Mooloolaba salon one of first in nation to offer treatment
MOOLOOLABA salon Koko Lashes & Brows is pioneering in Australia a beauty craze that’s taken hold of Europe.
Brow lamination is a process of restructuring eyebrow hairs to keep them in a desired shape.
“It’s the most amazing treatment and we’re so excited to be bringing it in,” Koko owner Jade Cook said.
“I was looking at all the salons I look up to, and I couldn’t find any – just one person in Perth.”
The UK-born beautician said the beauty industry had grown significantly since she opened her Brisbane Rd salon five years ago.
She said her strategy for staying on top of competitors was to stay ahead in trends.
“I’m one for always staying ahead of the game and looking for innovative ideas,” she said.
“I feel you’ve just got to stay ahead of what everyone else is doing.”
Lamination trains the eyebrows to sit upwards, giving a “bushy, runway look”.
“It’s basically three solutions you have to apply,” Jade said.
“Firstly, it’s a sticky, soluble solution that you apply to shape brows and put them in place.
“The second one is to relax the hair – so it’s like training the hair to stay in place.
“The third one is setting them.”
Once these solutions are applied and wiped off, eyebrows are tinted.
“We stain the skin as well as the hair, so it gives the illusion that you’ve got powder through the brows – it’s a fuller look.”
The effect lasts up to two months, until the eyebrows grow out.
“Everyone can vary, but most people start getting that new hair within about two months,” she said.
“As your old hairs shed off, and new hairs come through, the new hairs are obviously growing the normal way.”
A refresh is recommended at six to eight weeks – a fairly low maintenance treatment, Jade said.
Passionate about helping people, particularly women, Jade has worked in the beauty industry since she finished school.
“I love doing brows, because it really can change someone’s face and make such a difference,” Jade said. “Not just by looks, but confidence too.
“I’ve had so many women, and girls, come to me and actually cried, and hugged me, and said how much this is going to change their life – because they’re so unconfident.
“With some women, it’s because they’ve maybe got a scar through their brows, because they’ve gone through something really horrible.
“To have something on your face like that, that people see – it’s such a dramatic thing. So to uplift them, it’s just life changing.”
Jade had worked in cruise ship beauty spas, where she heard about Australia from guests and well-travelled colleagues.
She formed a fascination with the country and eight years ago, without having visited once, she moved here.
She decided to open a salon focused purely on eyebrows and lashes after noticing a salon in Port Douglas was doing a roaring trade, when she lived in Cairns.
“I’m pretty artistic and pretty particular – a bit of a perfectionist, so being able to sculpt someone’s brows, whether they have nothing or a lot, is really satisfying for me,” she said.
Koko is now designing an online course to train other salon professionals in the art and science of lamination.
The salon originally started offering courses after being approached by other brow artists and beauty therapists, including those wanting skills in brow tattooing.
Jade said cosmetic brow tattooing was becoming increasingly popular but was not stringently regulated.
“It’s getting better, but a lot of people can go get a course over a few days and start tattooing someone’s face,” she said.
“Myself and a lot of cosmetic tattooists around Australia are fighting that … we don’t want the industry flooded with people who can’t do it correctly.”
She said people often had dramatic experiences when beauty treatments were done badly.
Sometimes the consequences were devastating.
“We get a lot of people coming in, and they’ve had really bad jobs done,” Jade said.
Cosmetic tattooing, when done properly, is done through the eyebrow hair, but she had seen women whose tattooist had shaved off their eyebrows.
“I think the worst one that I’ve seen recently was a lady that came in, and this (tattooist) had basically shaved her eyebrow off, so when her eyebrow started growing back, she basically had four eyebrows.
“Obviously she was devastated.”
Jade said the woman would have to either get the tattoos removed professionally or use concealer and continually shave her second set of brows.
The “horrible” abuse of client trust shocked Jade.
“When I see stuff like that, it makes me sick,” she said.
“I’m very particular in the way that I do things, and I think that’s why I’ve had a lot of requests from beauty therapists and brow artists to do training.”