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Understanding Microblading Blades

As microblading artists, it's important to know all of our tools intimately. Understanding the different blade sizes and shapes is of vital importance if we are to create hair strokes with different lengths, thicknesses, and curves.

Using multiple blade configurations will add dimension to our work producing the ultimate realistic eyebrows.

If we are to become experts in our field, it is imperative that we understand and know our blades. That's simple enough, you might say, but try and look up information on microblading blades and see how confusing it gets. I know, I've been researching this subject for years and it wasn't until my recent bout of research on blades that it finally dawned on me that the reason blades have been such a confusing subject is that no one is making the distinction between the handheld blades and the machine blades which both contain a different set of classifying numbers.

Both sets of classifications look extremely similar, which might explain why there is so much confusion.

Let's take a look and make some sense of it all.
First of all, there are flexible blades (called 'flexi' blades) and hard blades.
Both come with needle configurations from 7-21 pins.
The flexi blades are wrapped in a plastic base.
White for the regular blades and blue or black plastic base for the nano blades.
Flexi blades are good for beginners, which doesn't mean it's only for beginners.
The flexi is also a good blade to use on anyone from thin or aged skin to regular skin types.
 The flexible base helps prevent going too deep as the base absorbs some of the pressure, but not all.
 It is still possible to go too deep with a flexi blade but not as easily as with a hard blade.
 The positive to using a flexi blade is the safety net it provides, the con is that it is not as steady as the hard blades.
The hard blade's base is aluminum (silver or gold) and is unforgiving, which is why MBA (Microblading Beauty Academy) recommends the new students master the flexi blades before attempting hard blades.
 The hard blades are very stable but have no give. It is a good blade to use on regular to thick skin, although not recommended for thin or sensitive skin.
Hard blades come in needle configurations from 7-21.
They will be labeled AH7- AH21.
If curved they will be labeled CH7-CH21.
Once you've decided whether to use a flexi or hard blade the next factor is the diameter of the blade.
Blades come in different diameters or thicknesses.
The thickest blade and one artists rarely use anymore is the .35mm (not recommended)
.25mm- Thick skin- Great for creating thicker hair strokes
.22mm- Average skin
.20mm- Average skin
.18mm (nano)- Thin skin. Great for very thin in-between strokes
.15mm (nano. Not recommended)
I don't know about you, but I was never taught blade diameters in the class I took. We barely went over needle sizes. I didn't even know needles had different diameters until I did my own research. How is that possible? This is so important to know!
Knowing the diameter of your blade is knowing how thick the strokes you are creating will be. This is important to know if we want to be able to mimic the client's hair exactly or if we want to create multi-dimensional designs.
Blades (flexi or hard) come in all the same configurations as the picture above just below the title.
The flexi angled blade is the best blade for beginners. All the needles touch the skin at the same time making it easier to control the depth in which we are microblading. It is important to master this blade before moving on to the angled blade.
Angled blades come in needle configurations from 7-21.
They will be labeled AF7- AF21
Curved blades- Good for making curved strokes, but the midsection can cause trauma to the skin in the less experienced artist. With this blade, all the needles never hit the skin at the same time.
Curved blades are good for making curved strokes.
When using a curved blade we can use the front section or the middle section but not all the blades at the same time.
Angled blades come in needle configurations from 7-21.
These blades will be labeled CF7-CF21
The 7 pin blade is the smallest of all the blades. Sometimes called the 'pee wee' blade. Best for drawing short and in-between strokes.
Small blades are easier to maneuver when making curves.
Best to use once depth and pressure have been mastered.
The 9-12 pin blades are good all-around and go-to blades, while the 14-21 pin blades are good for longer strokes and outlining the brow.
The U blade is a favorite for making curved strokes and comes in needle configurations from 12 pins to 21. It also comes in flexi and hard. This blade is recommended for the more experienced artist.
Notice that the more needles there are in a blade, the closer they are to each other and, therefore, the sharper the blade is.
Why then would we not only use the high needle configurations?
Because there are pros and cons to both.
While the very sharp blades are always desirable, the sharper the blade, the more difficult it is to deposit pigment.
That's right, the smaller blades deposit pigment better than the bigger ones. Experience will give you your perfect number.

Shading needles come in round or flat shading blades.

The round needles come in configurations of between 3 and 21 and are labeled RL3-RL21 (RL stands for round liner).
Flat shading needles come in hard (silver) or flexi (red), in 0.25 or 0.30mm, and in single row blades like the silver one pictured above or double rows like the yellow blade pictured above.

The double row blades come in needle configurations from 9-21 and are labeled DLF9-DLF21. DLF stands for double line flat. They also come in a U blade and are labeled DLFU.

The single row blades come in configurations of 9-15 needles and will be labeled F9-F15

 Flat needles are good for covering large areas quickly and for creating an ombre brow, while round needles are good for creating a powdered look.
Hand Blades
U=u shaped blades
F=flat shader
RLS=round liner shader
DLF=double row flat
What about when you see letters like P or D? I couldn't find what they stand for but they are definitely machine needles.
Be aware that some of the labels for the Round and Flat needles for both handheld and machine overlap.
Machine Needles
 RL=round liner
 CM or RM=curved magnum or round magnum
 LT=long taper
 MT=medium taper
 ST=short taper

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