When Bad Brows Happen To Good People

When it comes to eyebrows, my philosophy is “The Bigger The Better”.

Elizabeth Taylor, Cara Delevigne and Lily Collins are just a few of my big-browed Icons.

I trace this preference back to my mother, who instilled in me from a young age the importance of a strong brow. I was taught that eyebrows frame the face, and to fundamentally distrust anyone with thin, sperm-like brows.

Turns out I’m not alone. Thick eyebrows have long been thought to connote youth and status; so much so, that in 18th-century Western Europe, upper-class women stuck mouse hair above their eyes to make their brows appear fuller. A recent Financial Times article also noted that brows can reveal a surprising amount about the economic climate. In boom times, eyebrows are dense and thick (think the 1960s and 80s), and during recessions they become thin and highly arched.

Given my strong opinions about brows, it should come as no surprise that I am extremely particular about my own. I go to the same salon religiously every 3-4 weeks where a lady named Gia takes care of my every waxing need. Despite having a club foot and limited English capabilities; Gia still manages to give the best damn brow I’ve ever had. She knows exactly what I like, and always succeeds in perfecting the full but manicured look.

So this past Saturday, after realizing my brows were crossing over into Anthony Davis territory,

I decided to pay Gia a visit. Much to my dismay, however, Gia wasn’t in that day.  “Kim can do for you!” said the manager, “Kim is great!”

This was a conundrum. My instincts told me not to chance it; but I had a party to go to that night, and was really hoping to leave the furry caterpillars taking over my face at home.

“Ok,” I said reluctantly, following Kim into the back room. “But just clean them up- don’t change the shape!”

Kim nodded and smiled. I had a sneaking suspicion Kim’s English skills were even worse than Gia’s; but I had no choice but to put my faith in her.

Within seconds of the first strip, I felt scalding pain. “Ouch!” I screamed “Oh… Too hot?” she asked,

Well, this is off to a great start, I thought.

The next few strips passed without incident; until suddenly, I heard those two fateful words- the words that no girl wants to hear while in the esthetician’s chair:

“Oops. Sorry!”

A rush of panic ran through my veins. “OMG what?? what happened?” I screeched “Let me see!!”

I rushed to the mirror, and was horrified at the reflection staring back at me. Not only had the b*tch taken a full chunk out of my right eyebrow, she had also burned  the skin under my left brow so badly that it was flaming red and raw.

I immediately began to bawl like a baby.

“uhh.. wait right here” she said “I’ll get the manager”.

After what seemed like a lifetime of crying into a sheet of industrial strength paper towel and envisioning my inevitable future as a circus freak show performer, Kim finally returned with the manager, Tina.

“Why are you crying?” asked Tina, a little too harshly; “Don’t worry, we can fix for you!”

Tina took the reins; and spent the next 10 minutes tweezing my eyebrows aggressively; pausing only to snap “Please stop crying!” at random intervals. I knew I was causing a scene; that I was likely traumatizing all the poor girls out there just trying to enjoy their $35 mani/pedis in peace; but I didn’t care. If I was going down, this whole Salon was going down with me.

“There. Much more better” Said Tina. I tepidly checked my reflection once again, only to discover that her definition of “fixing” meant tweezing my brows into impossibly thin twigs.

Also, as a nice bonus, she had made my left brow approximately 2 inches higher than my right and insanely arched. Which is great, because who doesn’t want to look like the Joker at his own surprise birthday party?

Cue second crying sequence.

I literally looked like I had developed Alopecia overnight.

You know on America’s Next Top Model, when Tyra gives girls makeovers and bleaches their eyebrows to look more “Editorial” but in reality, they just look like freakshows?

Yah, That’s what I looked like.

“Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay” said Tina, accurately reading my horrified expression.

“Uh I won’t be!” I responded, gathering my things and storming out. I felt the heat of a million eyes on me (or maybe that was just the third degree burns) as I walked out of the packed salon and home to do some immediate triage.

