As eyebrow treatments continue to evolve and ways to enhance your brows become more accessible, being able to decipher the key similarities and differences will guide you in selecting which brow treatment is the best one for you.
Based on your natural eyebrows, certain methods will work better than others when trying to elevate your look!
Using henna dye to color hair has been a popular technique for decades, but the slight change to the process to use henna dye to shape and tint eyebrow hairs is a relatively newer technique.
Similarly, microblading is a newer method that has been popular for the last few years and is used to shape and add the appearance of brow hairs for a fuller look.
While both techniques promise results of brows that look denser and shapelier, it is important to note the intricacies of each method to understand which one to choose for you!
So, what do you need to know about henna brows and microblading? While there are some similarities, henna brows and microblading have a lot of differences. Henna brows naturally define the brow, tinting the hairs and skin to give the illusion of a fuller brow. Microblading creates hair-like strokes in sparse areas of the brows to create a full, defined eyebrow.
We’ll discuss each of the treatments in depth below to help you determine which method to try out!
What Are Henna Brows?
Henna brows are a natural alternative to eyebrow tinting. While both processes use dye to color the brow hairs, the dye used in the henna process is derived from the henna plant and does not consist of any harsh chemicals.
Not only does the henna process tint the brow hairs, but it also tints the skin underneath the brows to give the appearance of a fuller brow, while regular tinting only colors the brow hairs.
The henna process also helps to enhance the shape of the brow, as it colors the skin to add to or adjust the appearance of the brows.
By also tinting the skin, the sparse areas of the brows appear filled in. However, henna brows work on eyebrows that have existing hair already — brows that are too sparse or do not have any hair will not be able to achieve the results.
The overall results of henna brows can last up to six weeks.
Henna brows are perfect if you are looking for a naturally derived brow tint from a non-invasive process.
Henna brows can also assist in achieving your desired brow shape by tinting the skin to emphasize or adjust the definition and arch while also filling in sparse areas. The result created by tinting the skin is a natural shadow of color to give the appearance of a denser brow.
The henna brow treatment is also more cost-effective than other semi-permanent brow treatments, with the average price being between $45-100.
There is no downtime needed for henna brows, as it is a non-invasive treatment, but following the process, you need to limit sun exposure and avoid wetting your brows for 24 hours.
There are no known side effects to henna brows, as the dye is naturally derived; however, a patch test prior to the treatment will show if there is any potential for an allergic reaction. If you have an existing skin condition (such as rosacea or psoriasis) on or around the brow area, this is not a recommended treatment.
The results of henna brows last up to six weeks; however, the color on the skin only lasts up to two weeks. If your skin is more on the oily side, the results may fade sooner than those with a normal to dry skin type.
As the results only last about six weeks, frequent applications will be required if you desire to maintain the look.
To begin the henna brow process, your brow specialist will shape your existing eyebrows by tweezing or waxing to ensure brows are clean and defined.
After the basis of the desired brow is achieved, any excess oil, residual makeup, or dead skin cells will be wiped away so that the henna can be applied to a fresh canvas.
The specialist will help in mapping out the desired shape of the brow, and then apply a barrier cream to prevent the henna dye from going outside the intended shape.
The henna pigment is mixed together to achieve a color that matches your brow hair, and is then applied with a proper applicator, such as an angled brush.
After a thick coat of the henna dye is applied, it will sit on the skin for anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Once the pigment has sat on the skin for the required time, it will be wiped away — the whole process typically takes about 30-45 minutes.
You can resume your normal activities after a henna brow treatment; however, it is required that you do not get your brows wet or have increased sun exposure for 24 hours post-application.
What Is Microblading?
Microblading is a semi-permanent brow treatment that creates the appearance of fuller, more defined brows by adding pigment to create additional hair-like strokes. The process uses a small, handheld needling tool to create small cuts into the skin that are then filled with pigment to mimic the appearance of brow hair.
Microblading helps to enhance and define the appearance and shape of the brow to suit your individual brow style and facial features. Microblading is an alternative to tattooing, as it is semi-permanent and uses different pigments to add color.
The results of microblading are long-lasting, as they can last up to 12 months, and typically require touch-ups once every six months.
Microblading works well for most brow types, including very sparse or empty brows, as they fill in those areas with hair-like strokes.
Microblading also works to add definition and shape to your brows by adding hairs to the arch or tail, or anywhere the appearance of additional brow hairs is needed to enhance the shape.
The results of microblading are long-lasting and will last anywhere between 6-12 months. To maintain the appearance of your brows, touch-ups are generally recommended or required once every six months.
As microblading uses a small needling tool to deposit color into the skin, the process may result in some slight pain or discomfort throughout the session, even with the numbing cream that is applied first. Post-treatment, you can experience some slight irritation around the eye area.
Microblading will take at least one week to heal — during that time brows will appear flaky and scabby and can feel itchy throughout the healing process. The results and appearance of your brows can alter day-to-day as they are healing because of the scabbing over and the pigment settling into the skin.
During the healing process, it is best to avoid applying makeup to the brows, along with any oil-based skincare or makeup removers. It is required that you do not wet the brows after the treatment and while the brows are healing as well.
While the results are long-lasting and can last anywhere from 1-3 years, oily skin types might see the results fade faster than normal or dry skin types.
The process of having your eyebrows microbladed typically takes at least two sessions, or sometimes even three. The sessions for microblading can last between 40 minutes to two hours.
The first session is the initial application of color and shape, and the following two or three sessions are touch-ups to add any additional pigment or definition.
The first step in your microblading session will be to collaborate with your specialist on your desired outcome for your brows, and how to best achieve those goals for your face and brow shape. Once the desired shape has been decided, a numbing cream will be applied to the brow to prep the area for the needling tool.
After the numbing cream is absorbed, your specialist will use a handheld needling tool that will manually create small incisions into the skin while also depositing the color pigment. The small cuts are created to add the appearance of more brow hair.
Once the specialist is done with the needling tool, they will apply an aftercare cream to soothe the brow post-treatment.
The second touch-up session is typically scheduled for at least four weeks after your first appointment. Microblading will require several weeks to heal completely.
Similarities Between Henna Brows And Microblading
Both henna brows and microblading are techniques that can shape and define the brow. They both add the appearance of fuller brows, though through two different methods.
Each process uses color pigments that are customized to suit your brow and hair color for the best results.
Differences Between Henna Brows And Microblading
Henna is a non-invasive, natural dye alternative that tints the hair and skin, while microblading is a semi-invasive procedure that creates the appearance of additional brow hairs through a needling tool and pigment.
Henna only needs 24 hours of recovery, while microblading takes several weeks to heal completely post-treatment.
There is only one appointment needed for henna brows, with the results lasting for about six weeks. Microblading requires 2-3 sessions to achieve the desired results, with the effects lasting at least one year.
How To Decide Which Is Right For You
Deciding what method to try ultimately comes down to the desired look you want for your brows, and how often you want to go for touch-ups.
Henna brows will appear softer, yet full, while microbladed brows will look defined and naturally dense. Microblading can work on most brow types from full to very sparse; however, henna brows require brow hair to naturally exist already in order for the tint to be applied and adhere.
While there are similarities between these two brow treatments, the end results differ in their process, appearance, and length of time they last.
Henna brows will give you a subtle, fuller, and softer brow, while microblading will provide you with a defined, shapely, and denser brow.
However, henna brows are an excellent choice to begin with when experimenting with different brow treatments — it is non-invasive, more affordable, and will only last up to six weeks.