If you’re like most people, your first time plucking your eyebrows marked the beginning of a long, sometimes painful eyebrow-maintenance journey. From there, the road forked into a thousand possible paths: you could keep plucking or graduate to waxing or threading. And these days there are even more possibilities. You can shirk brow-thinning all together and go in the complete opposite direction with eyebrow extensions. Or you can go all-in and give yourself this eyebrow makeover, which involves seven different products (don’t skip highlighter!).Who knew a simple set of tweezers could lead to such a complicated, exhausting endeavor? Which raises the question: how young is too young to start plucking your eyebrows? And what do you need to know before you attempt to master the art of the arch? To find out, we asked a professional eyebrow waxer, a teen, a mom, and a guidance counselor to weigh in.Is Your Kid Ready?Some questions to consider before you hand over the tweezers.Is your kid self-conscious about her (or his!) brows? True, looks aren’t everything. But they can feel important, especially to teenagers. Junior-high English teacher and mom Lauren Pedecone said, “A parent has to consider the effect [a kid’s] eyebrows could be having on her self-confidence. Is she being made fun of? Or is it very bothersome? If so, then this might be a small change that could help greatly.”Does your kid know about over-plucking? Sure, most kids who are anxious about their appearance are going to be careful not to pluck away a ridiculous amount of hair the first time. But Elena Serbu, an aesthetician at Asanda Aveda Spa Lounge, said over-plucking actually happens slowly, over time. You don’t notice it at first, but she said she has tons of clients in their 20s who come to her saying, “I don’t have enough eyebrows.”This is a risk whatever your age. To avoid damage to the eyebrows, she recommends plucking at most every six weeks.Does your kid understand thick brows can be beautiful? If she has specific quibbles with her brows’ exact shape or wants to divide up a unibrow, that’s fine. Just make sure that she realizes thick brows are just as beautiful as thin ones—if not more so. They can make a face expressive. Or, as Elena put it, "Eyebrows are your personality.”Has your kid considered waxing and threading, too?Elena waxes eyebrows and recommends it for teens. (Younger kids’ skin is often too sensitive for the treatment, and “there’s a risk of peeling skin.”)High-school senior Lily Binkus recently switched over from waxing to threading. In her experience, at least, it goes more quickly and leaves longer-lasting results—which makes it great for kids who aren’t ready for the upkeep.Can your kid describe the look she wants? This is especially important if when soliciting the help of a professional, as Lily found out during one of her first threading appointments. “[The lady] tried to thread my forehead. Like, the whole thing. I was like, ‘What are you doing?’” She was was worried that by her next appointment, her forehead would be covered in hair.(It wasn’t, though! She’s OK.)Do you want to be hands-off about the whole thing? That might not be the best idea. This is the type of beauty endeavor it pays to supervise or at least rigorously discuss beforehand, said high-school guidance counselor and mom Lora Alexander-Flaherty. She recommends making your daughter’s first round of plucking a mother-daughter (or beauty mentor-daughter) activity, “so your child is not that one kid that [everyone’s] like, 'Oooh, what happened to you?'"So What’s The Right Age?Elena thinks it varies, depending on the method. For plucking, she recommends waiting until 20 to avoid accidental over-tweezing. For waxing, she recommends waiting until at least 14, the year skin sensitivity starts to drop off. Lauren thinks sometime in late middle school is the right time—around 12 or 13 years old.Lora recommends roughly 16, the year of many kids’ first major school dance. "But if they've got a unibrow, they better start as early as possible."Lily thinks 13–14 is the right age.Photo Illustration by Mark Mills, GrouponAge is just a number. Except when it comes to these articles:What's the Right Age For Your First Tattoo?What's the Right Age to Start Shaving Your Legs?
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