Olive is a Registered Nurse and Midwife, with over 30 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 the world even more .
People with a recent cancer diagnosis wouldn't think to act quickly and arrange their eyebrow tattoo. It prevents what a lot of people would dread -that is to lose your brows .
70% of my clients are about to have 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 tell us that whilst they were prepared for head hairloss, it was the brow loss that upset them most. An Eyebrow Embroidery/Microblading treatment this could have been done up to a few days before the Chemo commenced.
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 . You can be prepared.
Celebrities like Majella O Donnell have been very vocal about her confidence being restored once her eyebrows were Embroidered . 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. Olive is the only Brow Artist with a Nursing and Midwifery degree that we know of in Ireland who does Microblading in hair stroke . As a nurse, she has gained the confidence of Oncologists, Gps ,Oncology nurses and receives referrals daily as part of the Pre Chemo Prep.
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. We know this. Brows get thinner and thinner at each chemo cycle , and touch ups ( also known as Colour Boosts) are necessary 6 monthly-yearly. Our cancer chemotherapy clients are more than just clients- it becomes a life long relationship .
The benefits: Brows can be styled with powders and stencils, brow pencils , brow wigs etc every day. However one rain shower, swim , sweat ( clients on chemotherapy sweat a lot) and the brows sweat/wash off. Eyebrow wigs unfortunately slip. Ideally we like 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 still there.
Clients with young children need extra energy to reassure their children that their illness and treatment is a process. Children are so forgiving, and whilst you look slightly different with your new wig, you sound the same, and you are in hospital a lot that without your eyebrows they may be reassured that all is going well, but internally they may feel that something is just not quite right. They just cant pin point it.
The first pass of Embroidery ideally needs to happen well before Chemo commences, but can be done safely up to 2-4 days beforehand . Microblading has been done the day before chemotherapy starts , but check with your Oncologist/oncology nurse that they approve. Chemo treatments and mixtures change all the time, so ensure your Oncologist gives you the green light. Most patients do not become neutropenic until after the second session, thus reducing any risks.
We can carry out the Microblading treatment up to a few days before treatment commences . Once chemotherapy commences you do not usually become neutropoenic until 2 weeks after commencement day. However, we urge you discuss it with your medical professional.
The step 2 "touch up" can be delayed to 6 weeks after chemo ceases. Some Oncologists give permission to carry out the treatment during chemotherapy, but are very specific about the day it can be carried out. It is in a timely manner to coincide with your chemo treatment regime. We will endeavour to make that date work for you, and a COVER LETTER from your Oncologist, Oncology Liasion Nurse or GP will suffice. We can not carry out the treatment without it. No letter , no treatment.
A patch test is imperative and can be mailed out to you in advance with full instructions on how to attend to same.
We work closely with the wonderful Versacchi - the Hair loss and Wig clinic Road in Cork city on an " on call " basis . They have made a room available to me for Versacchi clients to attend to all things brows . This is part of their service to their clients. We will try to arrange your apt to have your eyebrows Microbladed the same day as your wig appointment , so it is all under one roof . If we are unable to facilitate this we will offer you an appointment at our Clonakilty clinic.
Contact us directly to arrange your apt.
A recent article on Happy Magazine, wrote this feature:
Thanks to Happy Magazine for the true depiction of Pre Chemo prep and Microblading . Have a read below. A Patch test is something we INSIST on. Our Microblader is a Registered Nurse ( SRN SCM) has 29 yrs nursing experience and 70% of her clients are Oncology referrals .
