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    Cancer Stole My Eyebrows

    eyebrow tattoo

    Before I went through chemotherapy, I often wished I didn’t have a “unibrow.” I hated plucking, but if I didn’t, my thick brows would grow together.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    After chemo, my eyelashes and eyebrows never grew back quite the same. They’re barely perceptible. Lately, I’ve taken to adding a swipe of dark brown eye shadow to my brows when I’m wearing makeup. I think it makes them look less anemic.

    There are other solutions available, though:

    This is kind of a cross between tattooing and hair extensions. Also known as eyebrow embroidery or feathering or etching. You can find an overview of the process here and here. Using a special microblading pen, a specialist draws on what look like individual hairs with a special tattoo pen. Pigment is deposited closer to the surface of the skin than in a conventional tattoo.

    It can take two to three hours, and it’s expensive, as much as $ 700 to $ 1,200, depending on the salon. But it only requires a touch up once a year. If you go this route, be sure that the specialist you choose has experience and knows what they’re doing.

    Permanent makeup
    Some salons specialize in permanent makeup tattoos, eyebrows, eyeliner, and so on. Be sure to check out the tattoo artist or salon, there is a risk of infection with these procedures. One of my best friends struggled with eyeliner, so she had it tattooed on. She went to see a cosmetic surgeon, though. See the WebMD overview here.

    Eyebrow extensions
    Specialists dip individual hairs into special glue and attach them, one by one, to your eyebrow area. You can find more details here. This process also takes two to three hours. You need to avoid touching your brows, or rubbing them as you wash your face. Avoid immersing your head in water. It’s also expensive, anywhere from $ 75 to $ 350. They last two to three weeks.

    Or, you can just get better with makeup. See the “Power Brow” tutorial here.

    I’m still considering whether I need to do anything drastic. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, and have been using the same lipstick and eyeshadow for years. But it’s nice to know I have options.


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