How Often To Touch Up Microblading?

Microblading is a meticulous, semi-permanent tattooing technique intended to create the illusion of fuller, more defined eyebrows. While results can last anywhere from 18 months to 3 years, microbladed brows will eventually fade and require refreshing through touch up procedures.

Determining the ideal timing between touch ups is crucial for maintaining optimal, balanced results over the long term without excess pigmentation or unnecessary disturbance of healing brows. Multiple factors influence how rapidly microbladed pigment fades, including skin type, lifestyle habits, technique used and number of previous touch ups.

In this post, we will explore the average time between recommended microblading touch ups, how frequently brows actually need refreshing for most clients and what signs indicate it’s time for a touch up appointment. We’ll also cover the various factors shown to impact fade rates in order to tailor your touch up schedule for the best outcomes.

Why Microblading Fades?

Microblading creates semi-permanent results by implanting pigment into the dermis layer of the skin. Over time, several factors cause this embedded ink to gradually fade, diffuse and lighten in color, necessitating periodic touch ups.

1. Natural skin regeneration

The body continuously produces new epidermal skin cells that migrate to the surface and slough off at a rate of around 28 days. As this process occurs after microblading, some pigment particles are inevitably shed with old cells, leading to a slight loss of ink with each turnover cycle. This constant regeneration adds up over months.

2. Epidermal shedding

As new epidermal cells replace older ones following microblading, some implanted pigment particles may also be lifted or dislodged from the dermis and shed with dead skin. This causes an almost imperceptible but steady decline in ink saturation with time.

3. Collagen production

The body naturally produces new collagen fibers after any tissue trauma to aid healing. Over time, this can surround and potentially even lift some deposited pigment particles out of the dermis, leading to fading.

4. Particle migration

Some ink particles have a tendency to migrate upwards within the skin over months. As they rise through epidermal layers, strokes become less distinct and diffuse in shape. This “rising pigment” effect contributes to fading.

5. Stress and aging

As we age and face more stressors, the skin’s ability to regenerate itself accelerates slightly. This hastens the epidermal processes that cause microblading results to fade, requiring more frequent touch ups.

In summary, fading after microblading occurs due to a combination of natural skin processes like regeneration, shedding, collagen production and particle migration. Over time, these mechanisms act in concert to gradually diminish the saturation, sharpness and integrity of implanted pigment – necessitating periodic touch ups to renew strokes and density before ink disappears.

Average Time Between Touch Ups

1. 18-24 months on average

For most clients, microbladed results will begin to noticeably fade and require refreshing somewhere between 18 to 24 months after the initial procedure. At this point, pigment has typically lost around 20-30% of its original saturation and strokes have spread or blurred slightly.

2. Varies based on individuals

However, the ideal timing between touch ups differs significantly from person to person depending on a variety of factors that impact fade rates. Some clients may need touch ups as early as 12 months, while others can extend to 3 years or beyond in fortunate cases. There is no one-size-fits-all timetable.

3. Skin type

Individuals with oilier skin types prone to breakouts typically see ink fade faster due to sloughing of epidermal cells at an accelerated pace. They often require touch ups every 9-12 months. Those with dry, less regenerative skin may space appointments 18-24 months apart.

4. Lifestyle

Habits like daily time spent in the sun without protection, use of skin care products containing harsh chemicals and smoking tobacco can also hasten the noticeable fading of microbladed brows. This in turn shortens the ideal time between touch ups.

5. Pigment used

More permanent pigment types containing nano-sized particles tend to bond more effectively with dermal tissue and last longer before significant fading occurs. This can extend the ideal period between touch ups by 3-6 months on average.

6. Technique

Deeper implantation of pigment into the dermis usually results in a slower fade rate, as ink particles are shielded slightly longer from regenerating epidermal layers that cause fading. This technique may translate to spacing touch ups 18 months apart versus 12.

7. Number of previous touch ups

Research suggests brows that receive regular, measured touch ups once or twice a year actually end up maintaining their saturation and definition for longer versus those left untouched. Frequent yet conservative refreshing helps keep pigment optimally grounded.

