Dry healing x 7 days.
A dry heal is considered one of the best ways to ensure crisp outcomes. The basic rule of a dry heal is to ensure no saturation of the area with water, steam, or sweat.
That being said, a damp patting of the area with a cool, slightly moist cotton pad or paper towel a few times a day during the early (angry) stages of healing is a good way to clear away some of the pigment and fluids that can accumulate on the wound, allowing it to "breath;" enabling healing; and also soothing the irritation slightly while also removing some of the excess pigment that is left behind.
Please do not:
Scrub your brows
Pick your brows
Touch your brows
Apply makeup to your brows
Sleep or lie face down
As microblading and shading involves very shallow wound creation on the skin, there is a risk of irritation and a small risk of infection should the wound accidentally come in contact with, well, anything. Don't worry: these surface wounds cover over with scabs pretty quickly and the risk of infection is very small, and quite rare (about 1-3% of cases). If a skin infection is suspected, antibacterial washes and topical antibiotic ointments, readily available at the drug store will help calm it down in a matter of days.
What is considered normal after your procedure?
Redness or swelling immediately on and around the eyebrows for 2-3 days following the procedure
Tenderness of your eyebrows that may last 2-3 days
Scabbing of the eyebrows that may last up to 7 days
Peeling or flaking of the skin
An appearance of "darkening" as the pigments come to the surface of the skin and oxidize
If your experience differs from this in any way, if your healing process seems to linger beyond this suggested timeline, or if you have any concerns about your healing process, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's normal to feel concern about the healing process, especially if you're new to microblading, I want you to feel totally at ease and am here to help.
Brow Timeline: Day by Day
Day 1: "These are GREAT!"
Right when you get up from the table, your eyebrows, though probably a little red and irritated, look pretty close* to how you might expect them to look once they are fully healed (which takes 4 weeks). They feel kind of hot and stingy; maybe even a touch bruised. Since your eyebrows are a fresh wound, keep your hands off of them. For today, leave them be.
*Your healed eyebrows will be anywhere from 10-20% smaller/thinner and lighter than they look immediately post-treatment. We'll add that dimension and shape back in when you come back for your follow-up session.
Dry healing: A "dry heal" is considered to be one of the most effective ways to maintain colour and hair stroke integrity. Keep your eyebrows as dry as possible for the next week and avoid saturation with water, sweat, or steam. Do not apply moisturizers or ointments; blocking oxygen with creams can trap bacteria and impede healing. I recommend using moist facial wipes to wipe off your makeup before bed. Go grab a package of those if you don't have some already, as they'll come in very hand during your dry heal.
Day 2: Intense.
On Day 2, your brows are dark and intense. This is because: a) it's a relatively fresh wound and it's inflamed; b) there is likely some dried blood which is darkening your brow look; and c) some of the pigment has been pushed out of your skin and has oxidized, turning dark (a totally normal and expected outcome of the procedure).
Starting today, lightly blot your eyebrows with a damp cotton pad or tissue, and the blot dry with a dry one, once every hour or two. This will start to clean off some of the dark stuff; and will also move any remnant blood or pigment left on top of your skin that could block oxygen from helping the healing process.
Day 2 brows are pretty dark and big-looking, though; and some folks can get nervous. Don't be! Remember how nice they were on Day 1? That will be closer to how your "completed brows" look.
Continue to dry heal: no showers, hot tubs, hot yoga, sweaty workouts, swimming, face washing, snowball fights, etc. If you get some incidental moisture on your brows, don't panic. Saturation is what you want to avoid.
Day 3-6: Strange, maybe misshapen. Itchy and flaky.
As your brows heal, they may appear to go a bit crooked, or uneven along the edges; they may look lopsided; your brow tail may look very thick... any manner of thing can happen as your brow skin heals. Please don't worry.
They also will start to flake and peel and get really itchy, just as any scab would. Please don't pick or brush the flakes off; you might run the risk of yanking out a bit of pigment. If the flakes seem to be sitting on top of your eyebrow hairs and are not attached to skin, you can get rid of them. This is truly one of the most annoying parts of the brow healing process. You're craving AMAZING brows and during these days they are kind of crazy looking, flaky, and itchy. Be patient... it's totally worth it!
Scabbing and itching is normal during this week-long active healing process. Redness that extends well past the eyebrow perimeter, excessive discharge, increasing tenderness are not. If your eyebrows feel more irritated than you were expecting them to be, please reach out to me at email@example.com so I can help you.
By the way, your brows are still staying dry, right?
Day 7-9: Turning a corner.
You can wash your face now, using a mild cleanser. You can also start to apply moisturizer again. Presuming you feel like your healing process has progressed sufficiently, you can put makeup on too. Please avoid using vitamin C serums, retinol products or any heavy medical grade skin care directly on your eyebrows, ever. They can affect your pigment retention.
Your very shallow open brow wounds have almost totally healed over at this point.
Day 10-15: Fading!
Your brows may fade away to almost nothing during this phase of healing, as a new layer of skin grows over the tattoo. This is frustrating. You may need to pencil your brows in again! The tone of the pigment can also change too, becoming more grey or more red than you wanted. This skin regrowth is a necessary part of the process; once this very thin skin has fully grown in, it will become nearly translucent and your beautiful brows will emerge anew.
Day 15 onward: Nice. ☺️
These brows look good. It was worth the wait.
Good... but not perfect yet! That's where your follow-up session comes in. Microblading and shading is always a two-step process.
The second "perfecting appointment" offers even more dimension, colour, shape, hair strokes... anything your heart desires to make these brows really shine for you. Now is a good time to book that appointment. We want to see you at least 4 weeks after your initial session -- around the 5 or 6 week mark is ideal.
You will have to go through this entire healing process again, but to a slightly lesser degree. The perfecting session is SO fun. You'll be absolutely obsessed with the magic that happens in session 2. 😍
Thanks for patiently waiting through your eyebrow aftercare. Those who stick with the aftercare instructions most diligently have the best brow-tcomes.
Don't forget: I'm just an email away if you have any worries, concerns, or just need some clarity.