Does Microblading Hurt? Here’s What the Treatment Feels Like

Does Microblading Hurt? Here’s What the Treatment Feels Like
⏱️ 4 min read

When clients who are still researching microblading hear that it’s actually a form of tattoo, they may get worried about the pain, as body art is notoriously painful. Although it’s a relatively short procedure, with the average session lasting up to 2 hours, some clients may still be reluctant to go through with it.

So the most common question artists get from clients is – does microblading hurt? To ensure all potential clients who don’t like the idea of sharp objects anywhere near their face that it’s really not that bad, PMUHub explains what the treatment feels like.

How Is the Treatment Done?

Microblading is a manual technique, which means it’s done with a hand-held tool. The tool looks kind of like a pen with a blade on top. The blade is made up of several needles which have very thin points – in fact, the edge of the blade is only slightly thicker than a strand of brow hair.

The blade is dragged through the skin, and the incisions made imitate the length and thickness of brow hairs. They are filled with pigments, and once they heal, they look indistinguishable from actual hairs.

How Is It Different from Traditional Tattooing?

The main difference is the fact that microblading is done with a blade, while body tattoos are done with a tattoo gun. 

With both microblading and the traditional tattooing, the color is implemented in the second layer of the skin, the dermis, but the difference is that the traditional tattoos use ink, while microblading is done with pigments, which fade faster. 

For more information on the differences between microblading and tattooing, read this article.

PMU Implementation Depth in the Skin

Does Microblading Hurt?

Okay, let’s start with a disclaimer – every person has a different pain threshold and a different definition of pain.

Generally, no, microblading isn’t exactly painful.

But the majority of microblading clients answer the question of does microblading hurt with a hard no. They report discomfort, but most wouldn’t call it pain.

Microblading is done with a local, topical anesthetic that numbs the pain.

What Does It Feel Like Then?

Although microblading doesn’t really hurt, it is uncomfortable. The definition of discomfort, though, varies from client to client.

Clients describe the sensation as:

  • Scratching
  • Tingling
  • Stinging
  • Pinching
  • Pressure
  • The feeling of tweezing or waxing your brows
  • The tightness of a sunburn

The most common complaint is the stinging, but this has nothing to do with the blade. It’s actually the pigments’ fault. Most formulas contain at least some alcohol, and when they come in contact with broken skin, stinging is inevitable and numbing doesn’t really eliminate it.

A curious sensation some clients report is the urge to sneeze! If you do feel like sneezing at some point, warn your artist so they can move the blade away from your face.

There’s also a not-so-cute complaint of hearing the blade scratching your skin, but most artists play music at their salon and don’t work in total silence.

Does the Anesthetic Eliminate the Pain Entirely?

Topical anesthetics come in stronger and weaker formulas, and obviously, everyone reacts differently to numbing.

However, artists use tricks to ensure maximum effects. They may exfoliate the area very lightly before applying the cream, or wrap the area in plastic to maximize absorption. That way, the effects of numbing last longer.

Another thing they do that eases the procedure is start slow. They’ll do the first pass lightly so you get used to the sensation and gradually increase the pressure.

Does the Anesthetic Eliminate the Pain Entirely?Image source: Instagram Screenshot @exceptionalbrows

Does Microblading Hurt Without Anesthesia?

Believe it or not, some clients can get through the treatment without any numbing. They compare the pain level to that of a paper cut.

Or, they let the artist do the outline (the strokes at the edges of the brows) without numbing, as the cream can erase the outline drawn with marker and make the job harder. Of course, no artist will force you sit through the outline if it’s too painful, but it could speed up the procedure.

Whether or not microblading hurts without numbing depends entirely on the sensitivity of your skin and your general pain tolerance. Still, if numbing is available, why not take advantage of it?

Does Microblading Hurt After the Treatment?

Once the treatment is done and the numbing wears off, your brows could feel tender to the touch for the rest of the day. It’s nothing unbearable, though – clients claim it feels like a sunburn.

Does Microblading Hurt During My Period?

During those days of the month, hormone shifts can make the skin more sensitive. So, yes, it’s possible that microblading feels more uncomfortable during your period, so don’t book your treatment during that time, if possible.

Does Microblading Hurt More than a Body Tattoo?


As we’ve explained, microblading doesn’t go as deep into the skin as traditional body tattoos, so it hurts less. Plus, traditional tattooing usually doesn’t use any numbing.

So for clients who have tattoos on their body microblading will be a piece of cake.

But What If I Do Feel Pain During the Treatment?

Tell your artist!

Even though some discomfort is inevitable, you don’t have to sit there and take it if it feels painful. If the numbing wears off at some point during the procedure, let your artist know. They can take a short break and apply more anesthesia (but a different product, though). It will work faster and the effects will be more intense, since the skin is broken.

For more information on microblading, visit our detailed Microblading Guide.

Cover image source: Freepik



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