In the day-to-day, we often think of our eyebrows mostly in terms of how to make them look good. You know how important they are when it comes to framing your face and accentuating your features so that you look your best. And you know the trends when it comes to how to style them—you probably even know how to do it yourself! You may have a long list of brow products you love and probably have at least one in your daily routine.
But do you know what your eyebrows do for you other than make you look great? It’s easy to appreciate and care for parts of our body without ever really stopping to think about what they do for us, or why they’re important to our lives and health.
So let’s take a break from how to care for them and talk about what the actual purpose of eyebrows is, and why they’re so important to us.
Why Do We Have Eyebrows?
There are quite a few reasons, actually!
One is sheerly physical: they help to protect your eyes. They provide a small amount of shelter for your eyes and help deter water and dirt from trickling down your forehead—they’re sort of like the goalie for your eye health. Dirt? Not today! Sweat? Nu-uh. Rain? Never.
If you get frustrated with eyebrow hairs growing toward the edges of your face, this is actually part of the process. It helps to redirect things that might harm your eyes.
Your eyebrows also help give you some shelter from the sun. They’re really helpful when it comes to cutting down on the light that reaches your eyes. So if you’re constantly squinting in the summer, it might be time to consider a new trend: bushy grandpa brows.
The other reason is more emotional, literally. Eyebrows help you to express your emotions more clearly! They’re crucial when it comes to nonverbal communication. Just think about trying to communicate to somebody when there’s a language barrier—you may not be able to understand their words, but a raised or furrowed brow can go a long way toward understanding what they’re thinking.
Eyebrows are also one of our more distinctive features. They’re generally a very noticeable part of our face, even from a distance, and our eyebrows are one of those things that don’t tend to change so much as we get older.
We actually have a bit of a conspiracy theory about this to do with every Cinderella-esque movie we’ve ever seen. Have you ever watched, let’s say, the Hillary Duff classic A Cinderella Story, and wondered how on earth Chad Michael Murray doesn’t recognize her after the dance?
Surely you (read: we) must have been frustrated watching all of their rom-com near misses as he fails to recognize his true love right in front of him. It’s just a little mask, you (again, read: we) may have shouted, he has to recognize her!
What if the reason Hillary Duff is unrecognizable to her Prince Charming is that her mask covers her eyebrows? Could this be the answer? Maybe, maybe not—but if we’re ever invited to a masquerade ball to meet a handsome prince we think might be our true love and have an early curfew, we’re definitely wearing a mask that leaves our eyebrows exposed.
But even if masquerade balls and handsome princes (or princesses) aren’t in your future, knowing that brows have such an impact on people’s ability to interpret and recognize us makes a pretty good case for taking good care of your eyebrows.
What Determines Your Brow shape?
If brows are so important, you may be wondering why you ended up with the brows you have. The answer is pretty simple and obvious—genetics. There are a handful of different genes thought to influence your eyebrow shape.
There’s even one in particular that determines whether or not you have a monobrow. If you’re cursing that gene right now—don’t! Many different cultures throughout history believed that unibrows meant you were more intelligent.
That said, there are other factors that can impact your brow shape. Long-term plucking, waxing, or threading can actually permanently influence the shape of your brows. You can also permanently affect your brow shape as the result of an injury near your brows. This can damage hair follicles and change how the hair grows.
What Does This Mean for Your Makeup Routine?
In addition to just being good to know, understanding the role eyebrows play not just to our health, but to the way others perceive us can actually be really empowering when it comes to deciding how to style them!
The biggest takeaway is just how distinctive our eyebrows are. And because they’re so distinctive and recognizable, they can actually have a pretty big impact on how people perceive you when they first meet you.
If you’re posed to start a new school, college, or job and are already thinking about changes you want to make to your look to give the best possible first impression, your brows are a great place to start.
A bold brow is recognizable and distinctive. When all you can see are someone’s eyes, you don’t have the full range of facial expressions to go off of to interpret their tone and feelings, so brows are actually more important than ever.
Finding the best eyebrow fillers to suit your brow type is a great place to start. Our TatBrow Microblade Pen is a great way to fill out and bulk up your brows while keeping them neat and natural-looking, without the pain or expense of actual microblading. If you want to improve the look of your brows without any fuss or without making them too extreme, a swipe of Ultra Hold Brow Gel will keep them in place, hydrate them, and make your brows appear fuller in one easy step.
That said, you don’t have to change a thing if your brow care routine is working for you! It’s just great to know a bit more about why you have eyebrows, and what a big impact they can have on how people perceive you.
We pluck, wax, thread, bleach, dye, groom, and makeup our eyebrows all the time. But as much time as we may spend thinking about our eyebrows, we don’t often stop to give a lot of thought to what our eyebrows are for, and why we even have them in the first place.
Learning the physical purpose of your eyebrows, as well as the large role eyebrows play in helping people to better understand is great knowledge to have in your back pocket as you plan any changes to your makeup routine.
Some studies even showed that eyebrows are more recognizable to people when trying to name celebrities than eyes. So if you’re looking for the thing to take your look all the way iconic, finding the best brow shape for you and maintaining them expertly is a great way to turn up the volume.
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Why Do We Have Eyebrows: Functions, Thick, Thin, and More | Healthline
What Are Eyebrows For? Brow Facts You Never Knew | Byrdie
Why Do We Have Eyebrows? | Mental Floss10 Things That Make No Sense About A Cinderella Story (2004) | Scene Rant