Brows have made a major comeback in the makeup world in recent years, but how important are they for men in the workplace?
At the end of the 2010s, big bushy styles helped to once again shine a spotlight on eyebrows and their important face-framing qualities, and it looks like brows are still on our minds in 2021. This survey, conducted by Tokyo salon owners Reunion Co., Ltd. this summer, asked 111 young to middle-aged Tokyo businessmen all about their feelings and thoughts concerning eyebrows: what kind of impressions do clean or messy eyebrows give off? And is eyebrow care a necessary part of self-maintenance? While we suspect there may be a little bias among the survey-takers involved, the responses were still surprising!
Conclusion #1: in Japanese business situations, the impression your eyebrows give off is important.
Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising response was the overwhelming agreement on how important eyebrows really are. In fact, when asked about how important eyebrows really are, over 80% of respondants agreed that this one facial feature―and their tidiness―gives off an important impression at work. Only about 6% strongly disagreed with the statement. When asked what kind of impression is made by businessmen with well-groomed eyebrows, top survey answers agreed that the eyebrows give off a sense of cleanliness, and men with well-maintained eyebrows look like they take care of themself. Even more impressive, in this multiple choice question, almost a quarter of all respondents agreed that “he looks like he can get work done,” and around 20% checked the boxes for “he looks reliable” and “he looks trustworthy” respectively. Write-in answers also mentioned that good eyebrows make men look youthful or smart, and one respondent implied that since eyes are such a vital part of business communication, tidy eyebrows were important.
When asked about the opposite, survey-takers weren’t overly cruel about their coworkers with poorly-maintained eyebrows, but more than 38% did agree that it looked sloppy, and 22.5% said it made a person look old. Clearly, if you think the way your eyebrows look isn’t important, it just means everyone around you has been nice enough not to say anything… yet.
Conclusion #2: in COVID-19 times, eyebrows are more important than ever.
While it wasn’t the main focus of this particular survey, one question asked an especially important question for 2021: do you think the importance of eyebrows has increased with everyone wearing masks every day? This question was directed only at the 81% of respondants who had already stated that they thought eyebrows made an important impression, which means it doesn’t include those who think that eyebrows never were and never will be important, but a full 30% of those who did answer the question chose to “strongly agree,” and another third said they “sort of agree.” With masks covering much of the face and hiding facial expressions, now more than ever it seems like eyes are the window to the soul, and eyebrows might just be the best place to show off a little grooming on a masked face.
Conclusion #3: Japanese men aren’t all confident in their eyebrows, and they’re doing something about it.
With more attention being paid to eyebrows, it looks like quite a few Japanese businessmen are starting to take note of the state of their own unibrows and wispy stray hairs, and they might not like it. When asked how they felt about their own eyebrows, over 60% of respondents said that they didn’t have much or any confidence at all in their own brows, and by far the least common response for this survey question was to say that they had lots of confidence in their eyebrows―under 10% of survey-takers seemed ready to brag about their great brows.
When it came to what all these businessmen are doing about their uninspiring eyebrows, a majority responded that they actually were proactively trying to maintain their brows and keep them tidy. A clean 27% of survey takers said that they get them trimmed along with their regular haircuts, and a full 55% said they performed their own “eyebrow care” routines at home, although more than 40% later said that they had occasionally messed up and given themselves lopsided eyebrows.
Of all the survey questions, the final one should certainly be taken with a grain of salt (considering it was conducted by a company that runs salons), but the answers were still interesting enough to take note. When asked if they would want to have their eyebrows maintained by a professional aesthetician, more than half of these 111 Tokyo businessmen agreed that they would. So next time you walk down the streets of Tokyo, be sure to check out the eyebrows on the busy businessmen you see walking by―they might just be on fleek.
Name: Reunion Co., Ltd.
13 November 2021
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