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Alopecia hair loss permanent make-up

Thursday, 18 October 2012 10:52:00 Europe/London

We receive so many enquiries about make-up for chemo – reinstating thinning eyebrows or eyebrows that have disappeared I thought it would be useful to get an expert’s opinion. Tracie Giles has many years of experience as a permanent make-up artist, she has appeared on TV and written numerous press articles on the subject.

To be clear there are make-up options available if you are experiencing eyebrow thinning or patchy eyebrow loss through chemo - to effectively pencil them back in on a daily basis. If however your eyebrows haven’t returned as you would like, or through over plucking the shape isn’t perfect, or you can’t get your eyebrows perfect every morning with a pencil - permanent make-up might be the option for you. Of course if you are experiencing long term hair loss – one of the Alopecias for example – this can be the ultimate confidence boost and offer complete reassurance that you’re looking good right round the clock. However permanent make-up by definition is ‘permanent’, so how do you set about selecting and trusting the right person to reinstate your eyebrows/eyelashes? Here we pose the questions we felt you’d like to hear the answers to, and Tracie offers some excellent advice and insight as to what the process involves.

ST: What can I expect from a permanent make-up consultation?

young man with alopecia before permanent eyebrow make-up

Before permanent make-up

TG: During the consultation Tracie Giles would create a personalised colour analysis for the client that takes into account skin undertones, hair and eye colour. This enables a custom blend of natural pigments to be made up and used to achieve the ultimate permanent make-up solution. This is a painstaking process as no two people are the same and the blend must be carefully and uniquely prescribed for each client. Time is taken to provide a detailed consultation and to explain the overall process and manage treatment expectations. In short we’ll explain what we hope to achieve, and how we aim to achieve it. Some clients bring photos of celebrity eyebrows or how their eyebrows used to look, whilst others prefer to leave it to us. Either way your eyebrows are drawn in place with pencil sometimes using measuring callipers. Dimensions are checked and you have the opportunity to become fully involved in the planning of the final shape. Treatment sessions can take up to two hours and are generally arranged in two stages, spaced between four to twelve weeks apart, allowing for a safe, comfortable and gradual process.

ST: Will my eyebrows appear too dark and heavy for my face?

TG: This won’t happen because of the initial skin tone analysis work undertaken. The next stage is to pencil in the eyebrows and this can appear dark, however this is wiped away once the treatment is underway. For a few days after the treatment, the pigment will appear much darker in the skin, but this will lighten as the area heals (which shouldn’t take any longer than a week).

young man undergoing permanent eyebrow treatment by cosmetologist

Careful application of individual hairs

ST: Is the process really painful?

TG: The treatment is performed with the client’s comfort in mind, we want women to feel relaxed during the procedure. A soothing anaesthetic gel is used to ensure that you are comfortable before the application process begins. Initially you will feel a little scratching which is less uncomfortable than having your eyebrows tweezered. Honestly! The scratching soon subsides and from then on the treatment is painless. Tracie Giles Technicians work painstakingly to replicate the appearance of real hairs in the brow area, gently and delicately drawing them into the skin. This part of the application can take up to one hour and is highly skilled. The time taken here creates truly realistic looking eyebrows and is well worth a little discomfort.

ST: What if I don’t like the final shape of my eyebrows?

TG: This will have been fully discussed with the client before the start of the process, right at the start of the consultation. Photographs may have been used as a reference, pencil lines will have been drawn and the shape will have been thoroughly discussed and agreed, prior to starting the tattooing. There is plenty of opportunity to discuss concerns and expectations. At the end of the treatment the client is invited to sit up for any final adjustments, which are made ‘hair by hair’, until the effect is as perfect as possible. At Tracie Giles we have over 15 years’ experience of applying permanent make-up, so clients can feel completely relaxed and reassured that we are confident in our application and use the highest quality pigments.

ST: Will I look awful when I leave the salon?

Not at all! The skin will be slightly swollen immediately after treatment, but not enough to stop you carrying on with your daily routine. There maybe slight redness but many people don’t experience any swelling at all. The healing period is between four days to a week, and any initial redness will subdue after just a few hours. Most clients tend not to bleed at all during the procedure, but some might. It is completely normal if this happens and nothing to worry about. An aftercare sheet is provided to clients along with a soothing ointment at the end of the treatment.

