+31 (0)640446517 kim@kimloystudios.com

Microblading vs. Nano Machine Hairstrokes: What is the difference?

What is the difference between microblading and machine hairstrokes? A question that I hear almost every day as a PMU artist. So, let’s find the answer!

Microblading and nano machine hairstrokes are both semi-permanent make-up treatments for the eyebrows. The key difference is the pigment implantation technique — as machine hairstrokes use a machine, and microblading is done manually, resulting in different skin trauma, longevity, and cost.

So, which eyebrow treatment is the best option for you? Is one better than the other? Keep reading to find out.

Machine Hairstrokes Amsterdam
Machine Hairstrokes Amsterdak

What is Nano Machine Hairstrokes?

Machine hairstrokes method, also known as “nano brows,” deposits pigments into the skin using a digital machine and needle cartridge. Unlike tattoo machines, PMU machines have a lower frequency and higher speed to create a natural finish. The machine method has gained popularity in recent years as it can create shading, hairstrokes, lines and much more across multiple treatments. It is suited for all skin types, lasts longer, and causes less damage to the skin.

Pros and Cons of Nano Machine Hairstrokes



Suitable for all skin types

Most people are unfamiliar with the procedure

Can replicate cosmetic make-up

Can be more expensive

Causes less damage to the skin


Microblading Nederlands
Microblading Amsterdam

What Is Microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattooing method for eyebrows where a hand-held tool made up of 12-16 needles is used to implant pigment into the skin. It aims to mimic the appearance of natural hairstrokes to create a very natural-looking finish.

Pros and Cons of Microblading



Results are soft and natural

Not ideal for oily skin and large pores

Enhances the natural brow shape

Might be more traumatic to the skin

Popular and well-known


What Are the Main Differences Between Microblading and Machine Hairstrokes?

The main difference between microblading and machine hairstrokes is the application technique that creates different results in multiple parameters.


Nano brows are done with a machine, which is why it is called the machine method. The device has an extremely fine or “nano” needle that vibrates to pierce the skin while depositing the pigment at the same time. Since the needle is thin and flexible, it causes minimal damage to the skin. This technique also takes longer in comparison to microblading.

In microblading, artists use a hand-held blade consisting of needles, usually 12-16 in number, to deposit the pigment into the skin by dipping it in the pigment and cutting the skin manually, making tiny hair like cuts across the skin. The blade used in this method is thin as well — some artists even use the same thickness as the nano-needle. However, the blade is not flexible, which gives less control over the pressure and motion.

Skin Trauma

The skin trauma and chances of scabbing are lower in the machine hairstrokes as the device’s precision is very high.  The skin stays intact with this treatment, it does not involve cutting of the skin.

However, the skin trauma in microblading is high due to cuts being made in the skin.  If the cuts are too deep due to poor technique then scarring may happen.  If Microblading is performed 2-4 times over a period of years then scarring is inevitable.  

Pain Level

A common concern of the clients is which process hurts more. The answer is, neither of the treatments should hurt as a topical anesthetic can be applied to the area beforehand. However, you might feel some discomfort during the session. With microblading, some clients might feel more pain, whereas most clients describe the machine hair-stroke sensation as tingling or stinging.


Both of these treatments are semi-permanent, meaning they will fade away eventually.

Both treatments will last 1-2 years but will fade away significantly faster on oily skin.

Machine hairstrokes are more suitable for skin with large pores, as the precision of the application prevents pigment blurring.


The average cost of microblading is around €350. However, the price can vary from €100 up to €1000 depending on the location and exclusivity of the facility.

The average price of nano machine hairstrokes stands at €500, somewhat higher than microblading. The variation in price lies between €400 to €1500.

The variance in price between the two treatments is due to the fact that Machine work is much more technical and harder to master than Microblading.  Only the most dedicated PMU artists will be able to offer this treatment.

Healing and Aftercare

The healing and aftercare for all brow PMU treatments are similar. With microblading, you will get your second session after six to eight weeks. The scabbing, itching and flaking might last a bit longer in comparison as the skin receives more trauma. All the symptoms should subside within ten days for both treatments. With machine hairstrokes, you might get your touch-up appointment 12 weeks from the first treatment.

The aftercare routine varies for all artists, however we adopt the dry heal process meaning you need to keep your brows dry for 2 weeks. You should also avoid touching or using make-up in the area and keep it away from direct sun exposure. The aftercare period usually lasts 14 days after the treatment.

Is Machine Hairstrokes better than Microblading?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. It depends on your personal preference, the look you want, and your skin type.

If you have normal, young, healthy skin, then it’s ok for you to have Microblading once in your life.  Do it too many times and you could develop scars.

Nano brows is suitable for all skin types, it’s gentler on the skin, therefore it won’t cause scar tissue.

Both are beautiful treatments, but if you care about the long term health of you skin, I would suggest Machine Hairstrokes over Microblading.

If you are still uncertain about which treatment you should choose, consult an artist to assess your skin and suggest the best option.

If you’re based in Amsterdam you can always come and see me for a free consultation

by clicking the link below.

Book an appointment

If you still have some questions, I’d be more than happy to help, so please call, text or email me on the below contact details:

Tel: +31 0640446517

Email: kim@microbladingamsterdam.nl

Kim Loy Permanent Makeup
Kim Loy, Microblading Amsterdam
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