Does microblading disappear then come back?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that involves using a handheld tool with ultra-fine needles to deposit pigment into the superficial layers of the skin. The results mimic natural looking hair strokes to fill in sparse eyebrows or create a fuller brow shape.

One of the biggest questions surrounding microblading is whether it really is semi-permanent or if the pigment will eventually fade away completely over time. There is no simple answer, as results can vary quite a bit from one person to the next. However, generally speaking, microblading does tend to fade substantially, though not completely, and many people do opt to get touch up procedures done.

How long does microblading last?

On average, microblading results can last between 1-3 years. During the first 4-6 weeks after the initial procedure, the strokes will look their darkest. The pigment will then lighten significantly over the next few months as your skin naturally exfoliates and absorbs some of the pigment.

Many factors affect the longevity of microblading results, including:

  • The skill and technique of the artist
  • The type and quality of pigments used
  • Your skin type and how quickly your skin exfoliates
  • Your sun exposure habits and if you tan
  • Your aftercare routine and how well you follow instructions
  • Health conditions or medications that can cause fading

While on average results can last 1-3 years, some people may only get 6-12 months of noticeable results before fading becomes significant. Others may still have decent retention up to 3-4 years if all conditions are optimal.

Does microblading completely disappear?

For most people, microblading does not completely disappear but instead fades to a very light, sparse appearance over time. The pigment does gradually become less noticeable, but faint remnants often still remain detectable under close inspection.

Complete disappearance of microblading pigment is unusual, though certain circumstances can potentially contribute to full fading in some cases:

  • Poor quality pigments that lack stability and longevity
  • Extreme sun exposure and frequent tanning without SPF protection
  • Aggressive exfoliation taking off outer skin layers more quickly
  • A genetic predisposition for rapid pigment breakdown in the skin
  • Medical conditions affecting skin pigmentation or circulation
  • Laser tattoo removal treatments targeting the microblading area

Even in these scenarios, the pigment would likely lighten significantly first before disappearing fully. Complete removal within just 1-2 years without deliberate fading interventions would be quite rare.

Does microblading pigment eventually come back?

No, faded microblading pigment does not spontaneously come back on its own over time without touch up procedures. Once the pigment has broken down and your body has absorbed and excreted the particles, the older microblading results will remain light and sparse indefinitely.

However, some people can experience a phenomenon called ???blooming??? where microblading strokes that were extremely faded seem to darken and become more noticeable again for a period of time. Reasons this may occur include:

  • Hormonal changes like pregnancy or starting/stopping birth control
  • Stopping use of tretinoin or retinol skincare products
  • Starting medications that cause melasma or skin darkening
  • Sun exposure causing the existing pigment particles to oxidize and darken

With blooming, the pigment never regenerates or gets replenished, it is simply the remaining particles changing properties. This effect is often temporary and fades again within weeks or months.

How long should you wait for a touch up after initial microblading?

For best results, most technicians recommend waiting around 6-12 months after your initial microblading session before getting any touch up work done.

During the first 6 months, your skin is still healing and will continue to absorb and exfoliate pigment particles. Getting premature touch ups during this stage can oversaturate the brows, leading to poor retention and an increased risk of scarring.

Between the 6-12 month mark is when fading becomes most noticeable for most clients. Scheduling an annual touch up session during this timeframe allows the technician to assess how your skin retained the pigment and make any necessary adjustments.

Clients who want very light, natural microblading may prefer to wait even longer, up to 18-24 months between appointments. This allows more time for gradual fading and avoids overly building up pigment.

What does microblading fading look like?

Microblading fading occurs slowly and progressively over several months. During the process, the strokes look less defined and crisp, less dark, and less filled in.

