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What Are Permanent Eyebrows?

By A. Rohlandt
Updated May 21, 2024
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The term permanent eyebrows refers to the application of permanent makeup to the brows through micropigmentation or eyebrow embroidery. Makeup of this kind will not wash or wipe off, hence the name, but the pigment can fade over time. The procedure can be completed in as little as one hour, but a follow-up consultation is recommended. Specific aftercare instructions are usually given to help prolong the life of the tattoos.

Permanent eyebrows are created by inserting pigment into the dermis using a small vibrating needle, much the same as those used by tattoo artists. During micro-pigmentation, pigment is inserted into the second layer of the skin, whereas with eyebrow embroidery the pigment only goes as deep as the first layer of the skin. Eyebrow embroidery also creates a "feathered" look, whereas permanent eyebrows done through micro-pigmentation are more opaque in color.

Makeup of this kind is only semi-permanent, but the results can last several years depending on the individual, the color of the pigment, and aftercare. Lighter colors tend to fade more quickly, and may also be more prone to discoloration. Most applications last for at least one to two years, but can last longer. Touch-ups are usually needed to correct any fading or discoloration. Eyebrow embroidery usually requires more frequent touch-ups, since the pigment is placed less deeply than with micro-pigmentation.

The procedure to apply permanent eyebrows usually only takes an hour or two, but most technicians will recommend a second visit after about a month. A follow-up procedure allows the technician to make corrections as requested by the client, or to fill in any light areas in the brow. The procedure can cause some discomfort, and discomfort levels may be higher with micro-pigmentation than with eyebrow embroidery.

After the procedure it is normal to experience some redness and swelling, but the redness should fade within a day. Swelling may take longer to disappear, and eyebrows may seem uneven if one half of the face has less swelling than the other. A scab may also form after a few days, but experts recommend letting this fall off naturally, as picking at it could cause uneven patches or affect the shape of the brow.

Clients are usually asked to refrain from applying makeup to the area for anywhere from three to six days to help prevent infection. Exposure to direct sunlight or the use of tanning beds should also be avoided for the first six weeks after the procedure. Avoiding these in addition to tanning products helps to prevent fading and discoloration.

Skincare products that have an exfoliating effect or that contain ingredients like glycolic acid can speed up the fading of permanent eyebrows. It's best to avoid using them on the tattooed area. Swimming in chlorinated water can also have the same effect.

Can I Use Semi Permanent Hair Dye on My Eyebrows?

The simple answer is yes, you can use semi-permanent hair dye on your eyebrows. However, if you've never done your own eyebrows before, you might want to wait until a professional can help you. After all, your eyebrows are front and center. If you choose the wrong shade or make an embarrassing mistake, everyone will know until you can find a way to fix it. On top of that, since your eyebrows are so close to your eyes and dye often contains chemicals, you could put yourself in danger if you make a mistake.

How Long Will Dye Last on the Eyebrows?

The other thing to consider when deciding whether you want to dye your eyebrows is if the effort is worth the payoff. Dyed eyebrows only last 3-8 weeks, with the exact amount of time depending on quite a few factors. People who spend a lot of time in the sun, don't use sunscreen, use a lot of face scrubs, or whose eyebrows go very quickly may not have dyed eyebrows for long. Never use permanent dye on the eyebrows, as the chemicals are not safe to be that close to the eyes and could cause serious damage. If you'd like a more permanent solution, consider microblading instead.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Microblading?

The good news is that nearly everybody is a good candidate for permanent eyebrows. A good specialist can create full brows on any skin tone by blending shades from your current eyebrows to create something that looks natural and three-dimensional. If you have alopecia on the eyebrows, don't worry. The right specialist will be able to give you natural brows by matching shades to your hair. If someone tells you that they cannot help you due to your skin tone or a lack of natural eyebrows, consider it a red flag and continue your search for the right person.

How Much Does It Cost for Permanent Eyebrows?

Perhaps the biggest downside to permanent eyebrows is that they don't come cheap. The microblading process and semipermanent makeup processes to get them done cost several hundred dollars. On the low end, expect to pay around $400. On the high end, you might see prices closer to $800. There are several things that will factor into how much you can expect to pay, including what city you live in, where you have the service done, and whether you have to pay any consultation fees. Typically, you'll pay more if you live in a big city or go to an upscale medical spa.

How To Fix Permanent Eyebrows

One of the downsides of permanent eyebrows is that a few years down the line, they may begin to take on a bluish tint. This typically occurs because of low-quality pigment being used. Low-quality products often contain heavy metals that lead to discoloration. Of course, even high-quality black pigment will fade eventually, so it is important to choose a different color for the eyebrows. Finally, if the professional was too aggressive and went too deep when microblading, the result may turn blue over the years, and the blue will not fade away on its own. Luckily, there are a few options for correcting the problem.

Laser Removal

One of the first options for dealing with blue permanent eyebrows is to have them removed with a laser. The process is a long one and often requires more than one visit. Keep this in mind when contacting laser tattoo removal businesses to get quotes.

