There’s no doubt that microblading is the treatment of the hour. And why wouldn’t it be? A treatment, done in just a few hours, that promises life-like hair strokes to replace what years of over plucking (think Victoria Beckham in the early 2000s), hormonal fluctuations, illness and autoimmune disease has left lacking.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, sometimes it is. As with any popular treatment, the level of expertise, knowledge, caution, quality and integrity dilutes as popularity grows.
Since opening the doors of ON Browhouse in 2013, we’ve become increasingly alarmed by the number of clients coming in for consultations needing remedial work. And more often than not, the solution is not as easy as getting another treatment done. Often resulting in months of painful tattoo removal sessions before we’re able to do anything. And we’re not overreacting here, without fail we’d have at the very least one client a week who’ve had a disastrous experience.
So, how do you avoid becoming one of these statistics? You may feel overwhelmed by the number of service providers to choose from, but fear not: help is at hand. Follow these steps and save yourself hundreds of dollars and tears:
1. Know what you’re booking in for.
Microblading is a form of tattooing. Think: opening up the skin and implanting pigment, Think: commitment, permanence, risk of infection. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the permanence of eyebrow tattooing. Like with any form of tattooing, pigment colours change in the skin over time. Microblading is somewhat less permanent but pigment will more than likely always remain in the skin and need ongoing annual touch-up sessions.
2. It’s not just another treatment.
It is a serious process with serious possible repercussions. As the skin is being opened up and pigment being implanted, there is risk of infection. Make sure your provider has a valid Health Protection Licence – this should be displayed in a visible area of the salon/studio. Ask questions about hygiene! What methods of infection control is practised, are tools re-used? The only way to fully sterilise tools for re-use is an autoclave. At ON we believe in a fully disposable treatment. Nothing is reused. No exceptions.
3. Microblading is a largely unregulated treatment in New Zealand.
This means anyone can go on a two day course and set up shop, worse still you could just watch a few online videos, buy cheap tools and needles/blades/pigments online and start offering Microblading. Ask questions about training, education, knowledge of skin and pigments. This is why we’ve always believed in complimentary consultations. Clients need to be well informed and given the opportunity to ask lots of questions.
4. Consultations are also a wonderful opportunity to find the right fit for you.
Microblading and brow artists all have aesthetics that vary slightly – find the one that suits your style, also find an artist who’s approachable, answers your questions clearly and is able to show you photos of actual work. A huge red flag is if all their work looks the same. There shouldn’t be any stencils or ‘typical brow’, each brow should be as unique as the individual.
5. Choose an experienced artist.
Even after completing several training courses, it still takes at least 6 months for an artist to be fully up to speed. As experienced brow artists we also realise that ongoing education is important, we feel that every day we still learn something new from every new client.
6. Be careful if there’s not a consultation process.
Your brow artist should ask for medical background and history. There are a number of conditions that are absolute contraindications to microblading.
7. Insist on seeing a drawn-on outline before any microblading is done.
Any good brow artist will measure out and outline your brow shape before touching you with a microblading tool. If this part is left out – RUN.
8. Don’t bargain hunt!
We cannot stress this point enough. Price should be the very last thing on your agenda. We appreciate that budgets can be tight from time to time. But we suggest rather waiting a little while than rushing off and doing something you regret later. Often buying cheap means buying twice – or in this case hundreds of dollars spent on tattoo removal, and then paying again to have your brows microbladed. Deal websites, last minute deals due to cancellations etc etc – Don’t do it!
9. Be patient.
Often there will be a waiting period to see your chosen brow artist. We also recommend you come in for a consultation separate from booking in for the actual treatment – this gives you time to process all the information and decide whether microbladed eyebrows is for you or not. Microblading is not a treatment to be done on a whim.
10. Do your research.
Ask LOTS of questions, ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations – word of mouth is the best form of advertising.