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Nano-Hairstroke & Shading FAQ

The Answers You Need

What happened to Microblading?  You say you're only doing Nano-Hairstroke?

When I first started semi-permanent makeup many years ago, Nano-hairstroke didn't exist and Microblading had been tried and tested for a few years.  Nano-hairstroke is fairly new but it's booming in popularity now that it's been tested for a few years and Artists are becoming more comfortable with the results..

Instead of using a nano-blade as I did with Microblading, Nano-hairstroke uses a nano-needle in a tattoo machine to create hairlike strokes.  The ink tends to retain longer with nano-hairstroke on more types of skin.  Oily skin is especially difficult for ink retention but I tend to see better results using Nano-Hairstroke.

A word of caution when choosing an artist for Nano-Hairstroke - 

I've been Microblading for many years and I can tell you that it's easier to create lines (that look like hair) with a nano-blade since the blade doesn't leave the skin.  It's like drawing with a pencil.  It's much harder to create a line using a nano-needle with a tattoo machine since the needle is going up and down, entering and exiting the skin while leaving the pigment behind.  Since the needle is so incredibly thin, the artist must have a keen eye, a steady hand, move at the right pace, and have attention to how far the needle enters the skin in order to create the perfect hairstroke.  So, I urge you to look closely at the photos of artists that claim to do nano-hairstroke and see if their lines are "clean".

I'm interested.  Now what?

Before you can book a Nano-hairstroke procedure, you must come see me for a free consultation.  There are risks associated with tattooing and you’ll have to review and sign some paperwork to acknowledge these risks. This is required by the State and County Health Departments. 

In addition, not everyone is a good candidate for Nano-Hairstroke and I want to make sure that you are aware of what is and isn’t possible given your situation.


If everything looks good and you want to book a Nano--Hairstroke appointment, you’ll need to make a non-refundable deposit of $100 for me to hold the 4-hour block for your appointment.  This goes towards the Nano-Hairstroke price if you make the appointment time.

What if I have to reschedule my Nano-Hairstroke appointment?

Please let me know as early as possible if you have to reschedule.  I am flexible to rebook your appointment but It may be several weeks before I’ll have another appointment available.  

If you give less than 48 hour notice of the cancelation, you will forfeit the $100 deposit since it is unlikely that I’ll be able to fill the 4-hour gap in my schedule with such short notice.  In such a case, you’ll have to make another $100 deposit to secure another appointment.

What if I'm late for my appointment?

Please make every effort to be on time or early for your appointment.  If you’re running late, please text or call me!  I usually have appointments back-to-back with only a little flexibility.  I do not rush my appointments or my clients so if I have to reschedule, you will forfeit the $100 deposit and I may not have another opening for several weeks.  

I am very understanding that sometimes life happens and I will make every effort to accommodate you but I cannot compromise on the service I give to all my clients.   

How do I prepare for my Nano-Hairstroke procedure?

Prior to your consultation and especially the procedure, think about the look that you wish to achieve.  I will ensure that the correct colors and styles suit you, however you are part of the decision-making process.

Nano-Hairstroke may require multiple application sessions depending on how well your skin retains the ink. To achieve the best results, you may be required to return for at least one touch-up in four to six weeks after the procedure.

Be prepared for the color intensity to be significantly sharper and darker immediately after the procedure. This will subside and become softer as the skin heals. This process can take up to fourteen days.

  • Since delicate skin or sensitive areas may be swollen or red, you are advised not to make social plans on the day of your enhancement.

  • Do not take aspirin or Ibuprofen 24 hours prior to and after your enhancement.

  • Do not discontinue any medication before consulting your doctor.

  • Keep alcohol intake to a minimum 24 hours prior to your enhancement.

  • Do not use Retin A skincare products close to the enhancement area 1 month prior to and after your procedure.

  • Do not use AHA skincare products close to the enhancement area 2 weeks prior to and after your procedure.

  • As with electrolysis the National Blood Service does not accept donations of blood for 1 year after a permanent cosmetic enhancement.

  • Waxing treatments should be performed no less than 3 days prior to your enhancement.

  • IPL laser hair removal should be performed no less than 2 weeks prior to your enhancement.

  • Electrolysis treatments should be performed no less than 5 days prior to your enhancement.

  • Eyebrow tinting should not be undertaken for 2 weeks after your enhancement.

