I've seen the same question on other forums, but have not come across any definitive explanation. The non-cited answers seem to fit into three categories:

  • It is due to greater muscle dexterity on one side of the face.
  • It is a result of being either left/right brained.
  • It is genetic.

Perhaps it has to do with a combination of these three, or none of them at all. Some have even said that with practice they have been able to raise both independently from the other. Why is this so?


2 Answers 2


The muscle responsible for being able to raise both eyebrows is one and the same (m. occipitofrontalis). You can not raise one eyebrow because the whole muscle is connected to both eyes. It is possible that one side is not connected or less connected but that's usually not the case and such a person would not be able to raise both eyebrows at will.

What happens in almost all people is that they are not raising one eyebrow, but instead keeping one eyebrow down and raising both at the same time thus giving the impression of only raising one. There are various muscles that are able to lower the eyebrows.

So if one person is "not able" to raise one eyebrow, it actually means that they are not able to keep the other side down.

  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't answer the question. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 0:37
  • $\begingroup$ Then the original question thus boils down to why some people can keep the other eye brow down and others can't? If you could expand on this and answer OP's question, that would really help. And adding sources to your statements will help improve this post further. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 13:36

I googled this because: I have a very expressive face and started noticing (perhaps with age, I'm 36), that one side of my face appears more droopy, or sulky, than the other. This lead me to wonder if it's because I raise my eyebrow on the left side of my face quite often and generally have more expression on that side of my face. More expression, more flexion, this more muscle-work. I tried raising just my right eyebrow and realized I cannot, or at least not without raising both. This bothered me and I wanted to know why, hence my Google search. I chose not to believe the answer to this query and started training myself to make little independent movement of my right eyebrow, watching myself on my phone. Within a few minutes I realized I can close my left eye and raise my right eyebrow, seemingly independently. That become a vision that I could see. I opened my left eye and repeated the vision, but in reality. I can now move my right and left up and down eyebrows independently.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome Osiris. Please take our tour and refer to the help center for guidance. You seem to be suggesting that practice helps. You'd need to support any claims with references from credible sources. The rest of your post seems to be more suited to being a comment. You'll be able to leave those once you've gained sufficient reputation. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 1:35

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