Will Microblading Fade Completely?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattooing technique that implants pigment into the dermal layer of the skin to create the illusion of fuller brows.

During the procedure, a tool with fine blade-like needles deposits pigment into the skin in the shape of hair strokes. The pigment settles around tissue and capillaries, resulting in natural-looking brow hairs that can last for one to three years. Over time, some of the pigment will fade as skin cells regenerate and new skin replaces the old.

For this reason, microblading requires periodic touch-up appointments to maintain the desired brow shape and color. Though fade-resistant, microblading ink is designed to gradually fade, meaning strokes will fully disappear without re-pigmentation through touch-ups.

How Long Does Microblading Last?

Microblading is a semi-permanent procedure, meaning the results are intended to gradually fade over time. Without regular touch-up appointments, microblading strokes will typically fade noticeable within 1 to 3 years and may eventually disappear altogether.

Soon after a microblading session, the pigment sits on top of the dermis layer of skin and the results look dark and defined. However, as the skin heals and regenerates over weeks and months, some of the pigment rises to the epidermis and darkens that upper layer. This causes the strokes to appear slightly diffused and less intense.

As skin cells are naturally replaced every few weeks – and the epidermis layer renews itself monthly – some of the pigment embedded in those layers is also shed. This results in a slight loss of pigment and causes strokes to gradually fade and lighten in color.

Over the span of a year or more, continual skin regeneration and shedding of epidermal layers with pigment leads to a noticeable decrease in the amount of ink left within the dermis. The brows appear less bold and well-defined as strokes fade and diffuse.

Environmental factors like sun exposure, chemicals in skincare products, pollution, etc. can accelerate the rate at which skin cells regenerate and contribute to faster fading. Risky lifestyle habits and medical conditions that affect skin health also impact how long microblading lasts.

After 2 to 3 years without touch-ups, the cumulative effect of skin replacement and loss of pigment to the epidermis layers results in most or all of the original microblading ink disappearing from the dermis. At this point, the strokes have typically faded completely, and the brows appear bare.

However, microblading is designed to fade gradually over time, allowing clients to maintain their desired brow shape and fullness through regular touch-up appointments. During touch-ups, fresh pigment is deposited back into the dermis, which re-grounds the brows and restores them to their initial depth and definition.

In summary, natural skin regeneration and replacement causes microblading results to fade gradually within 1 to 3 years if left untouched. But periodic touch-up sessions essentially “refresh” the brows by reintroducing pigment, allowing clients to preserve their ideal brow shape and color indefinitely.

The Factors That Impact Fading

1. Pigment used

The type of pigment chosen for microblading impacts how long the results will last before fading. Pigments with smaller particle sizes tend to embed deeper into the dermis and stay stable longer before diffusion occurs. Larger pigment particles fade sooner as they remain closer to the epidermis.

2. Skin type

Individuals with oily, acne-prone or sensitive skin are more likely to experience faster fading of microblading over time. This is because their skin turnover rate – how often skin cells are replaced – tends to be more rapid due to hormonal factors or conditions that cause inflammation. Faster skin regeneration leads to quicker loss of pigment from epidermal layers.

3. Lifestyle

Routine exposures that damage skin health or accelerate its aging process contribute to faster fading of microblading. Factors like excessive UV ray exposure from sunlight, harsh chemicals in skincare products, cigarette smoking and an unhealthy diet speed up skin cell turnover and the epidermis’ natural shedding cycle. This results in more rapid loss of pigment.

4. Aftercare

Strictly following the microblading professional’s aftercare instructions for the first 2-4 weeks after the procedure – which usually involves avoiding irritants, harsh scrubs and exposure to elements – helps the brows heal properly. This allows pigment to embed deeper into the dermis, where it can remain stable for longer before fading. Any trauma to the brows during healing may also impact longevity.

5. Touch-ups

Regular touch-up sessions, typically recommended every 1 to 3 years, refresh microblading results by reintroducing pigment back into the dermis. This helps “re-ground” strokes and counteract the natural fading that occurs over time due to skin regeneration and epidermal shedding. With consistent touch-ups, microblading can essentially be maintained indefinitely.

6. Medical conditions

Certain issues like lupus, eczema and autoimmune disorders that impact the skin can cause more rapid cell turnover, resulting in quicker loss of pigment and faster fading of microblading. Other conditions like diabetes that damage collagen over time may also affect how long results last. However, microblading itself does not worsen these underlying medical issues.

7. Aging

As natural skin aging progresses over years, it causes changes that impact microblading longevity. Factors like reduced collagen and elastin, thinning of the dermis and increased epidermal shedding contribute to faster fading. While microblading cannot stop the aging process, touch-ups can help preserve one’s desired brow shape as they age.

