Eyebrow Tinting Gone Wrong – Why It Happens & How to Fix It

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on April 30, 2024

All about the possible eyebrow tinting gone wrong scenarios. Find out which products to use and how to reverse the effect safely at home.

eyebrow tinting gone wrong, why it happens

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An eyebrow tint is a quick and easy way to enhance your natural brows. The tinting process implies coloring your brow hairs in a slightly darker color that suits your complexion and gives off the look of wearing an eyebrow pomade or pencil.

During the tinting process, the skin beneath your eyebrows is slightly stained as well, and as a result, your eyebrows gain a fuller appearance. But what happens if the tinting process goes wrong?

Read this short guide to find out everything about eyebrow tinting gone wrong scenarios, why it happens, and the best product to use to fix it.

Note: This article will focus on the potential risks and side effects of tinting your eyebrows with chemical dye. If you want to know what can go wrong with henna, here’s our Guide to Henna Brows Gone Wrong.

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What Is Considered Eyebrow Tinting Gone Wrong?

There are several scenarios in which you can end up with an eyebrow dye gone wrong. It all comes down to skin sensitivity and the experience of your brow technician in handling cosmetic dye.

An allergic reaction to the chemicals found in hair dye is very rare but can happen to people with sensitive skin or when the skin is exposed to these chemicals for a longer period of time.

To prevent allergic reactions, you should always book an appointment with an experienced technician and do a patch test beforehand.

If you go to an inexperienced tech, there is a possibility that they will leave the dye on your eyebrows for too long, which can result in the following eyebrow tinting side effects:

  • Extremely dark brows.
  • Brow hairs have become stiff and frizzy.
  • Eyebrow hair and skin feel very dry.
  • Brow hair weakness and breakage.

If you’re looking for a way to dye your brows without them getting exposed to harmful chemicals, you can always opt for a henna brow procedure. Learn everything about henna brows here.

what is considered eyebrow tinting gone wrong
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What Are Some Possible Brow Tint Risks?

Whether you decide to book an appointment with a technician or to do a brow tint at home by yourself, there is always a possibility that things won’t go exactly according to plan. Here are some of the most common brow tint risks:

  • Allergic reactions.
  • Burning and skin irritation.
  • Eye infection.
  • Contact dermatitis (rash).

If high-quality products are used during the procedure, the risk of irritation and other more severe complications is very low. Still, you can never be sure how your skin will react to different chemicals, especially when exposed to them for the first time.

Doing the treatment with a licensed professional will minimize potential brow tint risks and side effects, as well as give you the results you’ve wanted to achieve while keeping safety a top priority.

Eyebrow Tint Allergic Reaction

The main reason why an allergic reaction to brow tint happens is that many brow tints on the market contain a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD). This chemical is the main cause of irritation in people with sensitive or allergy-prone skin.

Brow Tint Allergic Reaction Symptoms

Allergic reactions to eyebrow tinting can range from mild to serious very fast. The symptoms also may occur immediately or take up to 48 hours to manifest, so knowing how to determine them is crucial.

Brow tint allergic reaction symptoms may include:

  • Stinging or burning sensation around the brow area, or general face and scalp.
  • Blisters or welts.
  • Itching and swelling of the brow area that also affects the cheeks.
  • Swollen eyelids.
  • Red rashes around the eyes.

Most cases of allergies are mild, but severe reactions can happen.

How to Treat Brow Tint Allergic Reaction

In immediate cases while the reaction is still mild, there are several steps that you can take to reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction:

  • Rinse the treated area immediately and thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  • Clean the treated area gently with mild soap.
  • Apply a solution of potassium permanganate to the affected area.
  • Use a topical corticosteroid skin cream to relieve inflammation and itching.

Keep in mind that the symptoms of a mild allergic reaction to brow tint can last for about 10-15 days, whereas a more serious case can drag on for months.

If your symptoms are more severe, we strongly recommend seeking medical advice from your doctor or physician.

DIY Brow Tint Gone Wrong

The most common brow tint gone wrong scenario when opting to do the procedure by yourself is leaving the tint on your brows for too long.

Brow tint shouldn’t sit on your brows for longer than 10 – 20 minutes if you don’t want to risk overtinting and overprocessing.

