What Is Microblading?
Microblading is a cosmetic beauty service. Adopting some of the same tools used in tattooing the eyebrow is either enhanced or restored entirely using a custom pigment and handheld blade. The results last up to 18 months or longer, depending on lifestyle and skincare routine.
The microblading process is a little like surveying a plot of land getting ready to construct a building. First, the eyebrows are measured, mapped and understood in the context of your other facial features: nose, eyes, forehead, and hairline. This exercise in eyebrow reconstruction is like brain surgery, but for your brows. Measure a thousand times, but cut just once.
Your brow artist will spend the better part of 3 hours with you. First, you’ll discuss any concerns, goals, and review your skin type. Next, your brow artist will measure and draw in the area and concept where your future brows will live. You’ll be involved all along the way with the help of a mirror and a vibrant ring light so that no hair is left unturned.
With microblading, a hand-held tool with a U-Blade containing fine needles is used for the procedure. Once the client has approved the brow design and agreed upon the pigments, each ‘hair’ stroke is gently etched (or trenched) into the skin. The pigment is chosen to match the natural or desired brow colour, taking into consideration, among many things, skin tone. The result is an incredibly natural, hyper-realistic set of brows.
A microblading treatment is perfect for anyone who wants to enhance their brows. Whether you have no hair at all, few hairs, thinning or over-plucked brows, the results are beautifully realistic and the most amazing things are possible with Microblading.
HOW IS MICROBLADING DIFFERENT THAN HAVING YOUR EYEBROWS TATTOOED?
We tell our clients to treat microblading as though it is permanent – like a cosmetic tattoo – because it is a semi permanent tattoo and its there to stay for quite a while. But in reality, there is a distinction between tattoo and microblading.
Microblading performed correctly targets the epidermal layer of the skin (the outer most layer). This procedure is very similar to receiving paper cut thinness and depth with deposits of pigment. Because the cuts are so shallow the pigment is very susceptible to the sun’s rays, and the usual rapid cellular turnover of the skin’s outermost layer. Your microbladed brows are here for a good time, not a long time. Eventually, as the body sheds the epidermal cells the pigment goes away.
The microblading procedure, when performed correctly means that the process shouldn’t cause any scarring, because it is only a superficial permanent procedure. This also means that you should be able to microblade again in the future because the artist is not contending with scar tissue. If your brow artist goes too deep (to force a longer microblading lifecycle) this will result in a blurred ashy look and scar tissue. This means that it will look terrible from the start, and you won’t be a candidate for future microblading. The best microblading is intentionally superficial, looks crisp, and doesn’t last long.
WHAT MAKES TATTOOS PERMANENT AND WHY MICROBLADING IS NOT?
Let’s dig deeper into this very important difference.
When receiving traditional tattoo a special machine with needles punches through the skin between 50 and 3,000 times per minute. The needles travel through the epidermis and allow the ink to seep deep into the dermis where all the nerves, collagen fibers, blood vessels, and glands are. Each time the needle penetrates it causes an individual wound that sends an alert to the body’s inflammatory process. This calls the immune system to the wound site to begin repairing the skin. This process is what makes tattoos permanent.
There is more. Special cells called macrophages consume the invading material (pigments) in an effort to clean up the inflammatory mess. The macrophages travel back through the lymphatic system carrying the dye all the way back to the lymph nodes but other macrophages get left behind in the dermis. When the straggling macrophages get stuck behind there is no way to dispose of the pigment and the dyes inside of them remain visible through the skin.
Initially, ink is deposited into the epidermis as well, but as the skin heals the damaged epidermal cells are shed and then replaced by new dye-free cells, with the top outer most layer peeling off like a healing sunburn. Complete epidermal regeneration happens in 2 to 4 weeks.
Microblading is superficial and only reaches the outer layers – the epidermis – (otherwise in dermis you get nasty scarring, and an ashy washed out look).
