Brotherly Love: Eyebrows For Cancer Survivors

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In this week’s story of “Brotherly Love,” a local cosmetologist is giving cancer patients a piece of themselves they might have lost. The transformations happen inside Chroma Hair Gallery in Old City.

Michele La is using a technique called microblading to give breast cancer survivor Erica Mullin something she lost three years ago — her eyebrows. Long popular in Asia, the form of semi-permanent cosmetic tattooing is just now making its way to the United States.

“A lot of people can’t tell when you get it done,” La said. “It looks like your regular eyebrow hair.”

The procedure normally costs hundreds of dollars, but La is offering the service free to cancer survivors. It’s a tribute to her father John Van La, who died of cancer six years ago.

“I didn’t just want to donate money,” La said. “I didn’t want to just give the money and say, okay, that’s it. I’m done with it. I wanted people to come and actually look at themselves in the mirror and actually have a sense of hope.”

After numbing, the eyebrows are shaped using small incisions, which are then filled in with vegetable-based pigment. Results can last anywhere from one to three years.

“It’s weird. It’s been a while. They look really good,” Mullin said about the finished results. “I love that they look natural.”

Mullin, now three years cancer free, said she’s grateful to see her old self in the mirror again.

“It’s nice to know that maybe, not having to wake up and do make up every morning,” she said. “It gives you, a little bit, a piece of you back.”

If you are a cancer survivor and are interested in finding out more about the service, contact Chroma Hair Gallery at (215) 627-6337.

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