By far the most highly recommended is microblading.
It’s semi-permanent makeup that uses a hand tool with very fine blades. The needles implant delicate hair strokes using a medical grade pigment color. It’s more superficial than tattooing, the color is impacted closer to the skin’s surface, which means the strokes appear and remain crisp and extremely fine. The end result is soft, flawless and natural brows to enhance natural features and overall appearance.
Microblading lasts anything between 12-18 months (depending on your skin type). You will need to have it done before you start your chemo treatment because afterward, you'll be more susceptible to infection. Plus having it done before means that the therapist can follow your natural hairline – you will hardly notice your brow loss at all because by the time it fades your natural brows should be well on the way to recovery.
Check out this blog by guest blogger Camilla Seton who is a leading permanent makeup artist - Never underestimate the power of an eyebrow!
Eyebrow pencils and powder
The most cost-effective and easiest way to give the illusion of a brow is to use an eyebrow pencil, pen, powder, gel or cream. There are some great new products on the market – most of which are smudge-proof and waterproof. Try using an eyebrow stencil if you need a bit of help with the shape.
Loads of recommendations from the group on this one:
Judy posted: “I use L’Oreal Unbelieva brow. It hasn't failed me yet. I have oily skin and still work full time yet it's never smeared or faded. I hear it's comparable to Wonderbrow, but the price is much lower and you can buy it almost anywhere. It comes with a dual-ended spoolie/brow brush, but I just apply a bit to the top of my hand and apply with a small, dense brow brush. The brush that comes with it is more suited for people with existing brows so I don't use that one.”
Amber recommends: “Essence Superlast 24 Hour eyebrow pomade pencil. I have super oily skin and it doesn't budge. It's cruelty-free if that matters to you, and only $1.99 or $2.99 at Harmon Face Values.”
Patricia posted: “I use Maybelline Ultra Brow powder. It lasts all day. The best thing to do if you buy this is to buy one shade lighter than your natural coloring. It's inexpensive and lasts forever. I love this powder.”
Shelly posted: “IT cosmetics Build-a-Brow 24-hour waterproof creme gel stain. I had very thin eyebrows before. I have also used every IT pencil some are very good but this gel is the best. I have been using this for years. Best I have ever used I have tied many other brands. You must put the lid on tight so it doesn’t dry up. You can swim and sweat it will stay put.”
Some group members recommended eyebrow wigs – although others in the group commented that they had trouble keeping them in place. The ones recommended are human hair eyebrows that give the appearance of real hair growing from the brow line. You can choose the shape and color and just apply using the recommended specially formulated adhesive
If you want to give them a go here are a couple of websites recommended in the group.
Lash Boost Serums
There are many lash boost serums on the market - although designed for lashes, group members say they work great on brows too!
The ones that keep getting a mention in the group are Lash Boost by Rodan + Fields and Grandlash MD. Or check out this link Top 10 Eyelash Serums.
Eyelash serum is a relatively new product to hit the market and is designed to promote better eyelash growth naturally. The serums are made using fatty acids and conditioning peptides with a variety of nutrients and vitamins to boost eyelash growth. Don’t expect them to work overnight - the serum needs to build up but after a couple of weeks, with the right serum, you should start to see your eyelashes growing and thickening all at the same time.
However, if you are thinking of trying them out be aware that both Lash Boost by Rodan + Fields and Grandlash MD have come under criticism because the active ingredient in both isopropyl cloprostenate, a synthetic prostaglandin analog, which can cause a reaction in some people.
To find out if your skin will accept this product:
- Perform a patch test. Remove any makeup and make sure your face is clean and dry. Apply a small amount of Lash Boost serum on a small area of the lash line of your one eye. Allow it to dry before applying any other cosmetics near the area. Wait at least 24 hours and check for reactions.
- Reduce the frequency of application. Sometimes, your skin needs to adjust slowly to a new product, and it may take a few applications to get used to it. If you experience any side-effects for the first few days, try applying Lash Boost every other day (instead of daily) until side-effects disappear. Then gradually increase your usage.
If your skin has not reacted to the serum, then you’re all set to continue using the product. But if tingling, itching, or redness persists, stop using it and seek medical advice
Diet, vitamins and minerals
Although no vitamin supplements or super healthy diet will stop your eyebrows falling out during chemo, once the chemo is over you can give them a helping hand.
Keep hydrated and make sure you have lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet. Spinach is a healthy green vegetable that’s loaded with beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, all of which may promote hair growth. Eggs are also a great source of protein and biotin, two nutrients that may promote hair growth.
There are also supplements you can buy in health food stores:
The new NIOXIN food supplement contains biotin and zinc which contribute to the maintenance of normal hair, helping to support normal healthy-growing hair from the inside out.
Nourkrin® Woman is scientifically formulated to help maintain a normal Hair Growth Cycle, which helps to support normal healthy hair growth.
Silica or Silicon is an incredible mineral that makes our hair thick, our nails strong and it strengthens connective tissues and bones to improve flexibility. Look out for products containing this powerful ingredient.
Before trying out anything new you need to ingest, always check with your medical team before taking.
These are just a few of the recommendations from the group. If you have any other products that you use and recommend for eyebrows, please let us know and we will compile a useful list of products – so please let us know.
To find out more join the Facebook Chemotherapy Support Group. This is a closed group – a monitored safe place to ask questions, offer advice and find support from thousands of members worldwide - fighting cancer together.
Penguin Cold Cap Therapy
Penguin Cold Caps are the original inventors of modern cold cap therapy; the drug-free, non-invasive and most successful method for reducing chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
To find out more visit www.penguincoldcaps.com