Triumph Over My Arch Nemeses by
(89 Stories)

Prompted By Hair

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

The subject this time is hair, but actually this post is about eyebrows. My eyebrows, to be specific. It’s the saga of one woman’s struggle to finally get these damn things looking right.

I was never really satisfied, but basically gave up on achieving the ideal arch I'd been searching for most of my life. I mean, while doing other things and actually HAVING a life.

Here’s my story:

The evidence was there all along. Looking at the old photos, it seems inevitable: my eyebrows would become the bane of my existence with their propensity to propinquity and their flamboyant excess. It took me a mere 60 years to find salvation at the hands of an eyebrow wizard named Erica. Hallelujah!

The facts:

Exhibit A. Even in first grade, the signs point to excess browage.

trouble begins

Exhibit B. By second grade, the left and right are on a path to meet in the middle.

second grade brows

 Exhibit C. By 7th grade. . . we have contact! The Golden Eyebrow Spike!  How many different directions can these hairs grow? I earn the sobriquet “My Wild Eyebrows Rose.” (My sister came up with that one.)

7th grade brows                                                                                                   The horror, the horror

Exhibit D. One strategy: If you can’t beat ’em, hide ’em with bangs. (Never mind what I had to go through to get my bangs as straight as the Beatles’! That’s another story involving tape, hair clips and industrial strength product.)

hidden brows

Exhibit E. High school shaping: Wrong, wrong, wrong.

high brows

 Exhibit F. The too-thin backlash. If only all that hair could hide them.

thin brows

Exhibit G.  No, the ’80s perm doesn’t help either.

perm 2

 Over the years, through thick and thin, I tried electrolysis, waxing, and even more draconian measures to ward off “unibrow” and settle on a reasonable shape .I was never really satisfied, but basically gave up on achieving the ideal arch I’d been searching for most of my life. I mean, while doing other things and actually HAVING a life.

But several years ago I asked a friend with lovely brows what her secret was. Hers were tamed, well-shaped and just right for her face. “Benefit Brow Bar,” she said.

And those three little words changed my whole look–and my outlook.

The nice young woman at Macy’s coached these rebellious brows of mine to regrow in the right places, bless her heart. I’ve been returning to the eyebrow wizards to maintain the perfect shape for me ever since. I use a  little product now to keep ’em in line, fill in a few thin spots and cover up the silver ones. No more wild eyebrows for me!

It’s a little win, but one I’m very happy about. I raise a glass, and maybe even an eyebrow, to celebrate my victory over my arch nemeses.

current brows 3Ta da!


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Risa, I, too, came close to a uni-brow, but learned the pleasure of plucking at an early age and have maintained thick brows (now dying the gray ones, penciling in the bare spots…age does funny things to us, I agree). I love your “brows through the ages” retrospective in photo and descriptive prose. Who knew that Frida Kahlo would make the uni-brow cool?

    • Risa Nye says:

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, I spent so many misguided hours with a pair of tweezers…but thankfully, all of that is under control–at least for now! Finding those pictures was a hoot!

  2. Suzy says:

    I love that you managed to put together this array of pictures of your brows at every age, with a witty one-liner for each one. And the last picture, of your brows after going to the Benefit Bar, is a masterpiece! You have totally conquered the brow problem. As I observe in my story, the importance of hair – where we want it and where we don’t – cannot be overstated.

  3. John Zussman says:

    I’m impressed by all you did to tame your brows, but I have to let you in on a secret: Boys did not notice eyebrows unless (unlike yours) they resembled Groucho’s. I love the pun of your title!

Leave a Reply