The scenario goes like this. Recently you had a beautiful microblade eyebrow session and love
the new look. Understanding that the first week the healing process can shift into darker color
then shedding the outer “bandaid”. Even with all this a few weeks later you notice some gaps in
the hair-strokes and the color looks a bit ashy or gray. What happened?
There are many reasons this can happened but I will tend to the top 5 most common.
Understanding human skin is important. Human skin is the largest organ on the body and has
multiple functions including retention of heat, protection from invaders, blood transportation and
more. Relating to permanent cosmetics there are cells in the skin that literally remove pigment.
Point is the skin is not a fan of tattooing in general and responds as if there has been an
The skin also responds with healing over the implanted pigment creating a temporary “haze”
over the pigment and if the skin has color then the pigment dulls even more as the pigment is
Here are the top reasons touch up.
1. After care was not adhered to properly and a scab formed to thick pulling pigment out.
2. The clients skin was not in the best health, medication and or alcohol was injected to soon
before or after session. (alcohol thins the blood creating more bleeding)
3. Darker skin type turned ashy upon healing and hyper pigmentation occurred as a result of
the tattooing .
4. The color choice was to cool to begin with and a modifier should have been added.
5. Client not wearing sunscreen daily and the UV radiation created a faster fade.
6. The area of tattoo has a high movement rate.
Why gray or blue?
Most eyebrows are pigmented with a brown or black pigment. All of these pigments have
different degrees of blue in them as the last color to fade out. When the upper colors such as
reds and yellow fade the last one is blue/gray. Adding an orange based modifier is necessary to
prevent this occurrence although it is not fool proof. Even with a modifier it can happen.
All pigments fade. There is no such thing as an ink or pigment that does not fade with time and
UV radiation. The eyebrow area is unique in its position: it is always exposed. Other tattoo areas
such as the eye area are covered with the brow bone and lashes generally fade slower. Body
tattoo use different inks with larger molecules that can hold in the skin a bit longer but even they
fade. Until they can invent a pigment that has the ability to hide from the human body and fading
from the UV this will always be a common issue.
So far the best we can do is touch ups as needed for clients. When the colors starts shifting it is
time to have a touch up. One thing to note as well for eyebrows, the “tails” tend to hold pigment
longer as there is little movement in that part of the brow. The front part tends to drop pigment
and fade faster due to high level of movement by brow musculature.