One of the most common questions I’m asked is “Why do the hair strokes of Microblading and Hair Stroke Digital Brows blur and go patchy?” This was one of the most fascinating parts of my training. The body is an incredible thing and learning about the healing process and how our body reacts to Permanent Makeup really blows my mind!
Our blood is made up of lots of different cells who all have different jobs to do, some are there to help us grow and carry oxygen, food and water, others are little soldiers patrolling round our bodies looking for foreign invaders.
These soldiers are the reason Permanent Makeup changes colour and becomes blurred after time. “Macropharge” are their official name and these guys play a major part in keeping you alive.
The role of Macrophage is to float around your body looking out for invaders such as infections and particularly cells that shouldn’t be there, they are amazing little things as somehow they know exactly what they’re looking for and when they come across something they pounce on it and engulf the particle, if they can they will break down the particle and digest it or take it to the lymphatic stystem to flush it out of your body, but if the particle is too big they will group together and completely encapsulate the alien cell creating a film around it to protect you.
A great example of this in a much larger scale is with Breast implants, often women find their implants get slightly bigger and firmer several months after surgery, this is because their body has created a protective film around the implant.
With tattooing the pigment molecules are too large to be flushed away by our little Macrophage and so each one gets covered in Macrophage cells making the healed look of the tattoo softer, our individual skin colour and tone also effects the healed results changing the colour over time. Add in external conditions to the mix such as UV light (sun exposure), water and cosmetic products and lifestyle, also your age and general skin condition and that all important aftercare treatment will all impact your cosmetic tattoo.
Some clients come back to me for their 6 week top up treatment and they don’t need any additional work at all, others their first procedure may have completely disappeared, in which case I may have to reassess which technique I used, which pigment and their skin type and lifestyle to be sure the procedure will work for them.
In general I like to describe cosmetic tattooing as a layering process, the more layers we build over time the longer it will last. I also think our little Macrophages gradually accept the pigment molecules over time and they don’t try as hard to banish it!