8. Age

As we grow older, the skin’s ability to regenerate itself speeds up slightly with each decade. This translates to a slightly faster loss of embedded pigment with time and more frequent touch up needs – possibly every 6-12 months after age 50-60.

In summary, the ideal timing for microblading touch ups depends heavily on individual characteristics – from skin type and fade rate to the technique used initially and pigment selected. While for most clients brows will begin to require refreshing somewhere between 12 to 24 months on average after the first procedure, there is considerable variability. Regular yet measured touch ups also help maximize result longevity by maintaining optimal ink saturation.

Signs It’s Time For A Touch Up

  • Diffusion of strokes: Over time, as microbladed pigment fades and particles migrate upwards within the dermis, individual strokes will begin to lose their sharply defined borders. They’ll diffuse, blend together and become blurrier in shape. This loss of distinction signals it’s time for a touch up.
  • Lightening of color: As embedded pigment particles are gradually shed or lifted from the dermis, there will be an overall lightening or dulling of color within the brows. Strokes will appear less bold and saturated. Once ink has noticeably faded one shade lighter, a touch up is recommended.
  • Widening gaps: Uneven fading typically occurs first between individual strokes as pigment embedded within each hair line loses particles at differing rates. Over time, spaces between brows hairs will clearly widen. Once significant gaps re-emerge, ink needs refreshing.
  • Strokes begin disappearing: In extreme cases of rapid fading, individual sections of eyebrows may even begin to completely lose all pigment and fade to invisibility. At this point, prompt touch up is needed to re-ink vanished areas.
  • Change in shape: As ink fades unevenly across the brow over time, the overall shape may begin to distort slightly. Horizontal strokes may diffuse faster, for example. Once the shape no longer matches the desired result, a touch up can redefine edges and corners.
  • Client request: Ultimately, the decision to schedule a touch up falls to the client once they feel the current pigmentation no longer matches their goals for their brows. Factors like a change in desired shape or density also prompt touch ups.
  • Technician recommendation: Even without obvious signs of fading, technicians may recommend a touch up if a certain period of time has elapsed – often 12-24 months – just to maintain pigment saturation and keep brows in optimal condition. Regular, measured refreshing extends longevity.

In summary, signs like the diffusion and blurring of individual strokes, the widening of gaps between hairs, an overall lightening in color, changes to the brow shape and even a client’s personal preference all indicate it may be time for a touch up to redefine brows and restore desired fullness, darkness and precision of shape.

While the ideal time between microblading touch ups varies from person to person, for most clients it falls between 12 to 24 months on average. Several factors influence how rapidly pigment fades and brows require refreshing, including skin type, lifestyle choices and the technique used.

Regular touch ups help maintain the depth, saturation and evenness of color within brows, extending their longevity and durable semi-permanence. With good aftercare and touch ups as needed based on the appearance of fading signs like blurry strokes and widening gaps, microbladed brows can essentially be maintained indefinitely.

However, resist the urge to get overly frequent touch ups, as this can lead to over-pigmentation and make brows appear unnatural. Instead, allow brows to fade noticeably before refreshing them in order to achieve optimal, balanced results. With careful monitoring and precise touch ups as needed, individuals can preserve their desired brow shape for years to come using microblading.


1. Can one touch up make brows appear darker?

It depends. Larger amounts of pigment added during a single touch up can darken them temporarily, but results typically fade again over time.

2. Do brows need less pigment with each touch up?

Sometimes. As strokes become established over multiple touch ups, less ink may be needed for refinement versus the initial full deposits.

3. Does microblading last longer with fewer touch ups?

In some cases. Less frequent disturbance of brows can slow the rate at which pigment rises and spreads compared to more invasive touch ups.

4. Does aloe vera help microblading fade slower?

There is no strong evidence aloe vera significantly impacts the fade rate of microbladed pigment. Fade times depend more on factors like skin type, technique and environment.

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