Brow Henna vs. Microblading: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Julia Lucarelli on

Brow Henna vs. Microblading: What’s the Difference?

Every client has their own definition of the perfect brows. As a cosmetologist or esthetician, your job is to help them achieve their ideal by offering advice and recommending transformative brow treatments. Two treatments that can help your clients get the brows of their dreams are brow henna and microblading. Both treatments offer natural, dramatic results, but they’re performed differently and have their own unique advantages. If you want to learn about the difference between brow henna and microblading and when to recommend each to your clients, read on.

What Is Brow Henna?

Henna tinting is the process of dyeing the brows using a natural tint called henna. Henna is a dye with a paste-like consistency. It’s made from the ground-up leaves of the henna plant, also known as the mignonette tree or Egyptian privet.

How does henna work? The tint contains an active dye molecule called Lawsone. When you apply the tint, the Lawsone coats the outer layer of the brows and binds to the hair proteins. It dyes just the shaft of the hairs, unlike other dyes that penetrate the cuticles. Henna doesn’t just dye the brow hairs, though—it also dyes the skin underneath. This results in a darker, richer, longer-lasting tint.

Henna is an excellent alternative to chemical-based tints. It’s gentler and offers a range of other benefits:

Natural & Healthy

Henna is naturally derived and very healthy. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent, and antiviral properties and nourishes the hair and skin.

Long Lasting

Henna lasts up to two weeks on the skin and up to six weeks on the brow hairs. Compare this to regular brow tints, which only last four to six weeks.

Gentle on Sensitive Skin

Henna doesn’t contain lead or ammonia, and you don’t have to use hydrogen peroxide or other chemicals to apply it. This makes it a great option for clients with allergies or sensitive skin. But even though henna is less irritating than regular tints, it can still cause reactions, so don’t neglect to perform a patch test before every treatment.

Comes in a Variety of Shades

Henna is naturally a reddish-orange color, but you can mix it with other natural ingredients, like amla, to create a rainbow of hues. At Elleebana Store USA, we carry Elleebana eyebrow henna in assorted shades like black, blonde, dark brown, light brown, and natural brown.

Try Different Brow Shapes

Because henna dyes the skin in addition to the brows, you can use it to trial different brow thicknesses and shapes.

What Is Microblading?

Microblading is a semipermanent treatment that involves cosmetically tattooing the brows. In traditional tattooing, the tattoo artist uses an electrically powered tattoo gun to inject pigment into the dermis, or the second layer of the skin. In contrast, microblading is performed using a pen-sized, blade-like instrument with a row of minuscule needles on the tip. The needles on the pen are covered in pigment, and they inject the pigment into the skin to dye it.

The esthetician in charge of the treatment starts by mapping out the client’s desired brow shape. Then, they apply a numbing cream to the brow area to minimize pain from the tattooing process. Once the area is fully numb, they run the microblading pen over the brows in thin, pencil-like strokes to mimic the natural hairs.

Immediately after the treatment, the client’s brows will look extremely dark. This will gradually fade to a more natural color. The client’s skin will also feel tender, taut, and painful once the effects of the numbing cream wear off. Most of the soreness and pain should subside after one day. But it can take the skin up to a month to heal fully from a microblading treatment. The tattooed area will lightly bleed, scab, and then slowly return to normal.

Microblading may seem painful and scary, but for those that can manage the moderate pain, this treatment offers a plethora of benefits:

Super Long Lasting

Most brow treatments only last a few weeks before the client needs to come in for a touch-up. This isn’t the case with microblading. The effects of this treatment last 18 to 30 months on average. That’s 1.5 to 2.5 years of beautiful brows, little to no maintenance required!

Minimal Upkeep

There are a few aftercare instructions your client will need to follow during the healing period, but after that, there’s zero upkeep. Your client might want to wear sunscreen on their brows to prevent premature fading, but even this is optional.

Safe & Not As Painful as It Looks

When performed by a licensed esthetician, microblading is perfectly safe. It’s also not as painful as it sounds, as the numbing cream numbs the nerve endings in the skin and dulls any unpleasant sensations.

Works on Very Sparse Brows

Microblading works on clients that have very sparse brows or no brows at all. This allows clients who lost their natural brows to alopecia, trichotillomania, or chemotherapy to have full, natural-looking brows.

Which To Recommend

So, what’s the difference between brow henna and microblading? These two treatments share a similar result, in that they both darken, thicken, and shape the brow hairs. But apart from that, they couldn’t be more different.

Each has its pros and cons and will appeal to different types of clients, so it’s worth offering both in your salon. Henna brows are great for clients with sensitive skin, as well as vegan or eco-conscious clients who are picky about the products they put on their skin. Henna is also the preferred option for clients who want something less permanent. On the other hand, microblading is perfect for busy clients who want to minimize the time they spend getting ready in the morning. It’s also great for clients who have minimal or no brows to begin with.

If you need professional supplies to start—or continue—performing henna brow tints in your salon, Elleebana Store USA has them. We’re an authorized Elleebana distributor for North America and carry their full lineup of henna tints and application tools. Whether you need to restock on tints, activator, and mixing tools or want it in one convenient kit, you can find an array of brow tinting necessities in our store.

Brow Henna vs. Microblading: What’s the Difference?


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