The Ultimate Guide to Microblading
If you’re new and you’re looking for information to get you started or if you want to know more about the cost, side effects, before and aftercare and everything there is to know about microblading, then this guide is all you need.
What’s inside (Click on the link to go to a specific step):
- What is Microblading?
- How Long Does Microblading Last?
- More About Microblading Eyebrows
- More About Microblading Procedure
- Microblading Aftercare
- Microblading Healing Process
- Microblading Touch Up
- Microblading Side Effects
- Microblading Removal
- Microblading Cost
- Benefits of Microblading
- Microblading Popularity
- Main Takeaways
WHAT IS MICROBLADING?
Microblading is a more advanced permanent makeup technique that is similar to eyebrow tattooing. It is a highly requested cosmetic procedure done manually by an aesthetician using a microblading tool. Several tiny needles make up this specific blade that makes precise marks into skin that mimics the look of natural hair.
To fill it in, special pigments are available in a wide range of colors to achieve natural-looking brows. Brow shape can also be modified to what looks best on you.
The end result of this treatment is the illusion of thicker arches and fuller brows that is realistic and virtually unidentifiable.
HOW LONG DOES MICROBLADING LAST?
Microblading treatments last for an estimated 12-18 months. When your brows start to look faded, it means the pigments have been broken down by the body and would need retouching.
To help the treatment last longer, follow the aftercare instructions of your aesthetician and avoid cosmetic products that are harsh and hasten fading.
People with oily skin types would need frequent touching up to prolong microblading while those with dry skin can expect their brow treatment to last longer.
You can find out more here.
MORE ABOUT MICROBLADING EYEBROWS
Is Microblading a Tattoo?
The difference between microblading and traditional tattooing is that microblading is done manually with a tool while tattoos are done using a machine.
The ink used for microblading is formulated differently than for tattoos. Microblading pigments allow the body to break it down faster which is why it fades more easily than tattoo ink.
Brows done through microblading look more natural while tattooed brows last forever but change to an unattractive hue of blue after some time.
Read more about the difference between Microblading and Eyebrow Tattoo from this guide: Key differences between Microblading and Eyebrow Tattoo.
Is Microblading Permanent?
Microblading is not permanent since the pigments fade over time. Although it is a kind of tattoo, the ink used is different.
The type of skin, lifestyle, skincare routine, etc. can affect how long the microblading will last. It will fully fade around 2 years, but some have visible residues more than 5 years later.
More information can be found in this article.
Who is Microblading Good For?
Microblading would be a good treatment for those who:
- Have eyebrows that are too thin, sparse or patchy and want the look of fuller and thicker brows.
- Want to modify or correct the shape and color of their brows. Microblading provides the option to choose a brow shape and color that best suits the face.
- Use brow makeup or draw their eyebrows everyday.
- For one reason or another, do not have natural eyebrows– such as those with hair loss, alopecia, chemotherapy, etc.
Who should not get Microblading?
Microblading treatment for the eyebrows is not recommended for the following:
- Individuals with autoimmune conditions
- Those receiving chemotherapy treatments. But it is safe to get microblading 2 months prior or 6 months after chemo (with doctor’s approval)
- People who are immunosuppressed or are immunocompromised
- Those with recent Botox injections or fillers near the eyebrow area. Wait at least 2 weeks before getting microblading.
- People with bleeding disorders
- Those who currently have viral infections or diseases
- Individuals experiencing skin irritations or skin conditions like Rosacea, Psoriasis near the eyebrow area
- Those prone to keloid scars after treatments
- People taking in Accutane (must be clean for at least 6 months)
- Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding
- Those with diabetes must first get approval from their doctor
- Likewise, people taking in blood-thinners must consult their doctor if they can pause the medication for the microblading treatment.
If you are unsure, always consult your physician first.
MORE ABOUT THE MICROBLADING PROCEDURE
Who Does Eyebrow Microblading?
To ensure your safety and the quality of the procedure, only receive microblading treatments from trained, certified and licensed aestheticians or microblading artists. Avoid those who are self-taught and have not received any training or credentials.
Check for the artist’s microblading certification displayed in the shop and notice whether they properly disinfect all surfaces after each client and if they use gloves and other disposable tools to maintain cleanliness and a sterile workplace for the procedure.