How to take care of the new eyebrows (within 7 days or until scabs are completely gone)

  • Clean eyebrows at the end of the day with a damp cotton pad.

  • For oily skin, dry heal (NO ointment or anything on the eyebrows).

  • For non-oily skin, apply After Care gel/cream 1-2 times a day after the first 48 hours.

  • Keep eyebrows dry (avoid soaking in water for too long; ex. swimming or sauna. Quick shower /washing face is fine, just avoid the eyebrow area)

  • No exercising, tanning, waxing or threading.

  • No makeup, eyebrow pencil, lotion or other facial products on the eyebrows.

  • If necessary, use an eyebrow pencil to touch up after eyebrows heal completely.

What to expect (days are different for everybody)

  • Immediately after – shape may appear uneven due to swelling

  • Day 1 – 3 eyebrows will appear darker and thick.

  • Day 4 – 7 eyebrows will be dry and itchy. Do not scratch, rub or pick at it. They might start to scab/crack or flake off. Eyebrows will look patchy and uneven during healing process. It is absolutely normal. Please DON’T PANIC.

  • Day 7 – 10 scabs should be all gone (some can take up to 3 weeks)

  • Sometimes eyebrows will appear as if there is no color. The remaining color has absorbed under the layer of skin and in the following week it will resurface as skin cells repair.

  • Week 3 – 4 eyebrows will appear true color. Eyebrow might still look patchy or uneven shape. Some rare cases pigment doesn’t retain well. (in this case please visit and look for question #21 in FAQ)

  • Week 4 – 6 come back for a touch up. Any small corrections can be made at this visit.

What is 3D Eyebrows?

3D- or even 6D Eyebrows are just marketing term for Nano-Hairstroke or Microblading   This is the effect of creating thinner and thicker hairstrokes to create a 3D effect.  This is what I’ve been doing for a very long time – long before these terms were ever used. 

Unlike a traditional tattoo which mostly looks like painting on the skin, the Nano-Hairstroke technique is natural feathering of hair-like strokes directly on the skin’s surface that creates natural-looking eyebrows. 

Nano-Hairstroke does not leave a flat, dull and fake look that tattoos leave behind and is a MUCH SAFER treatment. Nano-Hairstroke can fill in sparse brows or create an entire brow, which makes it the perfect procedure for Men and Women.

What is a Gradient Eyebrow Tattoo or Ombré?

Instead of creating hair strokes, this technique creates a gradient effect from the beginning of the brow to the end starting from light and fading to dark.  You'll find several photos of my clients on my website that prefer this look.

Is it safe?

Absolutely. As mentioned previously, the process and facility is tightly regulated and inspected by the local health authorities.  Sterilized, disposable needles and supplies are used during the process.

Does it hurt?

I get mixed reviews on pain. Everyone has a different level of sensitivity so topical anesthetics are applied before and during the treatment to alleviate any sensation or discomfort. Some clients naturally feel one brow sorer than the other. 

Music is usually played during the procedure, however, feel free to bring your own ear phones and music to distract you.

Will I be swollen?

You won’t be swollen, you just might have slightly red skin around eyebrows, but this would last no more than 1 hour.

Will I need a touch up?

Maybe. Within a week of your first treatment the color will fade and over the next four to six weeks can continue to fade for some.  This is considered an extremely positive occurrence as it allows you time to reflect on your shape and color.

After this period you may need a follow-up appointment and any changes you would like to make are discussed.  This first touchup after 4-6 weeks is included with the procedure.

How often do I need a touch up?

In order to keep your eyebrow tattoo results looking fresh, I recommend a touch up at least once a year.  

Most of my clients get it done every 6 months to keep their eyebrows looking "crisp".  

How long does it last?

This varies depending on an individuals skin and skin care but my experience is at least 6 months for those with very oily skin and many of my clients have had it retained for more than 2 years. 

Don't believe any promises in the length of time your tattoo will last (assuming you're getting it done by an experienced artist).  Once the ink is correctly applied in your skin, your body and nature will take its course.

It’s critical to complete the first free touch up in 4-6 weeks.

Why do I need a touch up if this is semi-permanent?

Because color is implanted in the facial area there tends to be more fluid circulation than other parts of the body. Your face sees the most wear of any piece of you—exposure to the sun, sweat, facial products—the list goes on and on. All of these things cause permanent color to fade, this is why you need a touch up.

How long does it take?