Liquid Remover

Some people use a special liquid lighting solution that is available to remove the blue-tinted eyebrows. They may include saline or chemicals to complete the process, and in many cases, they work best when used in combination with laser removal.

Color Correction

If you still want your permanent eyebrow makeup, you can opt to look into color correction instead. This involves covering the blue tint with a warmer pigment. Before you can correct the blue, you'll need to be sure that they have faded at least 50%. Keep in mind that color correction may need to happen every few years, depending on how you feel about your eyebrows. If you've yet to have your permanent eyebrows done, you can also ask your artist if he or she can deposit orange pigment before depositing the color you want your brows to be. This helps your body to metabolize the color more slowly and may lengthen the time before you need a touchup.

Is Microblading Eyebrows Permanent?

While microblading helps to eliminate the need for filling in your brows with makeup on a daily basis, the results are not fully permanent. They are, however, semi-permanent and can last anywhere between one and three years, depending on the individual. While it may seem like a downside, the average duration of a microblading treatment does have its advantages. Because of the technique and materials used, you can have the shape and color of your permanent eyebrows updated easily at any time. If you are not happy with the initial results, it's easy to make adjustments. It also gives you the option to change up your look from time to time.

What Is the Difference Between Microblading and Eyebrow Tattoos?

Technically, microblading is form of tattooing the skin, but the two techniques (and end results) are very different. As you now know, microblading is semi-permanent and fades over time. This is because the pigment is only applied to the outer layers of the skin. However, eyebrow tattoos are intended to last a lifetime. Still, their appearance may change over time as your skin ages and the ink gradually changes. Fortunately, this is usually easily repaired.

The process of microblading involves the use of pigments. While your brows may fade to a slightly lighter shade over time, they will not change to a different color. Tattoo ink, which is used when creating tattooed eyebrows, tends to fade to a blue-green color over the course of a few years. This is true even if the initial color is brown or black.

Eyebrow tattoos and microblading can create very different final results. Tattoo needles are significantly larger than microblading needles, so they tend to create thicker lines for a solid eyebrow shape. However, microblading needles create tiny, featherlike lines that look more like real hairs. This also allows for greater precision and detail while ensuring a more natural look.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing Permanent Eyebrows?

For people who have busy schedules, applying makeup can be a hassle. Eyebrow makeup can be particularly time-consuming because it requires patience and precision each and every time. In fact, for most people, it takes up the most time in their makeup routine. Having permanent eyebrows applied can save a significant amount of time. This way, there's no need to sacrifice your look when you're in a rush.

People who have thin, sparse, or poorly shaped eyebrows can feel self-conscious about their appearance. Makeup can help, but it can be difficult to get the right shade and look. In addition, most products tend to color the overall area instead of creating eyebrows that look naturally fuller. However, microblading creates tiny hairlike pigments in the skin that are smaller than most makeup applicators can offer. This leads to more natural-looking eyebrows and improved confidence.

Who May Want to Consider Permanent Eyebrows?

Permanent eyebrows can be a great solution for many people. As we age, we tend to lose hair all over our bodies, including our eyebrows. Eyebrow hair loss can also be an issue for chemotherapy patients or those who over-plucked and overwaxed in the past. However, you don't have to have thin eyebrows to benefit from treatments like microblading. They can help you achieve the look and shape you want with expert results.

How Should You Care for Permanent Eyebrows?

After the treatment is complete, be sure to follow your beauty technician's instructions for follow-up care. For the first four to six weeks, your skin will need to heal from the process. Redness, swelling, and some peeling or scabs may develop but this is normal. Try to keep the area clean and dry and limit excessive sweating and sun exposure. Do not use makeup removers or moisturizers over the area.

Once healing is complete, you can resume your normal habits and skincare routine. Make sure to use plenty of sunscreen on a daily basis, as UV rays can lead to premature fading. Also, avoid using rapid skin exfoliants, such as RetinA, on or around the area; these can affect the pigments used in permanent eyebrows. If you plan to have any professional skincare treatments done, especially chemical peels or laser procedures, be sure to let your esthetician know that you have permanent eyebrows so they can protect the area properly.

Permanent eyebrows help to eliminate the need for makeup in this area. However, keep in mind that applying concealer, foundation, tinted moisturizer, or powders can hide them. Use care when applying your makeup so that you don't interfere with the finished product.

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Discussion Comments

By anon290364 — On Sep 09, 2012

I am in need of some advice. I did my eyebrow embroidery a month ago with an experienced and well reputed beautician. But strangely it was said this is the first time they have encountered such a case as mine.

After the first embroidery, the color of my brow faded, leaving barely visible lines on my skin, like at 5-10 percent of its original color in just a week. The next touch up was done just recently, two days ago.

Now scabs have already formed and have started falling off at the corners of my brow, leaving that same barely visible color to no color at all. What can I do to prevent this? I appreciate your advice.

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