One of our GH team members went for microblading last year and decided to share some need-to-know information with anyone who’s considering this increasingly popular procedure.
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‘I’ve always struggled with my brows. They’ve never been similar shapes and lengths, I plucked them much too thin when I was a student, and I was tired of having to fill them in every single day.
One day I was enviously complimenting a friend on her always-perfect brows when she let me in on her secret: microblading. I didn’t even bother to ask her about the cost, pain level and so on. Her results had me sold, and I immediately asked for her beauty therapist’s number to make an appointment.
I’m sure by now most of you have heard about this form of semipermanent makeup (done with a blade consisting of tiny needles filled with ink), but I thought I’d share some things with you that I wish I’d asked my friend beforehand. Here goes!
1. It’s not painful, but it’s also not comfortable
It’s difficult to rate how sore microblading is, because everyone has different pain thresholds. I personally found it less painful than getting a bikini wax, but more sore than having my ears pierced. I think it can best be described as an uncomfortable or annoying feeling rather than a painful one. Plus, the therapist will apply a numbing cream, which removes some of the sting.
2. You can’t break a sweat!
The secret to the success of microblading is that the tiny scars need to scab over and heal properly. This won’t happen if you keep getting the scars wet, whether it’s with water or sweat. So take a week’s break from your exercise routine or wear a sweatband on your head if you simply must go for a brisk walk. And be sure not to make your appointment a week before that half-marathon!
3. You might look a little clownish at first
I remember my boyfriend’s face when he picked me up after my procedure. He said it looked as though my brows had been drawn on with a marker! This was 1) because the ink is obviously darkest on the first day (almost like when you get your hair dyed) and 2) because of the glistening ointment the therapist applied afterwards.
After the weekend some of my colleagues and friends complimented me on how neat my brows looked – which means they noticed that they looked different – but luckily no-one made the same face my boyfriend made! I’d still recommend that you keep your social calendar empty for a day or two after the procedure.
4. It’s really itchy!
As mentioned before, microblading is done with a blade made up of needles that push ink into the tiny cuts it makes. The cuts will form scabs and the scabs will shed and scab over again. This will happen a few times during the healing process and, as we all know, a healing scar is an itchy one! The fact that you’re not allowed to touch your brows (to prevent infection and speed up the healing process, among other reasons) can drive you a little insane. Ask your therapist for an ointment to ease the itching.
5. You have to go again
A follow-up session is non-negotiable. Microblading is a two-part process and the touchup usually happens about four to six weeks after the first session. The reason for this is that as your skin and the scars heal, the pigmentation can fade considerably. During the second session the therapist will go over the inked lines and can make some shape and colour adjustments if needed. Microblading can be expensive – with sessions starting at R1 000 to R1 500 – so be sure to ask whether the second session is included in the price.
Last but not least
I want to finish off by sharing a few more more things. Note that you can’t wet or wash your face for at least a week after the procedure. If you don’t normally wear a lot of makeup, this won’t affect you very much. But I have to wear at least a little makeup for work, so this was a rather unpleasant “surprise” during my info session before the procedure. Thank goodness for face wipes! I also covered my brows with clingwrap and a really big shower cap while showering during that first week.
Also remember that microblading is semipermanent – it’s said to last one to three years, depending on skin type, age, how well you treat the scars, etc. My brows are still fine after one year, but I am considering a touchup within the next year. And lastly, ask and shop around – not necessarily for the best price, but for the best results.’