[Updated] brow lamination: the game-changing brow trend you need to train in
The brow market is being dominated by the game-changing treatment brow lamination, which experts predict is set to give other brow favourite microblading a run for its money.
This wave of praise for the fluffy, full brow look is well founded too – brow lamination was the most searched for beauty trend on TikTok in 2021 and with 2.1 million hashtagged posts on social media platform Instagramthis year already, it is well on its way to being 2022’s biggest brow trend.
But what exactly is it? Well, brow lamination is a semi-permanent grooming treatment originating from Moscow, Russia, that creates natural-looking, brushed-up brows in just 30 minutes.
It uses the hair clients already have, rather than adding extra brow strokes via make-up or semi-permanent techniques, giving incredible results that last between six-to-eight weeks.
Influencers and celebrities alike, such as singer Dua Lipa, actress Zendaya and model Gigi Hadid, have all been spotted sporting the look, which has only helped to elevate its popularity further. That’s why you need to train in brow lamination. “I often have clients request the same look that they’ve seen on their favourite influencer or someone in the public eye,” says semi-permanent make-up artist and founder of Glowblade Academy, Tori Rosero.
“The natural, low maintenance aspect is another reason why clients enjoy having laminated brows, because they can wake up without having to touch them, saving them time in their make-up routine.”
How does a brow lamination treatment work?
Working in a similar way to a hair perm, or a lash lift, lamination is being described as like a keratin treatment for your brows – hairs are straightened using a chemical solution and then set in place facing an upwards direction to give clients that “just combed” look. Plus, it has no downtime and minimal aftercare – it’s a win-win.
“It’s the trick to get thick brows with that brushed-up effect without the need for semi-permanent make-up. It’s also less expensive than microblading, which is a big deal,” says Yana Gushchina, owner of BBM Brow Bar in Knightsbridge, London, which was one of the first salons in the UK to offer the treatment.
The treatment begins with a consultation to find the client’s perfect brow shape before a thin coat of glue is applied and hairs are combed into place. A brow perming solution is then applied, followed by a setting lotion then, usually, a hydrating product to prevent dryness.
In most cases the treatment is also combined with a brow tint to give extra definition.
Who would benefit from a brow lamination treatment?
Brow lamination is ideal for clients who spend hours grooming unruly brows, as well as those who have minimal hair (damn over-plucking!) because it creates the illusion of thicker, feathery arches.
“It gives clients that definition without the need to fill in their brows with make-up – it’s an everyday timesaver,” explains Namita Thapa, owner of Wow Brow Bar in Bournemouth, which offers the service.
Rosero says managing client expectations is so important when doing this treatment. “Results can vary, and it doesn’t always work for everyone,” she says. “Some clients may not suit the look, and some hair types don’t respond as well to the treatment.
“An experienced therapist should be able to identify who suits this treatment best, and what type of brows and brow hair this treatment will work best with.”
Charlotte O’Connor, lead educator and brow therapist for the Perfect Beauty Group, agrees: “Client suitability is an area I really emphasise with students as brow lamination is not for everyone. Therefore, a thorough consultation is essential before carrying out the treatment and possibly achieving a disappointing result for your clients.
“The eyebrow lift and shape can only be created with existing eyebrow hairs, so clients who have sparse brow hair may wish to consider either a brow henna treatment – as this will stain the skin around the hairs and create a fuller shape – or even a semi-permanent make-up treatment in order to achieve a more permanent shape.”
What are the common troubleshooting issues with brow lamination?
Every client is different, so you really need to understand the lamination process to ensure you deliver a perfect service every time. “When laminating brows, we have the luxury to see the structure change – you can feel the texture of the hairs change and become softer – so you know when they’re processed,” says Lisa Stone, an expert in brow treatments and a Salon System educator.
The key is to not overprocess and to avoid using tools that scratch and scrape against the skin when applying the product, as this can result in sensitive and sore skin. “Brow hairs respond fast to the chemical, and the structure of the hair can change very quickly, which is why timing is so important,” she adds.
“Don’t just apply and leave the product on; you need to be observant throughout the entire process. I always teach my students not to assume the hairs will need the full process time.”
If your clients have incredibly thick, layered brows, then make sure you’re only applying the product on top of the hair because then there is a risk of missing the lower layers.
