Brow Lamination vs. Microblading—Which Is Right For You?

High maintenance meets low maintenance.

<p>Prostock Studio/Getty Images</p>

Prostock Studio/Getty Images

While we all love the look of full brows, adding brow makeup into your morning routine every day can be way too much time and effort. Whether you want your brows to look fuller and darker, brow lamination and microblading are high-maintenance treatments that can let you live a low-maintenance lifestyle.

We asked the pros everything you need to know about brow lamination and microblading, including which brow service is right for you. 

What Is Brow Lamination?

Brow lamination is actually an eyebrow perm that relaxes coarse or curly eyebrow hair. “You get a desired look that looks a lot more full and a little more straighter. It's really great for people who have unruly brown hair and they want it to be a little more tamed,” explains Alleni Peterson, brow artist and owner of Dollhouse Lash and Brow.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Brow Lamination, the Trendier Alternative to Microblading

Benefits of Brow Lamination

One of the most important benefits of brow lamination is that it's a non-invasive and pain free technique. The look of the brows really depends on the client's consultation and wishes. This method really is a one-size-fits-all approach—Peterson says some clients want big, fluffy brows while others prefer a soft, natural look. Brow lamination can define and shape brows to appear fuller.

What to Keep in Mind Before Getting Brow Lamination

A consultation is a crucial step before the brow lamination procedure. Peterson recommends looking for a salon that has a consultation before the appointment. This way you can talk to the artists in depth about your desired look and if it will be achievable for you. It always helps to bring inspiration photos as well.

In the brow lamination process, the lamination is obviously applied to the brow hairs, but sometimes residue can get on the skin, so it’s important to do a patch test beforehand to see how the skin will react. Peterson’s clients come in 24 to 48 hours before their brow lamination appointment for a patch test. “We require any clients who come in for a lamination to get a patch test done because it is a chemical process and we want to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction,” says Peterson.

Peterson recommends coming in for brow lamination six to seven weeks after the first lamination. The process lasts four to six weeks, but she suggests allowing your brows time to breathe. For aftercare, Peterson recommends applying argan or castor oil to the brows afterwards to make sure the hair doesn’t get very dry.

What Is Microblading?

“Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo. There's a manual pen that has multiple needles that make a blade on there. As artists we dip that blade inside a container that holds ink, and then we create an illusion of a more defined, full brow,” explains Carol White, owner of MainBrows. The blade used in the microblading method is opening up the skin, so that the ink can penetrate the skin. 

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Microblading Your Eyebrows

Benefits of Microblading

Like lamination, microblading saves time and money by having your brows look exactly how you want them to look. But while lamination focuses more on shape, microblading helps more with volume by giving the appearance of fuller brows. This procedure also lasts a long time (much longer than lamination), making it a good option for those who don't want to go in for routine touch-up sessions. White explains that microblading lasts for two to four years (if you have normal to dry skin it will last about four years, while oily skin would last around two years).

What to Keep in Mind Before Getting Microblading

White explains that microblading has best results for normal to dry skin because the colors from microblading spreads out over time on oily skin. Overall, it enhances your natural brows by creating a desired shape that makes the brow look fuller and thicker.

Anyone that is pregnant, breastfeeding, or on medication that can alter how your skin heals should stray away from microblading. White recommends consulting with your doctor first to see if microblading is a good fit for you.

Microblading vs. Brow Lamination

It really depends on many factors such as time, money, and desired appearance. If you’re looking for a more permanent, long-lasting solution, microblading lasts two to four years while brow lamination only lasts four to six weeks. However, microblading is considerably more expensive than one session of brow lamination. If you're looking for a temporary chageup, brow lamination might be the better choice, but if you want something more one-and-done, microblading is the better alternative.

You should also take into account the look that you want. Brow lamination will give the appearance of sleek, brushed-up brows, so it's good for people with already full brows who want a better shape. If you have thinner, sparse brows and just want the appearance of more hair, microblading probably makes more sense.

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