“Micropigmentation in Medical Service – Mastectomy” by Agnieszka Zapała

In our International journey, we now take you to Poland to meet the amazing Agnieszka Zapała.

Interview and article by Sharon Vann.


Agnieszka is the “Natural Permanent Make Up and Mikro Hair” founder – Poland’s first professional head skin micropigmentation clinic.

– Since 2009 she has run a training company. She has been bound with permanent makeup for several years.

– Experienced LINERGIST®, a trainer with extensive professional experience, whose students successfully run their own practices.

– Lecturer at numerous seminars and conferences, including international conferences.

– The judge in the permanent makeup championship, author of numerous articles on micropigmentation for thematic portals and in the trade press

– The author of numerous media interviews promoting medical and aesthetic micropigmentation.

– She regularly cooperates with one of the largest training companies in the United States, establishes contacts with leading trainers of foreign companies, follows trends in the development of makeup in the world, and participates in trainings and workshops abroad.

– Agnieszka Zapała is the author of unique method of scalp micropigmentation, whose effects are appreciated throughout the world.

– She is the initiator of the project Butterflies of Consciousness, whose aim is to teach and promote awareness of breast nipple reconstruction after mastectomy.

She loves her work and understands how important it is to help and support those women who have undergone mastectomy.

Let’s join her and see how many opportunities micropigmentation gives.

“My work is my passion that I want to convey to you”

 Agnieszka Zapała

Can you tell us more details about the working process?

First you must talk with your client carefully and make a documentation of the treatment with the pictures “before and after” – it is very important!

Then draw the areola, choosing pigments (there are huge range of possibilities). We choose the right color then we can start to work.

Procedure lasts about 90 minutes. Sometimes when breasts were previously affected by radiotherapy it can take a little bit longer due to very thin skin.

I never rush – this is very important moment for all women and for me as well.

I always think about their story, listen to them carefully, take serious what I’m doing, try to calm them. This is not regular permanent makeup treatment, it is very special and in the end it gives much more happiness to clients.

What about anesthetics?

I don’t use any anesthetics before the treatment; if client needs it, I’m just needling the skin carefully and then put a little bit of gel with lidocaine and epinephrine, which makes the work easier. But very often client doesn’t feel any pain because her breasts are either numb or less sensitive after reconstruction.

What machine, pigments & needles do you use?

I use acupuncture needle machine and mostly work with one-point needle, for me it is the quickest needle ever – it doesn’t hurt the skin, you have total control. I teach my students how to use 7-point flat needle and 5-point round needle also, but truly speaking any artist has specific technique and use his hands and mind to create perfect areola.

The most important part is your imagination. Take color pencils and draw how you see it, then do the same with the pigment and the needle:)


What would you recommend for an after care?

I suggest to use special Vaseline cream with vitamin E and В after еру treatment. When woman wear bra – they must cover it with soft foil then, first day after treatment they should wear some light T-shirt in which the skin could breathe.

Can you tell us more about psychological barriers for women after mastectomy?

With the popularization of cancer prevention, awareness associated with this dangerous and still more frequently appearing disease, is increasing. One of the most common forms of cancer is breast cancer. In nowadays, many dedicated programs supported by the media are created, designed to build awareness among women and their families.

The loss of the breast(s) is a serious experience for women of all ages. After their loss, prolonged stress and discomfort due to the treatment process is experienced. They often fall into depression, almost always accompanied by a feeling of embarrassment in front of their partner.

While the awareness of breast reconstruction after mastectomy has increased significantly, the topic of reconstruction of the nipple, reconstruction of its curves and restoration of the color is still underestimated. Micropigmentation of the areola and nipple can be done both on the breast with a reconstructed nipple that is just missing a shade, as well as on the breast without nipple – then appropriate techniques of light and shadow allow to obtain hyper-realistic effect.

In Western Europe many micropigmentation studios cooperate with hospitals specialized in reconstruction of breasts. Women receive this information after the operation. The availability of the procedure is much higher than in Poland, for example; in Germany, for example treatments of this type are even reimbursed.

I remember when a client after mastectomy first appeared at my studio and asked if I would perform such an operation. Despite many years of experience in the profession, I undertook this task with my heart in my mouth.

