Olive is a Registered Nurse and Midwife, with over 29 years of hospital and clinic hours her belt .
CANCER. It's a word we hear too often . Today's statistics say 1:2 now get it . It used to be 1:5. Since I started my career in Semi Permanent Microblading, it is surprising how many people are affected . But recent statistics have astounded me even more . A lovely client called me recently to say she starts chemo next week so therefore would like her eyebrows done ASAP . A lot of people who have been diagnosed wouldn't think to act that quickly and prevent what a lot of people would dread -that is to lose your brows . We always do our utmost to find or make a space for clients about to undergo chemo, even if it's after hours. So if you know anyone or are affected yourself please feel free to message me at ANY stage .
The majority of my clients are about to go or have had Cancer Chemotherapy at some stage. Clients who are about to commence a cycle of chemotherapy know they will lose their hair. They are rarely prepared when they lose their brow hair. The trip to the hairdressers is planned, wig chosen, fab and funky head scarves tried on etc. the same prep is rarely done for the eyebrows! Those little hairs over our eyes don't get a look in , and we don't realise how important they are until they are gone.
Clients often tell us that whilst they were prepared for head hairloss, it was the brow loss / baldness that upset them the most. What is more upsetting is that the Eyebrow Embroidery/Microblading treatment could have been done up to a few days before the Chemo commenced, and this upset could have been avoided at this vulnerable time . The Oncology nurse will prepare you on what to do before your treatment ( dental visits, wig fittings etc) and what to expect during your treatment cycles, and how to overcome them. The Oncology nurse works in close unison with your Oncologist , and will know if you will lose your head hair and eyebrow hair - and how soon after the Chemo commences this will happen. You can be prepared. Celebrities like Majella O Donnell have been very vocal about her confidence being restored once her eyebrows were Embroidered . Majella did not have her brows done until she finished her cancer chemo - it was because she didn't know she would lose her brows. Up to a few years ago, there was no service available for ladies who lost their brows - only a trip to the Tattoo Artist. Semi permanent Eyebrow Embroidery was once something most clients needed to go to Harley St to acquire. It is now more widely available to clients in practically all of the 4 provinces. Olve is the only Brow Artist with a Nursing and Midwifery degree that we know of in Ireland who does Microblading in hair stroke ! Olive is fortunate that being a Nurse , it gives clients a level of comfort/knowledge that most others do not.
Brows not just a vanity thing, it is much more than that. They frame a face, and if lost can make you look sicker than you feel! My heart is with all my clients as they travel this journey. Brows get thinner and thinner at each chemo cycle , and touch ups are necessary 6 monthly-yearly. My cancer chemotherapy clients are more than just clients- it becomes a life long relationship .
Brows can be styled with powders and stencils, brow pencils , brow wigs etc every day to emulate a brow. However one rain shower, swim , sweat ( clients on chemotherapy sweat a lot ) and the brows sweat/wash off. Eyebrow wigs unfortunately slip. I love to do Embroidery /Medical Microblading on clients before Cancer chemo happens , because I can Embroider over your existing brow, capturing its natural shape, so that when you lose your brow hair, the blueprint of what your brow once was is imprinted. This is far better than designing a totally new brow after you finish Chemo/radiotherapy - that it may look different to what you once had. Added to this advantage, the transition of Brow hairloss is less noticeable to the client , when it eventually happens. However, the majority of my clients usually are not so organised as to have their brows done before their Chemo cycle, and wait until it's over to get their brows sorted. Most regret having not had it done beforehand usually, and rarely do they regret having it done before treatment cycles. If you are keen to have your brows done, you need to wait 6 weeks after Chemo/radiotherapy ceases. Before this, a letter of clearance from your Oncologist would be required. This is for your utmost health safety , and an insurance requirement for me. The first pass of Embroidery ideally needs to happen well before Chemo commences, but can be done safely up to 4 days beforehand . Microblading has been done the day before chemotherapy starts , but check with your oncology nurse just in case. Most patients do not become neutropenic until after the second session, thus reducing any risks. In certain unforeseen circumstances we have opened my salon on a Sunday to facilitate ladies beginning treatment the following day . If we can facilitate such emergencies we will. Just ask.
The "touch up" can be delayed to 6 weeks after chemo ceases, provided your White blood cells have returned to normal and your Oncologist gives you the nod to have step two done. Most clients are aware when their chemo date starts well in advance and can manage to have their first pass and "touch up " done . First pass and touch up need to be still 4 weeks apart. We am unable to do this sooner. A few clients have to have 2nd and 3 rd cycles of Chemo, well after the initial cycle (each cycle could have 6-8 treatments weekly) . Whilst they may have not lost brow hair initially, the brow progressively gets thinner and thinner with each cycle, or the client loses the head of brow or the tails , resulting in a sad look. . The same rules apply for Radiotherapy- a 6 week wait after your last treatment is necessary. Take a look at the Blog for video of lady undergoing Medical Microblading post Chemo . We do not post photos of clients pre or post chemo on my web site, due to the sensitivity of their illness. However the portfolio can be perused at a consultation or apt time . As a Nurse , your brows are in good hands.
Olives experience has been that clients who have chemotherapy may require an extra touch up sooner rather than later . The body becomes so used to excreting drugs out of your body, it can view the pigment as a foreign body too. Don't wait for your brows to fade - come sooner to keep the look fresh .
Well meaning people and professionals too do not know what to say at times like illness with cancer . You are the same person you always were . Olive knows that.
We work closely with the wonderful Versacchi - the Hair loss and Wig clinic near the Kinsale Road Roundabout in Cork on an " on call " basis . We try to arrange your apt to have your eyebrows Microbladed the same day as your wig appointment so it is all under one roof and attended to on the same day. If we are unable to facilitate this we will offer you an appointment at one if our other clinics.
This photo below is a 67 yr old lady whose brows got thinner and thinner with every subsequent chemo round , which is almost yearly now. She lost all her brow hair eventually. We managed to emulate her brow shape recently, and she is just delighted.
FEEL YOUR SELFIE!
Ladies, please feel your selves........ Screening can not be left to machines and the professionals only, take responsibility and be pro active . Then we ALL win!
Majella O Donnell raised €600k when she had her hair shaved before her chemo. She said that whilst her head hair loss was traumatic, it was her brow hair loss upset her the most . Here she is sporting Embroidered brows, and so happy.
Below is a video of a lady having Embroidery once she finished chemo . She is quite frank about her brow hair loss, how she lost them, and has been left with eyebrow hair that is too high on her face, with a downward slant that gives her a ' sad' look.