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- Eyebrow slit is a ‘90s beauty trend popularized by hip-hop artists, which involves creating a vertical line (or two) in your brow hair.
- You can create eyebrow slits at home using an eyebrow razor, a spoolie, trimming scissors, brow filling products, and concealer.
- Your brow hair will grow back if you create an eyebrow slit using the shaving method.
Eyebrow slit is a unique beauty trend that seems to be having a resurgence. You may have seen it on Instagram or Pinterest already! Brows on flick, but augmented with a bald stripe or two.
The original name for the look is “eyebrow cut,” and it seems to have started with ‘80s hip-hop, meaning it was primarily worn by men of color. Nowadays, younger women have taken on the design as a way of playing with their looks and having fun with unusual eyebrow shapes.
In this article, we talk a bit about the origins of eyebrow slits, since we believe it’s important to know the true history of any beauty trend you decide to adopt. Then, we’ll help you create that first eyebrow cut with a step-by-step guide on how to do eyebrow slits at home.
We even have some exclusive advice on the different eyebrow cut designs you can try! Finally, we answer the burning question: is eyebrow slit a life-long commitment, or will the hair grow back?
Eyebrow Slit Guide: Contents
- History of the Eyebrow Slit Trend
- How to Do Eyebrow Slits
- Common Eyebrow Cut Designs
- Will an Eyebrow Slit Grow Back?
History of the Eyebrow Slit Trend
It might seem like eyebrow cuts just started popping up all over your Instagram feed recently, but they actually predate the social media platform by a few good decades. According to Yesha Callahan at The Root, the pop culture originator of eyebrow slits (or, actually, eyebrow cuts – slit is a new addition to the lexicon to which Callahan and a few others object) is the MC Big Daddy Kane who started sporting them all the way back in the ‘80s.
Some people also have eyebrow slits naturally, after obtaining a scar along their brow. Hair often cannot grow back over scarred skin, so the result is a patch of bald hair that can look pretty tough – it’s possible that part of the popularity of eyebrow slits comes from the fact that they mimic those scars and make the wearer look a little rougher around the edges.
Eyebrow cuts were heavily associated with hip-hop culture throughout the ‘90s and 2000s, with rappers like Bow Wow, the duo Kriss Kross, Soulja Boy, and (embarrassingly) Vanilla Ice all rocking the look at different times in their career.
There were instances of people outside of the hip-hop scene wearing an eyebrow slit, like David Beckham in 2001, but it was in 2015 that the look started popping up on the brows of Instagram influencers who were decidedly more feminine and whiter than the hip-hop originators of the look.
The “Instagram” variation on eyebrow slits is a little more pristine and reliant on makeup for its completion. Concealer and eyebrow pomade or pencil help to enhance the eyebrow slits to make them look much cleaner and crisper than the eyebrow cuts that men sport.
The question that follows is whether it’s okay for white people to wear an eyebrow slit. Eyebrow cuts are certainly not on the same level of cultural appropriation as dreadlocks, and they seem to exist in more of a gray area. After all, young women of all backgrounds are sporting them in a similar, trendy manner on Instagram.
Callahan at The Root is mildly opposed to the eyebrow slit resurgence, though more than anything she asks that you call them eyebrow cuts (which I would, but I also want those of you searching for “eyebrow slits” to find this article!) and respect their hip-hop rooted history instead of treating them like a newfangled Millennial or Gen Z Instagram trend.
How to Do Eyebrow Slits
Traditionally, men of color get eyebrow cuts at the barbershop, usually while getting their regular haircut or beard trim. Barbers can create those cuts extremely quickly with an electric razor or with a straight razor.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re not the type to walk into a barbershop. Thankfully, it can be very easy to get a nice, crisp eyebrow slit (or two or three) at home. We’ve researched all of the possible methods recommended online, and we believe this method is the easiest and safest!
So, put on some Big Daddy Kane in the background and get to it!
What You’ll Need for the Perfect Eyebrow Slit
- An eyebrow comb or spoolie like this one you can buy on Ulta.
- An eyebrow razor (the same kind you would use for at-home dermaplaning), like this one from Amazon.
- Optionally, a pair of eyebrow trimming scissors, like these from Ulta, can also be helpful, especially for your first time giving yourself eyebrow cuts.
- Your favorite concealer and eyebrow filling makeup product will also be helpful.
