Let me preface this with a quick summary of my situation: I was young, in great physical shape, had healthy eating habits (most of the time!), and drank a gallon of water a day. I was in the best possible position physically to tackle chemotherapy.
I wouldn’t consider myself a vain person. Everyone I know has seen me without makeup. I had perfected the “messy bun” or “beach wave” look (aka my hair is dirty but I am too tired to do a full wash and blow dry). As a mom of three kids under 5, my appearance just wasn’t top of mind.
When my cancer was discovered, it was so aggressive that we had to move quickly and start my chemo regimen asap. Just like they said, my hair started falling out in clumps two weeks after my first infusion. My husband shaved my head and truthfully, that didn’t bother me. I didn’t really even bother wearing my wig. I figured it was just a part of my journey and that this was a year of grace for me.
Then, over time every hair on my body fell off - including my eyelashes and eyebrows. Don’t get me wrong, there were some pros (no more shaving my legs!), but when I lost my eyelashes and eyebrows I stopped looking… well, human. I looked two-dimensional. Flat.
To counter my new seal-looking self I started trying to draw on my eyebrows. I don’t consider myself great at applying make-up, but I could get by. Or at least I thought I could. Once my eyebrows were gone, I had no “guide.” I couldn’t just fill in the sparse areas with my brow pencil - I had to start from scratch. Trying to create two identical eyebrows that are the same size, length and have the arch in the same location, well – it’s impossible. I spent much of the second half of my treatment looking like Uncle Leo from Seinfeld whenever I tried to draw on my brows. Which meant, I was pretty much a cue ball until my regrowth started.
What I wish I had done differently? Gotten microblading. Microblading is a cosmetic procedure that involves using a semi-permanent tattoo technique to achieve the appearance of fuller eyebrows. You might be wondering why I didn’t just get microblading while I was receiving chemotherapy. My oncologist said it was up to me, but he warned me any potential infection I might get from microblading could delay my treatment – the last thing I wanted. Especially since my immune system was already so compromised.
Maybe your chemo regimen is shorter or doesn’t cause hair loss. Or, maybe you are just better at drawing your eyebrows on than I was! But, this sounds like a little thing that ended up being a big thing for me, and something I wish I would have known about before my chemo began.
(Please do your research on final product, client reviews, certification, cleanliness before allowing someone to microblade you!)