What to Do When Microblading Fails? Fixes for Unsuccessful Microblading

By Emily M.| Last updated on March 30, 2022
microblading fails
⏱️ 5 min read

When microblading goes right, it’s a real dream come true. You get the brows you’ve always wanted and they’ll last you up to a year and a half, or perhaps even longer, without smudging.

But unfortunately, there are cases where it can go wrong, or it just doesn’t work. When this happens, there’s obviously a lot of disappointment and frustration involved. But the silver lining is, most of the cases can be fixed.

Let’s go through the scenarios of microblading not working out, and explore what you can do when microblading fails.

How Come Microblading Fails Sometimes?

To understand what could potentially go wrong with microblading, we have to look into how the treatment is done.

Microblading is a form of permanent makeup which is done by creating incisions in the shape of eyebrow hairs in the brow arches and filling them with pigment in the color that best mimics the properties of your actual brows (if you have any).

The strokes have to be done in just the right way to make sure they look as realistic as possible when healed, and to ensure there’s no damage to the skin. The pigments have to be chosen carefully, taking into account the skin tone and undertone.

As the treatment involves breaking the surface of the skin, it has to be done in sterile conditions and following all health and safety protocols. But the caution doesn’t end there.

The period after the treatment can determine the success of microblading just as much as the treatment itself. The client has to commit to a strict aftercare routine if they want their brows to heal properly and attractively.

So it’s quite an elaborate procedure, and things can go wrong at any step of the process. Let’s see exactly how microblading fails sometimes, and what you can do about it:

Everything Went Fine, But You Just Don’t Like Your Brows

The artist can do everything right in terms of technique and your brows may heal without complications. Your brows may look relatively good and you may even get compliments on them. But if you yourself don’t like the end result, microblading fails you.

What Can I Do About It?

This is the least serious of the ways in which microblading can go wrong – although it is annoying, it can be fixed relatively easily:

  • If you feel your brows are too thin, more strokes can be added at the 6-8 week touch up.
  • If you feel they are too thick, wait for a few weeks – they’ll shrink a bit as they heal, and you’ll give yourself time to get used to them. Oftentimes, clients are just going through brow shock and end up loving their bold microblading by week 6.
  • If your brows are uneven, they can most likely be corrected at the touch up.

The first step here is to give yourself and your brows time. After microblading, the strokes look much darker than their true shade because of pigment oxidation, and they can look wider because of built-up lymph and blood. As they go through the healing process, they’ll lighten about 40% and they’ll shrink in size a bit.

There’s also the psychological aspect to it: if you’re used to your brows looking a certain way, microblading can be a huge change and you’ll need time to get used to it.

If you decide you absolutely hate your microblading and there’s no getting used to it, try correcting it with a brow pencil and wait it out – it’ll fade within 2 years. Or, you can get removal, but we don’t recommend this if the situation isn’t completely catastrophic.

you don't like your eyebrowsImage source: Freepik

Your Brows Healed Properly, But They Look Bad

Unfortunately, with microblading regulations not being standardized and as strict as they should be in some places, there are many untrained, under-experienced artists performing treatments and leaving people with just awful brows.

Prevention is the best medicine, so you should be careful who you trust with your brows. If the artist seems underqualified and if their portfolio seems suspicious, find someone else.

Don’t be seduced by low prices – permanent makeup is an investment, and it’s your face we’re talking about, so fishing for bargains is just not worth it. Find someone who charges about the average.

What Can I Do About It?

Unfortunately, if your brows are beyond correction and you can’t live with them until they fade away, your only option is removal.

There are 3 techniques of microblading removal that have been proven safe and effective:

These removal techniques do work, but they take a lot of time and money. You cannot get rid of all the pigment in 1 go, so you will have to get sessions every few weeks until it’s gone. Each session is charged separately (around $200), so the bills can pile up.

microblading removal when microblading fails Image source: Instagram @dermaluxespa

The Pigment Disappeared

Sometimes, clients leave the salon loving their freshly done brows. But a week later, they wake up and their microblading is gone! They panic-text their artist wondering what in the world happened, and the artist explains that they’re just going through the ghosting stage and that the pigment will reappear once everything heals.

Now there are 2 scenarios here.

  • The pigment does reappear and your brows look great once they heal. You’re over the moon!
  • The pigment doesn’t reappear.

What Can I Do About It?

If the pigment in your brows doesn’t reappear after the ghosting stage, there are 2 possible causes. Either the artist didn’t go deep enough with the blade and the pigment was exfoliated out with the skin’s natural cycle, or your body has simply refused the pigment.

Go to your touch up and have the artist repeat the treatment, or go to another artist whose technique is better.

If the pigment disappears again, it’s possible your body chemistry just doesn’t accept pigments. In this case, microblading fails completely. This is very rare, but it can happen.

6 week Microblading pigment process Image source: Instagram @habitbeautybar

You’ve Developed an Infection

Skin healing starts the moment the treatment is over, and the first 2 weeks afterward are crucial. During this time, the open wound will close up through scabbing, and they’re susceptible to contamination and subsequent infection until they do.

Some symptoms are normal and expected during healing, others are not.

What’s normal?

  • Days 1-2: tenderness, redness, some swelling, lymph oozing.
  • Days 3-7: thin filmy scabbing, itching, then peeling and flaking.

What’s not normal?

  • If any of these symptoms are prolonged significantly.
  • If you feel extreme itching, burning, pain.
  • Any type of rash in the area.
  • Fever.

What Can I Do About It?

The problematic symptoms listed can point to infection (or an allergic reaction). Contact your artist and visit a dermatologist as soon as possiblethe further the infection develops, the harder it will be to treat it.

Final Word

As we’ve already mentioned, prevention is the best cure. To minimize the risk of any of the mentioned complications, make sure you find a trained, certified, and licensed artist who knows what they’re doing. Things can still go awry, but the odds that microblading fails are much lower.

Cover image source: Freepik



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