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Eyebrows. We tweeze them, wax them, pluck them, shape them and tattoo them on –  but did you know that our eyebrows are meant for more than just enhancing our facial features?

For decades, eyebrow grooming has been an essential part of our beauty routine. But our eyebrows were actually designed for a more practical and more important function – to give us better vision.  No matter what shape they are, they keep rain, sweat and moisture away from our eyes – kind of like what a wiper does for our car. Amazing, right? If you didn’t know it before, well, now you know.

And now that you know what the eyebrow actually does, here are some fun facts about our eyebrows that you’ll enjoy reading.

Brows convey our emotion

Are you familiar with the emoticons? They have eyes and mouth and in most of them – eyebrows too. This is because eyebrows visually convey our emotions to other people.  We can raise our brows anytime we want to, but when experiencing genuine emotion like anger or surprise, our brows move spontaneously and in sync with the rest of our facial features, making whatever emotion we are feeling at the moment evident to anyone looking at us.

Mona Lisa shaved her brows

Mona Lisa is famous for her mysterious smile. But is it possible she was smiling because she shaved her brows before sitting to have her portrait taken and no one noticed? We’ll never know for sure. But for those who did not notice, yes Mona Lisa is brow-less. There is a possible explanation for the missing eyebrows, though. During the Renaissance Period, women in Florence, Italy shaved off their brows as a beauty statement. Mona Lisa was painted around the same time so she might have been just following a trend.

Brows are important for facial recognition

In a study conducted by researchers, it was discovered that if you remove your brows, people will find it hard to recognize your face. How did they do this? They digitally removed eyebrows from famous personalities and asked participants to identify them. More than half of the personalities were not recognized without their brows. If you’re hiding from someone, you might want to consider shaving off your brows.

Brow hairs have short life span

Our hair stays on our head for three to seven years.  In comparison, our brow hairs only stay on for about four months before they fall off – and that’s not counting the ones that you tweeze or wax off. It’s a short, sad life for some of these brow hairs.