Microblading is a tattooing technique in which a small handheld tool made of several tiny needles is used to add semi-permanent pigment to the skin. Microblading differs from standard eyebrow tattooing because each hairstroke is created by hand producing a thin, natural-looking line that blends in with existing eyebrow hair, whereas eyebrow tattoos are done with a machine and needle, often producing thicker, less natural lines that tend to expand over time. Microblading is typically used on eyebrows to create, enhance or reshape the appearance of the eyebrows. It deposits pigment into upper region of the dermis, so it fades more rapidly than traditional tattooing techniques, which deposit pigment deeper. Microblading artists are not necessarily tattoo artists, and vice versa, because the techniques require different training.

Microblading is also sometimes called embroideryfeather touch or hair-like strokes.

The technique of implanting pigment after the creation of fine incisions in the skin may date back thousands of years, but the trend towards using the technique for eyebrows is thought to have emerged in Asia within the last 25 years. Little else is known about the history of microblading. It had become the most popular method of cosmetic eyebrow tattooing in Europe and the United States by 2015

This technique may be used to improve or create eyebrow definition, to cover gaps of lost hair, to extend the eyebrows, or to create a full reconstruction if the brows have little or no hair. Each microblading stroke is applied individually, allowing the technician to control the shape, color and density of the completed eyebrows.

Microblading artists begin each appointment by discussing their client's desired look and needs before measuring and sketching out the placement of the eyebrows. Measuring brow placement is a multi-step process that begins by determining the center of the face and the set of the client's eyes. The starting point, arch, and ending point are determined based on whether the eyes are normal, close-set, or wide-set. The artist sketches out the full brow with the appropriate thickness and arch height to give the client a good idea of what the finished brows will look like and set the outline for the microblading

When done by a properly trained artist, microblading is performed by placing pigment or ink into the dermis with the use of a hand tool with attached needles fused together in a curvilinear grouping. The same look can be achieved using a traditional permanent makeup machine, though this technique is called hairstroke. Just as with brow treatments which use a machine, the microblading technique involves drawing individual, crisp strokes that can be very natural looking. The needles used come in a variety of diameters so that the thickness of each individual hair stroke can be customized to each client depending on the width of their natural hairs.

Microblading is a form of cosmetic tattooing. Technicians usually use topical anesthetics to limit discomfort. Consequently, as with all forms of cosmetic tattooing, if performed correctly the procedure causes minimal discomfort.

Microblading, like all other tattoos, can fade depending on multiple factors (quality of pigment/ink used, UV exposure, elements found in skincare products, medications, etc.) but will never disappear completely. Tattooing is permanent, whether it is on the body or face. It is crucial for the client to research the experience and education level of the artist before having any work done.

Immediately after treatment, eyebrows will appear darker than expected, but will fade during the healing process over the next four weeks. The treatment is typically a two-step process:

  • The initial appointment includes consultation and initial application.
  • At the second appointment, a minimum of four weeks later, the strokes are refined and color is fine-tuned. The second application ensures that the micro-pigments are healing properly and responding well.

Microblading, although often marketed as semi-permanent, is permanent, like any other tattoo. Periodic color boosts are required to keep the color fresh.

Safety precautions for microblading are similar to those for any other tattooing technique. The most common complications and client dissatisfaction that results from any form of tattooing is misapplication of the pigment, pigment migration and color change. Serious complications are uncommon. Like with all forms of tattooing, risks associated with microblading include the transmission of blood-borne pathogenic organisms (e.g. HIV, hepatitis C), as well as short-term or long-terms reactions to pigment ingredients. Therefore, it is essential to check that the technician holds appropriate licenses and registrations for the provision of tattoo services, as well as inquire about the technician's standard of training.

There is not yet a standard for independent testing of microblading professionals. However, the Board of Microblading is being formed, complete with examination and requirements of training, a knowledge of the basics of sanitation, Bloodborne Pathogen Certificate, color theory, techniques, safe needles (such as the hygienic cartridge microblading needle with retractable "no stick" design"), and healed photographs of work completed. Members will be listed online for the public to refer to for qualification and location of a microblading professional near them.

Procedures performed by technicians who have completed a comprehensive course of instruction can minimize the risk of unwanted outcomes and client dissatisfaction.[12]

When the microblading procedure is being performed, the sneezing reflex is sometimes triggered in the patron. Like with eyebrow tweezing, sometimes the trigeminal nerve is stimulated to the point that the patron may want or need to sneeze. This nerve connects the face to the brain and transmits sensations between them. It has three branches; the one worth talking about here is the ophthalmic branch, which supplies nerves the to cornea and iris, the forehead, parts of the sinuses and the mucous membranes in the nose, and the skin of the eyelids, eyebrows and nose. Which basically means that when you microblade the eyebrow the nerve is being stimulated. Sometimes causing the person to jerk while the procedure is being performed.