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I was Scar from ‘Lion King’ after botched eyebrow tint job

An impromptu eyebrow treatment left this lady Scar-ed. 

Hours after haphazardly getting her brows threaded and tinted during a shopping trip on June 13, Jennifer Grajeda was roaring mad to discover that her face had swollen up like a “marshmallow,” and that her eyebrows had reddened and arched, causing her to resemble one of Disney’s most notorious villains. 

“When I woke up that morning [the morning after] I felt that I looked like ‘Scar’ from the ‘Lion King’ because of how his eyebrows are raised and face is squished,” Grajeda, 40, from Chicago told Kennedy News Media. 

Her brows were also swollen, rendering her temporarily impaired. 

Grajeda found herself looking like "Lion King" bad guy "Scar" after a undergoing a botched beauty treatment.
Grajeda found herself looking like “Lion King” bad guy “Scar” after undergoing a botched beauty treatment.
NYPost Composite

“At their most swollen, I could barely see, it was terrifying,” she said. “I’ve never had an eye injury or something like that happen before, it was just debilitating.”

“I feared physically losing my eye and sight.”

Months prior to her cringey cartoonish makeover, Grajeda, a mom of two, had already begun growing out her brows. For years, she had had them regularly tweezed, waxed and threaded — but never tinted. 

“[The female eyebrow technician] threaded my eyebrows, and I wasn’t thinking of tinting them when I sat down but she offered, so I figured I’d give it a try,” said Grajeda. 

The tinting process is a noninvasive procedure in which semi-permanent dye is used to darken the finer and lighter brow hairs. 

“Unfortunately it didn’t work out to the best of my advantage,” the brunette lamented. 

Grajeda attempted to undo the damage to her eyebrows, but ultimately could not stop the swelling and redness.
Grajeda attempted to undo the damage to her eyebrows but ultimately could not stop the swelling and redness.
Kennedy News and Media

Shortly after the beauty tech applied the dye, Grajeda endured a curious sensation.  

“I was laying there, and felt a little tingle and said, ‘It’s feeling a little tingly, maybe we should take it off?,’ and she was like, ‘No, just another minute or two then we’ll take it off,’” Grajeda recalled.  

“She took it off, and I immediately felt my skin not responding too well,” she added. “So, I went home and scrubbed my eyebrows to try and get it off as best as I could.”

But the adverse reaction persisted, causing her face to puff up and her brows to become red and itchy. 

“I don’t know if it was because she had threaded them first and my follicles were open,” said Grajeda, who, in addition to washing her brows, downed some antihistamines in the hopes of reducing the swelling and itchiness. 

“I figured I wasn’t the first person ever to have this treatment done,” she continued. “So, it didn’t even dawn on me that I should have them a few days apart or had the dye tested on my hand.”

Finally, Grajeda tried going to sleep, hoping rest would help her body heal. 

After a while, Grajeda was totally unable to open her eyes.
After a while, Grajeda was totally unable to open her eyes.
Kennedy News and Media

But, alas, catching some zzz’s wasn’t the remedy. 

“I woke up the next morning around 7:00 a.m. to my eyebrows weeping and seeping fluid and they started to get really swollen,” she remembered. 

“I figured I’d wait it out a little bit and see how my body reacts and if I could fight it off with some more antihistamines and compresses, but that didn’t work.”

And as her condition worsened, so did her concerns. 

“I was having an internal panic attack thinking, ‘What if I lose an eye over this? Was it worth it?,’” said Grajeda, who works as a pet-travel consultant. 

“I’ve worked with animals in animal medicine before, and I know it’s completely unrelated, but I’ve seen all crazy kinds of things happen with eyes,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, I don’t want to physically lose an eye.’”

“All these crazy things and the worst-case scenario were going through my head.”

Once her eyes were swollen shut. Grajeda went to the Emergency Room,  in search of help.
Once her eyes became swollen shut, Grajeda went to the ER in search of help.
Kennedy News and Media

And as the hours ticked away, her health steadily declined. 

“My eyebrows and eyelids just started to swell up kind of like a marshmallow; my eyelids had swollen up to the point where I couldn’t see out of them,” Grajeda explained.  

“I could feel my skin aching and pulling because of the swelling.”

By midday, her eyes had swelled shut. And about 36 hours after the tinting procedure, she had a friend rush her to a nearby ER. 

At the hospital, doctors warned Grajeda that her brows may fall out and never regrow. The medical staff also advised that she may suffer from irreversible scarring. 

“I was a little mortified at that point about my lack of due diligence on my own part when it comes to health and beauty,” she said. 

After regaining her sight, Grajeda was still left to contend with some severe eyebrow oozing.
After regaining her sight, Grajeda was still left to contend with some severe eyebrow oozing.
Kennedy News and Media

“I didn’t want to be mad at the woman that had offered the treatment,” she added. “But in the back of my mind, I was just a little upset that she wasn’t more vigilant by asking, ‘Are you allergic to hair dye? Have you ever had a reaction before? Let’s test this on your skin first.’”

The doctors treated her with steroids, which ultimately reversed some of the dye’s negative effects. 

My eyes were shut for about eight hours and then while the steroids started to kick in it offered some relief,” Grajeda continued. The meds helped her regain her vision. 

But she wasn’t out of the weeds just yet. 

“They then started to leak and were constantly seeping with fluid — it was so gross how much came out,” she said. “It was really painful, my eyebrows scabbed over. It was just really bad.”

But, after two weeks, her eyebrows, though scarred, grew back. 

“When I was going through this, [I thought] about posting it so that people can be more aware [that] it was important, in my mind, to stress to be your own advocate,” said Grajeda. 

Prior to her allergic reaction, Grajeda had regularly had her brows threaded and tweezed.
Prior to her allergic reaction, Grajeda had regularly had her brows threaded and tweezed.
Kennedy News and Media

“I wanted to share my experience for people facing the same thing or for someone who’s never done the treatment before to really think twice and be an advocate for your own health and safety,” she added before insisting, “Do your due diligence.”

Remember your health challenges or concerns if you’ve ever had an issue with whatever treatment you’re having,” Grajeda cautioned. “Like hair dye, it’s a chemical and our bodies change over time. You could not be allergic to something one year and could be the next.”

And the “embarrassed” Gen Xer urged others to learn from her mistake. 

“I just wanted to help people to be more of an advocate for themselves, because it was super embarrassing,” she concluded with a sigh. 

“I’m a 40-year-old woman and should have known better. But life happens, we don’t expect these things to happen.”

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