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An eyebrow is an area of short hairs above each
eye Eyes are organs of the visual system. They provide living organisms with vision, the ability to receive and process visual detail, as well as enabling several photo response functions that are independent of vision. Eyes detect light L ...

eye
that follows the shape of the lower margin of the brow ridges of some
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
s. In humans, eyebrows serve two main functions: first,
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...
through
facial expression A facial expression is one or more motions or positions of the muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that ...
, and second, prevention of sweat, water, and other debris from falling down into the eye socket. It is common for people to modify their eyebrows by means of hair removal and makeup.


Functions

A number of theories have been proposed to explain the function of the eyebrow in humans. One approach suggests its main function is to prevent moisture (mostly sweat and rain) from flowing into the eye. Another theory holds clearly visible eyebrows provided safety from predators when early hominid groups started sleeping on the ground. Recent research, however, suggests eyebrows in humans developed as a means of communication and that this is their primary function. Humans developed a smooth forehead with visible, hairy eyebrows capable of a wide range of movement. Such eyebrows can express a wide range of subtle emotions – including recognition and sympathy.


Cosmetic modification

Fashion in eyebrow shape has changed throughout the ages and eyebrows have always featured heavily in female fashion, often as part of cultural demands made on women about body hair. Cosmetic methods over the centuries have been developed to alter the appearance of eyebrows, by adding or removing hair, changing the color, or changing the position to meet the aesthetic ideal of the time, for example, by tinting the eyebrow with permanent dye, similar to hair colour, often in order to darken them. Eyebrow brushes, shaders, and pencils are often used to define the eyebrow or make it appear fuller. These can create an outline for the brows or mimic hairs where there are sparse areas. Brow gels are also used in creating a thicker brow; they allow for the hairs to be more textured, which gives the appearance of thicker, fuller brows. Lastly, brow powders or even eyeshadows are used for those who want a fuller and more natural look, by placing the brow powder or eyeshadow (closest to the natural hair colour) in areas where there is less hair. Several options exist for removing hair to achieve a thinner or smaller eyebrow, or to "correct" a
unibrow A unibrow (or jacco brow or monobrow; called synophrys in medicine) is a single eyebrow created when the two eyebrow An eyebrow is an area of short hairs above each eye Eyes are organs of the visual system The visual system compr ...

unibrow
, including manual and electronic tweezing, waxing, and threading. The most common method is to use
tweezers Tweezers are small tools used for picking up objects too small to be easily handled with the human fingers. The tool is most likely derived from tongs, Pincer (tool), pincers, or scissors-like pliers used to grab or hold hot objects since the daw ...

tweezers
to thin out and shape the eyebrow.
Waxing Waxing is the process of hair removal from the root by using a covering of a sticky substance, such as wax, to adhere to body hair, and then removing this covering and pulling out the hair from the follicle. New hair will not grow back in the pr ...

Waxing
is becoming more popular. Lastly, there is threading eyebrows, where a cotton thread is rolled over hair to pull it out. Small scissors are sometimes used to trim the eyebrows, either with another method of
hair removal Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair or head hair. Hair typically grows all over the human body and can vary in thickness and length across human populations. Hair can become more visible d ...
or alone. All of these methods can be painful for some seconds or minutes due to the sensitivity of the area around the eye but, often, this pain decreases over time as the individual becomes used to it. In time, hair that has been plucked will stop growing back. Some people wax or shave off their eyebrows and leave them bare, stencil or draw them in with
eye liner Eye liner or eyeliner is a cosmetic used to define the eyes. It is applied around the contours of the eye(s) to create a variety of aesthetic effects. History Eye liner was first used in Ancient India, Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was ...

eye liner
, or
tattoo A tattoo is a form of body modification Body modification (or body alteration) is the deliberate altering of the human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that to ...

