Updated: Mar 9
This was an overdue blog post to write. Over the years of microblading many different women and men with countless different skin types, colours, textures, lifestyles etc. We have finally decided to condense these many possibilities into generalized commonalities we have noticed over the years.
To make this simple to understand we are going to use numbers as representations of different shades of colour:
These numbers apply to skin colours and pigment/brow hair colours for this explanation.
Lets get right into the examples:
If you are someone with a skin tone of 3 (medium) with a brow hair colour of 2 (dark), there isn't much room in between the numbers 3 and 2. Which means that for 2 to fade to 3 would be quite 'quick'. Whereas if you are someone with a skin tone of 5 (lightest) with a brow hair colour of 1 (darkest), it would take quite some time for 1 to lighten up to 5.
As for the people who have a skin tone of 1(darkest) with a brow hair colour of 2 (dark), is the same as the first example, the shades of contrast are very close, same for people with a skin tone of 2 (dark) with a brow hair colour of 1 (darkest). These examples will generally fade the quickest due to lack of contrast (but not always).
This is probably the simplest way to start this blog post to continue with other important factors. Now as we said, the first part is very general and is not always the same for everyone. Every individual will have a certain level of how well their skin holds onto pigment regardless of contrast.
So how do you know yours? You don't. You/We will only know after at least one session has been completed and healed. This is an extremely undermined factor with microblading.
It would be the ultimate goal for it all to hold after one session, but it's also a risk if the pigment happens to not heal correctly. Microblading consists of two sessions, and it's good to take advantage of this process. If the first session healed in a colour a little off or blurred, we have an opportunity to adjust it with a more appreciated outcome.
Room For Miscommunications:
We know, between the website, blog posts and consultation, we discuss a lot of information about Microblading. We expect that at some point there may be misunderstandings or miscommunications about the before or aftercare.
It's a lot to take in especially when the biggest focus is on the results (understandable) and not always how to best keep them looking great. It has happened where there are misunderstandings with aftercare information that led to it fading quicker or blurred lines (overusing oils). Another factor due to misunderstandings can be applying makeup on the brows too soon, and when it comes time to remove it, it may remove scabbing not fully healed and will create 'bald spots' where no lines stay at all. Sweating too soon after the procedure can also cause premature fading.
For this reason, we normally choose a pigment colour slightly lighter (but still in the correct tone) for the first session, so incase there were any miscommunications with the aftercare, the results won't be compromised long term. If the aftercare is followed correctly, no matter how lightly the pigment heals, it will still be there. This creates the perfect base to build the colour on top and keep the lines looking crisp and not oversaturated.
Nothing wrong with that! We embody details as Microblading is our profession. But it does come with limits when it comes to healed results.
It's important to understand that any process dealing with pigment in the skin can be tricky for retaining details.
Best example we can show is this photo below:
See on the end of the 'e' in 'hustle' the tips are much finer than the rest of the 'e'? This is the perfect visual to understand how fading works.
The finer points of the 2 extremes of a microblading line will fade first (bottom of the line and the very top) which creates a 'shrunken' result. This is why it heals 'thinner' than the day you walked out.
As well, where the lines have been created on different skin textures with or without hair is also another factor for healing. Right away, we will say that any part of the brow that is microbladed and does not have any brow hair on top is at a higher risk of fading quicker. Brow hair does help protect from light, oils etc. When the microblading is exposed to all of those factors, it may fade quicker than the rest.
Secondly, is the texture of the skin. If the line had to be created lower close to the crease of the eye, it's normal that around the eyes are oily. Oil will fade microblading quicker. Same goes for fronts of brows especially closer to the center forehead area. This area is very commonly oily for even combination skin types.
So right away, these 2 areas already have a lesser chance of retention if not paid attention to. Blotting papers are very helpful for center forehead area and a translucent powder/eyeshadow is helpful for around the eyes to absorb excess oil.
With that said, we wouldn't suggest zoning in on the little details, but the overall change microblading has made. Certain details of fading are inevitable, and will only cause unhealthy obsession for no reason.
Summary of Fading:
Now taking into consideration contrast colours, miscommunications and small details, you can see all the little possibilities that can cause fading. These are not bad things, this treatment is semi-permanent, so that will come with factors that lead to fading. Microblading is not as deep under the skin as some permanent makeup treatments or tattoos. While this does open the possibility of premature fading, it is also part of it's appeal, that it's not 100% permanent (if done correctly).
The way microblading can borderline on permanent is usually from one or both of these factors:
1. Artist created the lines deeper than the typical area
2. The pigment colour was dark and was redone multiple times.
The more frequently you keep adding darker tones (too dark), the more the area will be saturated and will take much longer to fade and sometimes not entirely 100%. We always say Microblading and Patience should be synonyms. You will always obtain the best results with patience.
Too Inexpensive to be True:
While this part has more to do with the continuation of why microblading can take longer to fade or not fade at all, is still important to consider.
In some cases when a price is too good to be true, it may equal to inexperience. And while there is room for all levels of standards, it does come with certain results. If microblading is done somewhere where they are inexperienced, or the type to make a quick buck, this can lead to improper microblading techniques. They may go too deep and too dark (borders on permanent) or not go deep enough and lasts less than a few months.
There are places who charge more, average or less and might still not do the microblading properly. We have seen clients come to us with previous microblading who paid a lot and had undesired results. We have also seen clients pay less than average and barely anything held and vise versa. Your best bet when it comes to microblading is to find someone who is passionate about their work and cares to keep improving. Someone with knowledge of the skin and the process. You will know when you find them because you will feel at ease and comfortable with them without being pressured to get in the chair immediately.
Outdoor activities contribute to fading a lot more than one might think
Sun, pools, beaches, salt water, even winter activities. Exposure to sunlight, water and sweat are all factors that can lead to fading quicker. Wearing sunscreen and hats will help slow down the process if you are constantly outdoors. Outdoor winter activities are also something to keep in mind if its a sunny day.
Skincare is also a major factor to fading. Especially any exfoliating or brightening products such as glycolic acids and vitamin C serums. If you want your investment in microblading to be the most worthwhile, please use your skincare products with caution around/on your microbladed brows.
Generally speaking, microblading lasts longer and holds better on drier skin. so applying any thick creams on the microblading may contribute to it fading quicker. If the brows are too dry and there is flaking, this is the one time exfoliating would be an exception. Lightly exfoliate the brow area with a washcloth and then apply a water-based lotion like aloe vera.
We hope this blog post helped clarify any potential concerns about the fading of Microblading. We will always mention the importance of being a good candidate before getting it done so it has the best chance of lasting. If you don't have any contraindications, then the above reasons for fading should be no issue if they are kept in mind and followed.
If you are thinking of getting Microblading done, we do have a post for you to read to see if you are a good candidate: Read Here