Keep eye solution nearby when you color your eyebrows.

Safest Way to Dye Your Eyebrows a Different Color

by Grace Riley

After going to all the trouble of coloring your hair, the last thing you want is your eyebrows betraying your true hair color. At the very least, it would be nice if your brows could be team players and blend in with the rest of your aesthetic. When it comes to dyeing your brows, remember the delicate skin around your eyes and take some simple but critical precautions.

Avoid Hair Dye

Though it might seem logical to dye your eyebrows when you dye your hair so that you can use the exact same dye, that is actually a major safety hazard. The Food and Drug Administration strictly prohibits the use of hair dyes on eyebrows, as well as eyelashes. The chemicals in hair dye are too harsh to apply to your face, particularly near your eyes.

Use a Product Made for Eyebrows

Similarly, the FDA encourages consumers not to use permanent eyebrow tints because the risk of irritation is so high. If you choose to use a permanent tinting product, the safest option is to visit an aesthetician or colorist who has the proper training to apply the product. There are also semi-permanent tinting kits that you can use at home. However, your safest options are non-permanent eyebrow mascaras, gels or powders, which are so safe that many mainstream cosmetic companies sell them alongside other everyday products such as eye shadow. Eyebrow mascaras and gels generally come in tubes with wand applicators, just like traditional mascara. Brow powder requires a narrow makeup brush for application; some powders come with the necessary applicator.

Test the Product

Regardless of which product you choose, test it on your skin before you apply it to your face. O Magazine recommends applying a little bit of the product to the back of your neck or your inner upper arm. Leave semi-permanent tints on your skin for two days to see if you have a negative reaction to the chemicals. Leave non-permanent products, such as brow mascara or powder, on your skin for one day. If the product does not irritate your skin during the test application, you can try applying it to your face.


Apply an ophthalmic ointment to your upper and lower eyelids before applying a semi-permanent tint or a daily coloring product. The ointment will help protect your lids and eyes from irritation. Keep eye irrigating solution handy so that you can rinse your eyes immediately if they become irritated. Follow the coloring product manufacturer’s instructions faithfully.

About the Author

Grace Riley has been a writer and photographer since 2005, with work appearing in magazines and newspapers such as the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette." She has also worked as a school teacher and in public relations and polling analysis for political campaigns. Riley holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in American studies, political science and history, all from the University of Arkansas.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images