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Understanding Microblading

Recently, the demand for permanent cosmetic hairline strokes has increased. Many estheticians and lash artists are rushing to train in this advanced permanent cosmetic specialty and many are taking 1-2 day training courses from inexperienced people with no understanding or fundamental training regarding permanent cosmetics. They are being poorly trained and ill advised with regards to what microblading is. Many are being taught that it is using a 'blade' which is misleading using medical terminology, instead of proper tattoo terminology. They are also being taught it is semi-permanent and is only placed in the epidermis. The truth is, it is placed in the dermal layer where the color will not flake off in the next 60-90 days. A two day class cannot teach color theory in its entirety to provide appropriate knowledge to prevent the client's eyebrows from turning too cool or too warm. They are not adequately educating the students how to avoid scaring their clients. It is very dangerous to see what is happening to this industry.

Fortunately, Oklahoma is better protected with our laws regarding any permanent cosmetic procedure. We are required to train for 300 hours in Oklahoma and pass certification exams prior to obtaining licensure. Due to the different laws around the country, many other states are experiencing vast problems with people taking 1-2 day training and then a few months later training others. I simply cannot imagine how someone would be so unethical, but I suppose my standards are different.

As of February 21, 2016, there is ongoing discussion on message forums regarding how newly trained technicians, as recent as October and November, 2015 are now offering training. They are using words such as tattooing into the muscle. What a great travesty to an industry that is well established. Unfortunately, these new technicians are simply focused on making a lot of fast money and they have even sought out opportunities to be featured on shows such as "The Doctors". I assure you, if this segment airs as we professionals are concerned about, we will do our best to properly educate the public. We cannot support false information that aims to hurt our professional industry. We will not drop our standards.

Any permanent makeup trainer should have a minimum of four to five years of active experience in this field. Microstroking, the appropriate term, should only be performed by a technician with advanced skill. A technician with experience will understand color theory, color modification, color correction, and have skills to lighten pigment. Clients need to have access to all of these skills by a qualified technician, otherwise, they should be prepared to find a technician that can provide correction. Correcting permanent cosmetics can be very costly and time consuming. It is never a simple fix, you must be prepared for several procedures spaced months apart.

One reason I am so thankful for the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals is they provide ethical standards for our industry. They have taken notice to the 'microblading' trend and have produced a fact sheet to better educate the public.

Shanan Zickefoose, BSN, RN, CMM, CPCP

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