sleep with such a thick and oily product on my brows and lashes.

BUT once I added a little sweet almond oil (which is rich in Vitamin E) I noticed that that particular combo wasn’t as thick or sticky and I now apply the mix both on my lashes and brows before sleep. I do this as a last step in my routine- you want to first apply your serums and mositurizers.

I had a lot of *growing back* to do, so it took me a while to completely re-grow my brows. The most important thing is to stay away from those tweezers (unless you trust yourself around them). I also stopped threading my brows on regular basis to allow them to grow out into their natural shape.

This combo works nicely for my lashes as well- not so much for length, but the volume is definitely there.

After I stopped threading my brows I spend little to no time grooming them. I just pluck a few stray brow hairs here and there once in a while. I also no longer trim them with scissors.

Okay, well the real reason why I stopped threading my brows was because the only person I trusted, moved away. I’d literally drive 40 minutes for her to thread my brows. After countless mishaps with other girls form the same salon, I refuse to let anyone else touch my brows. Turns out that my brow girl moving away, was actually a pretty good thing for my brows as I was finally able to grow them back.

I swear that every single person who hasn’t seen me in a while, noticed that my brows changed. Whenever I hear “there’s something diffe….” I just say “brows! my brows. it’s the brows. that’s what’s different“. I keep getting asked if I tinted them, if I’m using a new brow pencil and my answer is no: I just decided to leave them the hell alone.

Do guys have any fun brow blasts form the past? Any one else suffered from an uncontrollable plucking syndrome?


  • Thin brows were all the rage back then, but as daughter to a mother with almost no eyebrow hair left I was in trouble whenever I even got near tweezers. And when I was about 15 and allowed to do as I wanted trends were already changing. I still did pluck more than I now wish I had, but not so much it did some lasting damage.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Yes!! I overplucked my eyebrows sooo badly! I also I injured myself and was left with a scar on my right eyebrow which made a huge patch. It took years to grow out but no hope with the scar, so I’ve recently gottten them feather tattooed which has made them look so good! Thanks for the great post x

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Peta, so happy that you love the way they look now! It’s funny how much a good eyebrow look can change hehe ;)

  • I like the idea of using sweet almond oil! Might need to try it out :D

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

  • Oooh I really want to try this. I have sparse eyebrows naturally so if this will help, it would be great. And adding volume to lashes is always an added bonus!

    Emily | http://emliytrinh.com

  • I was lucky that I never over plucked but I have paranoia over who does my brows now and only go to one woman! My aunt uses castor oil on hers too and it’s worked wonders!

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

  • Natalie Redman

    Your brows are perfect!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Honestly Paula, it is so nice to see someone else beside me with some actual HAIRS in their brows! In this part of the world (Eastern Europe!) Japanese microblading has really taken off, so it seems to be that everybody has their brows painted. For some reason in most cases it looks really bad, as if it was painted with a marker, and girls apparently looove thick black brows no matter their hair color or skin tone. So cheers for your eyebrows—they look great!

    • Haha thanks Tihana! I was actually tempted to try microblading- my friend has done it and they really look nice, but her natural brows aren’t too thin, so it looks very natural.

      Aww thank you so much! I put them through a lot haha!

  • Guilty of over plucking my brows too. They were so thin but that was the look back then, bushy brows were out :)). I’m also re-growing my brows but it takes a lot of time and patience. I might start using Castor Oil to see if it makes a difference but my brows are definitely better looking than before.

    • It does take so much time to grow them back and I was so tempted to go back to threading, but I’m digging the more natural look.

  • Um… former sperm brow owner reporting here haha. How do you apply the oils to your lashes? I’ve been using the N 7 Fanominal Lash growing serum but haven’t had success yet. My eye lashes used to be super full but after repeated abuse from fake lashes they’re more sparse and thin. Do you apply it like mascara? or to the base of the lashes?

    Claudia
    http://www.justalittleblush.com/

    • Haha! High five! I apply it both at the base with a little brush (like an eyeliner brush) and then run through them with a spoolie once or twice.

  • Yay for castor oil! I fortunately never had a horrible brow situation (the bright side of thin brows), but I use it religiously since I started wearing more waterproof mascara, and noticed a huge difference in how thick and dark my lashes look. You also have a great natural brow shape (weird compliment, but whatever) :)

    istlm.blogspot.com

  • The post made me giggle :) I’m so guilty of over-plucking too and although I’ve been trying to grow them for at least 2 years I still have very sparse areas, especially the tail of my brows. Off to order castor oil now, haha!

    Your brows look amazing now! And so does your skin!! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    • Hehe thank you Dagmara! Growing them out does take a while, castor oil definitely helped a lot.

      Aww thank you so much, I’m loving my skin right now- not something I’m used to saying hehe ;)

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    Thin brows were in – it isn’t just you.
    I have so many photos of me with thinner brows – and it took ages for them to grow back.
    I love the natural look on you.
    Thanks for the DIY growth serum too – I might give that a go.
    I recently got my eyebrows feathered and I love love love them – they are so easy in the morning since I actually do nothing with them now. Just go. Before I used to spend ages on them.
    I am going to give this serum a go because I would like a bit of growth around my feathered brows so they look a bit more natural like your shot above!
    Kiri
    Set to Glow
    http://www.settoglow.com.au

    • Wish growing them back was as quick and easy as plucking was haha!!

      Oh I’ve been tempted to do that too- seems so convenient not having to fill them in in the morning!

  • Thin brows were all in the rage, and my mom used to pluck them for me until she introduced me to the wax at the salon. Beauty trends are very cyclical: she over plucked in the 70’s when brows were “in”, but in the 80’s the bushy brow was all in the rage. Ahh I love your brows now, so natural in a grungy, model-like way, and I am loving the contour :)

    Hannah
    Floraful

    • Funny how trends change, isn’t it? I hope that we don’t start shaving or bleaching our brows in the future hehe :) thank you so much Hannah!!

  • Jolie Luu

    I wish you wrote this earlier, like 3 years ago haha. I overplucked my brows so badly during high school years but, thankfully, they look okay now, just a little short. Thumbs up for the mini funnel!

    Joliecious.com

  • When I was 15 I started to practice with my eyebrows. I ended with one eyebrows higher than the other hahaha. Luckily I had no problem growing them back together. My mom took me to a specialist and to fix them. After that I learned how to shape them. And now… the best compliment someone can tell me is about my eyebrows hahaha.

    • So lucky your mom saved your brows haha! It doesn’t matter how many times I got them done- I could just never learn how to shape them myself. Ahh brow compliments are the best!!

  • Your brows are AMAZING!

  • I’m envious of your brows now because mine are sparse and just a bit “meh”. I think dying my eyebrows darker was the best thing I ever did x

    Lily | http://www.pintsizedbeauty.com