by Stacey R
I am one of the very few whose brows never came back after chemo. Mind you, I went through chemo twice, which I am sure didn’t help the situation. I began resenting the amount of time it took to draw on my brows in the morning and began investigating my options. There’s Latisse, which is a gel approved by the FDA to grow eyelashes, but has been used “off label” to grow eyebrows as well. Most users begin to see changes in 4 to 6 weeks, with the biggest improvement between weeks 12 and 16. Latisse doesn’t work for everyone (unfortunately, including me) and results only last as long as you use the product. Another, more extreme option was an eyebrow hair transplant. For this, they remove a strip of hair from your scalp and then graft individual hair follicles into your brow. Because you now have head hair for eyebrows, you need to trim it fairly often and may need to “train” the hair to act more, er, eyebrow-y. No thank you.
After sharing my eyebrow tales of woe with a gal at my plastic surgeon’s office, she mentioned that a friend of hers did permanent makeup. No, not like the sharpie drawn on kind Michael Jackson or past-her-prime Elizabeth Taylor wore (may they rest in peace). This technique, called “microblading,” uses precise, individual strokes to recreate your brow. Because the ink in microblading is applied closer to the surface of the skin than with tattooing, it needs to be touched up every 1 to 3 years.
I got them done for the first time about a year ago. It was 2 sessions, 2-3 weeks apart, and let me be clear, she basically recreated my brows from scratch. Each session lasted about 3-4 hours and the pain is minimal…truly. It’s not like getting a regular tattoo, because it doesn’t go as deep, so you barely feel it. It is actually kind of relaxing and she told me she’s had people fall asleep in her chair. I got mine touched up last weekend and am just as in love with them as I was a year ago. They actually look better than my real brows used to look. If your eyebrows need some help, I highly recommend permanent makeup.