Nanoblading: the latest way to fuller, natural-looking brows

Nanoblading Do you have over-plucked or vanishing brows? Are you getting tired of penciling in your brows every morning? (Many women spend more time on their brows than any other part of their makeup routine.) If you would like brows that are ready to go the minute you get up, perhaps it’s time to consider nanoblading. If microblading wasn’t for you, nanoblading may be just your ticket.

For those who may not be familiar with microblading, it is a process where an esthetician carefully tattoos eyebrows onto your face. Microblading has been around a long time. Nanoblading is a newer, refined and improved version of microblading.

What is nanoblading?

Let’s be clear. Nanoblading is a more advanced version of microblading. In nanoblading, a skilled esthetician uses fine, flexible needles and advanced pigments for a more refined microblading process. Once done you can’t tell the difference between the tattooed hairs and your own. Even from very close up. That precision is ultimately what makes nanobladed brows look so natural.

Nanoblading (also called micro needling) uses ultra-sharp nano (fine) needles that can actually mimic the diameter and dimension of a real hair in the skin. Nanoblading is still considered tattooing but it’s done with a digital machine rather than a hand held, to achieve even more precise results.

What’s the difference between nanoblading and microblading?

Let’s compare nanoblading with microblading, a well-established process that has been around for a number of years. Keep in mind that your results will always depend upon the skill of your technician. That is why it is important to research thoroughly before you decide where to go.

Follow the process through the eyes of Leah on her Devoted to Pink site as she documents her nanoblading journey with a video at every stage of the process, even during the actual procedure at the Tracie Giles Salon in London.

How will I look?

Most technicians say that you’ll achieve a crisper, more natural result with nanoblading. “Microblading and nanoblading both offer fine hair strokes that look natural and true to life, but nanoblading provides further precision and accuracy because it uses tiny needles,” says Laura Kay of the Laura Kay London salon. When nanoblading is done by a skilled technician, it is very difficult to tell the difference between real hairs and those that are tattooed on.

How much will it cost?

The microblading process is less expensive than nanoblading. A typical microblading process costs $500-1000, while nanoblading runs from $600 to $1200 in North America. (Do not look for the least expensive option around; if you can’t afford the cost of a top technician, it’s better to continue penciling your brows. This is the not the time to choose savings over quality.)

The results of your microblading procedure will last between 12 to 18 months, while the results of a nanoblading can last far longer. Some technicians maintain that the results will last two to five years before you need a touch up. This is the result of advanced technique and improved color pigments.

How much time will it take?

Expect to spend at least two to three hours for a brow procedure using either microblading or nanoblading. According to the specialists at Brows & Co, “It’s important to see microblading and nano needling as an art form. Etching eyebrow hairs in one by one is not something that can, or should, be rushed.”

What can I expect?

After a patch test (at least 24 hours in advance) to ensure you aren’t allergic to the pigment, you’ll have a consultation to discuss eyebrow shape and color. After that, your chosen shape is drawn on top of your brows to see how it will actually look before the treatment begins.

You’ll need two sessions to complete the process. A second session is scheduled about four to eight weeks after the first. This session is for fine-tuning the results to achieve the finished look. There’s no cause for concern, however, as you’ll still be able to leave the first appointment with beautifully shaped brows that don’t look half-done. What you may notice is that your brows appear very dark and prominent at first. You’re also likely to experience some redness which can be a little disconcerting.

On average, your first appointment will run at least two hours. The follow-up will take less time (about an hour) as it will focus more on tweaking your style.

But does it hurt?

Some tolerate the pain well while others have a more difficult time. It truly depends on the individual. The fine, flexible needles used for a nanoblading treatment reportedly hurt less than the harder blades used in microblading. Either way, in most cases, an anesthetic cream is applied before the treatment. This makes the needles or blading feel more scratchy than painful. You can expect your skin to heal within 7-10 days.

How to find the right salon

If you decide that nanoblading is for you, follow these simple steps:

• Do your research. Study “before” and “after” pictures done by the practitioner you are considering. Read reviews. Interview your practitioner and make sure you like their manner and approach. If you feel rushed or you don’t feel your questions are being answered satisfactorily, find someone else. You can’t afford a mistake—your eyebrows are a focal point of your face.

• Insist on a consultation. Don’t let your technician suggest that you tack your consultation onto the front end of your appointment. You may feel pressured. This is a big step so take your time. You need to have all your questions answered and you need time to go away and let the information settle. You also need time to change your mind if this is what you decide to do. Some practitioners charge for a consultation but deduct the fee from subsequent services.

• Accept reality. If the practitioner you select after researching thoroughly advises that nanoblading is not for you, accept reality. Don’t go from practitioner to practitioner until you find someone who will do it. There are always those who want the business and are not concerned with the results. Once you select someone whose opinion you value, take their advice.

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