The result exceeded both mine and client’s expectations. I will never forget the feeling of fulfillment and joy that accompanied me at that moment

I started to browse the Internet in search of information and noticed that women very rarely talk about it, even anonymously at closed thematic forums. I looked at all the available websites of Amazons’ associations, foundations dealing with issues of oncology and I could not find information on this subject even there. I called the hospitals involved in breast reconstructions, I talked with oncologists and most often heard that, yes, there is knowledge about the procedure, but where, how… almost nothing.

So I thought of getting a few women in need of such help and perform such treatments free of charge. It was a mission, great enthusiasm, almost conviction that I was quickly able to change the consciousness of people. I was just wondering how I’ll manage to perform so many treatments; basically from the beginning I experienced a feeling that I will not be able to do too much. Imagine my surprise when the announcement of free treatment was not responded as I expected, with massive crowds. Phone and e-mail were silent on this issue. No one answered the announcements, while there were contacts from women, who were told about the procedure by the woman on whom I performed the treatment at first. Then another and another, and so the chain began to grow. It helped me realize that women need a reliable source of information, often among those who themselves have had similar experiences.2

It should be emphasized that few women are aware that the reconstruction of the nipples is possible. Besides, the ladies who have had cancer want to return to a normal life and are reluctant to talk about their health problems. A new breast presents itself naturally under clothes and allows to forget about the disease in the everyday relations.

My first client did not come to me as some random woman just walking by, as I knew her for several years, but she had never before mentioned that she suffered from cancer. Then I became aware of how difficult it is to talk about breast cancer, how much you have to trust someone to ask about such a delicate procedure.

It also appears from my observation that women with a history of cancer are divided into two groups.

The first came to terms with mastectomy and has not subjected to breast reconstruction – these are usually women of older age.

The second group of women are those for whom the breast and nipple reconstruction is the moment ending a difficult history of the disease. The women who came to me, have often described the pigmentation of the nipple as the proverbial icing on the cake, a beautiful aesthetic refinement of the whole breast.


What are the opportunities and barriers of micropigmentation in mastectomy?

Micropigmentation allows to reconstruct the nipple, darken it, align the nipples in both breasts or reduce and cover scars resulting from the reconstruction (e.g. the skin needling technique which allows to achieve a reduction and loosening of scars), which often involves grafting of skin flap from another part of the body in place of the breast. If skin is very mutilated, it is possible to make a beautiful artistic tattoo.

However, in the case of classical micropigmentation, skin needling as well as artistic tattoo it is extremely important to know how to work on such a delicate skin, especially when it was previously subjected to radiotherapy. Improper performance of the procedure, without adequate gaps between sessions, may in fact cause a huge problem with healing of the skin. The women, who have gone through so much during the illness, cannot be exposed to more severe sensations and stress.

Today I understand, what was the reason on the lack of reaction to my announcement about the possibility of undergoing the procedure.

Firstly, women must be absolutely sure that they go to a specialist, who in addition to expertise will also show a great understanding and empathy.

Secondly, permanent makeup is unfortunately also associated with unsuccessful procedures – and no one wants to risk.

Thirdly, women fear that the procedure can cause a relapse.

Fourthly, some women have no idea about the existence of such a procedure, and that sometimes it might be done free of charge.


Currently, already enriched by a series of experiences, I can easier reach out to women after mastectomy. Today me and my colleagues have their hands full of work; we inspire trust in women who’s seeking help. It costs us a lot of work, blazing new paths, establishing cooperation with various communities working for sick women. So now we want to significantly expand this help by realizing projects aimed at this objective.

I am convinced that a demand for treatments in medical micropigmentation will soon be increasing at a very fast pace, in particular micropigmentation after breast reconstruction surgery. This is a new area, which should be dealt with by well-prepared linergists. Well-prepared to perform such a procedure, and endowed with high empathy.

Permanent makeup can be a helpful tool of camouflage after the reconstruction of cleft lip, vitiligo, scars or alopecia area. The profession of linergist provides a possibility of unlimited development, both professionally, and personally, bringing the joy of helping others.

12736071_10204971416836744_1801872430_nTraditionally, it is assumed that the word linergist name comes from the word “line” – meaning line. It should be beneficial however, to see this profession in a broader perspective, because the “line” also means “cover”, including covering of what brings bad memories, which recalls the difficult experiences because “line” is also a line that helps a woman to climb up to the surface of a “new life”. Finally, the “line” can mean a new direction – both in helping others and in self-development.

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