When opting for a DIY brow tint, there is one more thing to keep in mind, and that is how often you should do it and maintain healthy-looking brows.

It is recommended that you only tint your eyebrows once a month or ensure that the sessions are 4-5 weeks apart. This will retain their bold and full look without the damage.

If your eyebrows got dry and damaged in the process, here are a few useful tips on how to restore hydration:

  • Nourish your brows with an eyebrow growth serum at least once a day.
  • Invest in a good quality Biotin supplement.
  • Brush your brows regularly with a spoolie.

We also advise finding high-quality products, even if they cost a bit more.

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How to Fix a Bad Brow Tint + Which Products to Use

A professionally done brow tint can last anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. During this period it will begin to fade naturally, but if you just can’t seem to wait it out, here are our tips on removing a bad brow tint:

Wash Your Eyebrows Immediately After Treatment

The eyebrow tint aftercare routine implies waiting at least 12 hours before getting your brows wet and avoiding using oil-based cleansers and exfoliating products on your face and brows.

To speed up the fading process, you should give washing your brows a try and do the opposite of the recommended aftercare. This won’t cause a drastic change in the look of your brow hairs but it will lessen pigment saturation in the skin stain.

Use a Silicone-Based or Oil-Based Makeup Remover

Both oil and silicone-based removers act as a way to break down the brow tint pigments. Here is the correct way to use them to remove your brow tint:

  • Damp a cotton pad in your silicone-based or oil-based makeup remover.
  • Gently dab over your brows, coating them in product.
  • Use a clean cotton pad to wipe off the tint completely or lighten a color that is too dark.

Again, the hairs themselves won’t lighten drastically, but the stain on your skin should.

Here’s a couple of products you can use:

Use a Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos work by stripping hair of oil build-up and as a way to remove pigments and dye from hair strands, so it’s a more comprehensive solution to eyebrow tinting gone wrong scenarios.

Here’s how to use a clarifying shampoo to remove your brow tint:

  • Lather the shampoo with lukewarm water until it creates a foam.
  • Gently massage it into your eyebrows and leave it on for a few minutes. This action will break down the tint on your brow hairs and the skin underneath.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water and repeat the process a couple of times.
  • Pat your eyebrows dry with a clean towel.

If All Else Fails – Use Facial Bleach

If your tint isn’t budging after trying out the methods listed above, then a facial bleach could be your last resort. Facial bleach has a generally safe formulation as it is a first-aid-strength hydrogen peroxide.

Since use varies from product to product, check the instructions on the packaging.

The most common way of bleaching your eyebrows is to apply a few drops of the product on a q-tip and apply it to your brows while making sure it doesn’t reach your eyes.

It usually takes about 10 minutes for the bleach to work, so be careful not to let it sit on your brows for too long as this could weaken hair strands.

Can Baby Oil Remove a Bad Brow Tint?

Baby oil can safely remove a brow tint. The formula of most baby oils consists of about 98% mineral oil and no added chemicals, which makes it perfect for use on sensitive or damaged skin.

When oil is applied to dyed brows, it begins to break down the pigments, making the tint easy to wipe off in a couple of takes.

Can Toothpaste Remove a Bad Brow Tint?

Toothpaste can be an effective solution for removing the aftermath of eyebrow tinting gone wrong. However, it can be quite abrasive when rubbed into the brows, and even cause your eyes to tear up due to the heavy peppermint smell.

That’s why it is important to get non-gel toothpaste and use a brush with soft bristles to minimize burning and irritation.

Eyebrow Tinting Gone Wrong – Main Takeaways

Eyebrow tinting can be a great way to keep your eyebrows defined and neat without having to spend money on brow products like pomades and pencils.

It can also create the illusion of more volume by staining the skin underneath the eyebrows, plus it is more affordable than microblading and machine brow treatments.

Learn everything about eyebrow tinting in this detailed guide.

Eyebrow tinting gone wrong scenarios happen either from lack of experience or due to skin sensitivity. While the results turning out not too attractive are annoying eyebrow tinting side effects, more serious complications may occur.

Whichever the case may be, it is always advisable to go to an experienced technician to get your treatment instead of relying on DIY treatments to minimize any possible brow tint risks.


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