With so many eyebrow tattoo techniques, clients can get confused.
While microblading is already a well-known name in the permanent makeup industry, nanoblading is a term that may pop up here and there and make you wonder how it’s different from microblading.
So, let’s explain the difference between microblading and nanoblading and help you choose the right treatment.
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What Is the Difference Between Microblading and Nanoblading?
Microblading and nanoblading are very similar and the only difference is the tool, i.e. the blade that is used.
- Microblading is done with a microblade, which consists of 0.20 mm needles.
- Nanoblading is done with a finer blade, and the needles are thinner – between 0.15 and 0.18 mm in diameter.
What Are the Similarities?
Both microblading and nanoblading are a form of eyebrow tattooing. The blade is dipped into a PMU pigment, then dragged over the skin to create delicate incisions that will resemble hair strokes once they are healed.
The results are pretty similar but the nano strokes look more delicate since they are thinner. Therefore, it’s no wonder most microblading artists are switching to nano blades. They still call it microblading, though, to avoid confusion.
Image source: Instagram @elaine.micropigmentacao
Isn’t Nanoblading Done with a PMU Machine?
No. Even though some people use the term nanoblading for machine hair strokes, it leads to more confusion.
Machine hair strokes are done with a PMU machine with only one nanoneedle and they are known as nano brows.
If you want to learn more about nano brows, here’s our detailed Nano Brows guide.
Microblading vs Nanoblading Treatment
No matter which technique you choose, the process is the same. Here’s what the treatment looks like:
- Consultations – where you check with the artist whether you are a good candidate to have microblading or nanoblading and talk about the best shape and color of your eyebrows.
- Numbing (before or during the treatment)
- Mapping and outlining
- Blading (usually 2 passes) + pigment masks
- Aftercare tips
- Touch up after 4-6 weeks
Both nanoblading and microblading treatments last for about 2.5-3 hours.
Image source: Instagram @studiovanessamouraa
Nanoblading vs Microblading Pain Level
Now that you know the difference between microblading vs nanoblading, you might be wondering which treatment hurts more. The pain level is individual, but neither treatment should be unbearably painful.
You can feel slight discomfort and the scratching sensation can make you nervous, but it’s actually not much more painful than plucking your eyebrows.
For sensitive clients, a numbing cream can be applied before the treatment, but it’s also possible to skip this step and numb the eyebrows once the skin is opened, i.e. after the first pass.
The first pass is usually done more shallowly, and then the skin is numbed for the second pass.
Nanoblading vs Microblading Longevity
Since there are minor differences between these two procedures, you can expect the effects to last approximately the same. Both nanoblading and microblading average lifespan is 12-18 months, after which they will probably be noticeably faded and the touch-up is recommended.
Depending on your skin type and lifestyle, you can notice your eyebrow tattoo has faded sooner, and some people will have good-looking nanoblading or microblading for almost 2 years.
Image source: Instagram @studiovanessamouraa
Microblading vs Nanoblading Price
The price is usually the same for both microblading and nanoblading and the average price at the moment is somewhere around $600. Some artists will include the touch up in the price, while others charge for the touch up additionally.
Microblading vs Nanoblading Healing and Aftercare
There’s no major difference in terms of recovery and post-treatment care between nanoblading and microblading.
Eyebrows will go through the same stages of the healing process no matter which type of eyebrow tattoo you get. However, some artists say that nanoblading heals better, and that the scabbing is not that intense.
But it depends on different factors such as skin type and aftercare routine.
Here is the average timeline of the nanoblading or microblading healing process:
- Day 1-2: the eyebrows look too dark and the color is intense. Don’t worry, it will fade up to 40% as the brows heal.
- Days 3-5: scabs form and peel, some of the pigment falls off with them. Gaps may appear.
- Days 7-10: scabbing almost finished, the eyebrows can look too light and patchy.
- Days 10-14: the superficial part of the healing process is over but the brows are not healed yet.
- Days 28-42: eyebrows are healed and you can get your touch up.
Is There a Difference Between Nanoblading & Microblading Aftercare?
Not really. Aftercare is almost the same for any type of eyebrow tattoo. You should follow your artist’s advice and be careful around your eyebrows for at least 2 weeks.
Here are some basic rules of both microblading and nanoblading aftercare:
- Avoid getting your eyebrows soaking wet, sweating, steamy rooms and exercising for a couple of days after the treatment.
- Remove the excess lymph on the first day and clean your eyebrows regularly with a damp cotton pad during the aftercare period.
- Apply a healing ointment regularly if your eyebrow artist recommended it.
- Don’t pick the scabs and let them peel off on their own.
- Don’t use makeup and certain skincare products during the aftercare period.
Image source: Instagram @elidaplima
Is Nanoblading Better than Microblading?
According to clients who’ve tried them and artists who have experience with both techniques, yes, nanoblading is better than microblading. Since the blade is thinner, the strokes look more delicate, crisper, and thus more natural.
How Do I Know If My Artist Does Nanoblading or Microblading?
Now that you’ve found out all about microblading vs nanoblading and you’ve decided you want nanoblading for your eyebrows, you can ask your artist which blade they use.
It’s very likely they’ve already switched to nano blades, but still refer to the technique as microblading to avoid confusion.
Nanoblading vs Microblading – Main Takeaways
To sum up, there’s no big difference between nanoblading and microblading. It’s just the blade that’s thinner with nanoblading, and provides better and improved results. Nanoblading is actually a form of microblading, with a finer tool used. Permanent makeup artists have seen the advantages of a thinner blade and are switching to this improved technique more and more.