Brow Laminations + Lash Lift Training
Question: How does brow and lash hair differ? How are they similar? What about the hair on your head. Research the similarities and differences for all 3.
Student Response: When we think of hair we think about how it makes us look, if it looks good then we feel good. As lash and eyebrow specialists we need to have a thorough understanding of the properties of the hair in order to be able to change its composition. We have eyelashes, eyebrows, and scalp hair for different reasons than some may think.
Eyelashes prevent irritation and infection. They serve as a protective barrier to seal your eyes from foreign objects, dust, dirt, and debris. When you close your eye the curled lashes connect to form a seal, if they are open the curved shape will help move water away from the eye. Eyelashes are highly sensitive and trigger a reflex response. If something touches them, our instinctive reaction is to blink so the foreign object can’t reach the eye.
Eyelashes are also a way to enhance feminine beauty by creating a softer and wider appearance and more youthful looking eyes.
Most people have approximately 90-150 eyelashes on the top lid and 80 on the bottom that grow in layers. However, some people can have as few as 50 and some as many as 150. Eyelashes grow approximately 3mm (⅛”) a month and grow to an average length of 10mm (⅜”). The average eyelash lasts 150 days and if pulled out it can take 7-8 weeks to grow back and we lose an average of 3 lashes per day.
The main function of the eyebrow is to keep sweat and moisture away from our eyes. The arch and direction of the individual hair helps to direct moisture toward the sides of our faces, serving as a shield. The skin on the eyebrow is between the thin skin of the eyelid and the thicker skin of the forehead. They are considered a part of scalp hair and are divided into 3 parts: the head, body, and the tail. There are 3 types of hair in the brow such as vellus, longer lightly pigmented, and terminal hair. Eyebrows are crucial for facial recognition and the most expressive part of our faces. You can tell exactly how someone is feeling based on their facial movements, for example, if the brows are furrowed the person is probably angry, if raised it could mean they are inquisitive or confused, and if shocked both brows may go up.
People with different eyebrow shapes are known to have different personalities. Curved eyebrows represent people with good social interaction and understand problems. People with straight eyebrows are direct and logical. Angled brows represent people who like to be in control of a situation right away.
Fun fact: the Mona Lisa doesn’t have eyebrows!
The average person has about 250 hairs per eyebrow and they vary in length, thickness, and direction. The hair closest to the nose points upward while they start to point outward once they reach the arch. An individual brow hair has a lifespan of about 4 months.
Both eyelashes and eyebrows have the sole purpose of protecting the eye.
The long, coarse, pigmented hair on the scalp, legs, and arms of our bodies is known as terminal hair, it is coarser than vellus hair.
The hair whether scalp hair, eyebrows, or eyelashes is divided into two parts: the hair root and the hair shaft.
- The hair root is the part of the hair located below the surface of the epidermis.
- The hair shaft is the part of the hair that extends beyond the epidermis.
The hair root is made up of 5 main structures, which are: 1. Hair follicle - pocket in the skin or scalp that contains the hair root. It extends downwards from the epidermis into the dermis where it surrounds the dermal papilla. 2. Hair bulb - lowest part of the hair strand. It is a thickened club shaped structure that is hollowed out to fit over the papilla.
- Dermal papilla - a small cone shaped elevation located at the base of the hair follicle that fits into the hair bulb. It contains the blood and nerve supply that provides the
nutrients needed for hair growth. If the papilla is destroyed the hair will not grow.
- Arrector pili muscle - a small involuntary muscle at the base of the follicle. Fright or cold can cause it to contract causing the hair to stand straight up and resulting in goosebumps.
- Sebaceous glands - oil glands that are connected to the follicle. They secrete an oily substance called sebum. There are fewer sebaceous glands on the brow except on the tail.
The structures of the hair shaft are the cuticle, cortex, and the medulla.
Hair is composed of protein (keratin) that grows from cells in the hair follicle, by the time the hair emerges through the skin it is completely keratinized and no longer living. It is made up of 90% keratin.
Hair growth occurs in cycles. Each complete cycle has 3 phases that are repeated over and over again. The 3 stages are the anagen, catogen, and the telogen.
The anagen phase is when the hair is produced and about 90% is growing at any time. The longer the anagen phase, the longer the hair will grow. In scalp hair this can last 3-5 years and in some cases can even last as long as 10 years. For eyelashes this phase lasts 30-45 days and can last as long as 100 until the hair falls out and a new one begins to surface. About 40% of the top lashes and 15% of the lower lashes are in the anagen phase at any one time. Each lash will grow to a specific length (average 10mm) and then stop. Each phase can vary from person to person. As we age, the lash cycle can become shorter creating thinner and shorter lashes.
The catagen phase is a brief transitional period between the growth and the resting phase of the hair follicle. It signals the end of the anagen phase. The follicle canal shrinks, detaches
from the papilla, and the hair bulb disappears. Less than 1% of scalp hair is in the catagen phase at any one time. It is very short, lasting 1-2 weeks. Eyelash and eyebrow hair’s cycle can last 2-3 weeks. If an eyelash or eyebrow falls out during this phase, it wont grow back right away because the follicle needs to complete the catagen phase before it can move on.
The telogen phase is the resting phase. It is the final phase in the hair growth cycle and lasts until fully grown hair is shed. The hair either sheds or remains in place until the next anagen phase, when the new hair that is emerging pushes it out. A little less that 10% is in the telogen phase at any one time. It lasts approximately 3-6 months. As soon as this phase ends the hair returns to the anagen phase and begins the entire cycle again. The entire cycle repeats itself every 4-5 years for scalp hair, eyebrow and eyelash hair stays in the telogen phase for 3-4 months and repeats the cycle every 60-90 days.