Women's eyebrows appear to sit in a higher position then men's but this is largely an illusion. The top edge of the eyebrows does sit slightly higher in some females (it's very variable) but the key difference is that female eyebrows are thinner and that's mainly because they pluck them along the underside of the eyebrow. This leaves the bottom edge of the female eyebrow sitting in a higher position, creating a bigger gap between the eye and the eyebrow and this gives the false impression that women's eyebrows are much higher overall than men's rather than just much thinner. Here is an animation based on averaged female and male faces to illustrate these differences:
The problem is that many surgeons don't seem to be aware of this and will recommend brow lift surgery in cases where it is simply not needed and/or could be detrimental. This is why you often see FFS patients left with an unusual "surprised" expression after their eyebrows have been lifted to an unnaturally high position.
I would like to see fewer brow lifts overall in FFS and less extreme ones in many cases but brow lifts still have an important role to play in FFS and one useful trick is to raise the eyebrows a little to de-emphasise the height of the chin. A good candidate for this would be someone with a tall chin who's eyebrows are already low or in a medium position. It's not a rule and there will be many exceptions but it is one possibility for a face with a tall chin and low to average eyebrow height. The brow lift is also useful to give a more open-eyed expression which is feminising and it's a very useful procedure for rejuvenation as the eyebrows do drop as we mature. So the brow lift is useful in FFS but it should not be done just based on the incorrect assumption that women have higher eyebrows than men.
The gap between the eyebrows also tends to be wider in females. This may be down to plucking.
It is often said that female eyebrows sit just above the orbital rim while male eyebrows sit on it or just below but I would suggest that this is not really to do with eyebrow position but about the size of the orbital rims and the under-eyebrow plucking of women. So, given the same eyebrow position for men and women, the male eyebrow can still be lower relative to the orbital rim because the orbital rim is bigger and extends above the eyebrow whilst women's eyebrows might therefore sit along the top of a smaller rim and this is emphasised by plucking away the underside of the eyebrows.
Eyebrow plucking is actually one of the most powerfully feminising procedures and by far the least traumatic! It is often the first procedure I perform on a set of pictures. Personally, when it comes to plucking, I recommend that you go for a classic eyebrow shape rather than a fashion eyebrow shape. This is because eyebrows often do not fully grow back after they have been plucked a few times. This can leave people with a fashion eyebrow shape long after the fashion has passed. If you are not confident about plucking them yourself, you can get a professional beautician to do it for you.
If you want to do it yourself there are brow-plucking diagrams used in beauty manuals. The one you usually see is this:
But there is a big problem with this diagram and that is that the 3 lines all start at the edge of the nostril. This is fine if you have average nostrils but if your nostrils are wider or narrower than average, all the other measurements are thrown out. Another problem would be if your nostrils are average but this distance between your eyes is not, for example if your eyes are a little closer together or wider apart than average, the measurements are thrown out again.
These problems are caused by the diagram being anchored to the nose so I have devised a new diagram that anchors the eyebrow to the eye and is therefore largely independent of things like your nose width or the distance between the eyes. It is based on the average female eyebrow which also happens to be the classic eyebrow shape. Here it is:
I'm calling it the "Alexandrian eyebrow plucking diagram" and here's how it works: if you imagine a vertical line (line A) rising from the inner corner of your eye, this tells you where the inner end of the eyebrow should be. Then imagine another vertical line (line C) rising from the outer corner of your eye (at the edge of the white part) and this gives you roughly the peak of the arch. Right in the middle between these 2 lines is the pupil line (B). This line doesn't point to a particular part of the eyebrow, it's just there to show you how far away the fourth line (D) should be and as you can see, D tells you where the end of the eyebrow should come to.
Many diagrams suggest the the arch should be aligned with the outer edge of the iris rather than the outer corner of the eye but when you look at averaged pictures of women like the one I have used above, you can see that the arch is normally a little further out than that and aligns with the outer corner.
