Since I started bleaching my hair, I finally had to do something about my brows.
I used to think that eyebrow bleaching can only be done at salons. How do you even bleach your own eyebrows? Can’t I just use hair dye (NO!! You’ll go blind!)? How do I get the color I want? But the only ‘hard’ part about it was actually just finding the product. Once you get your hands on something available locally or online, it’s actually real easy to do.
Warning: If you have very sensitive skin that irritates, burns, and reddens easily, DO NOT use bleach on your skin. If you absolutely must do it, at least do a patch test on your inner arms first!
The first place I looked was my local supermarket and drugstore (Superstore in Vancouver). I only found facial hair bleach, but no ‘eyebrow’ bleach. I wasn’t sure if they were the same thing, so I wrote down the names of all the facial bleaches available in-store, and did some research online.
To my relief, one of the facial bleaches could be used as eyebrow bleach as well.
JOLEN creme bleach, 1 OZ (28g), $10~ USD
JOLEN creme bleach is a mild bleach which can be used to lighten eyebrows, upper lip, arm, or body hair. It comes in two sizes, 1 oz. for facial hair, or 4 oz for body hair. As you can see above, the product includes a jar of bleach creme, a tube of bleach powder, a plastic spatula and flat ‘tray’, and instructions.
This product is sold at major drugstores and online.
How to Bleach
There are very clear instructions included, however here are some personal tips and photos.
Before Bleaching Tips
– DO NOT pluck your brows. Plucking can cause open pores or wounds. Pluck your brows a day before or after bleaching.
– DO NOT trim or shape your brows. Bleached brows are significantly lighter in color and looks much softer, like you have less eyebrow hair. You may not need to trim it as much as you usually do. It is wiser to do the shaping once you see how much hair you have ‘lost’.
– DO NOT wash your face or brows before bleaching. This is opposite of what the instructions tell you, but what I learned from bleaching my hair is that oil helps protect your skin from sensitivity and redness.
– DO NOT ever in your life use hair dye or bleach to lighten your brows. Hair dye and bleach are very strong and potent products. Even using it on my hair can irritate and burn my eyes. Using it on your brows will cause blindness!
– DO NOT use a metal tray to mix the product. It will react with the bleach. Use a flat plastic tray or lid. The one they provide because it is tiny and will spill everywhere (but is good for travel).
Product Instructions: With a spatula, measure about one quarter teaspoon powder and place on tray. Clean spatula. Measure about one half tea-spoon creme. Blend powder and creme well. Apply mixture with spatula covering hair completely. Keep mixture on for about ten minutes. Remove with spatula. If hair is not completely bleached, reapply the mixture for another five to ten minutes.
Apply enough to cover all of the hair, so that there is nothing sticking out. Hairs that are sticking out will not be bleached. If you want to be cheap, do one eyebrow at a time. The bleach does not ‘work less’ the more you use it.
Reapply and rework the mixture onto your brows every 5 minutes. The creme hardens very quickly and separates itself from your skin, so the inner hairs will not be bleached. Reapply in different directions to cover all hairs.
Check the color after ten minutes. Continue to check every 5 minutes until you are happy with the color. It should not take any longer than 20 minutes, maximum.
Remove the mixture with the spatula slowly, a little at a time to prevent dripping or dropping the product onto your eyes. Wipe off the leftover with a wet tissue. Wash your face with cleanser. DO NOT wash the mixture off your face in the shower — it will get into your eyes!
DO NOT keep the bleach mixture for another day. Discard after use.
(I’m sorry you have to look at my messy brows, but like I said, I don’t trim it before bleaching.)
It may not look much lighter, but it’s really blonde in real life.
I usually re-bleach my brows once a week, every Sunday night. Do not bleach your brows right before you plan to go out. Your skin will be red and you don’t want to put makeup onto sensitive skin.
The inner parts of my brow has more hair than the outter, so sometimes I will just ‘spot bleach’, bleaching only the inner part of my brow.
Here’s my current brow and hair situation. I bleached my hair again since the Joker look. Since I took this pic, I bleached my brows again so it’s pretty blonde (eek!), but never shows up that way in photos.
At $10~ for 1oz, the JOLEN bleach powder and creme will me at least a year for only eyebrow bleaching, which is reasonable. During bleaching, there is a tingly or itchy feeling, but no burning. Your skin will be slightly red after bleaching, but it goes away in an hour or so.
The only downside of this bleach is that the color of your brows come out very brassy. Instead of a nice natural light yellow blonde color, you get a very shiny, metallic rusty orangey gold color (as you can see in the ‘2nd bleach’ picture above).
When I run out of JOLEN, I will definitely be looking into other facial bleaches.
You can read more personal reviews of this product on Makeup Alley.
If you colored your hair, but can’t or don’t want to bleach your brows, it’s okay!
You could just get a haircut with bangs that cover your brows.
Another solution is trimming your eyebrow hair very thin, and then filling it in with a lighter brow color. Don’t confuse ‘trimming’ with ‘shaping’ though. I don’t mean pluck all of your eyebrow hair out! Just trim the hair with a brush and scissors.
Hair + Brow Color Combo
How light you bleach your brows really depends on your hair and skin color. Generally, you bleach it 3 shades darker than your hair color.
Bleached hair and brows usually look better on those with whiter skin. Asians with darker skin tend to look better with darker hair.
Finally, dying or bleaching your hair does not absolutely mean having to bleach your brows as well. Asians who bleach and dye their hair other exotic colors (red, blue, green, pink, etc) tend to leave their brows black, as no one will expect you to dye your brows the same color.
Let’s look at some examples while we end off with some fan boy photos ^^
Key (Shinee) dark hair + light brows (looks like brow mascara)
blonde hair + slightly bleached (but overall black) brows
G-dragon (Big Bang) blonde hair + brown brows
same blonde hair + thick black brows (probably want to avoid this)
Zelo (B.A.P) blonde hair + thin black brows (very like G-dragon, except this works cuz his bangs hide a lot of his brows, and his brows are trimmed very thin)
Daesung (BigBang) blonde hair on darker skin (as I mentioned, not really a good combination; I never thought this look suit Daesung very well)
Junho (2pm) red hair + black brows
T.O.P (Big Bang) fluorescent blue hair + wide black brows
There’s really no hard and fast rules, as you can see. In the end, just do what you think looks good on you, and what you feel comfortable with.