Why Having My Eyebrows Tattooed Has Made My Trichotillomania Worse


You might know that earlier this year, I was lucky enough to have my eyebrows tattooed by the wonderful Sian Deller. It was one of the best beauty experiences of my life (if not the best), and have not regretted it since. After deliberating for ages and weighing up the pros and cons about a thousand times, the opportunity presented itself in January and I took the plunge. I haven’t looked back. Although I love every single thing about them, I did want to write this post just to open the discussion with other trichotillomania sufferers who have had their eyebrows tattooed or are thinking about getting them done. Since having them tattooed, my hair pulling has been severely aggravated. I pick and pull at my eyebrows so much more than I did before and am aware that it has happened to a few other trichsters as well. So, is it still worth getting your eyebrows tattooed?





Before I had the semi-permanent treatment, my eyebrows were totally bald. With nothing there whatsoever, I had pulled every last hair and had to do the onerous task of attempting to draw them on from scratch every morning. It was a particularly bad spell in my trichotillomania journey; I often find that I either get obsessed with pulling my eyebrows or my eyelashes, never both at the same time, and early this year it was my eyebrows’ turn to take one for the team. I was sick of drawing them on with no guidelines whatsoever. I was sick of having wonky brows, fake-looking brows, brows which made it clear that there was something wrong with me. The semi-permanent micro-blading technique which tattoos on individual hair was the solution I had been waiting for all this time. The results were incredible, and I still love my new eyebrows just as much 6 months down the line. Not one part of me regrets it, and I still feel indebted to Sian Deller for transforming my life so much through one small treatment. I feel empowered, confident and, dare I say it, as though I look like a normal human. I’m no longer paranoid about my brows, my appearance or my trich; I wake up and my brows are so instantly perfect that I forget they are not my real eyebrow hairs. But, in terms of the actual hair-pulling, it is both the best and worst thing that has happened to me.


I probably pull my eyebrows out more than I ever have. It’s unrestricted pulling- uninhibited. The damage caused by trichotillomania doesn’t scare me anymore. Having them tattooed has made me fearless. Beforehand, the crushing part which drove me to try and control the urges more next time was seeing my face in the mirror and falling apart at the glimpse of baldness. The thought of having to draw them on from scratch, which you may know is one of the most difficult make-up skills to perfect. The thought that my eyebrows would look awful until they started to grow back, and the fear that everyone would be staring at me and my awful attempts at covering the damage. We all want to look nice, and this was the only thing which stopped me pulling; if I pull, I won’t look nice. But with tattoos there, it is a constant cover-up. I can pull and pick away to my heart’s content, knowing that there will be no visible damage. It protects me from outside judgement and feelings of shame, but it also facilitates the ability to pull.




Would you do something if you knew there was a strong risk involved, a risk that can very likely become a reality? Perhaps, but you are probably more inclined to say no. Would you do that same thing if the likelihood of risk was minimised, if you had a constant safety net following you around? Yes. It’s all about the consequences of your actions. I pull every spiky little eyebrow that even dares to make itself known to my face- I rip it out before it even becomes a fully-fledged hair. Why? Because I can. Because the tattoos are there to permanently cover any damage. There are no visible consequences to my destructive actions. Because I know my eyebrows will still be perfect and I’ll still look normal, I indulge in my urges more than I ever would have before.


Clearly, this is not a good thing in terms of recovering from trichotillomania and trying not to pull my own hair out. But, it allows me to pull my hair without having the negative, self-loathing, shame and guilt afterwards. I still have trichotillomania, but I don’t hate myself or the way I look anymore- and surely this is a good thing? We all know the emotions attached to trich are the most destructive part of the disorder, so by taking this away, the physical damage doesn’t seem so bad (especially when it’s automatically covered up anyway). I know my eyebrows will fade and I will have to find a way to control the hair-pulling urges, but for now, I’m quite enjoying my safety net. Getting them tattooed was still an amazing decision that has helped me deal with the emotional side of trichotillomania far more than I could have before- it’s just a shame that an increase in pulling has come with it. It doesn’t bother me because there’s no visible damage, but it’s food for thought if you are considering a semi-permanent treatment for trichotillomania.


Have you pulled more since getting your eyebrows tattooed? Does this make you regret the treatment, or would you do it all again if you had the chance?  



Pretty and Polished


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15 comments

  1. Are you on Facebook? I don't use anything else but this is the first blog that makes me feel like I have met someone like me!