Here's what they said . All about Brows. Elfreda McGowan is back with us today with a post all about semi-permanent eyebrow makeup. If you're going to be starting chemotherapy soon, this could be something you might want to investigate. Find out all the details below... A lot of people going through cancer that I've spoken to really worry about the loss of their hair - they book in with a wig specialist and give a great deal of thought and money to dealing with the imminent loss of their crowning glory before they start chemotherapy. A lot of women are side tracked by this and then are unprepared for the loss of their eyebrows and how they may feel without them. Generally the loss of their eyebrows only dawns on them after treatment starts and they are unprepared for the fact that with each chemo treatment their brows will get thinner and eventually disappear. We live in a society where thick luscious brows are much sought after, considering they frame your face and can open up the entire eye area and make your face appear more symmetrical, giving a polished look without having to wear make-up. Pencilling them in during treatment to fill in gaps suits some people, but others find the hassle of this too much, as getting it right every time and drawing on similar eyebrows daily can be hard to master, even with stencils. While other women are happy to go beautifully bare, others find the idea of having no brows very distressing, so I’m here today to shed some light on semi permanent eyebrow makeup. Although the idea of semi-permanent make up, often described as a kind of tattoo, scares some people, it shouldn’t be painful and can really look fabulous when done well. So when is it best to get it done? Is it safe? How much does it cost? Is there anything else I need to know? Before any microblading or eyebrow embroidery procedure can commence, you will have a consultation with the eyebrow technician who will use a removable pen to draw on eyebrows and come up with a shape that looks natural and like a better version of your own. Although it is safe to have them done up to four days before chemotherapy starts (it's always advisable to check this with your oncologist or oncology nurse if you are worried about any risks associated with chemo-induced neutropenia), it’s even better to book in for your eyebrow consultation as soon as you know you will be having chemotherapy. Getting your eyebrow treatment before chemotherapy starts, and while you still have your own brows, will allow the technician to capture the shape and length of your own eyebrows and discuss any changes you would like or improvements to be made, before you lose the shape. Microblading or eyebrow embroidery are types of semi-permanent make up, they are techniques of using a tool with a blade to make tiny life like hair strokes with pigment that lands in the upper layers of skin, locking in the pigment for beautiful brows, people are often afraid there will be pain, but this is very minimal, and although not usually needed, most salons have special numbing creams which can be applied prior to treatment and the pain really isn’t much worse than a plucking sensation. The brows generally last about 18 months to 2 years, and it takes two to three sessions depending on the type of treatment you go for and where you go, spaced at about four week intervals to lock in the shape and colour, and have the semi permanent effect. Most salons offering this treatment have a price that includes the top up to get the brows to a semi permanent state, which can cost anything up to €480 paid in instalments. Although this seems fairly pricey, it’s a way of getting the brows you’ve always dreamed of, and will be something less to deal with during a very hard time, especially if you are an eyebrow fan. If you want to keep the brows indefinitely, this is possible by topping up at intervals recommended by the salon you attend. If you leave it quite close to commencing chemotherapy, you will probably have to leave your second session until after chemotherapy, so this is another reason why it’s a good idea to book in earlier so you can lock in the full semi-permanent effect. Other things to think about are to go to a salon that insists on a patch test, go to a recommended salon, word of mouth is a great thing and semi permanent make up is very popular now, so it’s generally quite easy to find recommended salons all over Ireland and read testimonials. You can also ask to see portfolios of previously done eyebrows. Steer clear of any salons offering these kinds of treatments for unbelievably cheap prices, it’s a very professional treatment that takes about two hours and a highly trained therapist who uses high grade pigments, and you may pay the price of a badly done brow if you try to cut corners. Some salons that come highly recommended for these techniques are: Up To My Eyes www.uptomyeyes.ie in Greystones, Co. Wicklow . Butterfly Effect www.bepermanentmakeup.ie in Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 . The Brow Studio www.thebrowstudio.ie in Malahide Co. Dublin Browtique www.browtiquecork.com in Co. Cork.
In June of 2017 Elfreda found out she had breast cancer, it was a terrible shock but she faced it head on! She has completed chemo and radiation and is still receiving the drug Herceptin until October 2018. Elfreda is a professionally trained make-up artist and beauty therapist, she has vast experience in makeup and beauty and broadened and refined her skills working in salons in Dublin and London. She has worked as a makeup artist for well known brands, most recently, Georgio Armani, and also works freelance, taking part in shoots, weddings and other special occasions. Her passion for all things make-up and beauty-related, and love of helping people feel good about themselves, has her very excited to be able to share her knowledge with the readers of Happy Magazine.
ANGELS AT BROWTIQUE This is a new service whereby clients donate their unwanted wigs , head accessories, soft hats and scarves into our Wig Bank ( or Wig library service). We lend out unwanted hair pieces and accessories to you and you return them cleaned for the next person to use. If you take out a wig, you are free to take it to your hairdresser to have it styled as you normally would. It is a handy back up at this expensive time. It is a free service and you do not have to pick up the items yourself. You can send a friend or family. We do not get any monetary payment for this service. We are just helping out the Cancer Warriors. Ask us about it when you come to visit and you are welcome to view what we have. Some weeks we have loads, other times our stocks are depleted until someone donates their unwanted items again.
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.