After a microblading appointment, your brows have to go through a recovery period – the pigments need to settle into the skin, and the incisions need to close up over them. This whole process lasts about 6 weeks, and only then can the brows be considered completely healed. But your brows go through a series of changes during the first 2 weeks after the appointment.
First, they’re too dark, then they scab and flake, and after that, your microblading may look so light it’s almost gone! Don’t worry, the color comes back and the so-called ghosting stage is a normal part of the process. But what lies behind it? Why does microblading disappear during healing?
This question still puzzles clients and some artists alike. So, let’s answer it.
At What Point Does Microblading Disappear During Healing?
The ghosting stage of microblading can be expected to start around day 9 or 10 after your appointment. After your brows stop peeling, the flakes that fall off will reveal light strokes.
How light depends on the color of the pigment, so if lighter pigments were used, they may be almost invisible.
They’ll gradually darken back up over the next couple of weeks, but only around week 6 will you be able to see the actual shade of your microblading strokes.
The timeline of the healing stages may vary from client to client.
Why Does Microblading Disappear During Healing Process?
Microblading disappears during the healing process due to the skin recovery mechanism.
Microblading strokes heal like any other skin cut:
- a scab forms over the cut to make a temporary barrier and keep out foreign matter;
- the skin on the edges of the cut thicken;
- skin cells start reproducing at high velocity;
- eventually, a stretch of new skin grows over the cut and the scabs fall off.
The new skin has a different tone from “old” skin. It’s pinkish and much lighter than its surroundings, partially because it hasn’t been exposed to sunlight yet. Over time, it blends in.
The light skin acts as a veil over the pigments, so the pigments look lighter.
There’s another factor that contributes to microblading temporarily disappearing – some of the pigment inserted gets extracted from the skin.
As a microblading stroke is made, pigment is implemented into the dermis – the second layer of skin – but residues remain in the epidermis – the outermost layer – as well. These residues tend to look quite dark as the pigment oxidizes, but since they’re so close to the surface of the skin, they get taken away as the brows are cleaned, moisturized, and the scabs flake off.
So don’t worry if you notice your microblading scabs are coming off with some pigment – this is to be expected and it’s not a cause for concern in itself.
Image source: Instagram @bladeandbrows
What If My Microblading Doesn’t Come Back?
The ghosting stage is a normal part of the healing process, but if there are complications, your brows may not come back. You should expect your microblading to gradually darken up over the weeks to come, but if you notice it’s not, you might have to have your brows re-done.
Why Does This Happen?
It’s possible your microblading didn’t take due to poor technique, improper aftercare or infection. It’s also possible that your artist got the color wrong. Your skin type may also play a role. Let’s explain each of these scenarios.
The Artist Didn’t Go Deep Enough
Pigments need to be deposited into the dermis; if they’re implemented into the epidermis, the layer of skin that’s constantly shedding, all of it will be extracted within about a month, month and a half. The epidermis cannot hold pigments, so the treatment basically fails.
Finding the right depth for microblading is tricky. If the pigments go deeper than the dermis, into loose tissue, the cells aren’t able to hold it in place and the whole thing becomes a blurry mess. Out of fear of going too deep, inexperienced artists sometimes don’t go deep enough.
If you fear this is what happened and you still want your brows microbladed, see a different artist.
You Didn’t Follow Aftercare Instructions
The whole purpose of the aftercare routine is to make sure your brows heal properly and as much pigment as possible is retained. If you ignore it or don’t follow it closely enough, you risk damaging the results.
If you don’t clean and moisturize your brows as instructed by your artist, thick scabs can form over the strokes which will pull out high amounts of pigment and leave very little in the skin.
You also risk developing an infection, but more on that a bit further down.
You Picked Your Brows
The absolute worst thing you can do during the microblading healing process is to pick at or pull off the flakes of skin. The scabs need to fall off on their own, when new skin underneath is ready. If you pull off the flakes prematurely, pigments can be pulled out of the strokes.
Or worse! The trauma may cause permanent scars to form, and exposing the open wound to external influences is an infection waiting to happen.
Image source: Instagram @beautyandthebrowsbytara
You Developed an Infection
If your microblading strokes get contaminated with bacteria and an infection develops, this will trigger an inflammatory process from the immune system. The body will work much harder to extract foreign matter from the skin and pigments will be rejected.
The Pigments Weren’t Dark Enough, to Begin With
The choice of pigment color is made by the artist taking into consideration your skin tone, undertone, and the fact that a certain amount of pigment will be extracted during healing. Sometimes, they can make a mistake and choose a color that’s too light.
So even if the brows heal fine and without any complications, the strokes will simply be too light. Get a touch up to darken them up.
Your Skin Wasn’t Suitable for Microblading in the First Place
Clients with very oily skin or very large pores need to be pointed in the direction of powder brows. If microblading is done on such skin, there’s a chance the high amounts of sebum produced pushes out the pigment and there’s no point re-doing the treatment.
Your Skin Just Doesn’t Accept Pigment
This is extremely rare, but some people’s skin just cannot take pigment. The response from the immune system is just too intense and pigments are simply pushed out. It’s a bummer but there’s not much that can be done about it.
We know we may sound like a broken record, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to find a reputable, licensed and experienced artist for your brows; and to follow the aftercare instructions they provided you. If you do your homework, there’s no need to worry about why does microblading disappear during healing – you can just relax and wait for it to come back.
Cover image source: Freepik