Microblading, also known by a variety of names such as eyebrow embroidery, microstroking, feather touch and hair like strokes is a form of permanent makeup that provides a means to partially or fully camouflage missing eyebrow hair with the appearance of simulated hair using fine deposits of cosmetic tattoo pigments. The technique of implanting pigment after the creation of fine incisions in the skin may date back thousands of years however the trend towards using the technique for eyebrows emerged in Asia and was known as feathering or embroidery prior to becoming known as microblading. Dr. Linda Dixon coined the term "microstroking" which is used synonymously with microblading.
Microblading is performed by depositing pigment superficially in the upper region of the dermis with the use of a hand tool with attached needles fused together in a curvilinear grouping, and may involve the use of a machine with a specially devised hygienic needle cartridge. Similar to Permanent Makeup brow treatments using a machine, the Microblading technique involves drawing individual, crisp hair strokes that can be very natural looking. However, over time the strokes can blur and fade and will need to be refreshed.
Microblading is a form of cosmetic tattooing. Some microblade needle groupings may contain needles that are extremely fine in diameter in comparison to the needles used in traditional tattooing however recent advancements in cosmetic tattoo needle technology has also produced extremely fine needles gauges for machine use. Technicians usually use topical anesthetics to limit discomfort and consequently like all forms of cosmetic tattooing if performed correctly the procedure causes minimal discomfort. Microblading is a tattoo. Pigment is deposited into the upper layers of the skin, dermis, so as to make the pigment last. If tattoo ink is used, the strokes will be indelible and likely spread and turn bluish gray. The tattoo, the same as all other tattoos, will fade depending on the pigment used, the environment and skincare products used. In order to keep the color crisp, a touch-up service is required up to every 2 years depending on the individual's skin and how well it holds the pigment. The needles used come in a variety of diameters so that the thickness of each individual hair stroke can be customized to each client depending on the width of their natural hairs as to make the microblading process look more natural.
Microblading should be performed using aseptic technique, needles must always be sterile and single use, the technician must disinfect the area of the skin prior to the tattoo service and clinical grade single use associated equipment and consumables are highly recommended (hand piece, skin wipes and saline, micro-brushes, dressing packs etc.) preferably sterile. The most common complications and client dissatisfaction that results from any form of tattooing is misapplication of the pigment, pigment migration and color change. Serious complications are uncommon though it is important to stress that like all forms of tattooing risks associated with Microblading include the transmission of Blood Borne Pathogenic Organisms (e.g. HIV, Hepatitis C Virus) as well as short term or long terms reactions to pigment ingredients. Therefore, it is essential to check that the technician holds appropriate licenses and registrations for the provision of tattoo services as well as inquiring about the standard of training that has been attained by the technician.
There is not yet a standard for independent testing of Microblading Professionals. However, the Board of Microblading is being formed complete with examination and requirements of training, a knowledge of the basics of sanitation, Bloodborne Pathogen Certificate, Color Theory, Techniques, Safe needles (such as the hygienic cartridge microblading needle with retractable "no stick" design", and healed photographs of work completed. Members will be listed online for the public to refer to for qualification and location of a microblading professional near them.
Procedures performed by technicians who have completed a comprehensive course of instruction can minimize the risk of unwanted outcomes and client dissatisfaction.
How Microblading Works:
This technique is a process that may be used to improve or create eyebrow definition, to cover gaps of lost hair, to extend the eyebrows, or may be used as a full reconstruction if the brows have little/no hair. Each microblading stroke is applied individually, allowing the tattoo artist/beauty therapist control of the shape, color and density of the completed eyebrows.
The treatment begins with developing the desired shape, then using individual tattoo strokes or 'feathers' in the area to plot the shape and style requested. The color choice is patient specific and is mixed using a natural selection of semi-permanent micropigments to complement hair color and skin tone. Varying shades of hypoallergenic micropigments react differently with each skin type and fade accordingly, depending on skin regimen, sun exposure, environmental and after care precautions. Immediately post treatment, eyebrows will appear darker than expected, but will fade 50% during the healing process over the following 2 weeks. The 2nd application 6 weeks later includes a touch up to ensure micro-pigments are healing properly and responding well.
Microblading, although semi-permanent, lasts between 6–18 months if proper aftercare instructions are maintained. The treatment is typically a 2 step application process, the initial appointment includes consultation and initial application, the second appointment is 6 weeks to touch up and ensure longevity of the colors used.