FAQs & Information
Knowledge is power!
Learn the facts before you choose microblading.
Is Microblading for You?
Everyone loves a beautiful brow, and the current trend of full, dark, dramatic brows is particularly popular with younger clients.
Microblading has emerged as the "go to" procedure for a "permanent" cosmetic brow solution, but clients should be fully aware and educated about the process, best practices, and possible outcomes - good and bad - before taking the plunge.
One client has described the microblading process as similar to a "prison tattoo"! The skin is cut with a blade, filled with pigment and wiped away. The area then scabs over, sheds, scabs over again, and sheds again. Then the process is repeated. The initial effect is usually darker than expected, but will look closer to the expected shade after a month or so.
What materials are used in microblading?
Microblading is done with a scapel-like handheld tool and color pigments. The tool, which can have as few as three to more than 20 sharp "pin" blades, is used to make shallow incisions in the epidermis, or top layer, of the skin. The blades also have many taper and diameter options, which affect stroke detail, pigment flow, and healing time.
Microblading uses cosmetic-grade color pigments (not ink) to color the skin. The pigment has a thick consistency and should be mixed by an expert to achieve a color that best matches the client's natural color.
How is microblading different from other permanent cosmetics?
Permanent cosmetics traditionally are created with a sterile, motorized tatoo pen which applies minute amounts of colored, cosmetic grade ink one microdot at a time. When done by a professional aesthetician, the effect is highly personalized, creating either feather-like natural hair strokes or more dramatic solid brows. The procedure implants the ink deeply enough into the skin to achieve a semi-permanent effect which lasts indefinitely with touch-ups.
Microblading is the process of implanting color pigment (rather than ink) into incisions made in the epidermis, or top layers, of the skin to create fuller looking brows. The epidermis itself is composed of four layers, and the depth and uniformity of the incisions determine how deeply the pigment penetrates the skin and how long it will last. (See below.) The pigment is thicker than ink and soaks into the cut skin to create the color effect. The epidermis naturally sheds dead skin cells and when cut, heals by pushing up new cells to replace the dead skin. To make the color last longer, some technicians use very dark or black pigments, which take longer to fade but may create a permanent "shadow" on mature skin.
What is the microblading process?
Done right, the process is very detailed and can take up to 2 hours. However, probably half of the time will be spent answering your questions and designing your brows. Before the procedure starts, the aesthetician should spend as much time as needed to answer the client's questions and discuss their desired look, expectations, and final outcome.
If this doesn't occur, don't continue with the process!
Following this discussion, the aesthetician will draw and map out the shape and symmetry of the brow, also showing where areas of the natural brow may need to be filled in. Color matching is very important at this point to assure that the color and tone complement your existing brows, and your hair and skin.
To begin, the aesthetician should apply a topical numbing ointment on the brow area, which helps reduce discomfort during the microblading procedure. There are various options for topical anesthesia available but lidocaine is the most commonly used. The effect of the anesthetic varies with clients, but 30-40 minutes is the usual time needed to achieve a comfortable numbing effect.
Once the client is comfortable, the procedure begins. It is important for the aesthetician to take their time because the result will last for some time and needs to be done well.
Be advised, the client will hear, and possibly feel, the scraping sensation in the brow area. " I could hear my skin ripping," says one client of the procedure.
Does microblading hurt?
While not painless, the client should feel only minimal pain for most of the procedure if the anesthetic has been applied properly.
How long does it take for microblading to heal?
After the initial procedure, the skin surrounding the microblading may be red, but below is advice from an actual client on what to expect from the full healing process.
Your eyebrows will itch like crazy for the first 24 hours. You can use Aquaphore the first day or so, but not continuously after the first day, because the area is supposed to scab over for the healing process. You shouldn't touch them while they heal, so you will have to work around the area.
You can't get your eyebrows wet for five to seven days. Many clients find this nearly impossible. Washing your hair is the hardest. Best to wash your hair the day of the appointment, then use dry shampoo as long as possible.
The incisions scab a few days after the appointment, and you aren’t supposed to pull the scabs off because it will also pull off pigment. Unfortunately, this only adds to the itching.
You cannot wear makeup on or near the brow area.
You MUST have a second appointment to repeat the process. The technician will hit any areas they may have missed due to swelling, etc.
After two to three weeks, many clients find that the pigment has faded significantly. This can happen with certain skin types and it can sometimes take a third session to really get the pigment to hold and achieve the "final" look that will last for 18 to 24 months before another touchup is needed.
How do I choose a professional for microblading?
As with an permanent makeup decisions, including microblading, do your homework and consult with a highly experienced professional. Trends are changing every day, and today's big eyebrows may quickly become dated and embarrassing. Additionally, less experienced technicians often take the easy route of using dark or black ink, convincing their clients that a dramatic brow is the best choice.
Remember: A natural look customized to your bone structure and skin color will always be in style. An experienced permanent makeup professional knows that brow color should be carefully matched to the customer’s hair and skin tones.
Is microblading permanent?
In a word, no. In fact, microblading proponents are quick to note that microblading is a temporary procedure, so clients don's have to worry - if they don't like the effect, it will be gone in 12-18 months.
While it is true that most microblading procedures last 12-18 months, clients should know that the color is unlikely to fade completely, and if your initial treatment includes a thick brow style, a thinner brow will be difficult or impossible to create later. More importantly, if an unskilled technician isn’t careful, the scars from a too-deep microblading procedure can be permanent, especially for mature clients over 40.
What can go wrong?
Done properly by a skilled professional, microblading can be an effective and attractive brow solution for some clients. But there is NO license or special training required to perform microblading. And with prices from several hundred to several thousand dollars for the procedure, the trend has attracted many greedy non-professionals. The results can be horrifying.
"I would not do it again," says one of the clients who came to Barbara Denney for corrections to her microbladed brows. "The spaces were too wide, the lines too thick. It just didn't look like hairstrokes...
Because the depth of the microblade cuts is controlled by the technician, the uniformity of the cuts can be difficult to control if the practitioner is not highly skilled and experienced. If the cuts are not uniform, the absorption of color can be uneven and unnaturally harsh, requiring multiple corrections.
Can a bad microblading job be fixed?
Yes, a qualified permanent cosmetics professional can help you correct a poorly done procedure, but every correction procedure is different and the outcome depends on many factors.
Correction essentially requires an expert tattoo removal process. Any professional knows that black or very dark color removal is nearly impossible, particularly on light skin. In these situations, if the client wants lightened, reduced or reshaped brows, the process can be very difficult and may take multiple appointments. If you would like a correction evaluation, please call us at 928.443.5000.