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The Lowdown on Microblading Versus Nanoblading

Make your eyebrow game Cara Delevingne-level strong.

It's almost 2022 and we've all heard of microblading. But have you heard of nanoblading? It's the latest eyebrow craze and we're all about it.

Created using a device and a single needle to mimic the look of realistic hair strokes and shading, nano brows are tailored to each individual. Whether it comes down to a desired brow shape, color or texture. Nanoblading, which can either help add density to existing brow hair or produce an entirely natural-looking set, actually implants pigment beneath the skin. It's also a great option for people with oily skin or who would like their previous brow tattoos color corrected or even covered up.

But let's back up a bit and discuss the OG, aka microblading, to truly understand the difference.

Image via Imaxtree

"Microblading is a form of cosmetic tattooing for the eyebrows," says Shaughnessy Otsuji, tattoo artist and founder of Studio Sashiko. "This technique is used to create the look of realistic hair strokes by implanting pigment beneath the skin using a handheld tool comprised of multiple needles. Microblading is a highly detailed procedure and can take two to three hours to complete."

She goes on to explain that topical anesthetics are typically used to help numb the brow area and provide comfort during the procedure. So much comfort in fact that she says that many of her clients fall asleep during the procedure. If you're thinking that this sounds pretty similar to nanoblading, there's more to the story.

"Nanoblading is a precise technique that has a similar result to microblading, but it's done using a digital device/tattoo machine and a single needle," says Otsuji. "This technique is suitable for all skin types, including those with thick, oily or scarred skin. A nano brow appointment requires more technical skill than microblading and can take two to four hours to complete. Zensa numbing cream is also used during this procedure to help keep clients relaxed and comfortable."

So which procedure should you opt for? Well, it depends on your skin type.

"Nanoblading is often more suitable for oily skin with larger pores and would be the preferred method for people who would like more natural, well-defined and long-lasting brows whereas microblading is ideal for those with normal, healthy skin and brows that might need minor enhancements to create a fuller appearance," explains Yvonne Chmielowiec, the owner of two The Lash Lounge locations in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Nanoblading does not involve blades and therefore has very minimal trauma to the skin, which is another reason it has become popular."

So how long do these procedures last? And how much do they cost?

Results will vary based on skin type and aftercare, but nano brows can last up to five years, according to Chmielowiec. (Proper aftercare includes avoiding sunlight exposure, exfoliation and skin care products containing retinol and other aggressive acids or ingredients.) "Microblading can last up to two years, but can be prolonged with touch-ups and proper aftercare. Microblading does tend to fade significantly faster for those with oily skin types."

As for the price, these services can range between $500 to $2,000 depending on the artist's experience, skill level, technique and location. "Nano brows can often be a bit more expensive than microblading due to this technique being highly skilled and taking longer to perform," says Otsuji.


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