Hair loss can be a difficult situation, especially when it happens on the face to the eyebrows or eyelashes. So often we hear talk about how the eyebrows frame the face and enhance the face and eye shape overall.
When brow hairs are lost, especially due to health issues such as alopecia, it can be hard to say if the hairs will ever grow back again, or if the hair loss will be permanent.
While there are some instances where the hair loss related to alopecia can only be temporary, most often it is permanent. Alopecia and the hair loss related to the disorder can be triggered by many factors, such as stress or hormone changes, or it can also be hereditary.
Although the hair loss can affect any area where there is hair on the body, we have had many beauty treatment advancements that can help ease the concern and assist in getting back the appearance of hair, depending on the area.
A common area where hair loss can be seen is the eyelashes and eyebrows, and the beauty space has been exploding with brow treatments for the past several years.
One of the most common beauty treatments for eyebrows in recent times has been microblading. The treatment creates the appearance of full, thick brows that are unique to your face shape and has semi-permanent results.
However, can you have microblading done if you are experiencing brow loss due to alopecia? Yes, microblading works for most skin types and can still be done if you have alopecia. The beauty treatment can work to enhance your brows by giving the appearance of a full, shaped eyebrow, regardless of the existing hair present.
Below, we’ll discuss in detail a complete guide to microblading with alopecia, the benefits, the side effects, and the overall results.
What Is Microblading?
Microblading is a semi-permanent eyebrow treatment that creates the illusion of fuller, thicker, and more defined eyebrows. The process uses a small, handheld needling tool to create small incision into the skin to deposit color pigment to mimic the appearance of hairlike strokes throughout the brow.
Microblading can be used to add extra hair strokes to sparse areas, to enhance or define the shape, or to create an entire brow overall.
Although it seems similar, microblading is different from tattooing for several reasons. Mainly, microblading is semi-permanent with results lasting for several months up to one year with minimal touch-ups needed, while tattooing is a permanent process.
The pigment used for microblading is also different than the ink used for tattooing, and is less likely to fade into the blue/green tones as ink tattoos can often do.
Along with a different type of pigment, the needling tool used for microblading is also different than a tattoo needle. The microblading tool is smaller and allows for more precise control when working in the specific area of the eyebrows.
While a tattooing needle can create fine lines, the microblading tool is for the specific purpose of adding the appearance of hairlike strokes to create an eyebrow.
The microblading procedure takes at least two hours per session and requires at least two sessions for the desired results. Microblading is a beauty treatment that can be customized to your own face and brow shape, to meet your specific needs.
Can You Get Microblading With Alopecia?
Microblading works for most skin types, tones, and hair colors, and it also works for those suffering brow loss due to alopecia.
In fact, microblading is often the safer option for brow enhancement rather than permanent tattooing, as the microblading results last for several months and fade naturally. Microblading can be done in a more specific way, with more natural and hair-like results.
Microblading can work with many different types of brow loss that can be associated with alopecia, such as gap areas, partial loss, or full loss of brow hairs to achieve natural looking results.
If you’d like to hear some first-hand advice on getting microblading for alopecia, here’s a helpful video from Alopecia Queen: Samantha Katz on YouTube.
What Is Alopecia?
Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hair loss, which often times can be permanent. The disorder most commonly affects the scalp but can also cause hair loss in other areas where there is hair on the body. It can also commonly affect the eyebrows and eyelashes.
The hair loss associated with alopecia can be experienced through gradually thinning areas of the hair or loosing hair in clumps in a particular area.
While there is not a cure for alopecia and the hair loss associated with the disorder is often permanent, there are ways to treat the condition medically, and ways to disguise or combat the loss of hair in certain areas.
Side Effects Of Microblading With Alopecia
While there are side effects of having the microblading treatment done for those who have alopecia, there does not seem to be a large difference than the general side effects that can occur after a microblading treatment overall.
The general side effects that are associated with microblading are slight irritation after the treatment, such as redness, itchiness, or tenderness in and around the eyebrow area.
During the recovery time, the microblading begins to flake and scab as the skin is healing which can cause the color and appearance of the brows to change throughout the recovery. This is called the ghosting phase.
The general recovery period for microblading is between four to six weeks, for the first session, and the second session is typically booked around the six-week, post-treatment mark.
For those getting microblading for alopecia concerns, the recovery could a few weeks longer to heal before your next treatment session. It is best to discuss with your microblading specialist when to book your next session to ensure you have the adequate amount of time to recover properly.
As alopecia is an autoimmune disorder, those that are getting microblading done with the disorder can be more likely to be prone to any post-treatment infection as the process include small open cuts on the skin.
Although the microblading treatment has results that can last at least one year, those with alopecia might experience the pigment fading quicker than the average timeframe.
Differences Between Microblading With Or Without Alopecia
There are a few differences when it comes to having a microblading treatment done for those with alopecia compared to those without. Most commonly, the pigment may fade faster than usual for those with alopecia.
The results from microblading typically last at least one year, and for some can last up to three years with minimal touch-ups, however for those with alopecia you may need touch-up appointments sooner.
As the pigment can fade faster, your technician may suggest going darker with the pigment initially in order to extend its longevity. While you may go with a darker pigment and it could last longer, there is also the chance that the microblading hair-like lines can become blurred overtime.
