What is a Unibrow?

Sherry Holetzky

Most people have two distinct, separate eyebrows. The opposite would be one single, extended eyebrow, or a unibrow. While unibrows are not necessarily one large eyebrow spanning the forehead, they tend to appear that way. Generally, when a person has a lot of hair between the eyebrows, it creates the appearance of a single eyebrow, or monobrow.

Tweezing is sometimes used to remove unwanted hair in a unibrow.
Tweezing is sometimes used to remove unwanted hair in a unibrow.

There is even a monobrow website, sort of a monobrow support group. Their motto is “don’t tweeze to please.” There is also a unibrow song and a band named Unibrow.

Scissors can be used to trim long eyebrow hairs.
Scissors can be used to trim long eyebrow hairs.

In some cultures, the unibrow is viewed as an attractive quality in men and women alike. In some places, it may be associated with purity, while most Western societies seem to find it unappealing. Even men in Western cultures may give in to plucking or tweezing or use other treatments for unwanted hair to rid themselves of this feature. It is seen by many as making people look hostile, angry, or frightening and is often exaggerated in creating images of villains or monsters such as werewolves.

While science fiction may be advanced by the unibrow, there seems to be no consensus on the issue when it comes to real science. Some believe that developmental disabilities may be associated with the unibrow phenomenon. While some medical conditions are associated with unibrows or with “synophrys,” the latter being the preferred medical term, many discount the idea that it stems from developmental disorders. It is notable that most people with unibrows do not appear to suffer from any serious disorders of any kind.

The unibrow also seems to have inspired suspicion over the years. In times past, it was studied as a possible sign of potentially bad or even criminal behavior. Talk about profiling!

With some of the negatives associated with the unibrow, many people choose to remove the excess hair between the eyebrows. Shaving is not recommended as hair grows back very quickly and may appear to grow in thicker. Waxing can remove hair at the root, giving a smooth appearance for a longer time, sometimes for weeks. It can be painful but is usually manageable for such a small section of skin.

Tweezing can also be somewhat painful, as it requires pulling each hair out by the root. Professional electrolysis may be a better option and offers long term relief. Also, keep in mind that those who spend time in the sun will likely have a tan line between the eyebrows once hair is removed, so it may be best to remove a unibrow the first time during cooler months and then keep it maintained.

Waxing can remove a unibrow.
Waxing can remove a unibrow.

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