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Article: What To Do When Your Client Picks

What To Do When Your Client Picks

*Please note that this blog post contains general information and our opinions on situations, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this blog post you understand that it is your responsibility to consult a licensed professional in your state in regard to client matters and not take our opinions as fact*

WTF. Your client picked at their newly completed PMU and you’re now getting angry messages. What do you do? How do you resolve it? 

Protect Yourself - Client Forms

Before you even touch someone’s face, you need to have proper client forms to protect yourself. Within your client forms, make sure you learn about:

  • Skin type: Can affect how many times per day they should apply aftercare, how scabs may develop, etc.
  • Day to day activities: Will they have time to blot the lymph fluid? Are they going to feel more pressured to wear makeup to cover the healing process?
  • How they currently take care of themselves: Are they diligent about using sunscreen already? Do they excessively pick at the blemishes on their face (may suggest they would pick at scabs)?

Within your client forms, include very clear verbiage on not picking, such as:

I understand that in order to heal properly, I must not pick at the area in which the permanent makeup procedure was performed. If picked at scabs or the area in which the procedure was performed, it can cause scarring, pigment fading and other negative side effects. 

You can read more about record keeping here and our tips for clients completing forms here

Aftercare Instructions

Again this is a pre-procedure step but one that is so vital. Have VERY clear and easily accessible aftercare instructions. Repeat yourself multiple times and have clients sign off on them within their new client forms. We love the creativity we’ve seen with aftercare kits complete with instructions, some balm & a business card!


The first step to resolving any conflict is to first listen. Do not go rushing in with accusations but ask questions such as and be calm. 

Script: Hi! Thank you so much for reaching out. I am sorry to hear that this is happening. To get to the bottom of it, can you provide photos of both brows without makeup?  What side do you sleep on? Can you give me a timeline of when this started happening? Have you been diligent with the aftercare? 

Listen to what their responses are before deciding on a course of action as maybe it was that they were applying too much aftercare balm which caused heavy scabbing which then rubbed off when sleeping. If after they respond, you still believe they picked then...

Tread Lightly

Listen we hate being called out even when we’re in the wrong. It makes us uncomfortable - but having an open conversation doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. If you are sure that the client picked, tread lightly and put yourself in their shoes. 

Script: Hi there! So after reviewing everything you sent to me, are you sure you didn't pick at the area? I’ve seen quite a few cases that had picking that look like this so I am unsure of what else it may be. 

I do not want you to feel like I am accusing you. I just want to have an open conversation so we can get you the brows of your dreams. If you are sure there was no picking, I would love to send to some of my colleagues a picture with your permission to get their input. 

Once I hear back, I would love to have you come in for a touchup session once the 6-8 week healing period is over. Please know that in order to heal properly, you will need to follow strict aftercare instructions. Let me know your thoughts!

Know When To Cut Ties

If you gently suggest that there may have been picking and your client gets aggressive, know when it’s time to cut ties. Respectfully but firmly let them know that your forms state proper instructions, and you believe that they did not follow that and you think it is best if they find another artist. 

Script: I understand where you are coming and sincerely apologize you have had a negative experience. Unfortunately I believe that this situation is because you did not follow proper aftercare instructions as stated and signed in my client forms. Because of that and that you will not accept the solutions offered, I believe that it is best if you work with another artist. I would be happy to give you my recommendations. 

Have you ever had to deal with a client picking? What did you do? Let us know in the comments!

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