What’s the Difference Between Nanoblading and Microblading?

May 12, 2022
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
person with microbladed eyebrows

There’s no shortage of amazing brow products out there, from long-lasting pencils and pomades to strong-hold gels. But if you’re looking for a more permanent option, you may want to consider either microblading or nanoblading. 

“Microblading and nano brows are both great options for achieving natural-looking, hair-like eyebrow tattoos,” says Shaughnessy Otsuji, a restorative tattoo artist and owner of Studio Sashiko. “Both services can help relieve the stress of having to add makeup to the brow area every morning and also allow those who lead an active lifestyle the freedom of waterproof, sweat-proof brows!” 

To find out which brow tattoo technique is best for you, keep reading.

What Is Microblading?

“Microblading is one of the most common forms of brow tattooing,” says Otsuji. “This process uses a handheld tool consisting of several tiny needles to implant pigment beneath the skin. [The] technique mimics the look of very fine, realistic-looking hair strokes and is considered semi-permanent.” 

The pigments used in microblading are designed to “soften” or fade into the skin over the years, she says, which makes them a great option for those who want semi-permanent brows but may eventually decide to switch up their brow shape and density. Microblading does not last as long as nanoblading.

What Is Nanoblading?

Nanoblading produces similar results to microblading, but the treatment uses a tattoo machine tool and one very fine needle, as opposed to multiple needles, to deposit pigment under the skin. 

“This technique can help to add density to existing eyebrow hair or create a completely natural-looking set of eyebrows for those who experience partial or complete hair loss,” says Otsuji. 

Nanoblading works for any skin type and is great for color-correcting or covering up previous brow tattoos. Because nanoblading uses only one fine needle rather than multiple needles, it can also cause less trauma to the skin than microblading. “[It] allows for more precise pressure and controlled movement to create crisp hair strokes,” says Otsuji. It also deposits pigment deeper into the skin than microblading, which means nano brows will last longer.

Is Microblading or Nanoblading Best for You?

While both services produce flawless brows, there are a few factors you should consider when deciding between nanoblading and microblading. First, know that microblading typically lasts between one to two years before requiring a touch-up. Nanoblading can last a year or two longer, as the ink is implanted deeper into the skin. Both services will require touch-ups to maintain.

According to Otsuji, because microblading is slightly less permanent than nano brows, it is a good option for those with normal to dry skin types. It’s also ideal for those who may want to switch up their brow shape in years to come.

Nano brows are better suited for those with oily or scarred skin because they are more permanent. According to Otsuji, nano brows may fade faster for those with oily skin because oily skin has a higher moisture production. 

Regardless of the service you choose, Otsuji emphasizes the importance of researching your artist before allowing them to tattoo your brows. Most states require a specific certificate in order  to apply permanent makeup — in order to find a qualified artist, make sure they have the proper requirements based on your state.

Photo: @shaughnessy, Design: Juliana Campisi

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