Getting perfect, lush eyebrows has become an obsession for Kenyan women. For most salonists, weekends are usually fully booked by women who want to trim, shape or thicken their eyebrows.
Microblading is one of the hottest new beauty trends especially for women who want an easier morning or those whose eyebrows have been overplucked.
A super fine pen is used to deposit pigment into the skin that stays on for two to three years. Instead of using black or brown pencils to draw the eyebrows every day, microblading offers an almost permanent option to reshape the strokes of eyebrows in a tattoo-like way.
However, the technique that achieves natural looking flawless eyebrows is more expensive compared to brow gels, pencils and tattoos. Microblading ranges from Sh15,000 to Sh20,000 depending on the type.
Peninah Wanjiru, who does microblading in a Nairobi salon says she got obsessed with her eyebrows when she was studying in Maseno University. She researched online on how to get the perfect eyebrows and learned about microblading.
At the time, she says, there was no beauty school in Kenya that trained in microblading and she had to enrol in a US college where she perfected her skills.
“I studied microblading and microshading for a whole year in 2015. I tried it on myself first before trying it on anyone. I sat in front of the mirror and went through the whole process that takes up to three hours,” says Ms Wanjiru whose eyebrows are shaped in a perfect arch.
She adds that microblading is best for any person looking to redefine their eyebrow look, whether is to fill them up, give them a distinct look or cover up gaps on the eyebrow line.
When microbalding, she first has to find the face symmetry, which determines the brow shape. She does this by measuring the distance between the eyes with a marking thread.
“Different faces have different symmetries so it is not always advisable for someone to come in with a picture of a celebrity saying they want that kind of eyebrow shape. It might not work,” she says.
She then applies a numbing cream on the eye area and then constructs the brows. Using a ruler, she measures the distance between the two eyebrows to ensure that they look ‘‘like twins and not sisters.’’
The idea of microblading is to create strokes that look like hair, which give the illusion of a person having very dense hair.
“You will never have to worry about drawing your eyebrows each morning and we all know how tough that is. Sometimes one usually ends up with one eyebrow which looks good and the other not,” she says.
After microblading, one can trim the growing hair.
Ms Wanjiru also says that there are other more expensive techniques like ombre brow for those who love make-up or to look glamorous.
So are there any side effects? “No I use organic pigments that I import from the US and they have no metal, no iron, they never react or turn colour, a person will have the same colour of eyebrows,” Ms Wanjiru says.
However, after microblading, a person must avoid doing activities that make the eyebrows sweat, such as sauna and sun bathing.
People with oily skins tend to react differently but after four weeks when touch-up is usually done to fill up missed spots, they look better.
She adds that there are low risks of disease transmission since she uses new applicators on every client.
“I throw the needles used on the electric pencils to draw or make the strokes. The needle pencil is made in such a way that the tip can be changed,” she says.