A beautician from Holmes Chapel is hoping to help nip cancer in the bud with her new tattoo service.
Claire Steele, (37), who runs A Stroke of Magic hair and beauty salon at Goostrey Home and Leisure, plans to donate a chunk of her profits to The Christie cancer treatment hospital.
Already specialising in cosmetic tattooing of eyebrows, eyeliner and lip blush, Mrs Steele will soon be adding another string to her bow, offering 3D areola tattoos for people who have had a mastectomy or breast reconstruction.
Speaking to the Chronicle about her new venture, Mrs Steele explained the service.
She said: “Its micropigmentation of the skin to create a realistic looking nipple, which appears 3D when you’re standing head on.
“If I’m working with someone who has had a single mastectomy, it’s a case of recreating the look of their existing nipple to match.”
Mrs Steele opened the salon after her mum died in 2019 following a six-week battle with gall bladder cancer.
She explained that she had the idea after spending time at Christie’s hospital and seeing how many women were affected by the results of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.
“It really hits you when you see it in person, the effect it can have,” she said.
“When people have chemo they can lose their eyebrows and eyelashes. One client came to me for eyebrows and still has no hair on her head, because the whole experience triggered alopecia.” She explained that nipple tattooing was currently available as an NHS service following a breast reconstruction, but said: “It’s very basic. There’s no art involved or texture, and it certainly doesn’t look real, so this option is something worth knowing about, for people’s own confidence.” Mrs Steele, who has been qualified in hair and beauty procedures for 20 years, will be attending a course to gain specialist training on areola reconstruction before she starts taking bookings from next week.
Customers have already started to tell Mrs Steele about the difference it would make to their lives.
She said: “People don’t really know much about it, but when they find out, they’ve said that it’s amazing and that it will make them so much more confident.
“It’s very rare that breasts are the same size and shape when reconstructed, so it can make everything look a bit more even.”
Mrs Steele said did not believe that the service was being offered by anyone else in the area and felt she could make “a real difference” to people’s lives.
“The main thing for me is donating to The Christie,” she said.
“Someone’s got to do something, and they need as much money as they can get.”
A single areola reconstruction costs £350, or a double is £680, which includes skin restoration and scar camouflage treatment.
Mrs Steele explained that this can improve the surface and appearance of the skin by increasing collagen production and cause scars caused by radiotherapy to look less noticeable and smoother.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the service can get in touch with Mrs Steele using the contact details on her website, clairesteelepermanentcosmetics.uk.