ST: Does it just take one application?

young woman with permanent faux eyebrows and wearing a wig

TG: Although your new eyebrows will be complete after this session, a further session is required to make any shape adjustments and to ensure your skin has retained the pigment well - colour and intensity. (This re-touch session is included in our pricing.) This will need to happen no sooner than 4 weeks and no later than 12 weeks after the initial treatment.  

ST: How long will my new eyebrows last?

TG: After your re-touch appointment your permanent eyebrows should be refreshed every year. Without a yearly refresher, the colour will gradually fade away over an indefinite period of time. The other advantage of this being a semi-permanent make-up procedure is that as our faces age, and hair colour changes, the eyebrow make-up can be adjusted to keep you looking your best from year to year. It’s an invaluable anti-ageing convenience as the face changes. For women experiencing Alopecia, or post-chemotherapy, your brows may begin to grow again. So you can chose whether to let the permanent make-up gradually fade away or, as in the case of most clients, top it up again each year because it makes a dramatic improvement. Our thanks to Tracie for explaining so clearly what’s involved and answering the questions we all wanted the answers to! Here are some further Q & As to help you establish just who is the right practitioner for you.

Why have permanent make-up?

Every woman wants to look the best she can, for most of us that might mean a new haircut or colour. However if you’re experiencing hair loss it can mean far more, it can feel as if you are fighting to re-establish your personality and your femininity. If you’ve lost your eyebrows/eyelashes permanent make-up can provide a real solution to time-consuming morning and night time make-up rituals, (drawing them in each day). With this method there will be no need to seal your eyebrow make-up to avoid smudging or movement throughout the day. Complete confidence if you are partaking in exercise from Yoga to swimming that your eyebrows will remain in place, and not be affected by the moisture. With permanent make-up you have the confidence of knowing you look the best you can look, right round the clock.

Am I suitable for permanent make-up?

Most people are suitable for some form of permanent make-up. At Tracie Giles, Tracie herself will explore with you precisely which treatments will suit you best in a one-to-one consultation. This will include an analysis of your natural skin colour and a discussion of your dreams and expectations, and any features you wish to correct, mask or balance. Specific treatments can be recommended and tailored to achieve the effect you want and allow you to put your best face forward to the world. Prior to any consultation a simple skin patch test would be sent to you to complete, to ensure suitability for treatment. It is not advisable to have this procedure done whilst undergoing chemo, because it can affect your natural skin tone colour and may sway the correct choice of pigments for your eyebrows once treatment is complete and your skin tone returns to normal.

How long will permanent make-up last?

Permanent make-up can last for many years but is dependent on several factors including your skin type, your annual sun exposure and lifestyle. For these reasons, Tracie Giles recommends a colour refresher treatment every twelve to eighteen months to maintain perfect results.

Is permanent make-up safe?

Absolutely. All the pigments Tracie Giles use are hygienically prepared, packaged and created from natural minerals that are specifically selected for their safe, non-toxic and hypo-allergenic properties. Technicians and cosmetic surgeons throughout the world trust them in everyday use; moreover, ophthalmologists actually recommend eye procedures using permanent make-up for women who are sensitive to conventional cosmetics. Rest assured the equipment used at Tracie Giles is the latest and most technologically advanced. Like medical equipment, permanent cosmetic equipment is safe by design against cross contamination. Fully disposable ‘single use only’ applicator cartridges are used, for your complete safety and peace of mind. All equipment is fully inspected by the Health and Safety executive and complies with all Health and Safety requirements.

What if I don’t like the end result?

As discussed in this article Tracie Giles takes great care to explain the procedure and visualise what the brows will look like, using her expertise to tailor treatment for each woman to achieve optimum results. Because she takes so much trouble with this initial personal consultation, no client has ever been unhappy with the end result. Such care may not be universal in the industry, and new clients have come to Tracie Giles to request correction or improvement treatments on work done elsewhere. Written by Tracie Giles and Suburban Turban, for further information follow the link to -  You can also contact the salon via email

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If you are experiencing hair loss you may not have to pay the VAT on some of our products. Headwear we have designed and manufactured specifically for hair loss wear is exempted. ‘Standard’ items of headwear such as scarves, brooches, some winter/summer hats by other designers, skincare are not eligible. They have not been ‘adapted’ for special wear. The ‘status’ of items will be displayed in your basket, before ordering, once a short health declaration is completed.

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