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Microblading training a controversial issue26 June 2017Microblading treatments are reportedly being offered to the public by technicians who have received inadequate training in this discipline, according to accredited trainers in the industry.A form of permanent cosmetic eyebrow tattoing, microblading involves making tiny incisions on the client’s eyebrow area to implant colour into the dermis.Says Paula Bekker, board member of PCASA (Permanent Cosmetic Association of South Africa): “My fellow board member, Doné Leech, and I have received a number of complaints in the past few months from unsatisfied end consumers (i.e. the public), as well as girls who were ‘trained’ in microblading at schools within just two days. Some of these schools don’t even let the trainers work on live models.“As an association PCASA is doing its best to keep the public, as well as the technicians happy, but sadly not always with success as some of the schools offering microblading training are not recognised and they train people without any previous experience in permanent make-up, or any type of beauty background. So, basically anyone can be taught this skill and that’s why we have our hands full. I do not give any microblading training to anyone who does not have previous experience of permanent make-up.”Yvette Zacharowitz of Nouveau Contour SA, which offers internationally accredited microblading courses, adds: “It has become evident that there are many ‘trainers’ or ‘fly by night’ operators in the microblading field. I find it very disconcerting that some of them have not even been in business long enough to see their two-year touch up clients return. They have had minimal training and have very little, or no, embedded knowledge regarding the skin, contra indications, colour and and chemical formulations, not to mention a dire lack of blood borne pathogen information.“We at Nouveau Contour believe in a comprehensive education and maintain that the duration of the course is less important than the course content and the case studies and follow up support that turn the student into the professional. With a comprehensive course outline it becomes easier to shape someone with little or no experience into a competent and confident microblading professional. Microblading is not the easiest course, nor a beginner’s course, yet I know many microbladers who are amazing and this is the only procedure they offer. So, I’m not of the opinion that it can only be taught to ladies who already have a permanent make-up background. It is a combination of skill, embedded knowledge and art.”Becker stresses that PCASA, which is affiliated to the international organisation, SPCP (Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals), strictly adheres to the SPCP’s Guidelines for Microblading / Microstroking Tools. These includes compliance to the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, which states that all manual tools/devices used for microblading must be fully disposable. Further, once a needle grouping is affixed to a handle, it cannot be removed from the handle during or after use. The entire unit (handle and needle grouping) must be immediately discarded into a sharps container. “All needle groupings or pre-assembled needles groups affixed to handles must be sterile before use, as per the SPCP’s Guidelines. Manufacturers and/or distributors must provide verification of sterilisation. Verification should include the lot number, expiration date, and method of sterilisation,” explains Becker. Zacharowitz believes that a microblading course content should include the following essential topics (among others): microblading theory; skin anatomy and contra indications; topical anesthetics and contra indications; colour theory; skin catagories; corrective colour; and a blood borne pathogens course done through an OSHA approved institution.She continues: “It is mandatory for all our learners to hand in a portfolio of evidence with case studies so that they can be monitored and assisted before certification can be issued. They have a 24-hour support group monitored by my Prestige Team, giving constant advice and we have a once a month refresher day run by our trainers for trouble shooting and extra training – this day is open to learners from all companies. “There seem to be many schools that advertise: ‘Course R------------ including Certificate’. This is a nightmare and indicative of selling a qualification rather than earning one. It is also very important to understand that a course is not a live workshop demonstration; some companies think that this is sufficient and it is not. I would encourage people looking to do microblading courses to do their research and go with companies who are reputable and well known in the industry,” concludes Zacharowitz. (Report by Joanna Sterkoiwcz)