This may also be an instance where more frequent touch-ups are necessary, in order to maintain defined and natural looking brows.
Process Of Microblading With Alopecia
It is always important to research your microblading salon and specialist before booking your appointment, however if you are looking to have the treatment done for alopecia-related hair loss, it is crucial to know and feel confident in your technician.
Because there are different levels of brow loss one can experience with alopecia, having a well-experienced technician will be able to create naturally shaped and defined brows and will be able to assist in the best course of action for microblading the brows and determine the best treatment.
After meeting with your microblading specialist, you will collaborate on the best shape and style for your brows that will work with your face shape, as well as any existing brow hairs that may be present.
When it comes time to start the procedure, a numbing cream is applied to the sections that will be worked on and the brow shape will be mapped out. A small, handheld needling tool is used to create small incisions on the skin that will deliver the brow-colored pigment.
During the collaboration discussion of the goals you have for your eyebrows, it could be helpful to show your specialist photos of your eyebrows prior to the loss as it can give an idea of what style and shape you are familiar with and how your brows naturally appeared.
It can also help to bring guide photos of brow styles you like in general, and you specialist can guide you on what would work best for you.
The numbing cream is applied to the brow area in order to eliminate any discomfort or pain throughout the process. Although a numbing cream is applied, depending on how the cream responds to the individual there might be some slight discomfort during the session.
While the process overall should be minimally uncomfortable, if you are experiencing any pain alert your technician as a different numbing cream may be available.
The overall appointment typically will take at minimum two hours and the recovery period will take several weeks. Depending on how the pigment takes to the skin and brow area will determine how many touch-up appointments are needed or recommended.
How To Prepare For Microblading With Alopecia And Aftercare
Making sure you are prepped and ready for your microblading treatment is the first step on your brow journey to ensure your session is pain-free and easy. Having the proper aftercare in place will also help your recovery be seamless.
Prior to your microblading appointment, it is recommended to avoid taking any type of aspirin or ibuprofen, or fish oil supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment, as those are blood thinners and can cause the brow area to bleed more than normal during the session.
However, if you are on medication for alopecia-related concerns, discuss the microblading procedure first with your doctor.
Also, it is recommended to avoid drinking alcohol as well 24 hours prior to your appointment, as alcohol is also a blood thinner that can affect your microblading session. You may also want to avoid drinking caffeine.
It is also best to avoid any extra sun exposure to prevent potential sunburn, which can cause more unnecessary discomfort during the microblading sessions.
Avoiding any intense exfoliating treatments or retinols may be beneficial to reducing any discomfort during the session as well. Extra sun exposure should be avoided during the recovery period as well.
As previously mentioned, those with alopecia can be prone to infection, so keeping an eye on how the brows are healing during the recovery process is important. In general, it is required not to wet your brows for at least 48 hours after your session, which also includes sweating from an intense workout routine.
Certain skincare is recommended to be avoided in the brow area, both post-treatment and during the recovery period overall. Oil-based products specifically should be avoided near the eyebrow and microbladed area, to avoid obstructing the microblading pigment.
After the numbing cream from the appointment starts to wear off, you may begin to experience some soreness or tenderness throughout the brow area. Most likely, your brow specialist will provide you with a healing balm for your post-treatment care.
Your specialist will advise you on how soon after your treatment to apply the balm, but in general it will help with the recovery process and lessen any lingering soreness.
During the recovery process you will see your brows begin to scab or flake, as well as adjust in color. It is important to let the brows scab off and flake naturally, so as not to disrupt the healing process.
With alopecia in particular, the recovery process may take slightly longer than average, and any subsequent follow up appointments will be scheduled accordingly to what suits your needs the best. However, the same pre and post-treatment recommendations will remain the same.
Although it can be difficult to experience brow loss due to conditions such as alopecia, it is comforting to know that there are beauty treatments such as microblading available to regain the appearance of full and natural eyebrows once again.
Microblading is a solution that can work for all eyebrows and skin types who want to capture shapely and defined eyebrows, in a way that is customized and suitable for each unique face and eye shape.
If the permanence of a tattoo is too daunting, microblading is the semi-permanent alternative that can work out better for the specific eyebrow related concerns instead.
The microblading tool is meant to suit the task of creating natural, hairlike strokes for the brow better than the average tattoo needle, and the pigment that is used during the appointment is meant to mimic natural hair colors.
Rather than tattoo ink that can fade or oxidize overtime to an unnatural blue or green undertone, the microblading pigment more closely resembles hair color and will fade in a natural and subtle way.
Especially for those with alopecia, doing extensive research on the salon and microblading specialist will allow you to feel even more confident in your choice and in the procedure overall.
As the hair loss from alopecia can range from sparse gap areas, to loosing hair in only one brow, to losing both brows completely, working with an advanced specialist who is well-trained and experience in recreating or mimicking your natural brows will result in eyebrows that you can feel confident in again.
Although it is meant to be a relatively pain-free experience, there may be some slight discomfort that is felt, however working with a trusted professional will help lessen any nervousness and put you on track to having the brows of your dreams once again.
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