The procedure takes roughly about three hours, sometimes more, sometimes less. Please allow a solid 4-hour window for your appointment. I likely won’t need that much time, but this isn’t something I want to rush.

Do I need to take a day off work?

No. There’s no downtime associated with the treatment. Redness and swelling will dissipate within an hour. Your brows will appear darker initially, but not so dark that you will be prevented from your activities of daily living.

How long does it take to heal?

Healing time varies from individual to individual. Usually, it takes about a week to ten days for the epithelial crust to form and slough off. Your skin will be considered healed after that happens. Then, the pigment takes some time to settle into the skin. A good month should pass before I consider the process complete.

What’s the process like?

Eyebrow tattoo is a two-step treatment, consisting of an initial procedure and then a touch up between 4 to 6 weeks after.

After taking your before photo, I will draw the brow design in pencil so you get an idea of shape and form. (Please note that nobody’s face is totally symmetrical and you need to be realistic with your expectations. There is no point in trying to make the eyebrows identical or match a photo of your favorite celebrities’ eyebrows if your face shape looks nothing like theirs.). Once we have agreed on a final shape (ultimately it is your decision – but I will always voice my opinion on what I think suits you aesthetically), I will shape your eyebrows then we will decide on the color. Shortly after that, a topical anesthetic will be administered to ensure comfort. Once you’re numb, the pigment is deposited.

During healing, it’s normal to experience some pigment loss; this is why we have the touch up in place.

What can’t I do after the procedure?

You are advised to keep the skin clean and dry – that means no swimming, sweating or otherwise getting the area wet; no tanning or prolonged sun exposure; no picking, peeling, scratching or rubbing the tattoo, this may result in a loss of color and scarring. You can still wash your hair and face and once they’re healed up, you treat them as your own.

How do I extend the life of the procedure?

Your beautiful eyebrows will last longer if you apply sun block often and avoid abrasive facial treatments in the brow area.

How many colors do you have?

Of the 9 main colors I use, I can blend several to achieve even more shades to suit the client. I ask you to bring your eyebrow pencil (if you use one) with you at appointment – so I can match the pigment to the desired HEALED RESULT, which emerges after the crusts naturally fall off and the skin gently exfoliates naturally itself to reveal the new brow.

Clients who are used to having no brows for a long time, can find this few weeks challenging. I usually advise clients who have no brows to start wearing pencil or brow shading for some time before the process so they get used to having a brow!

I already have permanent makeup and want to change the shape. Can you help?

Yes, changes to your old design can be made within reason.

Do you have to shave off my own eyebrows?

No. Every attempt is made to retain all natural hair and integrate it into the design of the permanent eyebrows. In some cases, where shaping of the natural brow is required, a few hairs here and there may need to be removed to create a clean and aesthetically pleasing result.

I have heard some clients just do not retain pigment even after a few visits. Could this happen?

Yes, it does happen unfortunately. 

There are the occasional few that may need one or two extra strokes to finish off the look. Some types of skin may react to the trauma of the tattooing, and the skin may try to push out the foreign body of pigment by producing an extreme scab, so they eventually fall off taking all the pigment with it. There is a condition called Pigment Allergy (PPD Allergy, a condition known by dermatologists) or Auto Immune disease symptoms (you may not even be aware you have it). The skin would have over reacted and become super sensitive to the pigment and reject it at any cost.

None of this can be foreseen but I'm here to try and give you the best results possible.  I want you to be happy with your eyebrows but sometimes nature has other plans :(

Can you guarantee your work?

Unfortunately, I can’t.


How the skin will react is different for everyone and many factors are to be taken into consideration. Skin type, age, scarring, diet, stress levels, facial products used, etc. all play a key role in how the pigment will hold, which is why it is important to know that more than one touch up may be required.

I can guarantee that your face is important to me and that I will act in accordance with my experience and expertise to give you my absolute best. I can guarantee that I will strive to make you happy and content every time. 

What if I don’t like it?

Although Nano-Hairstroke and Shading/Ombré is considered to be semi-permanent, the procedure does allow flexibility for color or shape change to some extent. However, I will work closely with you to ensure that you are satisfied with the proposed technique. I will allow you to have as much control over the procedure as possible, so there’s very little room for error. If you do not like the decision you made, the Touch Up can be cancelled and the pigmented area naturally fades away over time. If you've read this far and you aren’t 100% sure you would benefit from this procedure, accepting the risks mentioned above, please do not book. 

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