Nanoblading Eyebrows – Manual or Machine Technique?

By Emily M.| Last updated on October 24, 2022
What Is Nanoblading Eyebrows - Manual or Machine Technique?
⏱️ 4 min read

With the PMU industry evolving so fast, new treatments seem to be popping up all the time. At some point, nanoblading eyebrows became a very popular service many artists started offering.

It was advertised as a revolutionary PMU treatment, the new generation of microblading, and as microblading but better. Can’t believe it’s not microblading!

PMU is notorious for confusing treatment names and artists aren’t always on the same page when it comes to naming their services. So let’s try and explain what exactly nanoblading eyebrows is.

What Is Nanoblading Eyebrows?

A treatment that’s gained huge popularity in the past year or so, nanoblading is a form of permanent makeup for eyebrows that gives an enhancement which lasts up to 2 years without washing off or smudging.

A spin-off on microblading, nanoblading eyebrows means adding so-called strokes into the brow arches, between the natural hairs. They are made by depositing color in the form of PMU pigments into the surface layers of the skin. The strokes blend with natural hairs and give a very subtle but effective enhancement.

The results of nanoblading are very realistic, as the strokes made are extremely thin.

The term nanoblading brings to mind nano brows, a form of hair-stroke brows done with a PMU machine. And that’s where the confusion starts.

In the past, nanoblading and nano brows was used interchangeably as names of the machine strokes techniques. But now, the PMU community agrees it’s time to make a distinction and call a spade a spade.

So, nanoblading is a manual technique done just like microblading, but with 1 key difference.

What Is Nanoblading Eyebrows?Image source: Instagram @patriciachiconato,  @nanobrows_kawther_bahrain

Nanoblading – New Generation of Microblading

Some time ago, a new generation of microblading tools appeared on the market – an extremely thin blade, so much thinner than anything that was made before it could no longer be called “micro”. To illustrate the improvement, manufacturers branded it as a nano blade.

When artists started trying out this blade, they noticed that it enabled them to create strokes so thin they looked much more delicate than microblading with a thicker blade. They felt that the difference was significant enough to brand this service something different – nanoblading eyebrows.

So, according to the majority of artists, nanoblading is just microblading with a very thin blade.

Manual Nanoblading TechniqueImage source: Instagram @fernandafernandespmu

How Is It Different from Microblading?

The technique of manual nanoblading is exactly the same as with traditional microblading, and the pigments are deposited into the skin in the exact same way.

The difference lies in the thickness of the blade. While micro blades are usually 0.20+ mm thick, the thickness of the nano blade is around 0.15 mm (some manufacturers make them a bit thinner, some make them a bit thicker), and it comes in a U or a slant pin formation.

The strokes made with such a thin blade are very, well, thin. They look very fine and delicate, allowing for a hyper realistic, ultra precise look, with strokes spaced further apart, creating a particularly fluffy look.

The longevity of manual nanoblading is about the same as regular microblading – around 18 months for most clients. The advantage of thinner strokes is the minimal risk of blurring, since the precision of pigment implementation diminishes the chance of pigment migrations.

They will fade much faster from oily skin, though, just like traditional microblading.

Machine Nanoblading AKA Nano Brows

There’s still a portion of artists who offer nanoblading eyebrows but actually do digital hair strokes. They perform the treatment with a PMU machine, which has a needle that pierces the skin in tiny little dots that add up to a hair stroke.

Although it’s called nanoblading by some, there are no blades involved, it’s all machine work.

This service was actually established as nano brows, a term that should be favored, since everyone agrees on what nano brows are and there’s no confusion around them.

Machine Nanoblading Techique
Image source: Instagram @laurentaylor_ink

How Is It Different from Microblading?

The results of hair stroke eyebrows with a machine are similar to those of microblading, only more delicate and more realistic. Machine strokes are much thinner – they can even be thinner than those made with a nano blade.

Generally, machine work is gentler on the skin than blading, so nano brows are suitable for a wider clientele, particularly for mature and sensitive skin. It’s also more suitable for oily skin, since pigment implemented with a machine won’t be pushed out by sebum as quickly as those implemented with a blade.

The chance of blurring is much lower with machine strokes. They also tend to last longer.

Check out our guide for a more detailed description of nano brows vs microblading.


While doing manual nanoblading eyebrows requires no extra education if you’re already certified for microblading, machine strokes are a totally different treatment, and you need to be trained specifically in that. Some say nano brows are harder to do than manual blading, since you need to master working with a machine.

So, Which Is Better?

We can’t really give a straight answer, since both nanoblading eyebrows and nano brows have their advantages.

A definite plus for manual nanoblading is the fact that, if you have been trained in microblading, you don’t need extra training, since it’s the same exact technique. But machine work is suitable for more clients, so getting certified for it will enable you to accept all those clients who aren’t good candidates for microblading.

One thing we can all agree on, though, is that the PMU industry would definitely benefit from harmonizing the names of the treatments and making a clear distinction between nanoblading and nano brows is a step in the right direction.

Cover image source: Freepik



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