What Is 3d Microblading?

3D microblading is a semi-permanent makeup procedure that uses a manual tool with tiny needles to create hair-like strokes in the eyebrows. The goal is to create a more natural-looking brow that appears fuller and more defined.

3D microblading is a type of micropigmentation, which is the process of depositing pigment into the dermis layer of the skin. The pigment used in 3D microblading is typically made from iron oxide, which is a safe and FDA-approved ingredient.

What is 3D Microblading?

3D microblading creates fuller, more natural-looking brows with:

  • Depth – Light to dark pigment shades are used in varying depths to mimic the gradations actual hairs have from root to tip. This adds dimension and shadowing that makes brows appear fuller.
  • Variety – Different length strokes are implanted to replicate the varying lengths of real hairs from long to short. Wispy ends are created using shallow strokes.
  • Texture – Thick and thin hairs are replicated through varying pigment concentration and stroke widths. Sparse areas are left bare mimicking how brows naturally have gaps.
  • Shape – 3D brows feature a rounded, soft edge versus the defined, angular shape of traditional microblading, making them appear more organic.

3D artists undertake extensive training to:

  • Master implanting multiple shades of pigment – usually 3 to 5 tones – in a single session.
  • Create realistic hair-like strokes that blend together seamlessly versus distinct lines.
  • Implant pigment at varying depths and concentrations to produce the gradations and textures of natural brows.
  • Achieve an overall blended, dimensional effect that mimics how actual hairs catch the light versus uniform color.

The end result is brows that appear:

  • Fuller and fluffier – resembling thick hair crowding – from concentrated pigment in areas.
  • Softer and airier – due to wispy ends and blends between shades.
  • More naturalistic and three-dimensional – from variations in shade, length, thickness and shape.

How 3d Microblading Works

Step 1: Consultation & Mapping

The artist will:

  • Determine the ideal shape and dimensions for your face.
  • Map out areas for fuller coverage vs sparser sections.
  • Select the pigment shades needed based on your skin tone and desired depth.

Step 2: Initial Pass with Base Shades

Base pigments are applied in a:

  • Medium depth for uniform coverage of brow.
  • Medium width for average hair thickness.

This ‘lays the groundwork’ for subsequent passes.

Step 3: Layering & Blending: Once the base pigments are healed:

Darker and lighter shades are implanted:

  • In shallow depths in areas for wispier ends and sparser coverage.
  • At medium-deep levels where more dimension/fullness is desired.

Needle widths are varied to create thick and thin hairs.

Strokes are blended between shades for a seamless transition.

Step 4: Healing & Settling: During the 4-6 week healing period:

Pigments bond to skin cells and scatter some.

Brows lose some sharpness and dimension initially.

Artists may require a blending session to:

  • Add micro-strokes of color for texture.
  • More deeply implant certain areas for fullness.

The end result is brows with:

  • Natural gradations and mixtures of color/pigment.
  • Soft, organic shapes that mimic how actual hairs group together.
  • Subtle but convincing depth, texture and variation reminiscent of real hair.

The Benefits of 3D Microbladed Brows

1. They Look Most Natural

  • 3D brows replicate the varied dimensions, textures and gradations of real hair the closest.
  • The soft, rounded shape and blended tone mimics how actual eyebrows naturally appear.
  • The fluffiness and fullness from concentrated pigment creates a convincing hairlike effect.

2. They Last the Longest

  • By implanting pigment at varying depths, some color stays closer to the skin’s surface.
  • This “reservoir” of pigment allows for multiple touch-ups while maintaining hairlike texture.
  • Color typically lasts 3-5 years before a filler or shape change is needed.

3. Less Maintenance Over Time

  • 3D brows require fewer touch-ups vs traditional microblading to maintain their fullness.
  • Changes in shape tend to happen more gradually due to their realistic texture and variations.

In summary, the main benefits of 3D microbladed brows revolve around their ability to:

  • Replicate the shape, dimension and appearance of real brows more closely.
  • Last significantly longer due to their “reserve” of both shallow and deep implanted pigment.
  • Require less maintenance as pigment fades and fills more organically versus distinct lines.

The more natural, full and long-lasting results achievable with 3D microblading outweigh its higher initial cost for those seeking the most realistic brows possible.

Risks of 3D Microblading

1. Higher Skill Level Required

3D microblading demands significantly more training and expertise from artists.

Those without proper certification can lead to:

  • Misplaced or uneven pigment due to challenges creating wispy ends and blending shades.
  • Excessive swelling, scabbing and irritation from multiple pigment passes.

