Does microblading hurt to have done?

Since I first learned about it, I have been dying (no pun intended!!!!) to have my brows microbladed. It would be a total dream come true! I have zero talent when it comes to doing make-up in general but when I've attempted to fill out my brows, it's been disastrous. My only concern is that it might be painful. I've seen the device that's used and it doesn't look torturous but I'd like to find out for certain beforehand what I'd be up against pain-wise both during the procedure and afterward.


F, 51, Utah

For years women plucked their eyebrows to avoid them looking too thick. Now the trend is back to fuller eyebrows. Microblading, also known as eyebrow embroidery, is a relatively pain-free and semi-permanent way to enhance the look of your natural brows. The days of drawing them in with makeup should be behind you once you’ve gone the microblading route.

A microblading artist/technician will first match your natural color to the pigment that will be injected into your skin -- yes, tiny cuts will be made in your brow area so the ink can seep in. The technician will also draw an outline on your brows to show how much will be microbladed. Together you will decide on both the color and the area to be microbladed. Remember, you're the client, so make sure you fully approve of both decisions before proceeding any further.

Prior to actual process the technician will cover your brows with a topical anesthetic which works to desensitize the area. They'll let that take effect and then the process will begin. The anesthetic can be reapplied during the procedure. I know that some people have tried to go through the process without anesthetic, but it can cause pain and discomfort.

Most people are fine candidates for microblading except pregnant or nursing women, people prone to keloid scars, diabetics, and those who are allergic to certain medications.

Many patients tell us that their eyebrow microblading session felt similar to a few mild bee stings, while others have reported they felt next to no pain at all. Over the course of your exploratory discussion with your doctor he or she will advise you on which medications you'll need to avoid prior to the procedure along with which activities to avoid, such as suntanning, getting a chemical peel, etc. Certain people cannot be candidates for microblading, such as women who are pregnant or nursing, diabetics, those with allergies to the numbing cream used, etcetera.

After you've agreed on a color that matches your existing brows and skin tone along with the area to be microbladed, your surgeon will apply a topical anesthetic, giving it approximately 20 to 30 minutes to numb the area. Small cuts are then made in the brow area with a hand tool and the pigment is injected. You'll need to set aside 2 - 3 hours for the entire visit. Almost all our patients come back for a touch up within a few weeks to make sure the brow shape is acceptable. We can also address any corrections during this time. This return visit usually keeps the brows from fading later rather than sooner.

First of all, please do your homework and research any dermatologists or plastic surgeons whose office offers microblading procedures. Some people are duped into going to the corner spa and are unhappy with the end result, not to mention the potential for post-procedure complications. In most if not all cases, you should be able to fully depend on any doctor who has been board-certified by a legitimate organization like the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).

If you’re frightened by the thought of needles and/or incisions puncturing your skin, you may want to explore other options.

But if not, your cosmetic technician will make a series of small, precise incisions in your skin and inject the pigment. Well before the procedure begins, he or she will cover the area to be treated with a numbing cream. This will reduce any potential pain or discomfort. Most of our patients tell us they felt no pain whatsoever during the procedure.

The initial appointment can run anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours. You'll likely be left with some minor skin irritation and scabbing for a few days following the procedure. That said, it’s a relatively painless operation and any potential irritation/pain can be minimized simply by taking Tylenol and closely following all of the post-procedure instructions your doctor will provide you with.

Generally patients don't think microblading is a painful procedure. The technician will apply a numbing cream on the area to be treated before the procedure to help reduce any discomfort. The entire session can last from 90 minutes to a couple of hours.

Roughly 30 minutes prior to the procedure, a numbing agent is applied to the eyebrow area. Microblading eyebrows is considered to be semi-permanent makeup. There is far less pain/discomfort than with an eyebrow tattoo, plus it will fade over time (versus tattooing, which is permanent). Most patients speak more of a slight discomfort during the treatment than actual pain, which has been described as feeling like a light scratching.

Microblading is a relatively pain free technique using fine blades that make small cuts in the brow area where pigment (ink) is injected. It is a semi-permanent solution to rejuvenating the look of your eyebrows. How long it lasts usually depends on how long an individual's skin type retains the pigment used during the procedure.


Eyebrow microblading is sometimes confused with eyebrow tattooing. Eyebrow tattooing, much like a traditional tattoo on your body, is permanent and will not fade. Microbladed eyebrows can last anywhere from one to three years. Almost all patients return within four to six weeks for a touch up visit. This second session is usually used to fine-tune the eyebrows and ensure that the full brow area is covered.

Before your doctor begins the procedure, a topical anesthetic will be applied to numb the area and likely re-applied during the session. The topical anesthetics typically used for this purpose include lidocaine, benzocaine, prilocaine, among others.

After the procedure, you'll probably see some redness and slight swelling, described by some as being like a mild sunburn. Your doctor will provide you with instructions on which over-the-counter pain relievers to use, how long before you can go back to your normal facial cleansing routine, and all the other post-procedure do's and don'ts.

Most patients say the pain level of eyebrow microblading lies somewhere between nothing and mild. It's been likened to a rubber band snapping on your skin. Once you've chosen the right cosmetic technician to do the procedure, they'll work with you to match your natural eyebrow color and the area that will be microbladed. Approximately thirty minutes prior to the start of the procedure, your technician will cover your eyebrow area with a topical numbing cream to reduce any potential pain. The cream can be reapplied during the procedure.

Post-procedure there may be some redness and swelling. It’s important that you closely follow the aftercare instructions you will be provided to ensure proper healing.