Nano Brows vs Microblading - Key Differences

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on June 14, 2024

Find out all about the differences between nano brows vs microblading, but also what they have in common.

Among the many brow PMU treatments available nowadays, finding the right one for you can be a challenge.

First, decide if you want a makeup look or a more natural enhancement. If you’re after natural-looking hair stroke brows, you might consider machine hair strokes AKA nano brows or microblading.

Here’s a detailed comparison to help you decide which is right for you!

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Quick Facts:

Nano brows and microblading both give natural-looking eyebrows, but the choice mainly depends on your skin type and desired look. Here’s a breakdown of their characteristics to help you decide:

Machine Hair Strokes AKA Nano Brows:

  • Technique: Nano brows use a PMU machine to create fine, tapered strokes that resemble natural hairs.
  • Appearance: They provide a fluffier, more natural look, making them ideal for clients with little to no brow hairs.
  • Skin Suitability: Nano brows are more resilient on oilier skin and large pores because the strokes are less likely to blur. It is also gentler for mature skin, as the needle used in nano brows causes less trauma than the microblading blade.


  • Technique: Microblading uses a manual hand-held tool with a thin blade to make small cuts in the skin, depositing pigment to create strokes.
  • Appearance: It can achieve realistic results but typically offers less control over the pressure and motion, which can affect the consistency of the strokes.
  • Skin Suitability: This treatment is less suitable for oily skin or large pores, as pigment migration is more likely, and sebum production can affect the longevity of the results.

Consult a skilled artist for personalized advice based on your skin type and desired results.

Basic Info About Nano Brows and Microblading

Both nano brows and microblading are a form of cosmetic eyebrow tattooing. The principle in which they are done is characterized as hair stroke brows – a way to enhance the brows and give them volume by drawing on brow hair-like strokes.

The main difference is that microblading uses a manual tool, while nano brows are done with a PMU machine.


People often mix up the terms nanobrows and nanoblading, and we understand why. However, it’s simple: nanoblading is basically microblading but with a smaller blade.

So, unlike nanobrows, nanoblading isn’t performed with a PMU machine. Instead, it uses a manual tool with nanoneedles.

Differences Between Nano Brows Vs. Microblading

The main difference is that microblading uses a manual tool, while nano brows are done with a PMU machine. Let’s take a deeper look at nano brows vs microblading:


Nano brows are done with a PMU machine – some artists call this treatment digital hair stroke brows.

The PMU machine features an extremely fine needle which pierces the skin, depositing pigments in tiny dots that add up to strokes. The needle is very thin and enters the skin at a 90-degree angle, so it causes very little trauma to the skin.

Microblading uses a hand-held tool with a thin blade composed of 12-18 needles arranged in a row. This blade makes small cuts in the skin, where the pigment is then deposited. Although the microblading blade can be as thin as 0.18 mm or less, this technique generally allows for less precise control over pressure and motion.

Therefore, nano brows or machine hair strokes offer greater precision and control, often resulting in more consistent outcomes and less trauma to the skin.

Skin Trauma and Scabbing

There is less scabbing with machine brows than with microblading, and the possibility of scarring is lower since the machine offers maximum control and precision.

A skilled microblading artist knows how to avoid excessive trauma too, but since the blade is dragged through the skin and the impact area is larger, there’s usually more scabbing.


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Pain Level

Microblading may cause discomfort as the blades go over the skin, while machine brows may cause tingling, stinging, and vibrations.

Despite this, neither treatment should be painful due to the use of a topical anesthetic. Pain levels vary among individuals, but the sessions are relatively short and provide long-lasting perfect brows.


Both treatments are a form of permanent makeup, meaning their results last a long time, but do fade out eventually. How fast they’ll fade is individual and depends on many factors, such as:

  • Skin type
  • Body chemistry
  • Lifestyle

Still, here are the general timelines.

How Long Does Microblading Last?

Generally, the results of microblading last up to 18 months and can be prolonged with touch-ups and proper aftercare, which implies avoiding sunlight, exfoliation, and skincare products that contain particularly aggressive ingredients like retinol and acids.

Microblading also fades significantly faster on oily skin.

How Long Do Nano Brows Last?

Nano brows last from 1.5 to 2.5 years on average, so a bit longer than microblading. The reason for this is that machine application makes the strokes more resilient.

Oily skin will probably fade nano brows a bit faster than dry to normal skin, but not as quickly as with microblading. Nano brows are also more suitable for skin with large pores, as the precision of the application prevents pigment blurring.

Microblading vs Nano Brows: Which Is More Expensive?

Nano Brows are typically more expensive than Microblading, with an average cost of $660 compared to Microblading’s average of just under $600.

For more detailed price information, visit our Microblading and Nano Brows Cost Guide.


The healing process for both machine brows vs microblading is considered complete after about 6 weeks. At that point, a touch-up is booked.

Redness, scabbing, flaking, and itching might last slightly longer with microblading and be a bit more intense as there is more trauma to the skin. Generally, they should subside within 10 days for both treatments.

Oh, and you mustn’t touch your brows at any stage of healing.


The aftercare routine is the same for both. It involves cleaning your brows regularly, applying an aftercare ointment, avoiding makeup in the area, and staying away from the sun. You need to follow this routine for about 14 days after the treatment.


This guide is the result of 5+ years of studying and researching the permanent makeup industry. The information presented here is sourced from reputable professionals, including eyebrow technicians, and is supported by a range of credible medical references.



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