Creating the Eyebrow Slits
• Before starting to cut slits into your brows, we suggest that you first clean up your eyebrows into a shape that you like, using a pair of tweezers or the eyebrow razor. Eyebrow slits are usually paired with a very crisp, well-filled eyebrow, but there is nothing wrong with pairing them with a fluffier “boy brow,” so just opt for the style you like.
• For your first time doing an eyebrow slit, it’s good to map things out first. A bit of thick, high-coverage concealer can help you plan out where you will cut into your brow.
• Draw a line of concealer with an angled eyebrow brush or with an included doe-foot applicator over your brow and blend it into your skin on the top and bottom in order to envision what an eyebrow slit in the same area will look like.
• You can do this as many times as you like in as many different ways to help you figure out what kind of eyebrow slit you will like best.
• Once you’re ready to cut, remove the concealer and use your eyebrow spoolie to brush your eyebrow hairs downwards.
• Use your eyebrow trimming scissors to create the first part of the slit. Hold the scissors vertically, with their sharp end pointing upwards, and place them against your brow to line them up with where you would like your eyebrow slit to start.
• Then, slide the scissors in and make a vertical (or slightly diagonal) cut that will line up with the side of the slit closer to the start of the brows. If you’re opting for a very thin eyebrow slit, this can be enough, while for something slightly thicker, you can inch the scissors over a bit to continue creating vertical cuts to shape the first (or only) slit.
• Now that you have the beginning of the eyebrow slit, it’s time to make it a little crisper with the help of the eyebrow razor, but first, you should use the spoolie to brush your eyebrow hairs upwards now.
• Next, hold the razor vertically over the eyebrow slit you created with the scissors and slowly bring it closer to your face, lining it up with the start of the slit. Once the razor is in contact with your skin, move it gently sideways in order to shave off that part of the brow as close to the root as possible.
• Be extra careful to keep your movements slow and delicate in order to avoid making the slit wider than you want it to be.
• If you’re nervous about accidentally shaving off too much hair, apply a small piece of medical tape where you would like the slit to end, and it’ll act as a protective guide.
• Once you’re happy with the eyebrow slit you created, you can go ahead and fill in your brows! Using your pencil or brush, covered in brow pomade, draw a line where your eyebrow hairs stop, and the slit starts on each side.
• Next, fill in the rest of your brow as you normally would.
• Finally, use a concealer that matches your skin tone to carve out that line of the slit and blend it out into your skin above and below the brows.
• Finally, finish your makeup as you normally would! You can carve out your brows with concealer for an ultra-crisp look or keep things more natural if you prefer.
• Once you’re used to giving yourself eyebrow cuts, you will likely feel more confident so you’ll be able to get right to shaving, without needing to use scissors or medical tape – and if not, that’s okay too!
Common Eyebrow Cut Designs
You can get creative with eyebrow cuts – there are no rules saying that an eyebrow slit has to look a specific way! You can have just one eyebrow slit or multiple, and you can have it only on one side or keep it symmetrical with matching cuts on each brow. Big Daddy Kane famously had slightly diagonal slits all along one of his brows, while the other was kept fully intact.
The most common ways of rocking an eyebrow slit is a little behind the arch, further down along the tail of the brow, or right at the arch – these are the most popular places because they don’t disrupt the way the brows influence the features. There are some who choose to rock an eyebrow slit before the arch, but we find that it usually looks less intentional and slightly unflattering to most face shapes.
Some people like having multiple eyebrow slits from the arch of the brow to the tail, while others only have one. The slits can be vertical or slightly diagonal, and their width also totally depends on your preferences. We’ve even seen X-shaped slits on a few creative individuals! You can look through the photos here and on Instagram to figure out what you like and to get inspired.
Will an Eyebrow Slit Grow Back?
If you follow our shaving method for creating an eyebrow sit, then yes, the hair will definitely grow back! Hair growth is very different from person to person, but you can expect new hairs to start growing just a few days after you’ve shaved, and for the slit to be totally grown over with new hair within a few weeks to a couple of months at the longest.
With methods that pull the hair out from the root, like tweezing, there is no guarantee that the hair will grow back, and if it does grow back, it will take a lot longer. The hairs will also come back strangely – hair often grows back slightly thinner or at a slightly different angle after it has been tweezed. This is why we strongly caution against creating an eyebrow slit by plucking.
Photos via Instagram