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Choosing The Right Microblade

by Girlzink Staff June 12, 2019

Micro-blading and Shading Needle Information 

There are so many different sizes, shapes and types of micro-blades and micro-shaders.

U-blades, curved blades, round and flat shaders, different diameter sizes, some have many needles (pins), some have fewer. What does it all mean, and which one should we use to achieve the look we are going for?  It can seem pretty confusing, but it’s actually quite simple once it's broken down for you. Below I will explain what each shape and size is specifically designed for as a general guide for using the appropriate micro-blading tool for each client.

Basic microblade and manual shader configurations:

U-Blades - Just as the name suggests, U-blades are blades in the shape of the letter U. Shorter blades on the end, gradually getting longer as they reach the center of the blade. U-blades are a very popular blade designed to achieve a very curved stroke. They are great for constructing very crisp, curved, and fluid bulb strokes, curved baby strokes between longer strokes, and back and forth etching strokes that are commonly used in Phi brow style hair stroke patterns. Beginners should use caution when using these blades, they are very sharp at both ends and it can be quite easy to accidentally stroke outside of your design or make a stroke too long. Practice on latex until you feel confident in your ability before using the U-blade on a client.  It’s a good suggestion to practice on latex with any new blade or needle you are not yet familiar with to get the motion and feel of it. 

Curved blades- (also known as CF (curved flexi), slant blades, or angled blades - These are the blades that make our beautiful strokes. This is probably the most common and most used blade. They are known and referred to by many names, but they are all basically the typical slanted blade formation.  Just like all the other micro-blade types, the Curved blade comes in different needle (pin) sizes to accommodate the perfect stroke length for your masterpiece…a longer stroke or a shorter stroke.  Depending on what you are creating and how you like to work will determine how many needles (pins) you will choose.   This will be discussed further in needle (pin) sizes.

Flat shaders - Flat shaders are great for outlining the brow shape and for shading in narrow areas such as the tail of the brow or between strokes. Since they are flat and narrow, the fit nicely into tight spaces.

Round shaders - Round shaders are an all-around great shading tools. Use a larger grouping of needles (pins) in larger areas of shading to implant more pigment at a faster rate for a better and more disbursed shading effect and less trauma to the skin. Use a smaller grouping of needles (pins) for smaller areas of shading, such as the tail-arch or a very thin brow shape. Single needles or 3 needle shaders are great for lightly shading the bulb area or pointillism effect.

Double row shaders - Double row shaders are designed with 2 straight rows of flat needles (pins) This style can be used in narrow and wider areas of the brow to shade throughout.


Choosing the appropriate needle (pin) size for the perfect stroke: Curved, Angled, Slant, and U-blades…different strokes for different folks 

As microblading artists, we all develop our own signature style over time, but when you’re just starting out choosing your needle size can be confusing as there are so many different options when choosing and purchasing our blades for creating hair strokes. Some have more needles, and some have less. How do we choose the correct size? Did you know the number of needles (pins) in your blade directly correlates to the length of your strokes? Below is a handy guide to help you select the perfect size blade to achieve the look you are wanting.

7-9 pins - Using a blade with 7-9 pins (needles) is great choice for creating shorter strokes. They are used for adding fine, short hair strokes between longer strokes and are excellent for use at touch ups when adding to existing fullness of healed brows or going over small details. Great for detailing.

12 pins - 12 pins are considered the universal size. A 12 pin is a go-to size for many artists and will work well with most clients. With a 12 pin you can achieve medium length strokes with a nice medium thickness. Universal.

14-17 pins - Blades with 14-17 pins are perfect for creating beautiful long strokes, building the outline, or “skeleton” of the brow, and filling in the body of longer stroked style brows.  Great for long strokes.

Choosing the correct diameter blade for client’s skin type and texture Curved, angled, slant, and U-blades

Choosing the appropriate diameter of our blade is essential for a nice healed result. The diameter of our blade is determined by our client’s skin type and texture. As a rule of thumb, the thinner the skin, the thinner the diameter of your blade should be. Thinner blades are sharper blades and therefore less trauma for our thin-skinned clients. Below is a breakdown of appropriate diameter sizes for each skin type.

                   Thin skin- .18 diameter blade for use on thin skinned, fragile, mature or sun-damaged skin, clients with slight rosacea or previous use of retinols.

                    Normal skin- .20-.25 diameter blade for use on healthy youthful skin with no obvious texture, oil or large pores.

                    Thick skin- .25-.30 diameter blade for use on thicker, tougher skins sometimes associated with ethnic, oily, or noticeably textured, “orange peel like” skin types.


If you are a U-blade or angled blade artist, or if you prefer round or flat shaders, there is a tool and size to achieve perfect results on every client and accommodate every skin type. I hope you found this article enjoyable and helpful in your continued journey into microblading and permanent makeup. Check out our Micro-blading needles on the Girlz Ink store where you will find different brands such as Jenn Boyd’s Brow Slayer, Mei-cha and Softap with all the options and choices to fit each artist needs and wants.

Copyright Girlz Ink 2019. Written by Sandra Yale. Contributions and Edits by Teryn Darling. All rights reserved.

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