“Only laminating the upper layer will result in a brow lamination that isn’t smooth or even. My best advice is to apply the product against the growth first and then with it, so the hairs are sandwiched in-between the product and sufficiently covered,” explains Stone.
“If the hairs are resilient, strong and tend to stand up straight, then place clear wrap over the brows once the product is applied, because this replaces the need to glue and keeps hairs flat and coated in product, ensuring a good process.”
If you’ve done your lamination but you still have a few troublesome hairs on the client that just won’t take then you could try ‘spot perming’, as Leigh Blackwell, founder of The London Brow Company explains.
“This is where you ensure all your perm is removed from the brow hair, then you use a small amount of perm on a microfibre applicator and just apply it to the hairs that are not perming well or are more stubborn,” she says.
“This will keep the remaining hairs safe from overprocessing while you work on the more stubborn ones.”
8 of the best brow lamination courses to book yourself on:
This one-day course teaches artists how to perform brow lamination, as well as eyebrow waxing and tinting, making it an ideal combined course for those looking to start out in the industry.
The course covers what brow lamination is, the health and safety, skin anatomy and physiology, tools and products and design considerations, as well as giving advice on how to market this service on social media and how to charge what you’re worth.
This one-day course from brow and lash academy Hello Gorgeous equips stylists in creating standout laminated brows, with detailed training on the structure and function of the skin, how to achieve eyebrow symmetry, health and safety, protocol and contraindications, and aftercare.
Students are also required to complete case studies to ensure the treatment is performed to the highest standard. All attendees will receive a kit bag too, as well as lifetime support from the academy.
The academy’s founder Leigh Blackwell launched her own accredited brow lamination course and products this month called The London Brow Lift.
The one-day course covers theory in the morning – which looks you can achieve with brow lamination and how the chemicals soften hairs to make them more uniform – and the practical element in the afternoon, where students team up to demo the look on one other.
Therapists needs to be trained in brow shaping and tinting, with a minimum of six months’ experience.
Cost: from £349
In this course artists will learn how to create three signature brow lamination looks – classic, brushed brow, and fluffy and feathery– and the common troubleshooting issues you could face.
Students are also taught how to complete the treatment with a bow tint. There is pre-reading to be done before the course, which includes health and safety information, as well as helpful, instructional videos.
Cost: from £145
The HiBrow Lamination treatment takes 30 minutes to perform and involves aligning brow hairs into shape using products developed by the Eyelash Design Company’s in-house experts, such as the style-fixing product, which straightens curved hairs to ensure symmetry and fullness.
There’s also an optional treatment add-on of the brand’s tint system Quick Intense Colour to give extra definition, which takes the treatment time up to 45 minutes.
The one-day course covers both practical and theory learning and is available to new and experienced brow techs.
This course offers what HD Brows says is a “unique twist” on the brow lamination technique. On the one-day course, stylists are taught how to transform a client’s brow shape – whether they want a textured finish to the bulb or correction to uneven tails, and how to achieve that ultimate brow lamination symmetry by targeting certain areas, with the finished look said to last up to six weeks.
The brand recommends stylists have a qualification in eyebrow removal techniques or undergo the HD Brows course prior to this.
The Glasgow-based Scottish Beauty Expert Training Academy has two training options for brow lamination – the half-day Diploma course for therapists with brow tinting and shaping experience and the one-day Stylist course for beginners.
Tutors will cover how to achieve this fuller look on unruly brows and on clients who have hairs that naturally point down, as well as troubleshoot some of the common issues when trying to lift and set the hairs in place.
Both courses also cover contraindications, anatomy and physiology, health and safety, and more.
Cost: between £299 and £499
The Diploma course held at Beautify Training Academy in Broadstairs, Kent, promises to help stylists master the brow lamination technique and tailor it to each client’s desired look.
This includes getting to grips with how to set the brow hairs into the required shape using three stages – a thin coat of Brow Perm, followed by a Setting Lotion and then Liquid Silk conditioning lotion – and why adding a brow tint at the end can enhance the finished result.
Contraindications and health and safety will also be covered in depth.
Cost: from £150
Do you offer brow lamination in your beauty business? Tell us about it below.