Does Microblading Hurt?

Emily LaCroix

Microblading is the answer to many people's thin brow problems. This semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo can fill in sparse brows in a natural-looking way. You can customize the shape and fullness of your brows to end up with the look you've always wanted. 

The procedure involves a handheld bladed tool making shallow cuts to apply pigment under the skin. As you can imagine, microblading isn't exactly pain-free. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce discomfort and swelling from the procedure.

We are going to go over the pain you may experience when you get microblading and what the procedure entails. You will find out how much pain you can expect and how you can help reduce any discomfort from microblading. 

What Is Microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattooing procedure that gives the appearance of thicker brows. You can get nearly any brow style using microblading, from a natural light look to a stunningly prominent brow.

Microblading is not the same as an eyebrow tattoo. The procedure only affects the surface of the skin, unlike a tattoo that penetrates the deeper layers. This procedure is also not a long-term solution, and the pigment eventually fades.

Since microblading involves a handheld blade, the strokes are much finer than a tattoo gun. The microblade marks can mimic hair a lot better than any tattoo. There is also no loud noise from the tattoo machine, but microblading does make a small scratching sound. 

When you go for your first appointment, a microblading specialist will go over what you want for your brows. They can make recommendations for a brow shape and thickness based on your face shape and features. They will also color-match your natural hair and skin undertone to a pigment that will blend seamlessly. 

Next, they will sterilize the area and map out the new brows on your face. Before beginning, they apply a numbing cream to reduce the pain. The specialist will then use the handheld tool to make tiny hair strokes manually. When they are done, they will apply an ointment to help your brows heal. 

The whole procedure can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. The length of the microblading depends on how full you want your brows. You're not done after your first appointment. The full service requires a second procedure four to six weeks later. 

Your second appointment will involve making sure you are happy with the shape of the brows. The specialist will also go over anywhere that lost pigment during the healing process. If you notice anything you want to tweak after the first appointment, this is the time to bring it up. 

The results of microblading can last anywhere from six months to two years. It all depends on your skin type and lifestyle. You can go in for touch-ups when you notice the pigment begins to fade to keep them looking fresh. 


Is Microblading Painful? 

Microblading involves hundreds of tiny cuts on your face, so yes, you may experience some pain in the healing process. However, you shouldn't experience too much discomfort during the actual procedure since your brow area will be numb. 

When you are numb, you shouldn't feel pain, but, instead, you will feel some pressure when the blade cuts through the top layer of skin. You may also hear a loud scratching noise, which can be less than relaxing, but it doesn’t cause any pain. 

You don't want to go anywhere that isn't using a numbing cream. Without it, the procedure can be painful and uncomfortable. Ask before the appointment what is used to numb the area. 

Your specialist should also wait 30 minutes after they apply the numbing agent before they begin. This time is needed for the cream to take full effect. You may experience a feeling of irritation, similar to a sunburn, as the numbing cream begins to wear off. 

The specialist can go back and forth between brows and may need to apply more numbing cream if you begin to experience pain. The discomfort you do feel should be manageable and not severe. You should talk to your brow specialist if you have too much feeling in the area. 

Tips and Tricks To Help With the Pain

There are several tips and tricks to make your procedure as relaxing and painless as possible. The numbing cream will obviously make the procedure more manageable, but there are other things you can do to help during and after the service. 

Play Soothing Music

You can listen to relaxing music during the procedure. Music will not only take your mind off of what's happening, but it can also drown out the scratching noise from the microblade. Ask your specialists if you can wear earbuds or play the music out loud in the room. 

Get Comfortable

Try to get as comfortable as possible in the procedure room. You want it to be a spa-like experience. 

Wear comfortable clothes that will keep you from getting cold. You also want to make sure what you will be laying on has soft padding so you can relax. All these little things will help calm you down and reduce your pain receptors. 


There are some medications or drugs you need to stop taking before microblading. For example, it's best not to take things like Aspirin, Advil, or Ibuprofen for 24 hours before the appointment. 

However, you can take anti-anxiety medication if you feel like that's the best thing to keep you calm. Most people don't need this, but if it helps with your peace of mind, by all means!

Avoid Waxing or Tweezing Before

You can also reduce discomfort and skin irritation by avoiding waxing or tweezing your brows for at least a few days before the procedure. These things can make your brow area more tender. 

Plus, your brow specialist can blend your brow design with your natural hair growth. You may remove hair outside the lines after the microblading procedure. However, you will want to stay away from waxing until your brows have totally healed. 

Microblading Risks

There are some risks involved in microblading that you should be aware of before the procedure. 

Inexperienced Microblader

When you've decided you want to get microbladed brows, you need to take your time finding the right place to get the procedure. This is a crucial step because you want someone with all the necessary training. Laws for microblading vary from state to state, and you want to find a licensed esthetician operating out of a nice, clean salon. 

Make sure you check for credentials before going to the first appointment. You want to look for a specialist that has accreditation from either the American Association of Micropigmentation or the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP). These organizations give the specialist credibility and proper training.

If you go to someone who doesn't know what they're doing, you open yourself up to potential risks. For example, they may go too deep, causing pain and scarring, and that's the last thing you want!

Allergic Reaction

It is possible to experience an allergic reaction to the pigment used. However, this is rare and is usually not something people need to worry about. If you think this is a possibility, the specialist can do an allergy test before the procedure. 


Microblading breaks through the top layer of skin, leaving you open to infection and disease transmission. You can get bacterial infections and even something as serious as HIV if the place you get it done at isn't a sterile environment. You want to make sure all the equipment being used has been disinfected before the procedure to avoid any infections. 

Microblading Alternatives

If you have a low pain tolerance and high anxiety and you're just not ready to take the microblading plunge, there are other options. You can still get fuller-looking brows with none of the pain or risks. 

Brow Pen

There are brow pens out there that can mimic the look of microblading, like the TatBrow Microblade Pen. This brow pen has a fork-like tip that allows you to draw on tiny brow hairs, just like microblading. However, you won't need any numbing cream! This pen is ideal for people with thinning eyebrows, and it can even help cover scars in the brow area. 

Brow Growth Serum

If you want fluffier brows and not just drawn on hairs, you can get a growth serum. Products like TatBrow's Brow Enhancement Serum can give you fuller brows in weeks. 

This serum is a great option for someone who has thin brows or suffers from hair loss. You apply the serum for 16 weeks, and it will slowly help your brow hairs grow. It may seem like nothing is happening at first, but give it a few weeks to see results. The enhancement serum can visibly restore your brows regardless of your age, gender, or health.

Uncomfortable but Not Painful

Microblading can cause some discomfort, but overall it is a painless procedure. As long as you go to an experienced specialist, you should have a positive experience. However, there are still risks, and there are other options available if you would rather play it safe. 



Does Microblading Hurt? What to Expect from the Procedure | Healthline

Microblading - Everything You Need To Know About The Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Treatment | Elle 

Microblading: Facts, costs, and risks | Medical News Today

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