No, it’s not just the part of the body that we like to wax the most: the eyebrows are there because they have a purpose. Since we’re avid procrastinators (and we’re sure you are too) we thought we’d do some research to find out exactly why eyebrows exist. Evolution, aging, why the Mona Lisa doesn’t have any… here are 7 strange facts about eyebrows. You’ll thank us in your future ge culture quizzes.
1- A matter of expression
Although we’re not the only species to have them, we’re the only mammals with eyebrows on smooth skin. This fact is considered an evolutionary advantage that allows us to interpret expressions and emotions. While other mammals use their eyebrows as radars, humans are able to perceive anger, sadness and joy through them.
2- They help us to see more clearly
Aside from the fact that they are part of our beauty routine and we love to take care of them, eyebrows have a real function. Humans rely much more on their eyesight than on the other senses and eyebrows have the role of protecting the eyes and filtering moisture (rain, perspiration…). They can also block out dirt and act as a shield against the sun, like a sort of hairy visor if you like. During his evolution, man has lost most of his body hair, but eyelashes and eyebrows have remained intact to take care of our beautiful eyes.
3- Why doesn’t the Mona Lisa have one?
You never thought of that, did you? Eyebrows are considered one of the most important aspects of facial recognition (researchers have stated that it would be much more difficult to identify individuals in eyebrowless images), but obviously we know the Mona Lisa’s face pretty well. In 2007, a press release states that she would have originally been depicted with eyebrows and eyelashes, but that these would have disappeared over the years (with microblading this would not have happened…).
4- We are not the first to have taken care of it.
Yes, although the eyebrow is at the heart of today’s beauty sphere, we are not the first to have given it aesthetic importance. Eyebrow hair removal, eyebrow design and even threading are methods that go back a long way. Throughout history, every culture has exhibited eyebrows in various shapes. They have been completely shaved (as evidenced by Renaissance paintings) or had ultra-fine eyebrows in the 1920s. The trend for eyebrows never ceases to evolve.
5- Eyebrows love summer
The regrowth is accelerating with the arrival of good weather! The warm climate and the more active lifestyle + hormones released during this period are factors that contribute to faster regrowth. It’s a minor change, but if you’re aiming for a thick eyebrow, let it grow during the warm season.
6- Eyebrows have a lifespan.
That’s the truth. Eyebrows have a lifespan of about 4 months – that’s how long it takes for the cycle to regenerate (each hair falls out and a new one grows back). The good news is that if you’ve plucked them too much (kids in the 90s raise their hands), they’ll eventually grow back. Unfortunately, due to hormonal changes, hair gets thinner with age and may not grow back as thick as it used to. Fun fact: if you remove your hair with tweezers, you will notice a tiny bump once you have pulled the hair out: this is your follicle closing to try to hold it in place. So cute.
7- They’re in sync with the voice.
Eyebrows can help us identify someone and express emotions, but they are also a kind of autopilot that synchronizes with the voice. When the tone rises, so do the eyebrows. This is a kind of non-verbal communication that is completely involuntary. In short: beware, your eyebrows could give you away!