Does Microblading Hurt?

The short answer is yes, it hurts. But it’s worth it if you want natural-looking perfect brows every day.

While microblading does involve inserting small blades into the skin, most clients report the discomfort levels are manageable and less intense than a traditional tattoo. The sensation during microblading feels similar to lightly scraping or pinching the skin. The strokes where the blades penetrate the brows typically cause mild to moderate pain, while areas with thinner skin like the tails may feel more sensitive. With the help of numbing cream, medication and deep breathing techniques, most clients are able to tolerate the temporary discomfort for results that can resemble natural eyebrow hair strokes.

How Much Does It Hurt?

Overall, microblading causes a tolerable level of pain for most people. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most painful, clients tend to rate the discomfort between a 3 and 6. Some describe it as feeling similar to getting lightly scratched or scraped numerous times. However, the sensitivity does differ from person to person depending on pain tolerance, skin thickness and the technique of the artist.

The area where the blades initially penetrate the skin to create each stroke tends to cause the most noticeable discomfort. The brow hairs themselves typically cause mild to moderate pain that is sharp but brief as the blades quickly move on to the next stroke. However, areas with thinner and more sensitive skin, especially the tail ends of the brows, often feel more painful during microblading.

The level of pain associated with microblading is typically described as being similar to waxing or getting a tattoo. Some people may experience more pain than others, depending on their pain tolerance and the thickness of their eyebrows.

Managing Pain During Microblading

There are a number of strategies you can use before and during the procedure to make microblading as comfortable as possible:

  • Take medication: Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen 30 to 60 minutes before your appointment can help reduce any sensitivity. The medication will start to take effect right when the technician begins the microblading, making you more comfortable throughout the process.
  • Use numbing cream: Applying a topical numbing cream containing lidocaine to your eyebrows 30 to 60 minutes prior to the procedure can lessen the pain sensation as the blades penetrate the skin. The numbing cream will have time to take full effect before any discomfort sets in. Ask your technician which product they recommend.
  • Focus on deep breathing: As the blades rake across your brows in short strokes, focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Breathing through the slight stinging and scraping can help distract you from the pain and make it more manageable. Some people also find meditation or visualization techniques helpful.
  • Communicate with your technician: If any area feels particularly sensitive, let your artist know so they can apply less pressure or go over it more quickly. They may also be able to take short breaks in between strokes if needed. A good technician will regularly check in on your comfort level and make adjustments throughout the process.

In addition:

  • Loosen up. Some technicians recommend doing a few jumps or exercising your eyebrows just before to loosen the muscles and make the area less sensitive.
  • Apply ice. Placing an ice pack on your brows for 10 to 15 minutes before microblading can help numb the skin and constrict blood vessels, reducing pain.
  • Consider prescription numbing. For clients who are especially sensitive, some technicians may recommend a prescription numbing cream containing lidocaine to ensure maximum comfort.

Following these tips can make all the difference in enjoying a mostly pain-free microblading experience. But remember – even if it’s a little uncomfortable, the temporary pain is worth it for the long-lasting brow results!

Benefits of Microblading

1. Natural-looking results

Microblading provides the most natural-looking brow enhancement. The individual hair-like strokes mimic the appearance of real hair, for brows that look full and groomed but still authentic. Unlike other methods, microbladed brows match the shape and direction of your existing brow hairs.

2. Minimal maintenance

Once your microbladed brows have fully healed, they require minimal upkeep. There’s no need to apply brow pencil or powder daily. The semi-permanent pigment will gradually fade over 1 to 3 years, so touch-ups are needed less frequently.

3. Lasting results

While microblading is technically semi-permanent, with proper aftercare and touch-ups, the results can last for several years. Many clients report that microbladed brows hold their shape and depth of color for 18 to 36 months.

4. Confidence boost

Waking up with perfectly groomed brows every morning can give you a real confidence boost. Microblading creates the illusion of full, arched brows without the daily makeup application – giving you one less thing to worry about getting ready in the morning.

