Microblading is changing people’s lives - creating convenience, building confidence, and letting people sleep in longer in the morning - seriously. Having the opportunity to have a microblading procedure took 20 minutes off of my makeup routine every morning.
But with social media showcasing people’s airbrushed lives, artists and clients tend to showcase perfect, immediately after work, often leaving out the raw experience and the ups and downs that go along with the healing of permanent makeup.
Showing the results just immediately after a procedure is not the same as showing the entire process, and can leave client’s who get the procedure with A TON of questions about their healing process. The procedure itself is only about 10% of the true microblading experience, and the next 30-60 days after are the real deal.
So for anyone considering a procedure, and for artists who want to show their clients what they can expect during healing, below is the real experience of the healing process for the first month - the good, the bad, and the scabbing.
For a detailed look at my pre and post aftercare instructions as per Tina’s recommendation see our blog post on Prep & Aftercare and PMU Aftercare 101.
Here are my natural eyebrows - pre-microblading:
Day 1, you're excited! You get to go into your artist’s studio with patchy uneven brows, or no brows at all and voila, you come out with legitimate hair strokes that you want to show off to the world, literal #browgoals.
Before and Immediately After
They look textured, dense albeit a little bit red, but it’s a world of a difference, you feel like a changed person. Your brows are bold in color. If you aren’t used to filling them in a lot, they will look slightly more dramatic in appearance than normal, tender, slightly swollen, and you may even experience some slight bleeding. The day you get them done you may be in awe of your fresh set of brows.
If you’re used to filling them in and are used to bolder brows, you may be in love. If not, don’t panic. The permanent makeup has been applied to compensate for fading of 20-40%, so if they look darker than you normally wear your brows, stay calm, the color will fade over the next week.
You will try really hard not to sneeze, because of the multiple tiny paper cut-like wounds on your face, but I had mine done during allergy season, and there’s no avoiding it. Your brows will be reddish, still quite tender, and maybe even a little bit thicker in texture than the day before. You may really notice the difference in your brows and feel like people are looking at them, but chances are you’re more self-conscious about it rather than people noticing them being darker than normal.
At this point, I really loved the way that they looked and was super happy with them. I could still see every hair stroke that was made and the redness for me had subsided a lot. They had not started to form hard thick scabs yet. Day 2 was pretty easy.
By Day 3, you shouldn’t notice a huge difference from the previous two days, if anything, the pain and tenderness will start to subside, and the brows will get slightly dark or thicker, but nothing major. At this point, you’ll probably be loving the convenience of getting up and having instant brows without the hassle of having to create them yourself. You’ll likely find yourself daydreaming about beach days with completely waterproof brows, but don’t act on this at LEAST until day 10!
Day 5 is when things start to change. This can be the turning point in the healing process, where your brows are getting itchy and it is advised to NOT scratch them, as the wound may still be open. A thick layer of scabbing may form, and the fine hair-strokes that were created may be hidden. You may feel like you want to start panicking. RESIST the urge to blow up your artist’s phone firing off questions and accusations alike. You have a wound on your face, therefore your body is trying to repair itself, hence the scabbing. It’s all a part of the healing process, and if you’ve had any other kind of tattoos in the past, it heals very similarly.
Just know that this is totally normal and even if it doesn’t look pretty, you shouldn’t worry, they’re going to be #browgoals again in no time.
This is the scary time period when the serious scabbing will start, and begin to peel away from the skin. If you’re anything like me - you will be extremely tempted to pick or peel the scabs. Don’t give in to this temptation, it could affect your healing very negatively. If you pick it, you could lose pigment that was deposited into the skin and could end up with a holey, patchy eyebrow. By gently rinsing the area regularly the scabs will slowly start to fall off - when they’re ready. This phase is definitely the hardest of the process. As a client looking on social media, I haven’t seen anyone talk about or show this side of the microblading healing process. All we see is perfectly fresh strokes, but scabbing? Who knew your entire eyebrow would shed and go through this transformation? It’s so important for clients to know and truly understand the whole process, and really be assured by their artist that what they experience is perfectly normal, and necessary for their eyebrows to heal properly.
At the end, they will have the brows they always wanted.
Your scabs will probably be all flaked off or flaking off on their own by this point and you’ll start to see the light at the end of the healing tunnel. But because the skin has not completely mended itself back together, there may still be some cause for concern. The color during these days may seem way too light or even grey and missing in spots. You might feel like your skin didn’t take the pigment, but that’s not the case. They’ll almost look like you’ve filled them in with a powder, so again just remain as calm as possible and begin to start enjoying the fact that your eyebrows are done for you every morning. It’s important to note that at this stage, the wounds should be closed so if you’re feeling self-conscious about the light look of them, you are able to apply some makeup to fill in for the time being.
Healing is almost complete! YAY! You’re almost there.
