Skip to Main Content

The Truth About Eyebrow Tinting

by January 19, 2017

eyebrow tinting

Adobe Stock

Eyebrows...they keep debris out of eyes and can raise to a sultry arch when the occasion calls for it. But let’s face it, amping up the color a little doesn’t hurt either. Well, at least, it shouldn’t. Whether you’re tinting them to make them look thicker, bolder, or to match or contrast your hair color (à la Cara Delevingne’s head-turning blonde hair/dark brow combo), well-defined eyebrows can balance out your features while making a heck of a statement. And although there are multiple ways of achieving it, many turn to eyebrow dye, most often done in a salon, to get a long-lasting look. 

What Is Eyebrow Tinting?

Glad you asked. It’s a quick process, using the same technology found in permanent and semi-permanent hair color, with results that can last for weeks. The longer you leave it on, the darker or lighter the hair becomes.

Is Eyebrow Tinting Safe?

In a word–not yet. Unfortunately, the eyebrow and eyelash tinting dye and processes salons perform aren’t FDA approved. Usually cosmetics don’t need FDA approval before going mainstream. However, these dyes contain color additives, which is in the FDA wheelhouse. The kicker? The FDA doesn’t approve any color additives for brow or lash tinting—some dyes are even rumored to use coal tar, which the FDA says “represents an acute, severe hazard to health with the possibility of permanent injury; i.e., impaired sight, including blindness.” So the risks of eyebrow tinting range from mild dermatitis to blindness, with a whole slew of possible rash, blistering, burning and conjunctivitis in between. But the FDA is also not policing what’s performed in salon environments, which is why you still see the service offered in salons. It’s basically up to each state to regulate and enforce. So even though a salon still offers the service, it may not be safe. Now for the good news...there are many temporary, yet gorgeous ways to emphasize your brows.

How to Get Beautiful Brow Color Without the Risk
Unlike the results of tinted or dyed eyebrows, which you’re stuck if the technician doesn’t get the color right (warning: scrubbing yields minimal success), makeup is meant to be played with until you get just what you’re looking for. From pencils to powders, waxes to gels, there are countless ways to shape, shade, and define your brows until you’ve achieved your dream arches…or dream straight brows, for that matter. But if you’re looking for the best of all worlds, try Root Touch Up powder as an eyebrow tinting kit. In addition to covering your roots, use the powder on your brows to complement (or strikingly contrast) your hair color. It has what your average makeup doesn’t—a formula that’s rain-proof, sweat-proof, and pillow-proof. Eyebrows are hair after all, and this powder’s micro-milled pigments give them natural-looking depth. Plus, it sets right away and stays put until you wash it off, perfect if you want your brow color to stay put. Use it with the double-ended Brow Definition Brush for best results. The angled end fills in and defines. The spoolie end blends and combs for a natural finish. 

The bottom line: true, it is rare that you will experience side effects from dyeing your eyebrows. However, putting chemicals near your eyes is not to be taken lightly, and it won’t matter how stunningly colored your brows are if you can’t see them.