Healing Time for Permanent Eyebrows

If you're thinking about going to a permanent make-up artist to have permanent eyebrows applied, you'll be interested to know how much time you can expect will pass before the permanent make-up is healed and looking "right." Since the procedure involves the creation of, essentially, a skin-deep flesh wound, you can generally expect it to heal in much the same way.

Before the Procedure

You can do a few things before the procedure to make sure that your healing time is as short as possible. First, don't rush it. Anticipate that the tattooing will take about two hours, and plan your schedule accordinly. Do not dye your eyebrows, and avoid removing the hair from the area for two weeks before the procedure. This means that you should not wax, tweeze, or use electrolysis in the area to which you're going to have permanent make-up applied.

During the Procedure

The method varies by the artist, but the procedure generally takes about two hours from start to finish. First, the artist cleans the skin, placing markers and defining the eventual shape of the permanent brows, and applies a topical numbing agent. After waiting a moment for the medication to begin to work, the artist uses an electric tattooing machine to "tap" the iron oxide pigments into the skin. After several passes, sufficient pigment remains in the skin to appear as a natural brow.

After the Procedure

Most people resume normal activity the day after the procedure. Others experience some slight swelling, which disappears after a couple of days. Permanent eyebrow clients generally return to work very quickly after the procedure. Though the intensity and colour of the make-up is more pronounced over the hours directly following the application, few clients wait more than 24 hours before returning to work, choosing to adjust the look of the permanent make-up with traditional make-up until it heals to the final look.

Pigment Changes

When evaluating your new permanent make-up directly after the procedure, you'll notice that the colour is intense and the lines are thicker than you envisioned. You'll notice a change within the next couple of days. The excess pigment that changes the appearance of the colour is shed during the scabbing process. The skin heals over the 48 to 72 hours after the procedure, and the layer of skin that heals over the iron oxide pigment tones the colour down considerably. When the post-procedural swelling recedes, the lines thin out.

Going Forward

Generally, the look of new permanent eyebrows "sets" in about four days. The healing is essentially complete at this point, and the tattoo is unnoticeable. Pigment colours continue to soften over time, eventually tapering off in a couple of months to the final intensity level. In about nine months, the tattoo may be light enough to require touching up (especially if you are not religious about sunscreen or commonly see a facialist).


Exact healing time for permanent eyebrows depends on a variety of health factors. An individual's experience of swelling (and, in some cases, slight bruising) may be affected by age, diet, medications, and hormones. As a rule, the younger the person receiving the procedure, the faster the healing. The ageing process brings looser skin, less circulation and slower cellular turnover, extending the amount of time it takes to heal.


Treat your new permanent eyebrows with care. Cooling feels good, but be gentle. Freezing the skin with ice packs can cause damaging ice crystals to form in the skin, so instead apply wet tea bags, a damp washcloth, or a gel compress cooled in the fridge (not the freezer). Use a healing ointment regularly. Immediately notify your permanent make-up artist if you see signs of an allergic reaction. Keep the site clean, but never scrub the site. Avoid using products that contain antiaging acids or acne-control compounds, as the chemicals may burn or bleach the new tattoo.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Annette O'Neil is an air sports athlete, digital nomad, full-time traveler and yogini. A writer for more than a decade, O'Neil has written copy, content and editorial articles for hundreds of clients and publications, including Blue Skies Magazine and Whole Life Times.