Luckily, with the help of my Chanel Brow Kit, some trial and error, and a few prayers to Saint Jude (the Patron saint of Lost causes) I was able to make my brows look somewhat close to normal again. (Seriously ladies, if any of you are considering buying this product, do it. This puppy is worth it’s weight in gold).

My friends at the party told me I looked fine- but I’m still not convinced.

So, to recap: not only can I never show my face in my regular salon again, an extra 10-15 minutes of my morning routine must now be set aside for “eyebrow realignment”.

I spend large portions of my days now just staring at my brows in the mirror, thinking:

Thankfully, I found a sympathetic ear in Mindy, the Shoppers Drug Mart sales associate who had been through a similar brow mishap. She recommended RapidLash, an eyebrow and eyelash growth serum which I have been applying religiously every night,

She also gave me a free sample of some anti-scar cream for my viscious burns. So, if all goes well I should be looking good as new in……. 8-12 weeks!

Question of the Day: Have you had any bad salon experiences?



31 thoughts on “When Bad Brows Happen To Good People

Add yours

  1. No, for I am a manly man who shaves his own head and wears his trainers lose so they last longer.

    I refuse to believe that that photo of Anthony Davis is real though, it’s like one of those mirror image tricks they do to make celebrities look weird.

    I’m sure you look proper gawj though, for you are the Breezy and Breezy beats all.


  2. 1) I initially read that 18th century Western European women enhanced their eyebrows with MOOSE hair, which is just amazing.

    2) I have cried SO MANY TIMES after getting my brows done. I have just committed to tweezing them every single day to keep them in line. I trust no one. I’m sorry this happened to you. It is a nightmare.


    1. haha I’m picturing Victorian men vying for ladies hearts by procuring the most luxurious moose hair lol. Yeah I feel line I may be scarred for life from waxing now.. Which sucks because I have zero patience for tweezing!


  3. I can feel your pain… I usually don’t let anyone touch my eyebrows because they are a nightmare to work with. My brow hairs are quite thick and they grow in different directions. I followed a recommendation and went to this salon where they plucked out half of my brows off. I wish I had the gutts to make a scene… I just pretended that it was ok, paid and never stepped a foot in that salon again.


      1. At the moment I’m not doing anything. I am considering trying one of those brow growth serums because I want to try a more natural and less defined look. If I don’t like that, I’ll go back to tweezing them into shape again (I don’t trust salons)


    1. They believe in full brows and will help you get on track. The draw a line on you to show you where your brows should be and what you should absolutely not pluck to let them fill in. I also starting tinting mine for the first time and they showed me how to use make-up with them. My arches were uneven before I went and now I think they are much more symmetrical.


      1. Yea exactly. When I have a bad experience I try to comfort myself by saying “it’ll be a good story later on.” But seriously, I feel your pain. I’m very protective about my eyebrows.


  4. Nothing as dramatic as this! Lol u poor thing! My eyebrows don’t really need too much maintenance so I just pluck when they start to get out of hand. But salon tears have def happened to me. I’m from Texas but I am studying in the Dominican Republic. I only go back once a year and I always go back to the same lady who is a GOD when it comes to my hair. Dominican salons are notorious for being scissor happy when you ask for a trim. Also no one understands that a trim means you don’t cut off the layers already in place. It’s so stressful and frustrating but I’m always searching for someone who can just cut hair normally!!! And I often leave the salon super angry. Oh and don’t get me started on color. These women only know one thing….an amazing blow out. Everything else is a fail.


    1. I hate excessive trimming! I am trying to grow my hair out and have that problem too- a trim does not mean multiple inches! Oh the things we girls have to go through lol


  5. Was that you I read about in the newspapers going postal in the salon? Funny, the picture didn’t look like you… Seriously, sorry – I’m sure the waiting is the worst part. You’ll be fine in a few (won’t specify the units of time here, just going to say a few…). You will recover! You’re bigger than this 🙂


  6. Oh the horror! A dear old friend of mine used to tell me “The French have a saying, ‘You have to suffer to be beautiful” Perhaps they discovered that whilst sticking mouse hair to their faces with horse glue.


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