Our eyebrows are one of the most valuable facial features. Not only do they help with effective communication and expression, but they also do a fantastic job of accentuating the eyes and shaping the face.
Realistically, not everyone is born with impressively shaped brows, nor do most people have the time or skillset to put on eyebrows every day. For these reasons, many look to semi-permanent cosmetic solutions to save them a lot of effort. One of the most popular options today is eyebrow microblading.
Before committing, it is important to understand what the microblading procedure is and how long microblading lasts.
What Is Microblading?
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Microblading is a type of semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo for brows. It uses a hand-held gadget to manually and swiftly apply strokes of pigment resembling actual hair strands. The session would take an average of 2 hours to complete and you can expect to have naturally fluffy-looking new brows in a few weeks.
How Long Does Microblading Last?
Exactly how long microbladed brows can last depends on a few factors including how well they were taken care of after treatment and how the pigment took to the skin.
In terms of proper maintenance, the aftercare instructions can be a little intensive and last at least 7 days. During this time, you should keep the area dry, free of makeup or skincare products, and away from too much sun exposure. It is also recommended not to scratch or pick at scabs as the area continues to heal.
If cared for properly, your microbladed brows can last an average of 1 to 2 years.
Microblading Results By Skin Type
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We mentioned earlier that how long your microbladed brows last also depends on how well the pigment settles on your skin. The procedure only affects the upper layer of the skin, it is unlike a permanent tattoo wherein the product is inserted so deep that the dye no longer fully escapes. Because of this, it is expected to fade over time. To slow down the rate at which it will start to fade, it is important that the skin can hold the pigment for an extended period.
Microblading for Normal Skin
For those with normal skin types with little to no skin issues, your microbladed brows will heal very well and evenly. Normal skin will have a good grasp on the pigment and, with proper aftercare, could retain the brows for an average of 1.5 years.
Microblading for Dry Skin
Those with dry skin may also enjoy up to 2 years of microbladed brows. Because there is little moisture or oil on the surface of the skin, the pigment should be able to stay on longer.
Microblading for Combination Skin
Those with combination skin may have slightly oilier brow areas. However, the moisture is not usually too much that it would affect the fading process of microbladed brows. Because of this, you can expect the brows to last around 1 to 1.5 years.
Microblading for Oily Skin
Oily skin, as its name suggests, is expected to be more hydrated. If your skin is only slightly or moderately oily, your microbladed brows may last a similar length of time as those with normal skin or combination skin types.
However, if it is excessively oily, you can expect your microbladed brows to spread the pigment out a little more and speed up the fading process. Microbladed brows can last an average of 1 year on oily skin.
Microblading for Sensitive Skin
Lastly, sensitive skin may be more prone to irritation, redness, breakouts, and other reactions. While other skin types can also experience this during the healing process, it may last even longer for those with sensitivity.
Because it could take longer to heal and certain reactions will increase the rate at which it will fade, microbladed brows could last an average of up to 1.5 years on sensitive skin, and much less if the skin is also oily.
How Long Does It Take For Microbladed Brows To Heal?
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Depending on your aftercare routine and your skin’s reaction to the procedure, microbladed brows would last an average of 4 to 6 weeks to completely heal. This is the typical healing timeline for most microblading treatments:
Day 1-3: Your brows will look very bold and dark, while your skin may be red and a little swollen.
Day 4: You can expect the scabbing to start.
Day 5-8: The scabbing continues but the color will start fading as well.
Day 9-12: The scabbing gradually stops and the color will start to normalize.
Day 12-21: The colors of your brows will look more even out and natural.
Day 21-30: Your skin fully heals.
One to two months after it has fully healed, you may return for a follow-up appointment where your microblading professional can check on your brows and insert pigment on any areas that didn’t take.
How To Extend the Lifespan of Microbladed Brows?
There are a few habits you can incorporate into your daily brow routine to extend the lifespan of your microblade brows, including:
Keep Them Dry: Avoid getting your brows wet for at least the first 7 days post-treatment. This also includes keeping them dry while in the shower, avoiding pools or beaches, and avoiding environments that make you excessively sweat.
Do Not Touch Them: Even if they may feel uncomfortable initially, do not touch, scratch, rub, or pick scabs from your brows. It is also best not to sleep with your brows touching your pillow or bed.
Do Not Apply Product: Avoid wearing makeup or applying skincare while they are healing. Similarly, avoid facial treatments as they heal.
Keep Dirt Away: Avoid places that expose your brows to dust or dirt.
Do Not Expose Them To Too Much Sun: Avoid tanning or keeping your brows directly under the sun as they heal.
Follow Your Prescribed Aftercare: The professional artist who performed your treatment would be able to prescribe a proper aftercare routine for you that should yield the best results.
When Are Microbladed Brow Touch-Ups Needed?
The initial touch-up is necessary a month or two after they have completely healed. This touch-up session allows the professional artist to check how well the brows have healed and if there are any areas with little to no brow hair they would need to apply pigment to again.
After the initial touch-up, your brows should stay defined and beautiful for another 1 to 2 years before needing to book your next appointment.
What Are Alternatives To Microblading?
There are many other treatments and eyebrow solutions to try instead of microblading. Below, we’ve compiled a quick list of some of the best options.
Powder Brows, Combination Brows, or Nano Brows
These three options are the most similar to microblading in the sense that they are all semi-permanent procedures, with similar aftercare routines, costs, and healing timelines, and would all take an average of 2 hours per session. The main difference between all the procedures is the type of device used and the technique applied when inserting pigment.
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Henna brows are more temporary than the above procedures. Each session of henna brows typically lasts only 2 to 10 days and is meant to be a quick fix for sparse brows. They are also a great alternative for those with sensitive skin since they are predominantly made of natural ingredients and have a lower risk of irritation.
Moreover, henna dye is not inserted under the skin. Instead, it acts more like a tint that sticks on both brow hair and the surface of the skin, which makes it 100% painless and affordable.
Another type of temporary eyebrow tattoo is the user-friendly DIY option from My Two Brows. These can be applied by simply dabbing a wet cloth on the tattoo and carefully peeling off the transfer paper - much like the water-based tattoos we had as kids! It is affordable, easy, and comes in many brow shapes, sizes, and colors to fit your natural look.
What are the negatives of microblading?
Microblading can be painful and expensive. It can also cause allergic reactions and require intensive aftercare.
Does microblading ever go away completely?
Microblading can go away completely after a couple of years without touch-ups.
How does microblading look after 3 years?
Without any touch-ups, the dye would have completely faded in 3 years. However, if with regular maintenance, microbladed brows will look natural, fluffy, and well-defined.
What I wish I knew before microblading
Understand how your skin type could affect results, how much the procedure could total to, that it takes 4 to 6 weeks to fully heal, and how long microblading lasts on average.