Many of us spend a lot of time and money making sure our eyebrows look presentable, from plucking to waxing to drawing them in to have semi-permanent tattooed eyebrows. But what purpose do eyebrows have? What do the little tufts of hair above your peepers say about you?
Here are some fun facts about your brows....
1. They’re designed to help us see.
When it rains or when we sweat our brows are there to divert moisture to the side of our faces, rather than dribbling into our eyes.
2. Hairy caterpillars. According to the Bosley hair transplant company, the average person has about 250 hairs per eyebrow. If you have never-plucked your brows they can have as many as 1100 total hairs!
3. Like our lashes, brows also have a lifespan. The average lifespan of an eyebrow is four months, meaning the time it takes for each hair to fall out and new growth to fill in.
4. They’re crucial for facial recognition. A study done by MIT found that people had more trouble correctly identifying the faces of people they knew when they were presented with images of them missing their eyebrows. Thus, researchers concluded that brows may be more important for facial recognition than eyes themselves.
5. Brows signal our emotions. As the tone of your voice rises, so do your eyebrows and vice versa. Not only that but when you make an expression without thinking, like when you’re surprised, eyebrows move in a way that’s symmetrical to each other. Conversely, when you make what’s called an ‘intended’ expression, like suspicion and curiosity, your brows will furrow asymmetrically.
6. They give humans a special edge. Many mammals have brows and use them to express emotions, but we’re the only species that has eyebrows against bare skin — which, apparently, provides us with an evolutionary advantage because our expressions are easier for our fellow men and women to see and interpret.
7. We’re not the first to beautify our brows. When we pluck and define our brows, we are actually taking part in a long, long history of facial grooming. Every culture and time period has had a different way of shaping their brows: In Florence during the Renaissance, people shaved their eyebrows (and other body hair) off completely.
8. Your brows say more about you than you know. According to the book Amazing Face Reading by Mac Fuller, J.D., the type of eyebrow you have defines who you are. Curved eyebrows indicate someone who is people-oriented and needs real-world examples to understand a problem, while straight eyebrows imply that someone is more direct, factual, and logical, thriving on technical details. Angled eyebrows, Fuller says, show someone who likes to be right and strives to be mentally in-control, no matter the situation.