What are “overprocessed brows”?

Let’s talk overprocessed brows 👀

Overprocessed brow, left side, before treatment

This is a client that came in for her first appointment with me. She had been getting laminated regularly at another location, and came in with brows that were very clearly overprocessed – you can see flakes of skin that signal dryness, as well as the hairs themselves looking wiry and brittle. Another clear sign of overprocessing is that some hairs are “bent” or look to be angled in an unnatural way, especially near the ends. But how does that happen?

Same client before treatment, right side

Lamination is a chemical process, like a perm for your hair, that can potentially leave the hair shafts dry. If the chemical solutions are left to sit on the hairs for too long, or the process is repeated too often (more frequently than every 8 weeks), it can cause what is known as “overprocessing”, causing the type of damaged brow hair you see above.

That’s why hydrating the brow hairs daily after a lamination treatment is so important (and is the reason why all of my clients leave with a free full-size brow oil). I encourage lamination clients to oil their brows every night before bed in order to give the oil a real chance to be absorbed by the hair and surrounding skin.

It’s also the reason why proper education and certification in brow lamination is so important as a practicing esthetician. Every lamination kit made by a different company will have slightly different formulations and ingredients, and it’s incredibly important to invest in the proper education to go along with the service you plan to provide. Lack of understanding and proper protocols will, more often than not, result in damaged and overprocessed brows.

So what’s the moral of the story here?

As an esthetician, know your solutions. Take the proper trainings and make sure you understand your timings based on hair types, skin types, and the desires of the client on your table.

As a client, do your research! Find an esthetician near you that specializes in brows, and look through lots of examples of their work. Do their photos look heavily photoshopped or retouched? Do their captions make you feel like they know what they’re talking about? Do they have reviews from other happy clients?

Brow lamination is a wonderful service for those looking for fuller, fluffier brows; however, it’s definitely not for everyone. Talk with your favorite brow artist about it, or book a consultation with someone new to see if it’s the right service for you!

And as for my overprocessed client, we got her back on the path to healthy, happy, beautiful brows. All it took was a little patience, education, and understanding.

Same client after treatment

Happy waxing!

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