Microblading has become a huge eyebrow trend over the past year. Even so, it seems the average person only has a very vague idea of what microblading is. They know it involves a blade—a MICRO blade— and they know it involves eyebrows. And that's about all.
So let's just jump right into it. Microblading is actually a form of tattooing. Rather than using a tattoo gun, the microblading technician uses a small, manually-operated blade-like tool made of tiny needles. This allows her to make clean, precise lines on the top layers of the skin and create realistic eyebrow "hairs." The technician carefully creates each hair individually.
Unlike a traditional tattoo, microblading is only preformed on the top layers of the skin, meaning the tattoo is only semi-permanent. It will last about 1-3 years and need touch ups after 1 year.
Microblading costs $250 to $900, with an average price of $400.
Who Can Try Microblading?
Microblading is open to many people. It is a good solution for individuals with sparse or over-plucked eyebrows, as well as women who simply want to add more definition and volume to their brows.
Microblading is also a solution for those with hair loss. It can cover up scars caused by burns, and is a viable option for people with hair loss due to alopecia, cancer treatments, or other diseases.
Who Shouldn't Try Microblading?
Microblading is not recommended if you use Accutane (acne medication), have heart conditions or are on heart medications, skin disease or irritations, or if you’re allergic to lidocaine, prilocaine, benzocaine, tetracaine or epinephrine.
What should I expect during the procedure?
In general, most people only feel mild pain during the procedure. The sensation of the tiny needles etching the skin has been described as light cat scratches. Prior to the tattooing, the brow technician should consult with you to find out exactly what you want. They will likely use makeup to draw what they plan to do and let you evaluate before starting. They will then apply a topical anesthetic to numb the brow area, reapplying as needed. Topical anesthetics may contain lidocaine, prilocaine, benzocaine, tetracaine and epinephrine. The eyebrow technician then begins the procedure, carefully tattooing on each eyebrow hair with their manual tool. The process takes about 2 hours, with a 30-minute touch-up session recommended 4-6 weeks after the initial session.
What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
Like traditional tattooing, the area can be subject to scabbing and redness resembling a mild sunburn. Your technician will provide you with healing balm and instruct you on its use. It takes about 7-14 days for the brows to completely heal and one month for the color to fully set in. During the first 3-4 days, brows typically appear bold in color and somewhat uneven because residual pigment oxidizes at the surface before flaking off. After this, brows will appear about 40% lighter and softer and some areas may lose more pigment than others.
Pre-Procedure Tips & Care
- Research eyebrow technicians in your area. Eyebrow microblading is an advanced, semi-permanent technique, so it is important to select a good technician—even if that means spending a little more money. Look at the technician's reviews, and check if they have an Instagram or Facebook page where you can see real examples of their work.
- If you have health conditions, consult with your doctor before doing the procedure.
- Avoid alcohol, aspirin/ibuprofen, and any blood-thinning vitamins for 72 hours prior to the procedure.
- Avoid tanning so the brow technician can analyze your natural skin tone.
- Do not use face scrubs, chemical peels or Botox for at least 2 weeks prior.
- Wear your usual eyebrow makeup and bring eyebrow photos of your desired look.
Post-Procedure Tips & Care
- Within 2 hours of the procedure, clean brows using a cotton swab lightly moistened with distilled or cooled-downed boiling water. Gently wipe away old healing balm and any clear yellowish liquid that may have built up. Lightly pat dry with tissue and use a new cotton swab to reapply healing balm.
- Apply a light layer of healing balm morning and night for at least 5-7 days, but do not over apply.
- Do not immerse brow area in water for 14 days. When showering or washing your face, avoid the eyebrow area.
- Do not use eyebrow makeup for at least 10 days. The microbladed area is an open wound, so makeup can cause an infection.
- Avoid alcohol and aspirin/ibuprofen and any blood-thinning vitamins.
- Do not scratch, peel, or pick the area because this can affect the pigmentation and overall outcome.
- Do not go swimming, tanning or use saunas for at least 14 days.
- Do not use face scrubs or chemical peels for a minimum of 14 days.
What are my other options to eyebrow microblading?
There are a lot of reasons why you might decide against eyebrow microblading. If you want a less permanent solution, are afraid of needles, can't spare the money, don't want to get tattoos on a religious basis, or any other reason, know you have great options besides microblading. Eyebrow makeup, temporary eyebrow tattoos, and eyebrow wigs are all realistic, economically sound solutions to eyebrow loss and sparse brows.
Have you tried microblading? Tell us your experience in the comments below!