In order for microblading to be truly permanent dye would need to reach the dermis in order for the macrophages to ingest it and get left behind. It is impossible to get that deep with a microblading u-blade and still achieve hyper-realistic, crisp hair-like strokes.
Thus, microblading hair strokes are better when placed close to the surface, and because the epidermis sheds every 2 to 4 weeks eventually these pigments will become ejected over time.
WHAT ARE MY ALTERNATIVES TO MICROBLADING?
Increasingly popular and longer-lasting are Nano Brows. The approach is nearly the same, but with some important differences. The nano device is like a tattoo machine. A needle with ink dipping up to a thousand times every minute into the skin. With Nano, there is less trauma because there is no trenching through the skin with a blade. There is therefore less scarring. Nano brows can last 18 months and longer depending on lifestyle.
If you’re not ready for permanent brows, then true Microblading, by someone who knows the differences in depth is ideal for you. However, if you’re ready for a longer-lasting look, with less frequent maintenance, then Nano Brows is best.
Whether Microblading or Nano Brows, both services require occasional touch-ups usually within the first year, and after a year, respectively.
HOW LONG DOES MICROBLADING TAKE?
Microblading takes up to 3 hours. The first hour is taken up by the consultation, brow mapping, and colour selection. The next hour or two is dedicated to microblading, mirror checks and making small adjustments as required. A second session is required within 4 to 6 weeks to touch-up any areas that did not retain.
View this post on Instagram and see the amazing transformation!
HOW LONG DOES MICROBLADING TAKE TO HEAL?
Microblading takes about 10 days to heal and up to 30 days for the colour to settle. By 30 days it can easily be seen how much of the pigment will be retained, following which is the ideal time for a touch-up.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO TOUCH-UP MICROBLADING?
Only once the initial microblading session has healed and the colour has settled can the microblading technician determine whether the colour should be darker and if any unretained areas should be redone.
CAN THE TOUCH-UP BE DONE IN LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS?
Performing a touch-up in less than four weeks is not recommended as the results have not healed and it is impossible to know how the colour will settle.
IS MICROBLADING PAINFUL?
When performed correctly by a qualified technician microblading is not usually painful.
HOW LONG DOES MICROBLADING LAST?
Microblading, if done correctly shouldn’t last longer than 8 to 16 months.
WHAT ARE MICROBLADING PRECARE INSTRUCTIONS?
Prior to the start of your microblading appointment DO avoid, caffeine, alcohol, aspirin, ibuprofen and any vitamins for seventy-two hours. Sometimes these have the effect of thinning your blood. Also, avoid tanning to allow your natural skin tone to be assessed.
WHAT ARE MICROBLADING AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS?
For a complete set of aftercare instructions click here.
Importantly, avoid direct sun, avoid water contact, avoid physical contact, and keep the ointment applied as directed.
WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE MICROBLADING?
Those using Accutane
Anyone with a heart condition or is using heart medications
Anyone with diabetes will need a physician’s approval.
Anyone with skin diseases or inflammations.
Anyone who had Botox in the last two weeks.
Anyone who has gotten a deep tan or chemical peel in the last two weeks.
Anyone who requires anesthetic and is allergic to lidocaine, tetracaine, or epinephrine.
Anyone with serious medical conditions should consult with their doctors and obtain their approval.
Anyone pregnant or nursing should get their doctor’s approval.
Anyone on blood-thinning medications.
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE THE RESULTS OF MICROBLADING?
When working with the right professional it is extremely rare to dislike the outcome of microblading. Some adjustments can be made to the shape and colour, but remember, your brows will eventually fade away anyway. Be sure to choose the right professional to avoid any unwanted outcomes.
Microblading is one of the most popular and sought after services to recreate your natural hair and to give you back that full brow. Brow hairs are important and it is critical that you find a skilled artist who can step up to the challenge.
Whether your goals are to look like Cara Delevingne or simply to add some more density to your existing brow, then you should find a microblading artist that is worthy of a life-long beauty partnership.