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How Safe Do You Think Microblading Is?

If you’ve ever over plucked your brows in the 90s or maybe are plain obsessed with Solange Knowles and Cara Delevingne’s magnificent full eyebrows, a thing called microblading could be your savior. If you know what it is, you may be sitting on the fence with this one, as there are plenty of microblading horror stories ranging from life threatening infections to allergic reactions and more. Microblading is actually safe if performed by a trained and licensed professional, and under sterile conditions. Here is all that you need to know about this procedure.

How does microblading work?

The technician performing microblading makes use of tiny blades to make microscopic hair-like cuts or incisions on the dermis of your skin while simultaneously depositing pigment into the cut. It is a semi-permanent procedure which lasts between 1 to 3 years and will eventually fade away. The procedure is not like tattooing, wherein the ink is deposited under the dermis and hence remains permanent. The result of microblading is darker, fuller and well groomed eyebrows.

Microblading is not limited to those who have sparse or thin brows, those lucky few with full ones can also get their eyebrows enhanced. People with alopecia greatly benefit from this procedure, but if you suffer from rosacea or eczema or have keloid prone skin, avoid microblading. Breastfeeding mothers or pregnant women would also be advised to stay away from microblading.

What is the procedure like and how expensive is it?

In the days prior to the procedure avoid caffeine, alcohol, tanning, Botox, and tweezing/waxing your brows. Blood thinners such as vitamin E, fish oil supplements, Advil and ibuprofen before the procedure are a strict no-no as bruising, scarring and excessive bleeding may occur. Before the microblading procedure, your eyebrows will be measured, and the size, depth and width of the incisions will be decided upon by the technician. There is not one stencil that will be followed, as brow mapping should be done manually. After picking a shade of pigment closest to your natural brows, a numbing gel is applied to your skin about half an hour before the procedure. Sit tight, as one sitting can last about three hours from start to finish.

One session of microblading can cost you between $300 to $1,500, depending upon where you get it done. Also, do factor in the cost of touch ups every 4-6 weeks as the technician will have to re-fill the faded pigments in. They say dry skin retains pigment better, and those with oily skin may need more frequent touchups. For those with sensitive or oily skin, consider microshading for better results, but expect to pay $70 to $100 extra.

What are the biggest risk factors, and how to avoid them?

Always check for the qualification background of the technicians you are considering, have a checklist as you would when you think of conducting a background check for any layman. Things like where the technician trained, how many people they have worked on, how many years of practice they have, all of it matters. After you have shortlisted a reputed, licensed and technically sound technician, ask for a consultation before the procedure. If he/she charges you a fee, does not give you a free allergy patch test or brushes off your concerns, then you may want to consult another technician.

Microblading being less invasive than conventional tattooing, requires practically no ‘recovery’ but the risks of infections still loom. Hence, choosing a reputable technician who uses proper tools and sterile rooms is very important. You can look at before and after photos and videos of your technician to see the kind of results you can expect. Do pay attention if they’re wearing gloves and masks or if they used brand new equipment for their previous patients. Next is matching the pigment to your hair color. Even if you have the darkest of dark black brows, a good technician will use dark brown to carry out the procedure, so please don’t ask them for jet black pigments.

How long is the healing time?

The average patient would need about two weeks to heal, but it may take about a month for the color to fully settle into your skin. Ignore those websites which advise you to not wash your eyebrows after a microblading procedure, as you may develop an infection if you do not keep your brows clean. Instead right after the procedure until the first 24 hours, wipe the brows with distilled water and sterile cotton or gauze. After 24 hours, you can use a Q-tip soaked in anti-bacterial soap to dab your eyebrows clean every two to three hours.  Slight redness, swelling, itching and scabs are all normal, but you need to stop exfoliating your skin, rubbing your eyebrows and avoid things that make you sweat too much. The healing process can get a little tedious and tiresome but the end results will look great on you!

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