In summary, a combination of pigment selection, skin characteristics, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, the aging process and adherence to aftercare all influence how quickly microblading fades. Regular touch-up appointments can help offset these factors and allow clients to maintain their ideal brow shape and fullness indefinitely.

The Signs That Microblading Is Fading

1. Diffusion of strokes

As microblading begins to fade, one of the first noticeable signs is the diffusion or blurring of individual strokes. This occurs as pigment particles gradually rise from the dermis to the epidermis over months. As a result, the ink spreads out and strokes lose their distinct, hair-like shape. They appear wider and less well-defined.

2. Lightening of color

As pigment continues to migrate upwards and skin regenerates, some of the ink will also be shed from epidermal layers. This leads to a gradual loss of pigment and causes the overall color of microbladed brows to lighten over time. Strokes may appear less dark, bold and intense.

3. Disappearance of ink

The most obvious indicator that microblading is wearing off is the complete disappearance of pigment from some areas. As strokes continue to fade and diffuse, ink can disappear entirely from sections, leaving skin exposed between what pigment remains. Over several years without touch-ups, most or all strokes typically vanish completely.

4. Visible skin

As microblading fades, the texture of your actual skin may become visible between strokes where pigment has faded or disappeared. This occurs as the color contrast between the pigment and your natural skin tone diminishes.

5. Brows lose shape

The defined shape of your brows can begin to degrade as microblading stitches become less clear. As individual strokes diffuse, merge and fade, the overall geometry of the brow shape is compromised.

6. Pigment flaking

As more and more pigment is shed with new epidermal cell growth, you may notice particles of ink flaking or falling from the treatment area. This excess residue indicates substantial loss of pigment from fading.

7. Receding hairline

As microblading spreads due to particle migration or epidermal shedding, the front edge of your brows may appear to pull back or recede, showing skin where there was once ink. This indicates the pigment “hairs” are becoming shorter.

In summary, signs like the diffusion, lightening and disappearance of strokes; the visibility of skin between pigment; degradation of brow shape; excess pigment flaking; and a pulling back of the brow hairline all indicate microblading results are gradually fading due to skin regeneration and epidermal shedding. Periodic touch-ups can help restore brows and counteract these signs of fading.

Addressing Faded Microblading

  • Get a touch up. This is the most common solution if your strokes have faded but not disappeared completely. A touch up will re-deposit pigment into any areas where ink has faded, helping to redefine strokes and darken color where needed.
  • Have the brows re-inked. If the majority of your microblading strokes have faded or disappeared entirely, you will likely need a full re-inking. The technician will essentially replicate the original microblading procedure to re-establish your desired brow shape and color from scratch.
  • Change the brow shape. Since you’re already having the brows re-inked, consider altering the shape slightly to suit your face better as it has aged. Discuss options with your technician to customize the brows for your current features.
  • Try a different pigment type. More permanent pigments are available that may last longer before fading. Permanent makeup inks or nano pigments can provide longer lasting results, though they tend to be more expensive.
  • Undergo microneedling. A microneedling procedure soon after a touch up or re-inking session can stimulate collagen production to help the pigment embed deeper. This may help slow future fading. However, seek input from your technician first.
  • Consider eyebrow tattooing. A permanent makeup approach that deposits ink deeper into the dermis can produce results that last up to 5-10 years before fading significantly. However the process is more complex and results tend to be less natural-looking.

In summary, options range from a simple touch up to re-inking the brows entirely or even switching to more permanent tattooing techniques to address severely faded microblading. Consult with your technician about the amount of fading, your goals and which approach might work best for restoring your desired brow shape.

While microblading is meant to fade gradually, strokes can disappear altogether without regular touch-ups. But options exist for correcting brows that have significantly or fully faded, from simple touch-ups to full re-inking or permanent tattooing techniques. Consult your technician to determine the best approach based on your specific needs and desires. With proper maintenance, microbladed brows can last for years before they require rejuvenation.


1. Is microblading permanent?

No, microblading is a semi-permanent procedure. The results are designed to gradually fade with skin regeneration and loss of pigment over 1-3 years. Touch-ups are required to maintain the brows long-term.

2. How often should I get touch-ups?

Most clients need touch-up appointments every 1-3 years to maintain their desired brow shape and color. The timing depends on individual fade rates, which vary based on skin type, aftercare, lifestyle and more.

3. What causes microblading to fade faster?

Factors like oily skin, sun exposure, harsh chemicals, poor diet, medical conditions and age-related skin changes can cause brows to fade more quickly.

4. Can fading microblading be fixed?

Yes, options exist to improve brows that have faded significantly or fully. These include small touch-ups, full re-inking, using more permanent pigments, microneedling and permanent makeup techniques.

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