As you can imagine, chemotherapy can really wreak havoc on the body. In addition to the nausea, weakness and constipation, an added bonus to look forward to is hair loss, and not just the hair on your head. Let’s just say, I went from looking like this:
To looking like this:
But there is something to be said for not having to deal with body hair. For those of you who have read our book, 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, you will recall that for me, one of the perks of having cancer was getting to try out new eyebrow shapes. I felt like a real Van Gogh with my eyebrow pencil, creating works of art such as:
The McDonald’s Arches
The Fuzzy Catterpillars
And my personal favorite
The Jack O’Lantern
However, while I was having fun with my creative side, I really looked forward to getting my old brows back. But alas, it was not to be. Four years post-chemo and this is the extent of my eyebrow re-growth:
For a brief time, I considered eyebrow tattooing, but the permanence of that procedure scared me, because let’s face it, eyebrow styles change. Right now, for example, I would definitely opt for the sexy, heavy browed Kim Kardashian look.
But as you all know, fashion is fickle and it is only a matter of time before pencil thin brows will be back in vogue, and my once stylish Kardashian look, will have me looking more like this:
So, I resigned myself to the notion that I would live out the rest of my days sneaking into the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning to draw my brows back on before Steve awoke. But then I discovered (drum roll please……..) EYEBROW EMBROIDERY!
Eyebrow embroidery is very similar to eyebrow tattooing, but it lasts for only a year or two. So, fortunately you don’t get stuck with the same style forever. During the procedure, a semi-permanent pigment is pushed into the surface of the skin with small, hair like strokes using a fine blade. The result is a more feathery, and natural looking eyebrow than you would get with a pencil or tattooing.
Does it hurt? That was my first thought. I was told that I would feel a “mild discomfort”, but I was dubious. I mean, I remember my doctor telling me I would feel some “pressure” when I had a needle biopsy on arm pit lymph nodes. No doc, that is not pressure, that is mind altering PAIN! Seriously, nobody is going to actually tell you, “This is going to hurt like hell!” Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really did experience only a mild discomfort.
First, an aesthetic cream was applied to my brow to reduce the sensation of pain. The new brows were traced and then my technician, Michelle, used a small blade to cut very small pieces of the top of layer of skin and applied colour in its place.
The whole procedure lasted about 2 hours. There is some discomfort for a day or so after, sort of like the feeling of a cat scratch, and there may be slight redness and swelling. The cost varies, usually between $300 and $600. Mine cost $400. You can expect the color to fade in the first few weeks, but my salon (The Head Room in Paradise, Newfoundland) offers free touch ups, as do most places I would guess.
So now, what you have all been waiting for…..the After pic:
Just kidding, that is actually when the color was applied. Here are the real after pic:
Was it worth it? Hell Yeah! I would recommend it for anyone with thinning eyebrows, not just those who underwent chemo. If you are looking for a more economical way to darken your eyebrows, I suggest you use an eyebrow powder and brush as opposed to a pencil. It is much more natural looking and lasts all day. Here is my favorite:
Brow Fix, by Milani
Stay tuned for my next post, “Flo Gets New Boobs”….coming soon to a devise near you.