Does microblading hurt? 4 tips to make it as comfortable as possible

Does Microblading Hurt? 4 Tips to Make it as Comfortable as Possible

Are you interested in microblading but worried that the application might hurt?

Don’t let the process scare you because it’s not NEARLY as bad as you are thinking.

Yes, it is done with a ​microblade and yes the goal is to put pigment into the skin so that it stays for several years but several precautions are taken to reduce the discomfort of the procedure. 

In this article we are going to talk about:

  • Why microblading doesn’t have to hurt
  • What to expect during the procedure
  • How to make the procedure as comfortable as possible


What Exactly is Microblading?

Microblading is the art of placing taking a small and precise blade and applying pigment into the skin to make your eyebrows look perfect. 

The process does involve small cuts into the skin where the eyebrows. 

This is the part that tends to freak people out. 

The use of a BLADE, but don’t let that freak you out. 

Michelle microblade progress oily skin

Microblading is less painful than getting a tattoo but slightly more painful than plucking out your eyebrows or getting a wax.

But at the end of the day would you rather have 1-2 hours of slight discomfort for 1-2 years of no hassle, make-up ready eyebrows each and every morning?

If the answer to that question is yes, then you are a prime candidate for microblading 🙂

And if you are still a little bit freaked out then consider this:

A special topical numbing agent is used to help decrease the pain on your skin.

lidocaine cream

This lidocaine based numbing cream ​is similar to what dentists use for procedures, only this stuff just absorbs through the skin. 

Did I mention that this numbing cream is the same stuff that Dermatologists use prior to laser resurfacing?

​Yes – it is quite powerful and really helps to decrease any unpleasant sensation during the application of the pigment into your skin. 

​It’s also important to remember that the placement of the pigment is only about 1mm into the dermis

The uppermost and thinnest layer of skin is the epidermis.

This is the part of skin that constantly sheds off over time. Under this surface is the Dermis and placing the pigment in the Dermis is what makes it last so much longer.

The deeper the pigment is placed the longer it will last:​

pigment and skin depth with a tattoo

In the image above you can see where the pigment gets placed during a tattoo (deeper into the dermis). 

The deeper the pigment goes the more pain you experience. 

Make sense?

​The art of microblading is putting the pigment deep enough so that it becomes semi-permanent, but not too deep so that it becomes painful and stays forever. 

What to Expect During the Procedure

The initial appointment is about 2 hours long and most of it is spent making sure that the outline for your brows is perfect.

Once the outline is in place I put topical anesthetic (lidocaine) over the area to prep it.

After 15-20 minutes (enough time to allow the lidocaine to set in) I then start to place the pigment into epidermal/dermal junction.

During this part of the procedure you may experience some pulling, stinging and pressure.

The amount of pain and discomfort during this period depends largely on your pain thresh hold, how sensitive your skin is and how nervous you are about the procedure. ​

Most clients end up telling me that it was NOT nearly as bad as they thought it would be, especially with the numbing cream. 

​This portion lasts about 30-60 minutes. 

katie right brow view strokes and shading

Most clients say it feels similar to plucking or waxing their eyebrows (maybe slightly more uncomfortable).

But the end result is AMAZING and I haven’t had a single client yet feel the slight amount of pain is not worth the end result. ​

Tips to make the procedure as painless as possible

​I’ve also found several tips to help reduce any of the pain or discomfort during the procedure. 

If you get it done with me you may have any or all of these:

​1. Listen to relaxing music

Believe it or not listening to relaxing music can help keep your mind pre-occupied and give you an ambient environment helping your body to relax.

Much of the discomfort comes from the “unknown” so as long as you read up on the procedure and come prepared you should be fine!​

2. Make sure you are comfortable (Room temperature + padding)

You should be looking for that “spa-like” environment here. 

Cooler temperature, ambient noise, soft padding… you know what I’m talking about. 

All of these things help calm down the mind and reduce pain receptors. 

3. Apply generous amounts of lidocaine numbing cream (2 applications if you go through it quickly)

Some of you out there are just resistant to anesthetic (you know who you are!).

​If this is you, feel free to speak up and let me know! 

Some people just require more anesthetic than others, so we can apply a second coat or double up on the topical application.

4. ​Anti anxiety medication prior to the procedure (Like Xanax)

Not everyone will need this, but if you have a personal history of anxiety then you might want to consider this option.

Just like Doctors provide anti anxiety medication prior to procedures, you may also want to consider taking an extra pill prior to yours.

Not many clients will need this, but the more relaxed and the more comfortable you are – the less you will experience pain!​

So… Should you get the procedure?

So, after reading all of this I hope you have an idea of what to expect during the microblading procedure.

The bottom line is this:

Microblading doesn’t have to be a painful procedure if it is done correctly.

The application of numbing cream, and set up of the environment all play a role and can really impact your discomfort levels.

​Let me know if you have any questions below!

Kat Rich

Hi! I'm Kat and I write these posts. I'm obsessed with eyebrows, hair and anything related to fitness. Right now I do microblading, 3d brows and semi-permanent eyebrows in Mesa, Arizona as a certified microblading artist. I'm a licensed cosmetologist and have been for over 10 years as well. I love experimenting with new products and love to share my experiences. Have questions? Leave them below!

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