Common ways microblading fades include:

  • Fading from the tail end first – The front of the stroke near the brow hairs retains most pigment, while the tail end fades more quickly so strokes appear shorter
  • Patchiness – Some strokes fade significantly more than others, creating unevenness
  • Less defined edges – The borders and edges of each stroke become blurred
  • Missing segments – Sections in the middle of strokes can disappear so they look broken up
  • Grayer tones – Warm brown tones that are initially deposited shift gradually to muted gray hues

What about micropigmentation or machine permanent makeup?

Micropigmentation for eyebrows uses a rotary tattoo pen instead of a manual tool for depositing pigment. Results can last slightly longer than microblading, with an average duration of around 2-5 years.

Machine permanent makeup still fades over time similar to microblading. However, some additional considerations include:

  • Fading may be more uneven with machine methods
  • The primary risk is less crisp, natural hair strokes and more blurred, solid brows
  • Any scarring or blotchiness that forms would be more difficult to correct or hide

The benefits of micropigmentation for eyebrows include potentially longer lasting pigment retention and suitability for those with oily skin types. But most technicians still recommend microblading over machine methods for the most natural results.

How to delay microblading fading

While microblading fading is inevitable for most, you can take some steps to help maximize and prolong your results:

  • Avoid sun exposure – Always wear SPF on your face and consider avoiding direct sun when possible
  • No tanning beds – UV exposure will speed up fading
  • Limit exfoliation – Avoid over-exfoliating and don’t pick at scabs during healing
  • Use mineral makeup – Mineral powders or brow pens are gentler than harsh pencil formulas
  • Apply SPF brow gel – Look for sunscreen formulas made for eyebrows
  • Get timely touch ups – Refresh the pigment before it fades too much
  • See an experienced artist – Their skill affects longevity of results

Making microblading last as long as possible comes down to protecting your skin from anything that could cause premature fading of the pigment. Avoid unnecessary irritation, exfoliation, or sun exposure to keep the microblading strokes vibrant for longer.

Should you get microblading redone after it fades?

Most microblading technicians recommend maintaining your results through annual or biannual touch up appointments after the initial microblading session. Consistent touch ups help refresh and preserve the desired brow shape and definition.

However, some people opt to let their microblading fully fade without continuing touch ups. Reasons this may appeal to some clients include:

  • The hassle and expense of repeat touch ups over time
  • Allowing the eyebrows to match their natural growth cycle and ageing process
  • Preferring the light, wispy look of faded microblading
  • Concern over building up too much pigment over time

For those who do continue touch ups, it???s recommended to wait a minimum of 6 months between appointments. This allows enough fading to assess how to best enhance the shape without oversaturating the skin with excess pigment.

Should you remove fully faded microblading?

Most people don???t need to take special measures to remove microblading once it has fully faded. The residual pigment is usually minimal and replacing it with your natural brow hairs or makeup is simple.

However, in rarer cases of a severe reaction or scarring, you may want to more permanently remove the traces of any remaining ink.

Options for removing fully faded microblading include:

  • Laser removal – Multiple sessions are needed to break down stubborn particles still trapped under the skin. The process can be painful and risks follicle damage.
  • Surgical excision – For severe scarring, the scarred skin can surgically be removed and the brow reconstructed. There are risks of brow distortion.
  • Topical creams – Prescription fading creams may be an option, but typically only show minimal effects on pigment as deep as microblading.

Ideally, the best practice is working with an experienced, reputable artist for your initial microblading to limit any risk of complications and poor retention. This will make touch ups easy and allow the microblading to fade gracefully over time.


While microblading is not permanent, the results do not simply disappear as quickly as regular brow makeup either. On average the pigment retains nicely for 1-3 years before gradually fading over several months or years.

Most technicians recommend getting annual or biannual touch ups to refresh the color and strokes. But some may prefer allowing their microblading to fade fully without redoing it.

With proper aftercare, high quality pigments, and avoiding sun exposure, microblading can last for many years with only gradual, natural looking fading over time. Temporary touch ups help further prolong the longevity for an always defined, yet natural brow look.

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