What Are Semi-permanent Eyebrows?

Semi-permanent eyebrows last between two and five years.
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  • Written By: Kathleen Howard
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2014
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Semi-permanent eyebrows, which are more commonly referred to as permanent eyebrows or eyebrow tattoos, are created using specialized dyes that are injected into the dermis. The procedure takes approximately one hour and will leave a patient swollen or tender for several days. These tattoos are referred to as semi-permanent because they only last between two and five years. Most people choose to get semi-permanent eyebrows in order to shape and thicken their brows without having to do so by temporary cosmetics. While semi-permanent eyebrows are generally considered safe, there are a few risks patients should consider before undergoing this procedure.

Eyebrow tattooing is a cosmetic procedure performed by a physician or trained specialist. During this procedure, the specialist will numb the eyebrow area and then carefully inject pigment into the skin using a thin needle. Due to the tedious nature of the procedure, it typically takes around one hour to tattoo both eyebrows. After the procedure, the eyebrows might be swollen, red and sore. These aftereffects usually disappear within a few days of the procedure.

While getting semi-permanent eyebrows, the pigment is delivered into the dermis. The dermis is the layer of skin between the epidermis and the muscles and other tissues. As the skin regenerates and sheds dead cells, the tattoos will gradually fade. In most cases, this takes between two and five years. This is why eyebrow tattoos are referred to as semi-permanent, unlike traditional permanent tattoos.


Most people choose to get semi-permanent eyebrows in order to shape and fill their brows. People who have over-plucked their eyebrows, suffer from alopecia, or have lost their eyebrows due to a medical condition might find these tattoos more convenient than applying makeup. Some people believe that semi-permanent eyebrows are also more attractive than makeup. When applied correctly, these tattoos are symmetrical and will flatter the face. Unlike many cosmetics, semi-permanent eyebrows will not smudge in wet or humid weather.

Before having the eyebrows tattooed, there are a few risks to consider. As with any tattoo, there is the risk of infection or disease, especially when using unclean needles. Some experts have also questioned the safety of the dyes used for these procedures. While many facilities use high quality dyes, others use dyes of much lower quality. These dyes might trigger an allergic reaction, leave scars, or cause other health problems.

It is also important to remember that semi-permanent eyebrows will last for a significant amount of time. If an individual does not like the tattoos, he or she might have to wait several years for them to fade. People who are unsure of whether they want to tattoo their eyebrows can experiment with temporary eyebrow tattoos. These tattoos wash off after several days, which might help a person decide if they are ready for more permanent tattoos.


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