2. Visible Settling

During healing, 3D brows lose more sharpness and uniformity initially.

This can give brows a temporarily:

  • Overly dark or “drawn on” appearance due to blending and scattering of pigment tones.
  • Blurred or muddy look from pigment shades bleeding together.

3. Fades Faster Initially

The shallow pigment implanted for wispy ends and hairlike texture tends to fade sooner.

This makes 3D brows require early touch-ups to maintain their natural look.

4. Infection

Like any tattooing procedure, microblading carries an infection risk, especially during the initial 4-6 week healing period. But 3D brows pose an even higher risk due to:

  • More pigment passes through the skin which creates additional wounds.
  • Possible irritation from multiple pigment shades used.

Signs of infection include:

  • Increased redness, pain, swelling around brows
  • Yellow or green discharge
  • Fever

To minimize risk, ensure your 3D technician follows strict sterilization procedures and that you follow aftercare carefully.

5. Unnatural Results

Due to its complexity, there is a higher chance of 3D brows not meeting your expectations. Risks include:

  • Misplaced pigment resulting in an unnatural shape
  • Uneven pigment blending making brows appear spotted or patchy
  • Excessive ink making brows too dark or opaque looking.
  • Overcorrection at touch-ups distorting the natural shape over time.

To reduce these risks, do thorough research to ensure your technician has extensive experience successfully performing 3D microblading.

6. Scarring

As with any tattooing procedure done improperly, 3D microblading can potentially cause scarring, particularly if bacteria enters needle wounds. Ensure your technician uses only sterile, single-use needles and follows all aseptic protocols. Keep brows moist during healing to minimize scarring risk.

3D Vs Traditional Microblading

1. While traditional microblading creates:

  • Thin, straight hair strokes using 1 pigment shade
  • An angular, precise brow shape
  • Uniform coverage and pigment depth

2. 3D microblading produces brows that are:

More Natural:

  • Through wispy ends, varying lengths and hair thickness
  • From shade gradations that mimic how actual hairs catch the light
  • With a rounded, soft edge mimicking organic brows

More Dimensional:

  • Due to layered pigments implanted at different depths
  • Creating shadowing, contrast and the sense of individual hairs
  • That makes brows appear thicker and more voluminous

More Realistic: By replicating how real brows:

  • Have slight color variations from base to tip
  • Feature groups of thicker/thinner hairs
  • Leave sparse areas between hair clusters

Touch-Ups Vary

  • Traditional brows require frequent redrawing of faded lines
  • 3D brows can often be “filled in” to restore graceful hairlike texture

In summary, 3D brows produce a significantly more natural, fluffy and three-dimensional effect that evolves organically versus the uniform, linear coverage achieved with traditional microblading.

3D microblading is an advanced form of microbladed brows that utilizes multiple pigment shades and depths to create brows with added dimension, volume and realism. By replicating how actual brows vary in color, length, thickness and shape, 3D brows appear significantly more natural, fluffy and hairlike compared to uniform results achieved with traditional microblading.

While 3D brows produce the most life-like, full appearance – especially long-term – the technique carries higher risks due to the expertise required. Ensuring an experienced, credentialed technician performs the procedure and strictly following aftercare can help optimize outcomes and longevity. Overall, for those seeking the most natural-looking brows possible, the advantages of 3D microblading generally outweigh the potential drawbacks.


1. How much does 3D microblading cost?

3D microblading costs $500-$1200 on average. Pricing depends on factors like artist experience, overhead costs and your location. 3D brows typically require more time and pigment shades, making them slightly more expensive.

2. How long do 3D microbladed brows last?

With proper aftercare, 3D brows last significantly longer than traditional microblading – up to 3-5 years – due to the “reservoir” of pigment implanted at varying depths. Approximate retention rates are 80% after 1 year and 50% after 3 years.

3. How often do you need 3D microblading touch-ups?

3D brows typically require a touch-up once per year for the first 2-3 years to restore pigment lost from the shallowest strokes. After that, touch-ups are needed every 1-2 years to replenish deeper pigment and reshape brows as needed.

4. Can 3D microbladed brows look too unrealistic?

With a highly skilled technician, most 3D brows turn out very natural-looking in shape, texture and color gradations. However, if too much pigment is implanted or ink settles unevenly, brows can appear overly dimensional, dark or “drawn on.” Ensure your artist has extensive experience performing 3D microblading.

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