Read our guide through the microshading healing process to find out what to expect physically, mentally and emotionally.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2020. Updated October 2021.
Microshading is one of the most popular eyebrow tattoo styles at the moment. There are 2 versions: enhancing your natural brows with a bit of manual or machine shading, or combining the strokes of microblading with some shading and getting the so-called combo brow.
If you’re considering getting a microshading treatment, you should know that the full effect can’t be achieved overnight. Your eyebrows will have to go through a microshading healing process.
It can be emotionally challenging, so keep reading to learn what microshading healing stages day by day you can expect and prepare yourself mentally.
Microshading is a type of cosmetic eyebrow tattoo, so it implies having the surface of your skin broken with a manual tool or a machine (or both), and depositing pigments into it. This creates trauma to the skin and, however tiny, the wounds need to close up.
The period of skin recovery is called the microshading healing process, and it implies 2 weeks of surface healing, and another 4 weeks of invisible, internal tissue recovery and pigment settling.
As soon as the treatment is over, your skin starts a recovery cycle that implies scabs forming over the treated area, and a peeling period during which they fall off. During this time, your brows need some special attention in order to heal properly, so you need to follow an aftercare routine.
First off, we have to note that you’ll need to follow an aftercare routine in order to make sure your brows heal properly and to prevent an infection. So be prepared to pay some special attention to your brows.
The first thing you need to know is that you can’t know if your microshading was successful immediately after the treatment. At first, your eyebrows might look like a block of color. The color will probably be too dark, then too light.
Also, bear in mind that everybody heals differently. It depends on your skin type. The color does not retain well with everybody. However, all the gaps and imperfections can be fixed at the first touch up appointment.
When it comes to how your body will react to the pigments, you can expect to go through several stages during the first 2 weeks after the treatment, mainly swelling and irritation, and then scabbing.
Your eyebrows will go through several phases during the microshading healing process and not all of them are very pleasant nor attractive. Usually, there are 6 microshading healing stages::
The microshading healing process is not the same for everyone. Some people will experience more scabbing and redness than others. It depends on the sensitivity of the skin.
Bear in mind that all these stages are normal!
But if you experience extreme scabbing, irritation past day 3 or 4, pus or a fever, contact your artist. You may be dealing with an infection.
We guide you through the microshading healing stages day by day.
The treated area is swollen, red, and tender. The wounds haven’t closed up yet, so the area can get infected easily and you mustn’t touch it.
The color looks darker than you may have wanted it, and the brows look like a block of color. Be patient, this is not the final form.
The color is starting to fade and you are getting used to your new brows.
A scabby film has formed over the treated area, and it’s probably itchy. Apply the aftercare ointment to relieve the itchiness.
The peeling starts.
The scabs start falling off in flakes. The area won’t look too attractive, but you have to remember not to touch, pull or rip off the scabs. You’ll pull out the pigments with them and your brows will heal very patchy.
This is the most difficult microshading healing stage to deal with. You have to be disciplined and patient.
Some scabbing is normal, but if you experience extensive scabbing, contact your microshading artist immediately.
The eyebrows are probably lighter than you expected and uneven.
This is normal – your brows are going through a ghosting stage. They appear too light because your skin forms new layers over the pigment.
You may experience another round of peeling. Keep up the aftercare routine.
The peeling is expected to end around day 14, and when it does, you don’t have to follow the aftercare routine anymore.
You can start wearing makeup again and you don’t have to be that careful anymore. It’s advisable to keep avoiding sunlight exposure, though. Wear SPF when you’re outside.
Over the next few weeks, the color of your brows will darken a bit.
You may notice some lighter patches or asymmetry. Don’t worry, this is expected and it will be fixed at the touch up.
Internal healing takes about 6 weeks, so that’s how long you need to wait before booking a touch up.
After you get your touch up, you’ll go through another cycle of microshading healing process, but much less intense, since less needling is done.
Once that ends, your brows take their final shape and color. Congrats, you’ve made it!
Image source: Instagram @beautydetailsnorway
Your artist will prescribe an aftercare routine you need to follow during the microshading healing process. It’s quite simple:
Apart from that, there are some things you need to avoid until day 14:
It’s very important to get informed about what you can expect during microshading healing so you can prepare yourself mentally, but also to be able to tell if anything is going wrong.
You don’t want to appear on a special occasion with swollen or patchy eyebrows. You also don’t want to go on a holiday and have to stress about keeping your brows dry. So, plan your brows treatment at least 2 months before any big event.
PMUHub Note: PMU treatments may hurt more during your menstrual cycle. If possible, avoid booking treatments during that time of the month.
Try not to check your brows every 5 minutes. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t get your dream brows overnight.
If you feel like your scabbing, redness or irritation is excessive, send your artist a picture and let them assess the situation. They should make themselves available for such consults.
Image source: Instagram @browsby.mehrnoush
Microshading healing process requires just a little bit of patience. Listen to your microshading artist’s advice, don’t pick the scabs, don’t freak out and don’t get annoyed easily. We’ve described the stages and the general timeline, but your microshading healing may take longer or shorter than that. If you experience symptoms that seem more extreme than normal, contact your artist and let them assess the situation.