The color and definition of the hair-strokes will return at this point. The color is beginning to even out and look more natural and brow-like. People you tell about the procedure won’t even believe that it’s a tattoo. It’s truly amazing. You’ll be settling into your new shortened makeup routine - oh and those waterproof brow beach days? AMAZING!
Guess what? Your healing process is complete! Your skin is completely healed and color is looking great. They should look soft and natural. This is the point where you’ll be able to tell if there is anything you want to add or change, there could be a couple spots from loss of pigment, which is all dependent on how well your skin took the pigment, but this is OKAY because your follow-up appointment should be just around the corner!
All in all my experience with microblading was amazing! Through the ups and downs of the healing process, I was always assured that everything happening was normal, and was guided on how to take proper care to ensure the best results!
Hopefully, this guide to a typical healing experience is helpful to artists looking to give client's an in-depth look at what they can expect!
You can watch my full experience below:
Touch Up: Tina recommends that a client does not come back for a follow-up microblading procedure until the skin is fully healed, and suggests 3 months after their initial procedure as the optimal time to come back for their follow-up!
Are you waiting for your touch-up appointment and need something to give you a bit more definition until then? Check out how you can use the Pro-Pencil or Skinny Pencil to touch up your brows in the meantime, here.
Fast forward 2 years and here are my results. Flawless!
Loved what you read and want to see more Healing Day by Day experiences?
Check out our other blog posts below:
Had my 2nd touch up. I was glad as I had lost some pigment and had patches. My fault as I didn’t follow aftercare, very important. So I was committed on my touch up. This time anasthetic took too long to kick in, it was a bit painful and there was more blood spotting. At first my brows looked so dark, I’m blond so it freaked me out. Day 3 and omg that itching was so intense and uncomfortable. I had to lightly tap brows with a cotton pad to relieve the itch. No rubbing or scrubbing. The itching for me is the worst part. Day 4 and I can see all the scabbing, Day five and it looked very flakey, some flakes were hanging by a tiny bit and looked horrible so I gently lightly brushed my brows with a very soft new tooth brush, no scrubbing the skin. Just brushing my own brow hair, this helped remove scabs that were stuck on my hair. NOT my skin. This was great and removing unsightly flakes adhered only to brow hair it looked so much better and relieved itching.
Day 8 feeling much better colour is lighter, still a few scabs but I’m patient enough not to pick and ruin the pigment forming in the hair strokes,
All during the process I was careful not to get my brows wet. I wore a shower cap in the shower and pulled it over my eyebrows. I was pleased with my shower hack.
I think that I will have a great result and I’ve realised the aftercare importance. Loving the shape and look. Not a lot of patching so feeling pretty pleased,😊
Day 4. Freaking out, itchy …..that’s what made me look for this informative piece. The shade looks dark, glad to hear it will tune down abit. Mine doesn’t look thick, it me see how it goes anyway. They say trust the process …..
Wish I would have read this earlier. I went to salon today to get it done. Got in my car and freaked because it looked like someone took a sharpie marker to my face. I got home and took a wet rag to it and nothing came off. I then exfoliated my face and brows to get it off. Still nothing. Now I’m reading this post hoping my face gets back to normal soon. And I hope I didn’t mess anything up. Oops!!
This is by far THE BEST article that I’ve found on the healing process and has helped me stay calm and understand what to expect. Also, your brows are fabulous!!
THANK YOU TINA!!
I am in day 6 ad they’ve faded so much that I’m worried I’ve spent a fortune on this!!! The scans are almost healed and after reading that the color will “reappear” soon keeps me hopeful. Does that really happen? I mean does the color actually now reappear and darken? I sure hope so as I am used to a bold brow and right now they’re a very very light almost reddish so it really clashes with my dark hair!! I am hoping you all are correct and that the color will reappear soon!!!!!
Hi, I’m on day 6. I have very blonde hair and now look like a drag queen. They have just started to scab so really hoping it gets lighter. Love shape but the colour makes me look like a crazy angry bird. Thankyou for article. I’m in Australia and had no pain what so ever from numbing cream.
Well I made it to day 15! I was just admiring my brows (for the first time). I was so nervous how they looked until today. I am finally seeing some color coming back and some of the hair strokes reappearing. If I had done more research I may not have done this…but as of today I definitely would. Trust the process. That’s my best advice.
Thank you for the picture experience. My story is a little different I got mine done about 3 days ago and I am already patching & mine has lighting up and thinning out. I’m not going to lie I am freaking out because I’m only on day 3 and I’ve already started flaking and patching. I hope it’s going to work out. I’d be really sad if it doesn’t because right now I’m feeling my process is going faster than everyone else’s .
Thank god for this post I can relax a bit now… Today is my second day and I want to cry! my eyebrows look so thick and dark that I feel I made a mistake…I’m literally Bert from Sesame street right now… I know is a process is just I didn’t expect this…
My daughter is a stylist and JUST added microblading to her menu of treatments available…I volunteered to be her first customer. I woke up day 2 and had a mini stroke, day 3 they looked better, day 4 OMG did they look better, day 5 I had rock star eyebrows and sent pics to all my friends who are now lining up to get their’s done! I’m in the scab/flake time now on day 6 but I’m not worried. Thanks for this article…I’m going to send the link to my daughter so she can show her clients.
