Henna brows and powder brows (also known as ombre brows) are both ways to color and shape the brows. Here is what you need to know about henna brows vs powder brows.
Henna brows use henna-based dye. They can be applied in about 30 minutes and last for 6-8 weeks. Powder brows use pigment. They take about 2 hours to apply but can last for 2-3 years (with annual top-ups). Henna brows often give a fuller, more dramatic effect but powder brows look more realistic close-up.
What Are Henna Brows?
A henna brow treatment involves dying the brow hair and the skin underneath it with a henna-based dye.
The fact that the skin is also dyed means that the beautician can effectively reshape the eyebrow if the client wishes.
Traditional henna dyes had an obvious red tint to them. Modern henna dyes, however, are now available in browns and blacks.
It’s worth asking for the details of the dye your beautician uses. Having a good-quality dye makes for a better result.
It also helps to ensure that the dye fades away cleanly rather than turning orange as it ages.
The process of a henna brow treatment is much the same as for any other type of dying treatment.
Firstly, the beautician will clean the skin around the brow area thoroughly. This Is to allow the henna dye to grip and hold.
They will then use a barrier cream to define the brow area as agreed in your pre-treatment consultation.
One big difference between a henna brows treatment and a regular hair coloring treatment is that the dye has to reach your skin as well as your hair.
This means that your beautician will push the dye through your brow hair onto the skin beneath. This is totally comfortable.
The dye will sit in place, usually for about 20 minutes.
Your beautician will then clean off any excess and take care of any finishing touches. These would typically involve further shaping treatments such as plucking, threading, and waxing.
What Are Powder Brows?
A powder brows treatment, also known as an ombre brows treatment is very similar to a microblading treatment.
Like microblading, powder brows use semi-permanent tattoo ink to stain the brow area.
With microblading, the beautician uses a special microblading needle to create the illusion of hair strokes.
With powder brows, the beautician uses either a digital tool or a handheld tool to apply numerous tiny dots of pigment.
The end effect of a powder brows treatment is somewhere in between the effect of microblading and the effect of henna brows.
It is less realistic than microblading but more realistic than henna brows. Similarly, it is more defined and dramatic than microblading but slightly less defined and dramatic than henna brows.
Powder brows are often called ombre brows because the key to success with them is using the ombre technique.
With the ombre technique, the beautician gradually builds up the color across the brow area.
This softens the effect and gives a more natural appearance.
Main Differences Between Henna Brows And Powder Brows
Here is a quick guide to the five main differences between henna brows and powder brows:
In terms of treatment costs, the overall price of henna brows and powder brows is likely to be fairly similar.
The main difference, however, is that individual henna brows treatments cost much less than individual powder brows treatments.
This means that it can be easier to budget for them.
Henna brows give a more dramatic effect than powder brows.
They also tend to be a lot more glossy. With that said, if you look closely at someone with henna brows, it’s usually fairly easy to tell that their brows have been enhanced.
With powder brows, the effect is much more realistic, even close up.
Henna brows typically last 6-8 weeks (although the effect is strongest in the first 7-10 days).
Powder brows can last for up to three years (with annual top-ups). This means that it’s far easier to back out of henna brows if you decide that they’re not for you.
On the other hand, if you are happy to live with an eyebrow shape for up to three years then going for powder brows will mean fewer trips to the salon.
The further you have to travel to reach your choice of salon, the more important this point can be.
With henna brows, you’ll barely even notice the beautician doing their work.
For most of the treatment, you will literally just be lying back and waiting for the dye to develop.
With powder brows, you’re going to have to put up with some discomfort. Unless you’re highly sensitive, however, it’ll be way too mild to be considered pain.
Care and maintenance
After a henna brows treatment, your beautician will generally recommend that you apply a sealant.
This takes practically no effort and helps to protect your treatment (and hence make it last longer). If, however, you forget, then there’s no real harm done.
With powder brows treatments, you will need to take aftercare seriously. Your skin will have been damaged so it will need time to heal.
Usually, the aftercare period lasts 7-10 days or so. After this, you can treat your brows just as you normally would.
Henna Brows Vs Powder Brows- Which Is Right For You?
Henna brows and powder brows are both great treatments. Which one is best for you depends on your goals, preferences, time, and budget.
Reasons To Choose Henna Brows
Here are the three main reasons to choose henna brows over powder brows:
Henna brows treatments require very little in the way of equipment and materials.
Similarly, it will usually take an experienced beautician about 10 minutes to apply the dye. This means that individual henna brows treatments are generally priced very affordably.
Like microblading, powder brows treatments do require you to put up with a bit of discomfort. Henna brows treatments, by contrast, are completely pain-free.
With that said, however, if the beautician uses a low-quality dye you may experience a reaction to it.
This is unlikely to be dangerous but can be very irritating. This is one of the reasons why it’s advisable to check exactly what kind of dye your beautician plans to use.
Easy to change
Some people have a clearly-defined look they stay with consistently.
Some people, however, like to ring in the changes, at least from time to time. If you’re in the latter group, then henna brows treatments will give you a lot more flexibility than powder brows treatments.
Reasons To Choose Powder Brows
Here are the three main reasons to choose powder brows over henna brows.
More economical overall
Both the initial powder brows treatments and the annual top-ups will almost certainly cost a lot more than a regular henna brows treatment.
You will, however, usually only need three powder brows treatments to cover you for three years.
With henna brows treatments, you’re more likely to need 18-24 treatments.
This means that you may actually end up paying more for the henna brows treatments than you do for the powder brows treatments.
Even if you don’t, you need to factor in the cost of travel and your time waiting to be treated.
In many cases, once you add this in, powder brows become the more economical option overall.
More realistic effect
Powder brows don’t offer quite the same photorealism as microblading.
They are, however, a lot more realistic than henna brows.
With that said, the difference is only really noticeable close-up. You would therefore have to make your own decision on how much it was worth to you.
For example, if you are mainly a remote worker, then you might be perfectly happy to stick with henna brows.
They are more than realistic enough for going out in the day and evening. They also look great in regular photographs.
If, however, your job means that you’re regularly “on display” and/or regularly photographed close-ups, then powder brows might be a better option.
They will look a lot more realistic when people are looking at you from a short distance.
Less maintenance required
Powder brows do need more immediate aftercare than henna brows.
This means that for about a week after each treatment, you will need to be careful to take care of them properly.
Other than that, however, you just need a couple of annual top-up visits. With henna brows, you need complete retreatments every 6-8 weeks.
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