Reading the reviews of a microblading artist can also be helpful and make sure to look at the before and after images of their clients with microblading treatment that is posted on their social media pages.
How Long Does Microblading Procedure Take?
The whole treatment for microblading eyebrows takes 2-3 hours.
Consultations are often scheduled before the microblading procedure is booked. It lasts around 30 minutes and is done a few days before treatment. The aesthetician will ask and assess the client’s skin type and any medical conditions that need to be considered. When the artist is able to assess if the client is fit to receive treatment, they can then book the microblading procedure.
The artist will also let you know how to prepare for the procedure which you will read about in the next few sections.
What Does the Microblading Procedure Look Like?
Here are the steps that you would go through if you get a microblading procedure:
- Signing the consent form
- Preparing the area. The aesthetician will prepare the area by threading stray hair and cleaning the surrounding skin.
- Pre-draw. This step is where measuring, mapping and outlining is done by the microblading artist. The client will get a chance to approve the pre-draw.
- A topical anesthetic also called, numbing cream, is applied on the brow area and left for around 15-20 minutes.
- Preparing the pigment
- Blading process
- If the client experiences any discomfort, a secondary numbing stage is applied.
- Second pass- the microblading is done for a second time; More passes are done depending on the client’s skin.
- Cleaning, checking and taking photos.
- Aftercare. To help ensure the procedure heals properly, microblading artists give instructions for post-procedure aftercare and sometimes even a kit.
- Touch-up. After a while, the client is recommended to book a touch-up appointment to maintain their brows. More information about touch-up is found below.
Learn more about the microblading procedure in more detail through this article: Microblading: step-by-step process
Does Microblading Hurt?
Clients who have tried microblading procedures claim that it does not really hurt.
The numbing gel applied to the treatment area allows it to be more uncomfortable than painful despite being a form of tattoo. Microblading procedures can make clients feel some pressure, scratching, tingling and stinging sensations, pinching and the urge to sneeze during the treatment.
Note: It is not recommended to schedule a microblading procedure during your menstrual cycle due to increased sensitivity and bleeding.
How to Prepare for Microblading?
The steps before the microblading treatment can affect the success of the procedure.
Here are some tips to ensure proper healing in the eyebrow area:
- A month prior to the procedure, stop using retinol and Vitamin A products.
- No sunbathing or tanning at least 7 days before the appointment.
- Avoid exercising or working out on the day of the procedure.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol, caffeinated drinks, ibruprofen, aspirin and fish oil supplements at least a day before.
- Make sure you do not pluck or wax your eyebrows 7 days before treatment.
- No facials at least 2 weeks prior.
- For those who had Botox or fillers near the eyebrow area, make sure to wait 2 weeks before treatment.
Learn more about it here: Preparing for Microblading: Do’s and Don'ts
What Does Microblading Aftercare Entail?
Aftercare for a microblading procedure lasts up to 2 weeks. It is a crucial step in the process and once the time is up, the brows are left to continue healing on their own.
Some activities to avoid during this period are: swimming, long showers, visiting a sauna, etc. When washing your eyebrows, you may do it regularly but with care, using only a bit of sterile water and antibacterial soap. Dry thoroughly afterwards.
There are two types of healing during aftercare: wet healing or dry healing. The former means a healing ointment will be applied to the brows to clean them while the latter does not include a balm or ointment. For both types, washing the eyebrows is necessary.
There are products to avoid during aftercare, so ask your microblading artist for the list.
It is important to listen to your aesthetician and follow their instructions for microblading aftercare to keep yourself safe from infection and to ensure successful results for your microblading procedure.
How Long After Microblading Can I Wear Makeup?
Keep your eyebrows and surrounding area free from makeup for at least 2 weeks after the procedure. That particular area is highly sensitive and prone to infection.
It is not recommended to wear makeup in other parts of the face since there is a high likelihood it could end up in the treated area.
Click here for a complete guide for Microblading Aftercare.
Hot tip: It takes 6 weeks for a microblading procedure to settle down so make sure to book treatments with enough time for big events or special occasions.
MICROBLADING HEALING PROCESS
How Long Do Microbladed Brows Take to Heal?It takes a month for the whole microblading healing process. It goes through these phases:
Immediately after the procedure, the area will look swollen and too dark but it will settle into the desired shape and color over the course of the healing process.
