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Permanent Makeup Can Give Men Their Mojo Back

Some of them come to fill in their eyebrows or enhance their eyes, and others require hair simulation restoration.

10/23/2017 14:21 EDT | Updated 10/23/2017 14:34 EDT

Beauty treatments are often associated with female clients, not men. While it's normalized to see men sporting ink in the form of visible tattoos, micropigmentation has become more mainstream for both sexes, and I have learned about the particular needs of men in my practice.

Shauna Magrath

The men who come to me are often maturing, professionals and/or in the public eye, so their appearance is very important to them. They are of all ages and ethnicities. Some of them come to fill in their eyebrows or enhance their eyes, and others require hair simulation restoration to give the illusion of thicker, fuller hair, or to fill in balding patches. Both men and women lose the colour in their hair as they age. With a subtle enhancement, we can give the natural "pop" back to their features that may have been lost over time.

Did you know that men also suffer from breast cancer? Tattooing of the areola (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple) is a great option when they have recovered from surgery to restore their chests to the look they once had. In my opinion, the media has largely associated breast cancer with women, but sadly, it is an issue for men as well.

I believe that men are still afraid of the stigma and judgments that other men might have toward this process.

Generally, the pre- and post-procedure care is the same for all clients. Men do require more attention due to their lack of education about beauty services, and it can be a very scary process for them, too. Women are conditioned from a young age to have beauty treatments and may like to sit around and gab about their procedures; men, on the other hand, tend to be very private about the services they seek. I believe that men are still afraid of the stigma and judgments that other men might have toward this process, so we in this industry are very sensitive to this commonality.

Men are also generally more sensitive to pain than women, so I try to be very diligent about maintaining their comfort during procedures. However, the biggest issue I find for men is the aftercare, which requires not working out or showering, as sweat and water will compromise the healed results. It is important to give extra attention to following up with these clients.

In my professional opinion, scalp work should never be done in one session as is commonly executed; it's a process that takes many visits over time. I find that men can be very impatient, and this gets them in trouble if they do not take the time to properly heal between sessions. Once the procedure is over, the changes are gradual, so the people around you won't see an obvious difference from one day to the next. Slow and steady wins the race, and it's important to stress this throughout the process.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sadly, I have seen some cases of microblading brows gone very wrong, where the colour is too heavy and dark, or the stroke pattern looks too feminine or unnatural. Male eyebrows are more realistic when they're lighter and more irregular in their pattern, so I find that I don't want to change the shape too much, but rather just add colour under the existing hair.

I urge men considering micropigmentation to please do their homework when seeking out permanent cosmetics practitioners. Too many just go to anyone, and the failed procedures break my heart. One handsome young man came into my studio with a turquoise blue scalp as a result of the technician he chose, and it looked terrible, to say the least. I believe that unqualified people promote their services to men simply because they want to make money. If these men took the time to research and find reputable, qualified companies, they could have avoided the issue and had the work done right the first time.

Please, don't go for the cheapest technician, either. This is your appearance, after all. Seek out those who are qualified and have certifications, including blood-borne pathogen certification. As this is an unregulated field, people can literally buy products online, watch a YouTube video and say that they are qualified in scalp micropigmentation — maybe even reuse needles or work very unsafely. Photos taken immediately after a procedure do not show the fully healed result, so when you are asking questions and seeking the right technician, ask for photos of healed clients. Follow your instincts and ask for referrals. If someone or something feels off, it probably is, so don't work with them. You have the choice, so make it wisely.

My clients say that cosmetic tattooing has given them a sense of confidence and self-esteem.

With simple enhancements of eyebrows and eyeliner, men can be given a fresh look that was once missing, taking years off their appearance. It makes a huge difference in their day-to-day lives and intimate relationships with partners. My clients say that cosmetic tattooing has given them a sense of confidence and self-esteem, which is a huge game changer for them. It's hard to imagine what some men go through, feeling trapped or limited by wearing hats to hide their bald spots. For some of my clients, the struggle was very real, and they were bullied or demeaned by others for the way they looked.

A young man I serviced started going bald at 16 years old, and came to me in his 30s. He always walked in wearing a hat, and was so self-conscious. After a few treatments with him, he came in without a hat and wore a huge smile. The next year, he met a beautiful woman and they are now married. I like to believe that the service changed his life for the better, giving him the confidence he was missing!

We don't show any pre- or post-procedure photos without client consent. Those who allow us to share are proud of our work and the positive impact we have made in their lives. I do wish that more men would share their experience of permanent cosmetics, so that others know these services are available to assist them in looking and feeling their best. If you know someone suffering from lack of self-esteem and confidence due to their appearance, please share this article so they too can know there are viable options out there for them that are life transforming for years to come.

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