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Posted by Courtney Macdougall on

In the quest to create a long-wearing, stay-put brow product, many formulas end up with a side effect of hair loss. So, while the immediate effects of color and shape are great, the long-term effects can be less than desirable.

And sadly, customers end up buying more of these products to cover up the sparseness stemming from their use. 

Of course, this is not every brow product, and everybody reacts differently, but if you're experiencing brow loss, here are the top 8 ingredients that could be behind it!

1. Polyacrylamide

Designed to create a thin coating over hair, nails, or skin, it helps brows stay in position by preventing the hairs from absorbing moisture. The problem is, hair needs moisture to grow, and this ingredient strips essential moisture from your brows.

This ingredient can also cause hairs to stick together, so hairs that shed normally can take more brow hairs along with it.

2. Isoparaffin, Paraffin Wax, Liquid Paraffin

Isoparaffin acts as a sort of plastic wrap – impeding the skin’s ability to release toxins. This can inhibit brow growth as it doesn’t allow the follicles to breathe. This ingredient also seals in any other toxins in your brow product.


3. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (pvp)

PVP forms a thin coating over the skin, nails, or hair and is used to hold hairs in place by preventing them from absorbing moisture. Again, loss of moisture = loss of hair growth.

4. Alcohols

Not all alcohols are bad, but versions with low molecular weights can be very drying to skin and hair. The alcohols to watch out for in your lash and brow products: ethyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, SD alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.

5. Methicone, dimethicone

A silicone-based polymer, methicone creates a barrier for makeup to stick to. This barrier stops oils and sweat from entering/leaving the skin. How this relates to lash and brow loss: a blocked hair follicle cannot function properly (not to mention toxins cannot be released properly).

6. Fragrance

Since manufacturers aren’t required to disclose what makes up their scent, the word ‘fragrance’ can hide any number of unknown, potentially harsh and irritating ingredients that could be contributing to your brow loss.

Your best best: avoid products with fragrance or only use products who disclose their exact fragrance ingredients.

7. Talc

Talc functions as an oil-absorbing agent and is used in many brow powder formulations. It strips any excess moisture and oils from hair follicles, and while that helps with staying power, it’s also interfering with the natural, healthy functioning of your hair follicle. It has also been shown to block pores – a big no-no when it comes to brow growth.

Not to mention, talc naturally grows alongside asbestos, so contamination happens alarmingly often. And since brands aren’t required to test for this contamination (and it’s a substantial extra cost for them), you never really know if that talc comes with a side of asbestos.   

8. Nylon

Designed to create a matte, yet silky texture, nylon (yes, the same synthetic chemical used in nylon fabric) is super common in cosmetics. Besides the high potential for irritation, nylon ingredients work to absorb oil, potentially having the same effect as talc – stripping follicles of necessary moisture.  


Your skin and hair follicles go through intense regeneration at night, shedding toxins and dead skin cells. Makeup gets in the way of this process, clogging pores and not allowing skin and hair follicles to breathe.

Makeup removal is especially important if your makeup contains drying, pore-clogging, or toxic ingredients – your skin works overtime at night and will absorb any products left on the surface of the skin. 

THE FIXMake makeup removal a non-negotiable in your nightly routine. Your brows (and skin!) will thank you!


Image: @sarashakeel


Certain ingredients can cause itchy, flaking skin rashes. People may lose eyebrow hairs as a result of skin inflammation, dry skin, and rubbing or itching the area around the eyebrows.

If your brow area is irritated, check the ingredients in your brow fillers for any potentially irritating ingredients that could be behind it. If you’re not sure which ingredient may be the culprit, simply stop using the suspected product for a for days - if the irritation goes away, you’ve got your answer.

Even better: choose products with gentle, nourishing ingredients that will help rather than hinder your brow growth.


Either leave your brows to their own devices or use hydrating brow products that do not interfere with/block normal follicular function. Cream-based brow products are generally more hydrating than powder options, however, your best bet is to read the ingredient list and avoid the above ingredients!

Our Nourish & Define Brow Pencil and Nourish & Define Brow Pomade are not only infused with ultra-hydrating natural ingredients like Shea Butter, Vitamin E, and Olive Oil, they’re packed with growth-activated ingredients that will take your brows from brittle to ultra-bold.


P.S. We're having a special pencil sale - Buy One Pencil, Get a 2-Pack of Refills Free! That's like 3 pencils for the price of one! 

To redeem: add both products to cart, then enter CODE BOGOPENCIL in the U.S. or code BOGOPENCILCAD in Canada! Sale runs until August 27th. 


If you have any questions on lash and brow growth, send us a message anytime or leave your comments down below!

- The Plume Team <3

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