Your new brows will look amazing on the day of the procedure. Here is how to best prepare for what the healing process will bring in the 4 weeks that follow to avoid unnecessary stress/disappointment. We’ve compiled a day by day timeline following a cosmetic brow tattoo procedure and why you need to follow your aftercare advice correctly. Repeat after me – my brows are going to look amazing, all good things take time.
DAY 1 Your cosmetic tattooist has completed your treatment
Within a few hours, the tattooed area will feel a little tender and you may experience some minor swelling/redness for the first 24 hrs. The pigment colour will look very dark for the next 2-3 days and the shape of your brows may appear thicker than desired due to swelling. As the healing process has begun the tattooed area will begin to weep with lymph (a normal wound healing response). It is best to keep the area from forming a scab at this stage, so we suggest patting dry with a clean tissue until the lymph subsides.
You will also be provided with a special aftercare cream to apply twice daily. Clean the area first with dampened cotton and gently pat dry, you do not want to be firm or rub the area as the pigment is delicate and has not settled into the skin yet. Apply a small amount of the cream with a cotton tip (it should look like a very light sheen on the skin). If too much is applied it will look greasy like Vaseline and the excess should be removed with a dry tissue or cotton round. Using a minimal amount of aftercare cream allows airflow to support quicker healing whilst still protecting the area from infection. This twice-daily routine should be followed for at least 7-10 days or until the flaking/shedding process is complete.
Before and directly after treatment – Combo brows
DAY 2 Your brow tattoo will still look ridiculously dark! Fear not – this will not be the final colour.
The redness and swelling should have subsided. The tattoo pigment once settled into the skin goes through a few stages of colour variation before the healed results in 4 weeks. Rest assured this dark pigment will settle after a few days and the healed outcome is up to 60% lighter than how your brows look today. PHEW!
DAY 3-5 Your brows may be beginning to flake/shed and itch!
These are all expected signs of healing. Do not pick or peel minor scabs prematurely, instead allow them to come away naturally. You may notice some colour on the cotton round when you clean your brows, this is also normal. As the skin heals, the excess pigment is pushed out as it naturally exfoliates itself. You will also experience some itchiness during this time. As much as the urge to scratch calls to you, refrain from scratching as this can lead to infection and a patchy healed result. Some tips to help soothe the itch – use a clean tissue and press carefully but firmly on the area or use a cotton tip to lightly massage away the itch.
Some peeling may occur and your brows may look patchy at this stage.
DAY 6-10 Your brow tattoo is coming to the end of the healing process.
Most of the flaking/shedding should be complete and the pigment colour will look a lot lighter. You may also notice some inconsistency in the colour and a white veil appearance over the area. This is the skins natural response to form a build-up of skin cells over the brow tattoo. This will gently exfoliate away in another week or so revealing the true healed colour of your eyebrow tattoo.
It is expected after the first session that not all pigment is retained. Some minor adjustments to shape, colour, or consistency will need to be addressed at the touch-up appointment. Don’t fret if your tattoo looks as though it has partially disappeared. Your brow tattooist will correct this at your touch-up appointment which should always be scheduled 4-6 weeks from the initial procedure.
Healed results before touch up.
4-6 Week Touch up Appointment
The touch-up appointment is a repeat of the first procedure. You must follow the same aftercare to ensure best pigment retention and results. Having a second application allows the pigment to bond to the skin and provides a consistent appearance and longevity of the eyebrow tattoo. Be sure to discuss with your cosmetic tattooist any areas you would like to alter at this appointment. It is your opportunity to tweak shape, colour or any gaps you have noted over the past 4 weeks.
Sometimes, depending on how minimal the touch-up work was, the healing process of this procedure may be reduced. However, it is crucial to follow the same aftercare requirements as advised at your first eyebrow tattoo procedure.
Very rarely some factors such as skin type, particularly oily skin, or clients taking medications can have issues retaining pigment. In these cases, more than one touch up appointment may be necessary. These clients may also need to have maintenance appointments sooner than the recommended 12 months. Your brow tattooist should advise you of these obstacles in your initial consultation.
You should expect within 4 weeks of the touch up for your brows to be completely healed. You can now flaunt your fabulous brows with little maintenance for the next 12-18months. I say little maintenance for the following reasons: tattooing your brows does not stop unwanted hair growth – you will still need to keep up your usual waxing/threading or tweezing regime when required. If you normally have your brows tinted, you may decide the colour of the tattoo is suitable enough to give tinting a miss. If you have blonde or grey brow hairs however, you can still have tinting treatments without affecting your eyebrow tattoo.
If you have chosen Feather touch / Microblading for your brow tattoo style it is designed to mimic natural hairs, not fully powdered brows. You can still pencil or powder your eyebrows to compliment your more glamorous makeup looks. If you want your brows to look like makeup 24/7 then we suggest Ombre or Combination eyebrow tattooing to be a more suitable choice. If you are still unsure which style is right for you, please read our article here – Which brow tattoo style is right for you?
Now that you know exactly what to expect following an eyebrow tattooing procedure you can save yourself any stress those first few days when your brows are looking bolder than desired! Follow the aftercare provided and you can patiently and confidently await your perfect arches to be magically revealed!