What is the difference between machine hair stroke eyebrow tattoo and manual hair stroke eyebrow tattoo also known as microblading?


Let me start by saying that both types of strokes result in a natural-looking eyebrow tattoo.  Whether implanted under the epidermis with a tattoo machine or a manual pen, the result is the same: a tattooed eyebrow.  The reason I mention this is because some online sources are advertising microblading as a treatment different than tattooing.  Don’t be misled.  Microblading is a form of tattooing, plain and simple.

When strokes are implanted with a digital coil or rotary machine, they heal slightly differently than hair strokes done manually with a microblading pen.  Machines have one needle (or more) that vibrates in and out at a high speed.  As the needle touches the skin it creates very small holes through which the pigment is delivered to the dermis.  In other words, a hair stroke done with a machine is a set of very small holes arranged in a shape of a line.

Whereas microblading is done with a set of needles arranged side-by-side to form the shape of a blade.  There is no vibration at all with microblading.  The pigment is delivered to the dermis by pressing the needles against the skin and dragging them in one fluid motion to make a thin crisp line, a hair stroke.

Both techniques look beautiful immediately after the treatment.  It is the healed results that differ.  Machine strokes tend to heal truer to original implanted color but fuzzier than manual strokes, because they are made up of dots versus the one sharp cut created with a microblade.  On the other hand, microblading tends to heal very ashy in color, much more so than machine work, but the hair strokes retain their shape of crisp lines.

Regardless of which technique you choose for your eyebrows, the crispiness and thinness of each healed hair stroke is highly dependent on your technician’s skill level. I do have to state that other factors, such as, skin and lifestyle affect the way hair strokes heal as well.

The moral here is: Not all hair strokes are created equal folks!

I want Kim Kardashian’s eyebrow shape, please!

Let’s talk about eyebrow shape and client requests:

I love my clients, and my goal is to please them when designing their eyebrows before I microblade them. That is why, during our consultation, I give them the opportunity to tell me what their main concerns are because I want to make sure I address these concerns properly. I also ask if there is a specific look they are aiming for. And—you guessed it—over 80% of my clients will ask for Kim K’s eyebrows. Nothing wrong with that. We all want to look beautiful, and Kim Kardashian is certainly just that.

The thing that most people don’t know is that their eyebrow shape is unique to them. The facial features, specifically the orbital bone and temples, dictate the length, arch, and the overall shape of the eyebrows. Face shape and age also affect the way I design an eyebrow. A highly arched brow will not look good on someone with a long face just as a thick and wispy brow will not look good on a mature face.

My clients appreciate this information, especially because I explain that the design I’m giving them is going to enhance their own beauty, just like Kim’s eyebrows accentuate her individual beauty. As a last step, my client and I always tweak the final shape together. This step is imperative for my clients to feel comfortable with their new brow shape. They leave looking and feeling beautiful, even though I did not give them Kim K’s eyebrow shape.

The moral here is:

Let Kim do Kim, and you do you.

How to Choose a Microblading Technician

Eyebrow microblading is currently in very high demand and technicians, some of whom adequately trained and some with no training at all, are popping on every corner.  The Instagram hashtag “microblading” has multiplied by epic proportions in a matter of one year.  Facebook Market is saturated with offers on microblading with prices starting as low as $75 when costs for this treatment can range from $350 to $850 in Michigan and up to $1,800 on other states.

If you are thinking of getting your eyebrows microbladed, here are some things you should consider when deciding where to go:

First and foremost, choose a facility or practitioner listed as “licensed” with your state department of health.  This is imperative for your safety.  Why? Well, with microblading, we are opening the skin and exposing you and ourselves to infectious diseases such HIV and Hepatitis B.  I think everyone would agree with me that a beautiful set of eyebrows is not worth contracting a deadly disease.  With that said, I recommend licensed professionals because they undergo training for disease control and are knowledgeable about cross contamination and prevention.

Second, choose a certified practitioner.  Granted not all certifications are equal, but an individual who has been through hands-on training will know a little more (I hope) than someone who watched a few Youtube videos and proclaimed themselves a microblading artist.  So, ask if the person who will be working on your brows is certified.  There is nothing wrong with asking.  If your technician is qualified, they will find no offense in your question.  Trust me.  I get asked all the time.  Besides, this is a treatment that is permanent, AND it is ON YOUR FACE.  So, if you feel that the technician does not realize the magnitude of responsibility they are taking on with microblading, then run and don’t look back.

Third, ask to see healed microbladed eyebrows of past clients.  Even though results will vary with each person, your technician should have at least 2-3 photos of healed work.  Big red flag if they don’t.  No excuses.  You see, microblading looks its best immediately after the procedure.  This is what you see all over Facebook and Instagram.  Very rarely do you find photos of healed brows because to get good healed results, you need experience with skin and proper microblading technique.  No pictures of nicely healed eyebrows = No skill level = Not a good option.

Last, but certainly not least, is pricing.  We all want a bargain.  Sadly, with this service, a bargain can come with a high price.  I am not saying that the higher the price, the better the service.  Not at all.  What I am saying is selecting a microblading tech-based ONLY on low price can come at a high cost.  Here is a scenario I see almost monthly:  Someone is offering microblading for $100.  A client takes advantage of this “bargain” and goes there for microblading their eyebrows.  My phone rings the next day.  The client hates their brows.  I cannot touch them for 4 weeks waiting for skin to heal.  4 weeks go by.  Now they need removal.  Removal will cost $200-$500 per session and trauma to the skin.  No one can remove the pigment in only one session by the way.  Do the math.  To that add $500-$650, my fees to microblade and fix this client’s eyebrows.

In short, save yourself the heartache and save your skin the trauma; do your research! Find a licensed, certified, and experienced microblading artist who is willing to take the time to answer all your questions. Happy microblading, and choose wisely!