The results of microblading have spent the better part of a decade making their rounds on social media. Perfectly filled brows, shaped to exact specifications to fit your face. Still, over time, new and sometimes better techniques have come to light. So what are the alternatives to the ever-popular microblading technique? We've done the research to show you alternatives to microbloading that will provide you with just as gorgeous results.
These alternatives to microblading all consist of various techniques, healing time, cost, and upkeep but can bring you closer to the perfect pair of brows:
- Brow lamination
- Ombre brows
Like a tattoo, microblading involves creating tiny incisions with needles that are then filled with pigment. The process takes time, money, and has its own risks. If you're looking for other options for your eyebrows, keep reading! We've compiled a list of options and discussed the process, time, longevity, and cost of each to help you decide what technique is perfect for you!
1. Brow Lamination
Lamination is the most popular alternative to microblading. Brow lamination uses your natural brows and straightens, lifts, and places them into the desired shape. This method doesn't involve needles or pigment, however, it does involve high-grade ingredients to make the brows more malleable and keep them straight.
Once lamination is complete, and your brows are looking shaped, thicker, and in place, you can opt to have your brows tinted. This process is perfect for those with unruly brow hairs that just need some taming.
Brow lamination can take up to an hour to complete. This can be a little longer if you choose to have tinting or other extras completed as well.
This technique leaves you with beautifully shaped brows for eight weeks when properly cared for. After the eight-week period, lamination will have to take place again to maintain the look.
With lamination, the aftercare is simple in that you only have to keep your brows dry for 24 hours and then keep them moisturized following that time. This technique has no downtime or side effects, which is why it's one of the most popular alternatives.
There are several factors that can influence the price of brow lamination. Location is one of those, as bigger cities tend to have higher prices. There is also the demand of the technician you choose and any extras, like tinting, you may want to add.
Overall, the low end of this process costs around $50, and the high end tends not to go over $150. Being one of the more affordable brow care aids in making this such a popular option.
Microshading is similar to microblading in that it involves needles adding pigment to the skin around your brows. However, where microblading creates hair stroke cuts to place pigment on the skin, microshading uses needle-like dots to add pigment.
The results resemble eyebrows that are filled in with shadow or a pencil. It's not as natural looking as microblading, whose hair strokes look just like brow hairs. This technique is used to fill and darken brows.
The microshading procedure takes two appointments to complete. During the first session, your face is measured, brows are drawn into the decided shape, and the color is selected. The first appointment takes about two hours to prepare and then complete the brows.
Your brows will fade to the correct shade over the course of four weeks, with the first five days being the darkest. After eight weeks you return for the second appointment. This session lasts around an hour and allows your brow tech to make any adjustments to your brows to ensure they are perfect.
Although you may need a touch-up every six to eight months, microshading lasts from one to three years, depending on your skin type and maintenance.
The most extensive care is going to last for a week after the procedure. Its recommended not to soak your brows when cleaning them and keep them moisturized (a moisturizer should be provided for you).
Much like a new tattoo, you also need to avoid picking at your brows, laying directly on them, and avoiding excessive sweating and eye makeup for that first week.
Since the procedure is similar to microblading, this alternative has a similar price. As mentioned before, there are factories that can attribute to the pricing. However, generally, you can expect to spend $800 to upwards of $2,000 for both microshading sessions.
Which is better, microblading or microshading?
These techniques aren't all that different in terms of process and cost. So this depends on the look you want to achieve for your eyebrows.
If you like the shape of your natural eyebrows and just want to add color and make them appear fuller, microshading can give you those results. But if you have thin and unshapely brows and need something more structured, fuller, and want hair-like strokes, microblading is a better option.
3. Ombre Brows
Ombre brows are basically microshading, just with a twist on the technique. These brows still mimic the use of powder or brow, only semi-permanent.
Ombre brows use the dotting method like microshading to deposit pigment on the skin. These brows, however, follow a color gradient. They start lighter at the front of the brows and then gradually get darker from the brow's arch to the tail.
