This Is What Happens to Your Eyebrows as You Age

Brow expert Joey Healy reveals his tips for keeping your brows looking fierce through every decade.

how your eyebrows change as you age

Learning how to shape and tend to your eyebrows comes with age. We all have that photograph from high school where your brows are looking…a little crazy. Whether you were a child of the ’90s and Drew Barrymore inspired your pencil-thin arches, or you just couldn’t figure out how to achieve your desired look, it takes a few years to nail your own unique style (not to mention what type of product is best for you). But did you know that as you were growing more experienced, your brows were maturing right along with you? Their natural shape evolves with each decade, from the full, straight styles of your pre-teens, to a more angular version in your twenties, thirties, and beyond.

Since keeping your brows on point as you age is an ongoing process, we decided to consult brow expert Joey Healy for a few tips and tricks. Whether it’s using a color product with an ashier base, or incorporating a growth serum into your beauty routine, his advice will keep you looking your best no matter how old you are. Check out his advice below.

How does the shape of your brow naturally change as you age?

“The tails start to recede, as do the fronts of your brows, which I lovingly call ‘sprouts’—they also recede as time goes on. They can get white or gray. Also, as the hair loses its color, it can also lose its lubricating oils, making it coarser.

“Naturally, as you age, your brows generally get a little patchier. Also, the tail tends to drop, which can pull down the eye and make it look droopy. Unfortunately, this also happens in an asymmetrical way. Some people think it’s because of the side you sleep on, but the tail does drop. Everything goes in one direction, basically, and that is south. The quality of the hair also changes, and it suffers as time goes on.”

How do you maintain the health of your brows in your twenties?

“For your twenties, keep them thick, keep them fluffy. Balance is key. You want to make sure that they’re level, they’re equidistant, that they’re generally somewhat symmetrical, but thick and fluffy with a light focus on product, like a clear gel and maybe a little bit of powder just where needed.”

For your thirties?

“In your thirties, you might want to focus on uniform density as the brows get a little bit patchier. This is the point where we start kind of going backwards with our brows, so it’s a great time to use serum preventatively, and if you haven’t filled in your brows, now is the time to really start.”

Forties and beyond?

“In your forties, it’s more about the arch. Make sure you have a nice, defined arch placed two-thirds of the way out—never centered—and you might want to focus on using things like pencils versus powders because pencils can give you more definition, and you can create tighter perimeter linework. For fifties [and on], start using highlighter under the brow. A matte cream highlighter like Joey Healy High Rise lifts the brow. Consider tinting the grey out of your brow, should it come in. Also, get a good pair of scissors, like Joey Healy Precision Brow Scissor, to trim your brows for those long hairs.”

What are your recommendations for shaping your brows as you age and helping them complement your changing bone structure?

“The older you get, the more arch you want. It opens your eyes and combats slacking of other facial muscles. Also, as you get older, you want more definition in your brows. Definition can often be defined as a little bit richer, darker, more distinct. Just like blush can help enliven the vitality of an older face, your brows can give you definition as you tend to get a little more washed out. Also, transition your brow-filling colors to ashier tones as you get older, because they tend to look a little bit more natural.”

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