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One of the Scariest Decisions of My Life

A few years ago I came to the sad realization that one of my favorite features was changing. As superficial as it sounds, I was upset that my eyebrows weren't growing as full as they used to; in fact, one of them started developing a bald spot in the middle. I had heard about microblading and was scared to try it because of the horror stories I heard about discoloration and scaring, and I wasn't willing to take that risk. But as I got more and more tired of poorly drawing uneven "eyebrows" on my face daily I started to consider my options. That's when I found Haiku, Ink.

woman sitting on the balcony of a high rise building with uneven eyebrows
My poor eyebrow drawing skills

As an interracial woman I had to make sure Michelle, the owner of Haiku, Ink., would understand my skin tone and special needs (read: no eyebrow hair), so I stalked her Instagram page for months until I got the courage to set up a consultation. She shared some of my same concerns with microblading and only did a style called powder brows (also called microshading or ombre brows). I could tell she was a true artist, and the work she had done was beautiful, but I was still scared. During the consultation she listened to my concerns, explained the full process, the financial investment, and next steps. I set up my appointment and was excited and scared at the same time.

The day of my appointment I arrived and was immediately welcomed by Michelle in her cozy studio. It was cute and relaxing, and I felt more sure about my decision. She took the time to explain everything, she sketched out my brows on my face, told me to make different expressions to make sure I was comfortable with them, and made any requested changes I might have had. Michelle didn't know this, but this was when she fully gained my trust. One of the things I would do daily when I was playing eyebrow Picasso was to make expressions in the mirror to make sure my brows were where I wanted them to be, so her insisting on this process showed me I made the right decision.

My brow journey from start, to care, to healing, to baby brows, to final touch up

Once she started I was comfortable and excited to see the results. She mentioned that some people fall asleep while being tattooed, but I doubted it...that was until I realized how relaxed I felt in the chair. I wish I could tell you there was no pain, and it was actually more of an irritation than a pain, but as she was getting to the end my brows started feeling raw, but not painful.

She warned me that right after the first session my brows were going to be dark, would get even darker, but would lighten up over the next few weeks. I had mentally prepared myself for my brows to be very dark, but they were darker than I ever expected. That is when I was scared the decision I had been mulling over for over a year was the wrong one, the color was just too dark for my skin tone. Although I came home to compliments, I was still worried I would have almost black brows that looked fake on my balding brow bone. Two days later, though, I was in love!

Woman in a car smiling
The moment I fell in love with my new eyebrows

My brows did get darker, then lighter, then darker again. I followed the instructions for care to the T and made sure to keep them dry and out of the sun. I was a new woman after my powder brows. I no longer worried about uneven eyebrows, being seen without eyebrows, or just the general feeling of ugliness when something we have taken such pride in is no longer there. When I went back for my second/touch up appointment I was beaming with pride and I'm sure Michelle could tell the difference she made in my life with that simple two-hour appointment. I told her coming to her for powder brows was the best decision I'd made in a long time and I don't know what took me so long. I'm sure you're not surprised, but she has heard that a lot!

Two women wearing masks in an art studio looking happy
Michelle and I before my touch up in December

I finished my brow journey at the end of 2021 and have waited a bit to post this, and I'm glad I did. In May I found out why my eyebrows were balding when I was diagnosed with frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA), an autoimmune disorder that causes irreversible hair loss on your body (legs, arms, eyebrows) and around the front and sides of your hairline. It was a blow to get the diagnosis, but I am happy to finally have answers and prepared to keep losing my hairline as my FFA progresses; but all I keep thinking is, "I wonder if Michelle does hairlines."

If you have been thinking about permanent makeup Michelle at Haiku, Ink. is who you should reach out to. Tell her Vanessa sent you.

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