As it turns out, bad eyebrows have taught me quite a bit about life, and now since I don’t have bad eyebrows anymore I’m going to tell you some “shit about life.”
I have spent most of my life without eyebrows, about 20 years to be exact. I can’t believe I am actually writing about this for the world to read. It’s always been a subject I have wanted to avoid at all costs but I am finally in a place in my life where I am ready to open up and tell my story.
How It Started
It all started when I was about 14…coincidentally it was the same time my dad committed suicide. I never put two and two together until recently when a friend of mine told me that I am probably suffering from an anxiety disorder to cause me to pull out my hair. This was the last picture of us at prom (notice the thick full brows?)
For 20 years I have been obsessed with pulling out the hair of my eyebrows but never knew it was actually a disorder. I went through all of high school without any brows, I have used eyebrow pencils to draw eyebrows for myself every single day. Most of my eyebrows have refused to grow back and what hair does grow back is so sporadic and random that I have never had a real eyebrow in over 20 years.
Some pictures through high school
After talking with my friend who is also an esthetician, I realized that maybe she is right and it is anxiety related. I discovered Trichotillomania (aka, trich.) A form of obsessive compulsive disorder defined by the uncontrollable urge to pull out one’s hair, trich is sometimes referred to as “hair-pulling disorder,” and that approximately 1% or the U.S. population has the same condition, and I learned that there’s no known cure. I have no eyebrows, literally zero-percent hair above my eyes.
On our wedding day…
What’s been the hardest for me is that once people notice my brows are drawn on, they ask questions as if my face is any of their business. I usually laugh it off with a lie about a bad waxing accident. My favorite thing is when people ask me as if I’m not aware, “Did you know your eyebrows are missing?” or “what happened to your eyebrows?” It’s ridiculous and it’s intrusive and it hurts the crap out of my feelings and makes me even more self-conscious than I already am. And let’s not even discuss the eyebrow memes everyone shares on Facebook. Most of us don’t have bad eyebrows because we enjoy it, or because we like drawing them on everyday. Words are hurtful y’all and making fun of someone because they don’t have eyebrows is bullying in case you weren’t aware.
I have tried covering my eyebrows (or lack there of) with bangs, big sunglasses, hats, anything and everything that I can to cover up that part of my face. It’s gotten worse as I have gotten older. When I was in high school I didn’t care as much but now I am so self-conscious. I feel like I can’t even look someone in the eye when talking because all I can think about is “oh my gosh they are staring at my eyebrows and are going to ask me questions about them.” So I’m sorry if I have ever done that to you.
Enter microblading: a semi-permanent makeup procedure whereby hair-like incision strokes are created along the eyebrow to attempt to either enhance, reshape or create a natural looking appearance on the brows. The procedure entails the use of a nanoblade, which is dipped into a pigment that has been matched to natural hair color and skin tone and is then glided along a sketched outline of the brow that has been drawn on and scrutinized beforehand. After a lot of research and some recommendations I booked a microblading appointment at Touch MedSpa in North Myrtle Beach with Autumn, who I can now say, with complete bias, is seriously one of the greatest microblading artists I have met. You’ll see why soon enough.
At my consult a week before my appointment, Autumn and I discussed the look I was going for which was very natural, nothing dramatic. She took some pictures and penciled in my brow shape that I was looking for. We booked my appointment for my first session less than a week later.
My first appointment was a few days later. I was so excited I could barely stand it. After measuring exactly where the brow should be, the next thing that happens is a numbing cream is applied to dull the pain of the blade.
And then, finally, she started the “carving” of short, hairlike strokes into the brow bone. Finally, pigment was applied to the area; it took about 30 minutes to sink into the skin. For best results, I was advised to avoid getting the area wet, from washing my face, sweating, or otherwise for about 10 days. I just love my new brows and I feel so much more confident now! I will go back for a second session in 6 weeks to fill in any spots that need touched up, add more hairlike strokes and to do some shading.
So here is my very scary, sad-looking before and my immediately after. I have NEVER posted a picture without any brows on social media so this is a huge deal for me. But its real and its raw, its me.
Time To Live My Life
So, here I am. I have incredible brows, and I still have another session to go so they are going to look even more awesome after they are totally finished! They are truly a work of art, and I feel so lucky that Autumn gave me such a gift. I can wake up and not worry about drawing on my brows, I can go swim, go the beach, sweat and my brows will actually stay on my face and they look real, like I actually for the first time in 20 years have hair!
I don’t have to hide anymore. I hope that this will help my anxiety and desire to pull the hairs (what little does grow) out. I refuse to let this consume anymore of my life.
It’s time to live my damn life and I plan on living it as best as I can!
So here you go…my fresh new brows with no filter, no Photoshop, and not much makeup (it is Monday after all.)