Girl with black hair and bleached eyebrows next to writing that says "Bleached Brows - Nylon Tried I...
Photo: Kelly Reed

Beauty

Here’s What It’s *Actually* Like To Bleach Your Eyebrows At Home

The verdict is in: blonde brows have more fun.

If you’ve recently thought, every celebrity, influencer, and possibly even their dogs are bleaching their eyebrows right now — you’re probably right. While the trend is reminiscent of the ’90s, when nearly invisible, thin, plucked eyebrows were all the rage, the bleached look has come back into the trend cycle time and again, from the 1990s to 2022. Most commonly seen in editorial photoshoots and on fashion runways, bleached brows have the ability to transform your whole identity in much less time than it takes to dye your whole head of hair or change your name. And I, for one, love the idea of a makeover— especially with low stakes.

With #bleachedeyebrows currently boasting over 58 million views on TikTok, the trend has quickly flooded For You Pages and in so has stoked Gen Zers’ and Millennials’ hunger to reinvent themselves. The avant-garde look has also gotten the stamp of approval from some of our favorite It girls: with the likes of Bella and Gigi Hadid, Charli XCX, Kendall Jenner, Halsey, Lily James, and Julia Fox hoping on the trend as of late.

I’m usually the last one to try out bold trends that involve seriously altering my dark hair, but after contemplating icy blonde brows and watching the trend take hold, I figured the time had come where I absolutely needed to have bleached eyebrows, too.

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images
Taylor Hill/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The only thing that held me back, however, was the question of whether I should go to a salon professional or handle it myself. But, I figured if the girlies of TikTok were bleaching brows in their bathrooms, I was as good as any on my own.

I picked up L'Oreal Paris Colorista Bleach from my local Duane Reade (a recommendation courtesy of Olivia Ponton on TikTok) and FaceTimed a friend and self-proclaimed bleached-brow-veteran for advice. She recommended using Vaseline as a protective base for my skin before applying the bleach, and getting disposable spoolies for applying the dye.

Her biggest piece of advice was to lift the color from my brows in small increments. Since my eyebrows are fairly dark, she suggested leaving the bleach on for 10 minutes at a time, removing it (and checking the color), and repeating until my brows had reached the platinum shade my heart desired.

The spoolies came in handy for brushing against the grain of my eyebrows and getting bleach in between all of the hairs thoroughly. I carefully coated my brows in bleach to the point where I couldn’t see any hairs whatsoever, and waited. After the first 10 minutes, my brows quickly lifted to a yellowish-blonde. With another 10 minutes, they were nearly white, but not quite evenly colored throughout. So, for the third round, I figured five minutes would suffice without getting too risky. I expected I might feel a burning sensation after several rounds, but the Vaseline worked its magic. After a total of 25 minutes of bleach, my brows were almost invisible, leaving me with the futuristic, fresh off the runway look I was going for.

AFTERCourtesy of Kelly Reed
BEFORECourtesy of Kelly Reed

While I’ve had my fair share of gutsy fun with the new look, after going about a month with bleached brows, I can tell you, it’s not a look I can recommend to just anyone. Even living in New York City, where no trend is too extreme, I was shocked to find I was met with curt interactions and avoided eye contact at places I normally find welcoming. Aside from my trusted circle of friends telling me it looked great (and they’re right, of course), others felt comfortable telling me the look was too eccentric for them.

However, after living in my blonde brows, I’ve come to realize that maybe what I mistook as judgment from some was really just my initial lack of confidence. It took me a few days to get settled into my new look, but I’m a firm believer any trend can be pulled off with some self conviction—and I was going to own it! I’ve been taking more selfies (shamelessly) than ever before and I’ve embraced a newfound energy I can only compare to what Bella Hadid must feel pacing around a gas station. In summary, I feel hot and unbothered.

To maintain the look I have to re-bleach them every 5-7 days, once I begin to notice the little dark specks from my eyebrows growing back in. Who knew eyebrows grew so quickly? I’ve re-dyed them three times since the initial bleach and now I have approximately a week left until I unwillingly grow my brows back to their natural color. Now that my brows have been blonde for a month or so, I have to admit I’m hesitant to go back. I’m only considering it because I’m scared I’ll lose them altogether with another round of bleach.

Should I go back to brown, I’ll miss my maximalist alter-ego. My statement brows have elevated my outfits more than any accessory ever could! Although, the only other con, I’ll admit, is how wrong it feels to wear loungewear out of the house now. Platinum brows just demand a full ’fit.