On March 31, 2018, NBA star Anthony Davis shocked the internet when he announced a “drastic change to his life:” shaving his unibrow.
The former #1 overall draft pick has earned as much attention for his swooping bird-shaped brow as he has for his skills on the court. He even trademarked the slogan “Fear the Brow” when he was 19 years old.
Just when fans were preparing to throw away their “Fear the Brow” t-shirts, Davis posted a follow-up picture (on April Fools Day) which revealed that he hadn't done the deed: "Come on y'all!! Y'all knew I wasn't cutting it lol. #AprilFools We got ya!! @redbull"
Aside from scoring some PR for Red Bull, Davis’ prank ignited a conversation about unibrow culture:
Are they socially acceptable?
Why do they exist?
Is shaving preferable to plucking?
What do women think of them?
If you want the full scoop on forehead fur, you’ve come to the right place.
Why Do Some People Have Unibrows?
Unibrows may not be the sexiest facial feature, but evolutionarily speaking, they make sense. A single, unbroken brow could prevent more sweat, rain, and dandruff from falling into one’s eyes.
The gene responsible for unibrows was a mystery until 2016 when an in-depth facial hair study of more than 6,000 people identified a gene called PAX3, which causes people to sprout synophrys (the official medical term for a unibrow).
What Do Women Think of Unibrows?
While more than 60 percent of women find facial hair attractive, they’ve made it quite clear that it doesn’t belong between your eyebrows. Unibrows are a universal turn-off for women, at least in Western culture.
“Unibrows are ugly,” says Muriel, 25. “I'm all about body-positivism and 'embracing your true self' and everything that comes with it, but I can't help but be a little hypocritical when it comes to this bit. It just makes a good looking man look weird and creepy.”
Women’s aversion to the “man-o-brow” is likely tied to the human preference for facial symmetry. The space between your eyebrows mirrors the space between your eyes, but if your eyebrows merge it throws everything off.
Not to mention, the connective fuzz tends to look untidy compared to the rest of your eyebrow hair.
4 Ways to Get Rid of Your Unibrow
If you’re not an NBA superstar and/or a resident of Uzbekistan, chances are you’ll need to split your unibrow in two if you want any chance of success with the ladies. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to tame your brow bush.
Before you grab a pair of tweezers and go to town, dampen a washcloth with warm water and hold it against the bridge of your nose for one minute. This will open up your pores and make plucking easier and less painful.
Plucking removes hair by the root, so it will take quite a long time to grow back. Just make sure you don’t pluck outside the problem area or else you can end up looking creepier than when you started.
If you’re short on time, shaving is an acceptable way to split your unibrow in two. While shaving is less painful and faster than plucking, the hair will grow back very quickly, taking more time in the long run.
Waxing combines the effectiveness of plucking and the speed of shaving. In this case, it involves applying hot wax over your unibrow, placing a strip on top, and ripping it off in a fluid motion.
You can buy home waxing kits and try this yourself, though we recommend seeing a specialist before you pour hot wax on your face for the first time.
Laser Hair Removal
The only permanent solution to part ways with your unibrow is laser hair removal. Over the course of a few sessions, laser beams are directed at your hair follicles to stop the growth completely. If you’re willing to cough up the cash (usually $200-$500), this will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Embrace the Brow?
From Anthony Davis to the Beatles’ George Harrison to Bert from “Sesame Street,” there’s no shortage of men who have eschewed societal norms in favor of forehead fuzz. These figures have found peace with their natural look, embracing it as a part of their identity.
“In our overly plucked and supremely groomed world, there’s a rebelliousness to leaving the brow as nature intended,” says Max Berlinger of The New York Times.
If you’ve got the balls to rock the brow, go for it. Maybe you’ll start a trend.
But don’t say we didn’t warn you about the social consequences.