Poorly designed experiments and good eyebrows.

My eyebrows are on fire.

Obviously, not literally – that would be horribly damaging and I need more scars on my face like a fish needs more water. What I mean is, my eyebrows are looking up.

Sigh.

Again, not literally. But they’re thicker than they’ve been in a while. This is a good thing. Eyebrows are an important fashion accessory and the thicker, the better. That you come equipped with a default shape and intensity is irrelevant to those mysterious oracles who set fashion trends.

It’s been the 1980s for the last several years on the eyebrow front. Big is back and not optional if you want to be on-trend.

The societal return of the eyebrow is ironic: mine decided to start absenting the scene the moment their presence was required. *


Menopause isn’t the tragedy commercials try to convince you it is. Selling it as a disease is a marketing trick. The biological changes can be a misery and help should be provided, but it needn’t be treated as though it’s pathological.

I obviously don’t have it as bad as some, but it’s not cuddly puppies for me all the time either, I have issues and complaints, natural though the changes may be. Because “natural” is not the same as good. Arsenic is natural. Tigers are natural, but I don’t want to encounter one on my street. Thinning hair post menopause is natural. That’s one of the nasty ones. I didn’t know how much I valued my eyebrows and lashes until they started to leave the building. The replacement hairs that sprout from obscure locations are no compensation.

I’m pretty sure, “soul patch” wasn’t on my wish list for Santa. Nor was thinning nether regions.

My eyebrows first started acting up a couple of years ago. I found it insulting. Going grey in my twenties was bad enough; grey eyebrows were not to be borne. Enter mascara for the eyebrow. It’s a “new” product that provides less but costs more. Don’t use the mascara you already own on your brows. That would make sense and save you money.

Thinning came with the aforementioned menopause. Enter the pencil. Enter so many pencils from so many companies. The search for the perfect one is never-ending. Stencils and spray-on brows are also options. I haven’t gone there yet. The skillset is severe. Though I admit to being tempted to draw them in with a Sharpie so they’ll last a few days.

I’m sure that’s a hideously bad idea. I often have those.

I thought about micro-blading. ** It’s a semi-permanent tattoo solution, but I’m resisting being surgical with my appearance interventions. For me, for now, this is a step too far. Tastes change and with my luck, my semi-permanent eyebrows would be both hideous and forever.

Instead, I solved the problem on my own. I’d tell you what worked, what encouraged my follicles to grow and reach for the sun, but there’s a problem. I’m not sure.

Once again, I’ve constructed an atrocious experiment. Once again, I’ve failed to control for the variables.


Sometimes, I like to pretend I’m an aromatherapist. A little knowledge is always a dangerous thing. I skimmed through a couple of books I have on essential oils looking for hair stimulants. The suggestions were numerous but I limited myself to oils I had on hand. Which was nothing. I did, however, have close enough, so I made a topical cream out of fractionated coconut oil and spearmint essential oil. And, no word of a lie, after two weeks, there has been improvement. My eyebrows are back. Not all the way back, but some. All because of something.  

It could be two weeks of daily massage.

It could be two weeks of daily massage with fractionated coconut oil.

It could be two weeks of daily massage with spearmint-infused, fractionated coconut oil.  

It could the cessation of all intervention (plucking stragglers) save trimming the extremely long. I don’t think the haircut has an impact: I think trims would be neutral. But I can’t prove that either.

It might even be the power of suggestion. I didn’t take any before measurements or pictures – maybe the improvements are imaginary? A depressing thought that ruined the “I’m a billionaire thanks to my magical eyebrow serum” fantasy I had going.  

The truth is, there is no way to know.

Instead, I will focus on the positives.

My eyebrows are on fire. I may not know why, but if I keep on keepin’ on, my selfie game is going to explode. I might even start taking them.

* Tragedy might be overstating the case.

** Microblading involves using tiny, fine-point needles in a small disposable blade to scratch and deposit pigment simultaneously under your skin for realistic-looking brow hairs that don’t wash off.

By Em

I like writing. Words help me unpack my thoughts so things start to make sense. I suppose that once I figure out life, the universe, and everything (my thanks to Douglas Adams), I'll have nothing left to say. "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing, and learn as you go." E. L. Doctorow

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