Beauty bloggers who cover brow trends are used to getting glowing feedback from followers when it comes to eyebrow growth serums and microblading DIY videos.
But a video posted by makeup artist Hung Vanngo on Instagram last week triggered some serious outrage. Vanngo put up a demo on how to attach eyebrow wigs—fake brows intended for people who lost their eyebrows due to cancer treatment or other hair loss–causing conditions, such as the autoimmune disorder alopecia.
Having a healthy person put on eyebrow wigs for beauty purposes, offended viewers charged, is tasteless and wrong, and it smacks of appropriation.
“This week in privilege: beauty bloggers take eyebrow wigs meant for those with hair loss and make fashun trend,” tweeted one follower. “Why are eyebrow wigs a thing,” asked another. A third sent this tweet: “Eyebrow wigs? No. No. No. No. No.”
A post shared by Hung Vanngo (@hungvanngo) on
Not everyone was up in arms. Several followers seemed to think eyebrow wigs could be pretty useful. Some hair salons and wig manufacturers suggest on their own websites that they can be used not just to help people who lost their brows to illness but also to mask brow-maintenance mistakes.
According to Tiffani Chanel Luxury Hair, which styles and sells hair replacement products, these stick-on brows are “the perfect alternative for people with eyebrow loss due to illness, heredity, burns, or overplucking.”
Eyebrow wigs are typically crafted from human hair that has been sewn into a flexible base made of transparent lace. An adhesive attaches them to skin, and they stay on for two to three days, states HairPlaceNYC, a salon that offers them.
We scouted prices and found that some of the wigs cost as little as $22 a set. Others could put you out $100.
Whether the wigs take off as the newest beauty must remains to be seen, but Vanngo’s viral video and the controversy it’s sparked prove one thing: the brow obsession trend is real, and it’s more of a lightning rod topic than anyone could have imagined.