I had my eyebrows microbladed 4 says ago. They are really dark and a little itchy today, but no scabbing or flakes present. I am trusting the process….
I just had mine done today and it’s so dark! It’s an angry bird like dark and bulky, but the artist said that it will look very natural and pretty once it’s healed because it matches my eyes and face shape. I had it for a discounted price so I am a bit worried if I made the right decision. Hahaha Anyways, I sooo excited for Day 30! My eyebrows are essentially non-existent so this will definitely save me time prepapring my eyebrows every morning. Thanks for this article!
Thank you for all this info!! I’m on day 5 and thank god I’ve been working from home. Because when I first saw my brows I wanted to cry! This info really does help to understand the process. I can’t wait until this is over and finally not hide from people!!
Okay guys got my brows done today and wanted to crawl in hole. Got unexpectantly called into work. Felt like everyone was looking crazy at me…I feel like I look like I have two tarantula legs for eyebrows ( I’m blonnnnde) ugh! Freaked out…what have I done?!? Lol until I read this post.. y’all definitely calmed my fears… I just need to chill and be patient. Whew… thanks
I had mine done 14 days ago! So painful! After several applications of numbing meds it was clear I am immune to it. I endured the whole process, every stroke with nothing. A doctor was in the salon and asked me questions… like did your epidurals work when you had children… no they didn’t. He says natural redhead gene makes you immune to anesthesia!! What?! Mind blown! I’m blonde btw. My brows look … if you want to call them that very light. I’m hoping all my pain wasn’t for nothing!!! Please come back to me BROWS!
Thank you for sharing you experience. I’m on Day 4, I didn’t know what to expect after the procedure. Your information give me hope. I’m so nervous about. Thank you again.
Thankyou for this day by day information! Its perfect to help us all understand what is going to happen. I had mine done for the 2nd time a week ago after the First artist really messed them up and they were uneven, I was so upset! Thankfully I found this new artist and she fixed everything I’m so happy with the shape and color now! The healing is exactly like it says here, not too much itching but they did peel a little I’m still very happy it took off 25min of makeup time and its so nice to wake up with pretty brows! Thankyou 😊!
My brows were done today. And I feel super nervous and bad when I look at them in the mirror I don’t know what I should expect I can’t stop crying. I feel like I ruined my whole face. Hope that it will be better during the process
I was very nervous about having microblading… As it is a commitment and once it’s done… It’s done!
Once I made the choice I could not have gotten luckier with an amazing, experienced artist who was very understanding about my concerns and walked me through the process step by step! I am so unbelievably happy with the results and so very grateful to Sarah!!
Thank you so much for this article and to all the women’s comments! They have been so helpful- I’m on Day 2 and I was near freaking out yesterday. My eye brows are so dark and huge! They look a little boxy on the insides and hoping they’ll soften. Reading everyone’s posts have cracked me up and given me hope- I totally agree that I look like an Angry Bird!! but now I have hope and I’m excited to see how beautiful they’ll look like in a few weeks! Thank you, fellow eye brow warriors!!
I’m so happy I found this! I’m on day 3 and the itching has began. It’s taking everything in me not to scratch.
Thank you so much for this article. This is exactly how the healing process has happened for me. No one tells you about Day 5-10 really. I was only told about the initial darkness but not about the pigment coming back. Phew.
Day 2 here, I am so glad I found this article! It explains so much and the photos helped me so much. I didn’t feel any pain because my artist used lidocaine before she started and another application of it during the process. But I did get a really bad headache 5 hours after I left her salon. It was almost like a mild migraine. She matched my dark auburn hair color so I’m not use to them having a reddish tint. I woke up this morning and was like oh sh*t, what have I done! But I’m trusting my artist and the process because I know I’m going to have brows that are beautiful. Thank you so much for the article!!
Thanks for posting this. I did something kind of crazy. I did them myself. The shape is good but they are so dark!…which I think is to be expected on day 2. I think I did more a shading technique than drawing hairs but I already had a good amount of hairs in my brows. I have been using my red light mask to speed up the healing process. I think I will go in another millimeter or two on my left brow. But I am just waiting for these to lighten up. :) My brows were pretty full before and had a shape but a little sparse towards the middle. Also my darker brows are making me look more ethnic which I actually like :) I am half mexican but usually I look a bit white. But I am honestly glad they will lighten because dark brows are a bit bold for me.
Just had it done today. They’re a bit dark so I don’t know if I’ll ask for recolor when I go back. I really hope they lighten a bit. But I guess I’ll see. My artist said they will absolutely lighten so I trust her judgement. Everyone says they look great but I’m still getting used to them. I don’t wear makeup, but was tired of not having full eyebrows.