Between day 2 and 5 is the scabbing stage. Refrain from picking at the scabs and try to be patient. After this phase, the brows will lighten and it might seem they are disappearing. In truth, the skin is naturally exfoliating and the color will reveal in time.
At 4 to 6 weeks, the eyebrows would look patchy and uneven which is a good time to get the mandatory touch-up.
Learn more about what to expect in the healing process through this guide.
MICROBLADING TOUCH UP
When Should I Get a Microblading Touch Up?
It is non-negotiable to get a touch-up appointment after a microblading procedure. The first follow-up appointment needs to be done once the brows have fully healed which is after 6-8 weeks.
If you skip this step, the results of the procedure might not end up to your expectations. Touching up can help deal with any imperfections or missed spots during the initial procedure.
Read on to better understand why touch up is important: Microblading Touch Up
How Often to Touch Up Microblading?
Touch ups are scheduled as soon as the microblading fades. Those with oily skin care types will notice the color fades much faster and are recommended to book a color refreshment appointment after a year.
People with normal to dry skin will get to keep the color for longer and can wait until 18-24 months before a touch-up. But in general, spending time under the sun and swimming often can speed up microblading fading regardless of skin type.
MICROBLADING SIDE EFFECTS
Is Microblading Safe?Microblading is safe for most people and is considered a non-invasive procedure.
But it does entail making cuts in the skin so it carries the risk for allergies to inks and possible skin infection if cleanliness isn’t maintained.
These risks are uncommon but they happen when care is not taken to keep the area and instruments sterile. Infections can also develop after the treatment if contamination happens to the unhealed skin.
But there is nothing to worry about if you book a certified aesthetician and you follow the aftercare instructions given.
Potential Side Effects of Microblading Eyebrows You Might Encounter:
- Swelling in the eyebrows
- Too dark brows
- Itchy feeling
- For oily skin, quick fading
- Allergic reactions
Can You Have an Allergic Reaction to Microblading?
Some people may get an allergic reaction to the microblading procedure. Those allergic to tattoo ink will likely feel the same to microblading pigments, but it is not always the case. Always consult with your healthcare provider.
It is important to note that since the numbing cream and pigment are near open wounds, it may cause more severe allergic reactions to those who are sensitive to the products.
If you have any allergies, immediately let your aesthetician know and ask which products they use. Some microblading inks contain Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) found in hair dye and some people have sensitivities to it.
Always insist on a patch test prior to the procedure, but it is common practice for artists as well. And after treatment, avoid applying any cosmetic or makeup products to the area to avoid allergic reactions and infections.
Does Microblading Affect Hair Growth?
This procedure does not encourage nor prevent hair growth. It is safe.
Can Microblading Be Removed?
If a client is not satisfied with the microblading procedure, it can be removed. It can also be removed if some pigments are more stubborn while the rest of the brow has already faded.
The options for microblading removal are:
- Laser removal
- Saline removal
- Glycolic acid removal
How Much Does Microblading Cost?
The cost of a microblading procedure would depend on your aesthetician, but it can go from $600-$2000.
Not included in that initial price is the cost for touch-up appointments in the long run. Some artists include the first mandatory touch-up in their pricing but it is always a good idea to clarify. Touch ups can cost around 30% of the full price, but it varies per artist.
Check out this guide for microblading prices across the United States: How Much Does Microblading Cost?
BENEFITS OF MICROBLADING
What Are the Advantages of Microblading Eyebrows?
- Saves time for doing brows daily
- Looks natural
- Last long
- Not permanent and can be modified and removed if necessary
- Smudge proof
- Ability to fix sparse and spaced brows
- Customized to what suits your face
- Creates the look of brows from scratch
The numbers on the left side of the chart indicate the search interest for the term on a particular day. 100 is the highest value of popularity while 0 means there was not enough data.
Microblading has been able to maintain its popularity over the past 5 years as a topic that people search for on Google. The numbers fluctuate but consistently stays within a high position of popularity except for a big dip during the start of the pandemic.
Microblading eyebrows is the most popular form of permanent makeup and it is going to stay.
With benefits such as efficiency, improves confidence and fixes brow imperfections and it is long lasting! Make sure you only receive the procedure from certified and trained aestheticians for the best results!