The procedure time, aftercare, healing, and price are going to be similar to the microshading technique. There are also processes that can combine microblading and microshading or microblading and ombre brows to create your desired look.
Are Ombre brows permanent?
Ombre brows, like microblading and microshading, are semi-permanent. After the initial appointments, they will last one to three years with touch-ups every six to eight months.
What lasts longer, microblading or powder brows?
Due to the way the pigment is applied to the brow area, powder brows can last up to two years longer than microblading. This is because ombre or powder brows have heavier areas of pigment deposited in tiny dots. The hair strokes of microblading are thinner and can fade more quickly.
Either option is going to give you results that should last at least a couple of years with proper care and touch-ups.
Traditionally, henna is a very impressive dye created from the leaves of the henna plant. Its origins stretch back to the Pharaohs of Egypt and are generally known for their temporary tattoo-like uses in the West today. Henna has been used primarily for its dying abilities on skin, nails, clothes, and hair, which is why it's a less invasive alternative to microblading.
Henna is more closely related to tinting your eyebrows than microblading, but it's actually a handy tool before deciding on any of the semi-permanent or long-lasting options. Just as with the preparation steps of microblading and microshading, henna is applied after the face has been measured and the desired shape is drawn on.
This is where henna is a great start. Henna dyes the brows for up to six weeks and the skin around your brows for up to 10 days. The original results are darker and fuller brows that resemble microshading. After the dye on the skin fades, you have darker hairs mimicking microbladed brows.
Especially when you want to try out more dramatic or face-specific shapes, henna is a great place to start. Before you consider the tiny incisions of other procedures that can leave you with a new brow shape you hate for a long period of time, henna can give you an idea of what you are looking for before spending thousands of dollars.
What are the disadvantages of microblading?
It's okay if you are still considering microblading to the alternatives. The natural and semi-permanent results are amazing. But before calling your local brow expert and scheduling a microblading appointment, consider the cons that come with this beauty practice.
Risk of infection
As we discussed earlier, the process of microblading consists of creating tiny cuts into the skin around your eyebrow and depositing pigment into the skin. Does it sound a little dangerous? Absolutely. But is it truly that bad? Yes. Potentially, it really can be.
Anytime you have open wounds or cuts, you have a higher risk of infection. This is amplified when the process also calls for depositing pigment into the skin.
If you are susceptible to infections, don't care for your skin properly, or choose a salon with less than ideal health standards, you put yourself at risk of painful infections.
Microblading is done at the hands of a technician, and hopefully a trained one. But whether they have been thoroughly trained or not, user error exists, and it could happen during your appointment.
Even perfectly shaped brows tend to be the goal for those spending the time and money on microblading. But no one is perfect, including the highest sought-after brow techs. We recommend going in with realistic expectations. Your brows may be as close to perfect as a human can achieve, or they may not.
Properly Trained Technicians
As pricy as some brow procedures can be, being willing to spend a higher amount on things like microblading is going to be beneficial. Trained, highly rated, and experienced techs are going to cost more.
Skimping on the price can lead to disastrous and dangerous results. And with claims of courses and classes online that promise quick and easy microblading certification, there are lots of technicians who are not properly trained and will use lower costs to generate clientele.
This is when "you get what you pay for" is a super important phrase to remember. Improperly trained technicians can give you infections with unsterile equipment and leave you with misshapen and unsightly brows. Microblading takes time, research, and money to ensure you are getting the best, and safest, results.
Microblading provides stunning brow results justifying their staggering popularity. Still, it's a big commitment of a procedure, and it's important to know the alternatives you have for achieving beautiful brows that aren't microblading. Hopefully, this list has shed some light on the choices you have for gaining the perfect pair of brows and helps you make the best decision for yourself and your face!
Need more on microblading and eyebrows? Check out these posts to get all the info!