How eyebrows create confidence and help build self-esteem

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Carolyn Dolcimascolo
Published: Updated:

Cancer, along with many other medical conditions, drain the psyche as well as the body. And, losing hair, while not life-threatening, can really impact a patient’s self-esteem.

A Southwest Florida Aesthetician created a foundation for women who’ve lost their eyebrows. She offers a procedure that helps them see themselves in a new light.

Fifteen years ago, Andrea Deeb put cancer behind her. But she said goodbye to her hair as well. While it grew back, it was never the same.

“When you lose your hair and you lose your brows, you lose a little piece of yourself,” added Deeb.


Brooklynn Schwegel lost everything. She has the most severe form of Alopecia, a medical condition that caused each and every hair to fall out.

And, as she explained, it happened at a young age. “I was diagnosed when I was 11. And, I actually lost all of my hair, including my eyebrows, in a week,” she said.

Being the only bald kid was tough for Schwegel.


“I felt really uncomfortable with the way I looked. I was really diminishing my self-worth,” Schwegel explained.

So she put herself in Irina Cheva’s hands. As founder of the Save the Brow Foundation, Cheva donates micropigmentation to women going through cancer treatments, or with conditions like Alopecia, by slowly reconstructing their missing brows.

“I perform the hair strokes, so that’s the imitation of the hair,” she said. “The goal is to make it look as natural as possible. and at the same time to bring out the best in the face.”

It really just makes my face and shapes who I am today. Brooklynn Schwegel

“If the eyes are the window to the soul, as the saying goes, the eyebrows would be the frame,” added WINK News Health and Medical Reporter Amy Oshier. “A small detail on the face, the brows are a reflection of our emotions.”

Using a hand tool or a single nano-needle, Cheva inserts semi-permanent color. The technique’s come a long way since the days of tattooed makeup.

“The molecule of the pigment is so much smaller and it goes no deeper than one millimeter underneath the skin. It allows the skin to regenerate under its own,” said Cheva.

Schwegel doesn’t wear a wig, but wouldn’t miss the empowering brows. “It really just makes my face and shapes who I am today,” she added.

“It’s all about making you feel better when you’re at the worst time of your life,” and an option Deeb wished she had when she was going through chemo.

And for Cheva, it’s rewarding as well. “When I make someone happy, it just makes me happy three times more, or maybe even 10 times more,” she said with a smile.

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