Know the difference: Microblading vs Combo Brows
Two popular PMU procedures but which one suits you better? Read on to find a detailed guide on these two brow treatments.
What's inside (Click on the link to go to a specific step):
- What Is Microblading?
- What Are Combo Brows?
- What Are the Main Differences Between Combo Brows vs Microblading?
- Combo Brows vs Microblading: Healing and Aftercare
- Which Treatment Lasts Longer?
- What About Touch Up?
- Combo vs Microblading Price
- Which One Should I Choose?
- Combo Brows vs Microblading – Main Takeaways
What Is Microblading?
The microblading procedure is a type of tattoo but the incisions are done manually with a different pigment than tattoo ink. The final result after the healing process looks like natural hair strokes that are dense and full.
The pigment is inserted not so deep into the skin so the procedure tends to fade around 18 months.
What Are Combo Brows?
Similar to microblading, this procedure is a type of PMU. combo brows are known to be a combination of microblading and shading techniques. The strokes can be made manually like in microblading or with a machine like with nano brows.
Depending on the artist, the shading can be done before or after doing the hair strokes to fill in the space in the brows. This technique is preferred by those who like a light make up look in their brows without the hassle of filing them in daily.
Combo brows work for any skin type but even more for those with oily type skin who want the look of microblading. With just microblading, the strokes tend to blur out so having the addition of shading enhances the look while also extending longevity.
What Are the Main Differences Between Combo Brows vs Microblading?
The main difference between microblading and combo brows is in the technique used. Additionally, there are minor differences in cost and longevity.
Microblading is done by creating hair strokes with a manual tool that deposits pigment into the skin. Combo brows on the other hand includes shading to the hair strokes that can be done manually or with a machine (nano brows). Some artists prefer to draw the hair strokes then fill it in with shading but others prefer it the other way around for better results in their opinion. You'll notice that the strokes are only done at the front of the brow while the other parts are shaded.
Combo Brows vs Microblading: Healing and Aftercare
The healing process for PMU procedures are quite similar. Here is a day by day account of what usually happens after each treatment:
The treated area is still an open wound and may look swollen. You'll notice lymph coming out from it so blot it out a few times in the day to avoid build up.
The brows will appear much darker than intended. But don't panic, this is part of the process and it will still lighten. By the second day, you can start cleaning your brows by washing it with gentle soap and some water on a cotton pad. Pat dry the area after.
Days 3 to 10
This is the point when scabs will show up but will eventually peel on their own. Refrain from picking on the treated skin to avoid scabbing or taking the pigment off. Continue washing the area at least twice daily and apply ointment if that is what your artist recommended for your aftercare.
Day 10 onwards
By this phase, you can go back to your usual routine of washing your face regularly. The brows may seem like they are too light as if they disappeared. But in a few days it will reappear with the final color. You can wear makeup after two weeks into the healing stage.
After 6 to 8 weeks
You've reached the end of the healing process and your brows are at final look. It is recommended to get a mandatory touch up to fix any imperfections or make any corrections on your brows.
Here's a guide for Microblading Aftercare. Learn more about the Microblading Healing Process here.
Which Treatment Lasts Longer?
Combo brows last for about2 years which is longer than microblading procedures which only last 12-18 months.
Some factors can affect longevity such as skin type since the treatments fade faster on oily skin. A person's lifestyle can also speed up fading if they often get their brows wet or expose it to sweat and the sun. Some products should also be avoided if you want your brow treatment to last longer.
What About Touch Up?
The first touch up is done after 6-8 weeks after the initial procedure and is highly recommended as the second step for both microblading and combo brows. The touch up appointment is done to correct any imperfections or fill in any gaps in the brows after healing.
Additional touch ups can be scheduled depending on the speed of fading on the individual. Generally, touch ups can be booked at least once a year but it could be more frequent for clients with oily skin.
Combo vs Microblading Price
The cost of each procedure is not so far away from each other. Combo brows tend to be priced higher because of the addition of shading in the treatment. The average price is $600 but the range starts around $200 up to $1000.
Which One Should I Choose?
The decision of which procedure to get boils down to a person's preference. Whether the person wants a natural look or a filled in brow that looks like light makeup.
A person's skin type is also a factor in choosing which procedure is preferred. People with oily skin are recommended to get combo brows for better results and to last longer.
Combo brows are also better for covering up old brow tattoos since the shading can hide any pigment or residues of ink.
Combo brows are a combination of microblading and shading. Microblading on the other hand gives a more natural look. In terms of longevity, combo brows last longer and are better suited for people with oily skin.