Recently, I sat down with Bridget Culliney, founder of specialist threading salon Brow Theory, to chat about everything brow-related. I’ve always been a firm believer that perfect brows are a must for every woman, a life-changing lesson learnt at 15 when I transitioned from sporting John Howard-esque caterpillars to perfecting the questioning yet seductive eyebrow raise with a slimmer, groomed brow. Both being brow-obsessed, Bridget and I found plenty to talk and laugh about over a coffee in leafy Armadale.
Bridget opened the first Brow Theory salon in Armadale in early 2010, after realising that Melbourne lacked any professional threading salons. The fast growth of the business – with the second salon opening within the CBD’s Miss Fox, and the newest addition in Hawthorn only a year ago – is a testament to the quality and luxury of the Brow Theory experience.
Threading is still a relatively uncommon hair removal technique in Australia, with most women opting to have their brows waxed. Bridget cringes when she thinks of hot wax being applied to the delicate skin around the brows when compared to threading, which is supremely gentle on the skin. For many of her clients who receive threading on the face (upper lip, chin, sides), “the only alternative would be hot wax, which is not a real alternative because they’re too scared by it”. Bridget’s second gripe with waxing is its lack of precision, which is incomparable to the accuracy that threading provides, saying, “you can take off lots of hair at once, but if you want to, the cotton can be manipulated to take or leave one specific hair”.
To Bridget, brows are one of the most important features on a woman’s face because “you wear them everyday. No matter what, your brows are on display. [Additionally], it’s the only feature that you have any control over. Your nose, your eyes… they are what they are, whereas your brows are something that you can change and control”. It’s amazing the difference a set of well-groomed eyebrows can make, and this reaction is something Bridget is familiar with. “Every client says the same thing. They get out of the chair and they say the exact same line: “I can’t believe what a difference that makes”. That’s how pivotal each hair is.”
With this in mind, leaving your brows in the hands – or rather, threads – of the experts at Brow Theory is reassuring. Every threader at Brow Theory is an expert in brows, most being from the same regions around the Middle East and India that threading originates from. Comparing her business to other generalised beauty salons, Bridget says, “since they do a variety of treatments, they might only do three sets of brows over a week. So those other beauty therapists might not have the experience that our Brow Theory therapists do. We do eyebrow after eyebrow… we’re genuinely obsessed with brows”.
In general, brows should be tidied every four weeks, but this can differ from person to person, as rate of hair growth is completely individual. However, regular visits will ensure that brows are always in top form, as it is common not to realise the need for a brow tidy until they are actually cleaned up.
In determining the right brow shape for each client, the Brow Theory threaders consider a variety of factors. The first is what suits a woman’s “whole package”. If she is petite with fine features, for example, a slimmer brow would be appropriate, or if she is more inclined to wear more makeup, she needs a heavier brow to balance this so the therapist might recommend a brow tint. Another important thing to consider is how much hair your brows can actually grow. Bridget says, “it’s really about making the best of what’s there. Eyebrows do have their own natural strengths and weaknesses”. Ultimately, however, each person is different and so the Brow Theory experts are able to determine what will be best for each individual.
A common mistake that Bridget sees is too much hair being taken from the ends, and from the centre space between the brows. “Both places,” she says, “are really difficult to grow. Some new clients come in with too much having been taken off from the centre, and then they can only grow three hairs a year to try and bring it back. Short ends happen because the brow tapers off, so it can be easy for a couple of extra hairs to be taken off, and so the brows become shorter and shorter over time”. Another important thing to note is that brows that have too much space between them can make the nose appear larger.
Brow Theory prides itself on its customer service, taking brow maintenance from a chore to an indulgence. With each salon tucked away in the quietest pockets of busy shopping strips, the relaxed ambience of the salon and friendly professionalism of the threaders and receptionists provides a welcome 20-minute respite from the busy world outside. Following the treatment, therapists offer a soothing gel and makeup to cover any redness so that clients can go about with the rest of their day looking and feeling refreshed.
Brow Theory has an exclusive promotion for all Couturing readers, with 20% off all Brow Theory treatments. Simply mention Couturing at any Brow Theory salon to receive this offer. This promo is valid for until Friday September 13, and can not be used in conjunction with any other offer.
For details on locations and opening hours, head to browtheory.com.au . Walk-in appointments are welcome, but to avoid disappointment, simply call or email to make an appointment (contact information also available on the website). You can also follow Brow Theory on Facebook or Instagram