Updated: Aug 12, 2022
Have you ever seen some salons offering brow waxing and others offering brow shaping? Have you ever wondered if there's a difference between the two services? We can tell you, there is!
A brow wax is when a technician pops some wax on your stray hairs, rips them out, and sends you on your way. This is typically the level of service you'll find at a nail salon where you get a quick wax before you head out the door. While there's nothing wrong with this, it's a very different type of service from what you'll get at a brow bar, salon, or spa that offers brow shaping.
A brow shaping is a fully customized experience that is different for each and every client that walks in the door. Instead of just pulling out your stray hairs, the esthetician is going to spend time talking with you first and making recommendations on what type of brow looks best with your facial shape, eye shape, and coloring. They'll find out
what your preferences are and discuss your brow goals with you (because let's be honest, we all have them).
Once the two of you decide where your brows are headed, the technician should measure your brows and map out exactly which hairs stay and which go. Even removing one extra hair can make or break the shape, so the mapping is extremely important. Mapping can be done with different instruments, but our artists typically use a white brow pencil to plan out the shape of the finished brow (see our before picture above to see what mapping looks like).
After the brows are mapped out, the artist applies wax to the excess hairs and removes them. Some things to note: the wax should never feel hot and it should never make you jump due to the temperature. Wax should feel warm on your skin, but never more than that. Another important thing to note - the esthetician should not be reusing wax applicators. In fact, every time the technician dips into the wax pot, they should be using a brand new tool - even if it takes 10 of them to complete your brows! This ensures a sanitary service for all. If you happen to notice that the same stick is being used again and again, you may want to find a new establishment.
Once all the waxing is complete, artists will typically use some type of serum or oil to remove any excess product and soothe your skin. They should then trim your brows. The goal with trimming should not be just to shorten and clean them up. A proper brow trim can actually texturize the hair to build the proper shape. This should be like an expert haircut for your brows, and not a quick brush up and snip.
Finally, they should send you off with a plan for where you are now and how you'll get to those goals discussed in the consultation. You should leave each appointment knowing how long to go before the next, and with your next service pre-booked according to the artist's recommendation. You can always change the appointment, but you're more likely to get into at home tweezing if you don't have something on the calendar! Taking care of any strays at home can really set back your brow goals going forward so it's recommended to stay on top of your appointments and get on a good schedule for those brows.
It's up to you whether or not you want the level of service that comes with a proper brow shaping. Now you know what to look for to be sure you're in the right place for you!