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    1. Thanks so much for the lovely comment! My Facebook is https://facebook.com/prettyandpolishedblog or there's a direct link through my social media icons at the top of the page x

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    2. I agree. I feel like I'm the only person who has ever done this. It makes me feel good knowing I'm not the only one struggling. I'm microblading my eyebrows on Sunday. I know this will change my life.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. My daughter and I both suffer. I didn't until I was an adult, she's 12 and about to go through the hard years at school. She pulls her eyelashes. I pull eyelashes and brows. I have used makeup to hide and recently decided it was time to learn more, mostly for her. I hope I can find this blog again, I think I just got lucky. I'd tour on Facebook as well it would be wonderful to follow you.Thank you for being brave, for all of us.

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    1. Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear that you and your daughter also suffer from trich. There are so many ways you can cover it with makeup, just experiment with different products. My Facebook is https://m.facebook.com/prettyandpolishedblog or there is also a link to it in my social media icons at the top of the page x

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  4. My daughter and I both suffer. I didn't until I was an adult, she's 12 and about to go through the hard years at school. She pulls her eyelashes. I pull eyelashes and brows. I have used makeup to hide and recently decided it was time to learn more, mostly for her. I hope I can find this blog again, I think I just got lucky. I'd tour on Facebook as well it would be wonderful to follow you.Thank you for being brave, for all of us.

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  5. The exact same happened to me! Before the tattooing I had slim, but noticeable eyebrows. Now if I turn to the side people ask me did I shave my eyebrows off because I got them tattooed. Such a pain!! I tried to let the tattooing fade, in hope that it would help, but it hasn't in the slightest. In a way the tattooing lures you into false sense of security, it makes you think that you have eyebrows but everyone else can tell that you don't. I will probably get more tattooing done, just to keep up the illusion...or to people standing far away lol. Thank you for posting!! It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one.

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    1. I get what you mean, but the tattooing for me was far better than the alternative of rubbish make-up and no eyebrows whatsoever. I don't think tattooing is as noticeable as you may think!

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  6. I got my brows done about a year ago, now they've faded into almost nothing. How did you keep up with yours? Did the constant hair pulling damage the tattoo? I cleaned mine properly and took care of them, but now I'm even more embarrassed for going through all of the anxiety and tears to get them tattooed to be left with nothing. But then again,I had a haRd time not pulling off the layers of ink and skin that peel during the healing process. Any insight would help because I'm considering doing it all over again!

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    1. I had mine done 9 months ago now and they are starting to fade quite a lot. I managed to leave them while they were healing, but have pulled at them since and am sure this has permanently effected the quality of the tattoo. I'm looking to get mine topped up at the start of next year. Even without pulling, they recommend a top up after a year as it is natural for them to fade (it is semi permanent after all). As long as you have the rough shape left I guess you can still fill them in easily, but if you feel more confident with them tattooed I would definitely recommend going back and getting a top up x

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  7. i am debating having the tattoos. i dont brlieve i will ever wuit my 30 yr habit, but from an esteem point of view, i believe it's time. i have never thought the tattooing would deter me, but i can definitely see how the habit would be unchecked, with no fear of that my tinkering would remove the drawn on brows.

    thanks for everyone's honesty

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    1. Yes, that's a good way to put it- "unchecked". I didn't have to account for my pulling as there was no visible consequences. I am having a top up soon though- the boost to my confidence matters far more to me than the actual pulling.

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  8. Hi there! I am so so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am 22 years old and have been suffering with Trich only since about last July-August. I have no idea why this started for me, especially at that time. Nobody knows about it except for my husband and my therapist, so it is so good to find you- someone I can relate to! My eyebrows are my only problem area, and they are very odd looking at this point. It is so frustrating trying to fill them in every time I step out of my house, I am a full time student so I am always having keep up with what my eyebrows look like in public :/ Thank you for being so honest and open about this, I can't imagine putting myself out there the way you have with this blog.. But it helps people like me SO much. Hope you are well, your new brows look great by the way! Definitely convinced me to at least look for a similar service near me in the U.S!

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    1. Hi Brianna, thank you for your comment (and apologies for the delay in replying). I'm so glad this little site has helped in some way and thank you for your kind words! Being in public and getting urges to pull is the worst...I always carry around a few brow pencils just in case I slip up, give into it and need to quickly cover up! There are ways to use makeup to cover and make it look natural but now I've had them tattooed I will never look back. You can't beat it, in my opinion! Definitely worth looking at some semi-permanent makeup services near you.

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