in: Facial Hair, Style

How to Trim Your Eyebrows

When you stop to think about it, eyebrows are pretty dang weird. On our otherwise smooth upper faces, we’ve got these two strips of hair that sit above our eyeballs.

One theory as to why we have eyebrows is that they keep rain and sweat from running into our eyes. But their primary purpose seems to be for communication; they convey the subtleties of our emotions. If eyes are the windows to the soul, eyebrows are the signposts to our mood.

As for my own eyebrows, I’ve got quite the set of thick and furry ones. Kate and my kids say that my brows, coupled with my Roman nose and serious demeanor, make me resemble Sam the Eagle from the Muppets. I’ll take that. Sam the Eagle has gravitas!

My thick, distinguished eyebrows seems to be a distinctive feature of my mom’s side of the family. A few years ago we went to a family reunion where Kate got to meet my aunts, uncles, and cousins. She observed that we all sported the same characteristically bushy over-eye fur. Must be a dominant gene.

I never had to maintain my thick eyebrows that much in my youth, but now that I’m in middle age, they can get pretty gnarly. As you get older, long-term exposure to hormones causes the follicles for your eyebrows, as well as those for nose and ear hair, to grow thicker and longer. 

Nowadays, if I don’t take care of my eyebrows, instead of looking distinguished, they get to looking like like big, furry, unsightly caterpillars. Consequently, I’ve had to start regularly trimming my brows.

If your eyebrows could similarly use a trim, here to show us how its done is none other than Sam the Eagle. It was only proper that he’d be our guide in the way of distinguished, dignified, well-groomed brows. 

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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