For thickness I would say that the thickest part of the eyebrow should not be more than the thickness of a pencil but don't go too thin – it is a common mistake to pluck the eyebrows too thin – it's not masculinising but it is not as attractive in many cases.
You don't have to follow an eyebrow plucking diagram exactly! People vary and some people's eyebrows will naturally fall a little outside the diagrams and still be attractive so see the diagrams as a useful guide but not an absolute rule - you should always adapt to suit your own face and don't try to force your eyebrows too far outside their natural shape.
And remember, you almost always only pluck the underside of the eyebrows. You generally only pluck along the top edge to remove the odd stray hair.
Eyebrows can be lifted when necessary with a “brow lift” or “forehead lift” procedure. There are several approaches to this:
1. Endoscopic Brow Lift.
This is the most common technique. 3 to 5 small incisions are made in the scalp behind the hairline. The surgeon then uses blunt instruments inserted through the incisions to lift the soft tissues away from the bone. They then make adjustments to the muscles as necessary to remove frown lines. Finally, they lift the whole forehead to the new position and secure it in place with stitches or small dissolved implants. This procedure does raise the hairline a little and this could be a problem if your hairline is already high but as I point out on the hairline page – women do actually tend to have higher hairlines than men so in many cases raising the hairline a little will not be a problem. The advantage of the endoscopic technique is that there is very little scarring (unlike the coronal technique which leaves a long scar). However, you can lift the brows further with a coronal technique.
You can see a very useful animation of an endoscopic brow lift here.
2. Coronal Brow Lift.
This involves a long incision across the top of the head or along the hairline but it can lift the eyebrows more than other techniques. The skin and muscle of the forehead are separated from the bone. The surgeon then works on the muscles to reduce any frown lines. A section of skin is removed from in front of the incision and the forehead is pulled up to close the gap which is then stitched shut. If the incision is behind the hairline then the hairline itself will also be raised when the gap is closed. This could be a problem if your hairline is already high but as I point out on the hairline page – women do actually tend to have higher hairlines than men so in many cases raising the hairline a little will not be a problem. To avoid the hairline being raised you can have the incision along the hairline rather than behind it. The problem with this approach is that it leaves a visible scar along the hairline. Another problem with a coronal brow lift is that it can leave parts of the scalp numb.
You can see a very useful animation of a coronal brow lift here.
3. Lateral Brow Lift
Also called the temporal brow lift this lifts the outer third of the eyebrow both upwards and outwards. It's a useful procedure because other brow lift techniques are not particularly good at lifting the outer third of the eyebrows. The surgeon makes 2 incisions at the temples but behind the hairline where the scars won't show. A small amount of skin is removed and internal stitches hold everything in place. A temporal brow lift can also lift the cheek very slightly and if it is done strongly, it can give the eyes an exotic, catty look but most people do not want that.
4. Internal Brow Lift.
Also called a transblepharoplasty brow lift. This is performed at the same time as an upper blepharoplasty which is a procedure to remove excess skin from the upper eyelid. The eyebrow is accessed through the eyelid incision and is loosened from the underlying tissues. The eyebrow is then held in the new position with stitches or a small implant.
5. Mid-Forehead Brow Lift.
In the mid-forehead brow lift, horizontal incisions are made in the middle of the forehead. This is likely to make the scars very noticeable and would usually only be performed when the patient has very strong horizontal frown lines that the surgeon can hide the scars in.
6. Direct Brow Lift.
This is the simplest technique and involves cutting out a strip of skin along the top edge of the eyebrow and sewing the resulting gap closed to lift the eyebrow. This leaves a scar along the top of the eyebrow and is not often used. It is more likely to be suitable for men with bushy eyebrows that can hide the scar.
An Interesting Observation:
I have noticed that most people's left eyebrow is slightly higher than the right. I have absolutely no idea why that would be but it's remarkably consistent. For example, you can see it in the pictures on this page which were created by averaging several faces together. I don't know whether this is a new observation but I have not seen it mentioned in any studies.