Woman left 'looking like Lion King's Scar' after eyebrow tint reaction

Woman left 'looking like Lion King's Scar' after eyebrow tint reaction

08/31/2022

Woman, 40, says she was left ‘looking like Scar from the Lion King’ due to her arched and swollen eyebrows that flared up after an allergic reaction to tint

  • Jennifer Grajeda, from Chicago, Illinois, had been growing out her eyebrows 
  • But while shopping, she spontaneously decided to have them tinted for first time
  • The 40-year-old said they immediately became red and irritated and eventually she looked like ‘Scar from the Lion King’ and had to be taken to A&E 

A woman was left ‘looking like Scar from the Lion King’ after an allergic reaction to eyebrow tint caused her face to balloon and her eyebrows to arch like the Disney villain.

Jennifer Grajeda, from Chicago, Illinois, had been growing out her eyebrows but while on a shopping trip spontaneously decided to have them threaded and then tinted for the first time.

The 40-year-old said they immediately became red and irritated but when she woke up the following morning they were seeping orange fluid before swelling up like ‘marshmallows’.

But the pet travel consultant’s eyes ballooned so much that they almost completely shut leaving her barely able to see for hours – a ‘terrifying’ ordeal that left her ‘debilitated’.

The mother-of-two was taken to A&E where she was given an antihistamine injection to reduce the swelling, but had to deal with them ‘leaking’ constantly before eventually scabbing over.

She said that it took a week for the swelling in her face to subside and two weeks for her brows to heal – leaving her looking like the notorious Disney cartoon villain.


A woman (pictured left) was left ‘looking like Scar from the Lion King (pictured right)’ after an allergic reaction to eyebrow tint caused her face to balloon and her eyebrows to arch like the Disney villain

Jennifer Grajeda (pictured before her allergic reaction), from Chicago, Illinois, had been growing out her eyebrows but while on a shopping trip spontaneously decided to have them threaded and then tinted for the first time

After the ‘horrible’ experience on June 13, Jennifer is now keen to raise awareness that such severe reactions can happen and to be wary when getting new procedures done.

Jennifer said: ‘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.

‘At their most swollen I could barely see, it was terrifying. 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. I was having an internal panic attack thinking “what if I lose an eye over this? Was it worth it?”

‘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.


The 40-year-old (pictured at hospital) said they immediately became red and irritated but when she woke up the following morning they were seeping orange fluid before swelling up like ‘marshmallows’

But the pet travel consultant’s eyes (pictured day after her treatment) ballooned so much that they almost completely shut leaving her barely able to see for hours – a ‘terrifying’ ordeal that left her ‘debilitated’

‘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.’

Jennifer regularly had her brows tweezed, waxed and threaded for years but this was the first time she’d had them tinted.

Jennifer said: ‘She 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. Unfortunately it didn’t work out to the best of my advantage.

‘I don’t know if it was because she had threaded them first and my follicles were open.  

‘I figured I wasn’t the first person ever to have this treatment done, 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.

The mother-of-two (pictured 18 days after her treatment) was taken to A&E where she was given an antihistamine injection to reduce the swelling, but had to deal with them ‘leaking’ constantly before eventually scabbing over

‘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”.

‘She took it off and I immediately felt my skin not responding too well so I went home and scrubbed my eyebrows to try and get it off as best as I could.’

Jennifer said that her brows were slightly swollen, red and irritated so she took an antihistamine to help with the itchiness.

After going to bed that night, Jennifer said the sensation of her eyebrows weeping woke her up and by the next morning their condition had significantly worsened.

Jennifer said: ‘I woke up the next morning around 7am to my eyebrows weeping and seeping fluid and they started to get really swollen.

‘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.

Jennifer (pictured getting her eyebrows tinted) said that it took a week for the swelling in her face to subside and two weeks for her brows to heal – leaving her looking like the notorious Disney cartoon villain


After the ‘horrible’ experience on June 13, Jennifer (pictured before heading to the hospital) is now keen to raise awareness that such severe reactions can happen and to be wary when getting new procedures done

‘It got progressively worse really quickly as the day went on, they just got more and more swollen.

‘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. I could feel my skin aching and pulling because of the swelling.’

By midday, Jennifer’s eyes had shut so she waited until someone was free to drive her to hospital.

She arrived at A&E around 34-36 hours after having the treatment. There, the doctor warned her that her eyebrows may fall out, not grow back and that the allergic reaction could also cause scarring.

Jennifer said: ‘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. I didn’t want to be mad at the woman that had offered the treatment.

Jennifer (pictured before having her treatment) arrived at A&E around 34-36 hours after having the treatment. There, the doctor warned her that her eyebrows may fall out, not grow back and that the allergic reaction could also cause scarring

Around eight hours after starting medication from the doctor, Jennifer (pictured before having her eyebrows tinted) was able to fully see again

‘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”.

‘My eyes were shut [could see a little] for about eight hours and then while the steroids started to kick in it offered some relief.

‘They then started to leak and were constantly seeping with fluid – it was so gross how much came out. It was really painful, my eyebrows scabbed over. It was just really bad.’

Around eight hours after starting medication from the doctor, Jennifer was able to fully see again.

After taking a fortnight to heal, her eyebrows have luckily grown back but she’s been left with some scarring.


Jennifer said: ‘It was a horrible reaction that happened. ‘When I was going through this and thinking about posting it so that people can be more aware it was important in my mind to stress to be your own advocate.’

Jennifer said: ‘It was a horrible reaction that happened. ‘When I was going through this and thinking about posting it so that people can be more aware it was important in my mind to stress to be your own advocate.

‘That’s the message that I’d really like to get across. 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.

‘Do your due diligence – remember your health challenges or concerns if you’ve ever had an issue with whatever treatment you’re having.

‘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.

‘I just wanted to help people to be more of an advocate for themselves, because it was super embarrassing. 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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