Eyebrows: One of the biggest beauty challenges for redheads. Most copper-haired ladies have very fair, almost non-existent brows. Defining, shaping and filling in the brows are important since they help shape the face. It can take a lot of trial and error to find the perfect ‘redhead friendly’ eyebrow product or technique. If you aren’t happy with your natural shape, there are many options these days such as tattooing, gels, pencils and powder.
Another upcoming trend to add to the list: microblading.
Related: Face Framing Brows for Your Red Hair
It may sound like a scary word but don’t worry, it’s not. Microblading is a form of tattooing with a much more natural look. It works by a pigment being directly applied to the skin with a manual microblading pen to draw hair-like strokes.
We spoke with three different experts from around the country to get the 411 on this new beauty trend to see if it works for redheads.
Before and After Credit: Hayley Shortridge-Gabriel
1. Hayley Shortridge-Gabriel, a certified and trained permanent makeup artist from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, states the first thing to do is find the right artist. “Think about it ladies … this is your face we’re talking about. Not a time to find the cheapest deal out there. Honestly, you get what you pay for.”
This means doing your redhead homework.
Shortridge-Gabriel says, “Ask other people in the beauty industry who they recommend, plus do your own investigating by looking at the artist’s complete portfolio of work. Make sure your style lines up with theirs.”
It is also recommended to ask the artist if they have ever worked on a redhead. This is very important since redheads are known to have very sensitive skin. Make sure you’ve seen the artist’s portfolio before booking an appointment. This ‘portfolio’ can be on the artist’s website or social media outlets like Instagram or Facebook.
The correct color of redhead brows is extremely important. Shortridge-Gabriel says, “As tempting as it might be to want red brows to match your flaming red hair … don’t do it. It looks hideously unnatural and red lasts seemingly forever.” A qualified artist might choose a brown with hints of red or warmth. She says, “If they whip out red, run for the hills..”
Before and After Credit: Hayley Shortridge-Gabriel
2. Dr. Joseph Russo, MD, a Harvard-trained board certified plastic surgeon, has been practicing this new beauty trend in his Newton, MA office. He laid out the top 5 things to know about microblading:
A. It is a different technique from traditional tattooing. Microblading is the art of injecting pigment into the skin using a hand tool that is similar looking to a makeup tool. Tattoo guns and electricity are not used. This hand tool allows for soft, feathery hair strokes to give the appearance of actual hair instead of harsh lines. Results are much more natural looking. The hand tool also puts the pigment into the epidermis of the skin rather than the deep dermis like traditional tattooing.
B. Microblading is completely customized to the individual. Desired shape, placement, proportion, color, and even stroke direction are all taken into account when designing a patient’s brows for microblading. Results won’t look stenciled or artificial. The amount of hair the patient currently has does not matter either. Microblading is great for those who just want a little bolder look without having to fill in their brows every day as well as for those who have little to no natural hair.
C. Microblading isn’t painful. A medical grade topical anesthetic, aka numbing cream, is used not only prior to the procedure but also throughout to maximize comfort. Treatments are well tolerated. Patients describe the experience as feeling like “pinching” or “scratching.”
D. Microbladed eyebrows do not last forever… Although it may be referred to as “permanent makeup,” microblading is actually semi-permanent. Its technique allows the pigment to penetrate into the epidermis, where traditional tattoo ink penetrates into the deeper dermis. Microbladed brows will fade out naturally over time, typically lasting 12-18 months. Maintenance treatments are recommended every 6-12 months to keep brows looking their best and treatment costs down. You can also help keep results looking fresher longer by carefully following the post-procedure care instructions, avoiding exfoliation in the area, and treating them with TLC. Semi-permanency allows a patient long-lasting results without a scary commitment. It also allows the technician to adjust brows with each treatment to suit the patient if desires or trends change.
E. Beware of bargain microblading. Skilled microblading is a learning investment on the part of the technician, and pricing usually reflects that. When considering getting a treatment, you should do your homework and make decisions based on referrals, photos, and reputation. If the pricing is too good to be true, it may mean the results won’t be.
3. Lori Phoenix, Dr. Russo’s microblading nurse, answered our first two questions about this process:
A. How long will the process take for a first time client? “A first-time visit is booked for 2 hours and includes the consultation, numbing, shaping, procedure, and aftercare review. A 4-6 week touch up appointment comes with a full treatment to perfect the brows after healing. That typically takes about 45 minutes.”
B. After the cream is applied, what happens next? “While my patient is numbing, we do our brow consultation. First, chose the appropriate color. The use of pigments rather than ink when microblading allows me to customize color based on complexion. This is especially important for a redhead! Color must have depth but still look natural in order to have optimal microblading results. We then go over size, shape, and symmetry. I like to draw it out on my patient so we can have a visual to discuss. Once we love what we mapped out, the blading begins.”
C. Redheads, before you book, remember one thing: “Brows are so much more important than people give them credit for,” shares Shortridge-Gabriel, “They frame the face, bring life to the eyes and can rewind the clock when done right. This isn’t something you should take casually. You can’t hide this choice like you can the Tasmanian Devil on your lower back you thought was a great idea one drunk night.”
Will you ever try microblading? Share below! Rock it like a Redhead