tattoo
them on. In Western societies, it has become more common for men to pluck part of their eyebrows. To create a fuller look, eyebrows can be cloned in an
eyebrow transplant Eyebrow restoration is a surgical procedure Surgery ''cheirourgikē'' (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via la, chirurgiae, meaning "hand work". is a medical or dental specialty that uses operative manual and instrumen ...
. Individual strands of the eyebrow are created to mimic a natural-looking eyebrow of the desired shape. The process of eyebrow transplant is quite similar to the process of hair transplant. In this process as well, follicles from an active area are transferred to the area where there are no hairs. Follicles are mostly taken from the back of the head because it is the best harvesting site when it comes to hairs. The follicles are then injected into the skin. The healing process after an eyebrow transplant is similar to the process of tattoo. In this process, patients may experience light bruising and crusting of the skin. People who have genetically thin eyebrows or who have over-tweezed are considered ideal for the transplant. An eyebrow lift is a
cosmetic surgery Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty involving the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the human body. It can be divided into two main categories: reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery Reconstructive su ...
to raise the eyebrow, usually to create a more feminine or youthful appearance. It is not a new phenomenon, with the earliest description of brow lifting published in medical literature in 1919 by French surgeon Dr Raymond Passot. Brows can be affected during a face lift or an eye lift. In the 1970s, doctors started injecting patients' eyebrows with
botox Botulinum toxin (Botox) is a neurotoxic Neurotoxicity is a form of toxicity in which a biological, chemical, or physical agent produces an adverse effect on the structure or function of the central nervous system, central and/or peripheral n ...

botox
or similar toxins to paralyse the muscles temporarily to raise the eyebrow. Japanese women and men from the 8th century practiced ''
hikimayu was the practice of removing the natural eyebrows and painting smudge-like eyebrows on the forehead in pre-modern Japan. ''Hiki'' means "pull" and ''mayu'' means "eyebrows". Aristocratic women used to pluck or shave their eyebrows and paint new o ...
'': that is, shaving or plucking the eyebrow hair and painting smudge-like ones higher on the forehead or pencilled in thin ones in a different place. This practice is comparable to that in the
Elizabethan era The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in and includes the during the of until 1603. The Tudor period coincides with the dynasty of the in England whose first monarch was ...
when high-status women would remove eyebrows altogether. Thin eyebrows, achieved by rigorous plucking, were again fashionable in the 1920s and 1930s. In the 21st century, tattooing became popular as a way to achieve and maintain an eyebrow shape, using a coil machine, rotary machine and linear machine. This process, also called cosmetic tattooing, microblading, or blade and shade brows, involves an eyebrow artist making small, precise cuts that mimic the look of hair. Shaving lines in eyebrows is another cosmetic alteration, popular among some younger people in the 1990s and 2000s.


Gallery

File:Black eyebrow.jpg, Eyebrows often thicken with
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natur ...

puberty
. File:Beauty Girl Surprise.jpg, Eyebrows can be used to convey emotion, such as surprise. File:Audrey Hepburn in Charade 4.jpg, One of
Audrey Hepburn Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as both a film and fashion icon, she was ranked by the American Film Institute The American Film Institute (AFI) ...

Audrey Hepburn
's trademarks was her thick eyebrows. File:Unibrow-2010-20-07.jpg, A young adult with hair between the eyebrows - a
unibrow A unibrow (or jacco brow or monobrow; called synophrys in medicine) is a single eyebrow created when the two eyebrow An eyebrow is an area of short hairs above each eye Eyes are organs of the visual system The visual system compr ...

unibrow


See also

* Anti-eyebrow, a body piercing placed below the eyebrow *
Eyebrow piercing An eyebrow piercing is a vertical surface piercing Surface piercings are piercings that are found on flat parts of the body, giving a double-pierced look that sits flat against the skin. A surface bar follows the plane of skin, while a standard ...

Eyebrow piercing
, a body piercing done through the eyebrow *
Eyebrow restoration Eyebrow restoration is a surgical procedure Surgery ''cheirourgikē'' (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via la, chirurgiae, meaning "hand work". is a medical or dental specialty that uses operative manual and instrumen ...
, surgical procedure to change the look of one's eyebrows


References


External links

* * * {{Use dmy dates, date=April 2017 Facial features