5. Versatile technology

Microblading employs the latest eyebrow pigmentation techniques. The process allows for precise placement of pigment stroke by stroke, for results that can be tailored to your unique brow shape and desired fullness. The versatility of microblading means it works for all different types of brows, from sparse to overly full.

Who Should Avoid Microblading?

1. People with certain health conditions

Those with conditions that impact skin healing, such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes, or eczema, may want to avoid microblading. The procedure involves making small cuts in the skin, and those with compromised healing may have difficulties with the microbladed area fully recovering. Some conditions that could impact suitability for microblading include:

  • Lupus
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Diabetes
  • Keloid scarring
  • Hemophilia

Consulting with your doctor can help you determine if microblading is safe given your individual health circumstances.

2. Those prone to keloid scarring

If you have a history of forming keloids or raised scars after cuts or injury, microblading may not be a good option. The tiny cuts made during the procedure create higher risk for forming prominent scars that won’t heal flat.

3. People who take certain medications

Some medications that thin the blood or impact healing, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and vitamins E and A, can increase your chances of side effects like swelling and prolonged healing with microblading. Consult your artist if you take any prescription medications regularly. They may recommend holding off on or reducing your dosage of certain drugs before and after the procedure.

4. Individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding

While microblading itself is considered safe during pregnancy, it’s generally advisable to avoid any unnecessary cosmetic procedures. The numbing creams or medications used may also not be deemed completely safe. If you’re breastfeeding, discuss any risks with your doctor before going ahead with microblading.

Is Microshading Better Than Microblading?

There are some key differences between microblading and microshading:

1. Microblading

  • Involves depositing pigment into the upper dermis using fine blades
  • Creates the appearance of hair-like strokes to look natural
  • Tend to have more defined edges and a bolder appearance
  • Heals slightly faster since it’s more superficial
  • Requires more frequent touch-ups due to fading pigment

2. Microshading

  • Uses a technique more like traditional tattooing
  • Creates a gradient effect that blends color smoothly
  • Results in a softer, more subtle and diffused look
  • Penetrates slightly deeper into the dermis
  • Tends to last longer between touch-ups as pigment settles deeper

In summary:

  • Microblading is best for those who want more defined brows with a bolder look that mimics individual hairs.
  • Microshading works well for a natural brow but with a soft gradient effect. The results appear more diffused than microbladed brows.
  • Microshading pigment tends to last longer between touch-ups since it penetrates deeper into the dermis, but the healing time is slightly longer.
  • The technique used, depth of pigment placement and overall aesthetic achieved set the two methods apart. But both microblading and microshading employ permanent makeup to create natural-looking brows with minimal maintenance.

In conclusion, while microblading does involve short periods of discomfort as the blades penetrate the skin, most clients describe the pain as tolerable and well worth the natural-looking results. With the help of numbing cream, over-the-counter medications, deep breathing techniques and communicating with your technician, you can minimize any sensitivity and enjoy an overall comfortable microblading experience. Proper aftercare following the procedure will ensure your brows heal smoothly and retain their shape and color for as long as possible.


1. Does microblading hurt worse than waxing?

Microblading typically causes less pain than waxing. Waxing involves tugging and tearing of hair follicles while microblading is short blade strokes that create mild discomfort.

2. How long does microblading last before a touch up?

Microblading results typically last around 1 to 3 years before needing a touch up to revive the color and shape.

3. What color pigment lasts the longest in microblading?

Black and dark brown pigments generally last the longest for microblading. Lighter colors tend to fade more quickly.

4. Can I get drunk the night before microblading?

It’s recommended to avoid alcohol for at least 24 to 48 hours before microblading to reduce swelling and allow numbing cream to work most effectively.

5. Will microblading fade if I get a tan?

Microblading can fade more quickly if you develop a tan after the procedure. Be sure to wear sunscreen regularly and minimize UV exposure on your brows to preserve results.

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