'It felt like my skin was melting off': Woman says botched microblading procedure left her scarred

CLEVELAND – An Ohio woman is suing a salon she says caused extreme damage to her face after workers allegedly botched a microblading procedure.

Linda Le says it all began in July of 2017 after she found an online coupon for a trendy, semi-permanent eyebrow procedure called microblading, which is a form of tattooing where pigment is implanted under the skin, drawing hair-like strokes with a handheld tool mimicking natural hairs in the brows.

"I actually found her online through Groupon and she had a very full gallery and great reviews so I decided to go with her," Le said.

She made an appointment with Hanin Hamid, owner of Hanin Artistry in Fairview Park, located in Northeast Ohio.

After a long consultation, she said Hamid began the procedure the same day.

"She free-handedly drew in the shape of my brows. Um, I pointed out to her that I did like how she drew my left brow, but the right one, she kept drawing it very arched."

Le says after the procedure the brow on the left was slightly higher and more arched than the one on the right.  "She kept telling me it's not a big deal; it's a very easy fix."

But, Le says the so-called fix or what the lawsuit describes as a "removal process" the salon owner offered several weeks later, resulted in extreme pain, blistering and crusting.

Le said, "I didn't know she was actually putting like an acid on my face. I didn't know it would be so harsh to my skin. It felt like my skin was melting off."

After initially agreeing to respond to the allegations, Hanin Hamid ultimately declined an interview and referred us to her attorney, who sent WJW this statement, which says, in part:

"We are aware of the allegations made in the lawsuit filed against our clients. We emphatically dispute these allegations and plan on fighting them in court. There are two sides to every story, and we look forward to presenting our clients' side. My clients focus on adhering to strict industry best practices, standards, and regulations."

Le is being presented by the law firm O'Toole, McLaughlin, Dooley & Pecora who filed a complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas against Hanin Hamid and Hanin Artistry LLC, citing negligence.

"She's seen a plastic surgeon who told her there's nothing he can do for her. And now she has this cloud of uncertainty over, not knowing whether this scarring on her face will ever go away," said Patrick Ward, Le's attorney.

The treatment has gained massive popularity in recent years. Experts advise asking several questions when looking for a microblade technician, such as: are they qualified, insured and licensed? Are they using correct sterile equipment and correct numbing cream?

The owner of Ebony Eyes Beauty Brow Studio in Cleveland Heights, who specializes in microblading, says potential clients should also "ask to see before and after pictures; see some pictures on their social media. Basically ask how long have they been providing this service," said Eabonie Williams, salon owner.

Le says she did ask those questions and read all comments online regarding Hamid's work. Still, she says, she has to apply makeup for approximately an hour every day to cover up scarring she fears will never go away.

Le says she asked for a refund after her year-long ordeal, but the request was denied. She is now seeking $25,000 in compensatory damages and attorney fees.