Reading time: 6 min.
Eyebrow Tattooing: Pros, Cons, Costs, Alternatives

Eyebrow tattoos are a cosmetic procedure designed to give you low-maintenance, fuss-free eyebrows that always look great. If you have thin eyebrows due to overplucking or eyebrow hair loss, you may have considered eyebrow tattooing. But getting a facial tattoo isn’t a decision to take lightly. The results are permanent — so is eyebrow tattooing worth the risk?

Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about eyebrow tattooing, from the pros and cons to the costs, longevity, and possible alternatives to this procedure.

Table of Contents

What is eyebrow tattooing?

Eyebrow tattooing is a type of permanent makeup used to give instant, long-term definition and depth to your eyebrows. As with any tattoo, the tattoo artist uses a needle to insert pigment into the second layer of skin (the dermis), creating permanent colouring across the natural browline.

Good eyebrow tattoos can offer natural-looking, long-term results. This is usually the result of semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing:

example of a good eyebrow tattoo

Eyebrow tattoos can be permanent or semi-permanent. It’s less common for modern beauty therapists to offer permanent tattoos for eyebrows, as the colour can fade to an unnatural blue-grey shade that never fully disappears.

Modern techniques are usually semi-permanent, which means the pigment doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply, and a wider range of pigments can be applied. Similar to microblading, this helps create a more natural look.

The pros and cons of eyebrow tattooing

Debating whether to get an eyebrow tattoo? Weigh up these advantages and drawbacks to decide if it’s the right eyebrow restoration option for you.

  • Low-maintenance — no need to do your eyebrow makeup everyday
  • Instant results, enhancing your eyebrows from day one
  • Adds definition, colour, and depth to overplucked eyebrows
  • Can be used to treat eyebrow hair loss from alopecia areata
  • Modern techniques can create natural results
  • Fades over time, so top-ups may be needed
  • Colour may change over time, leaving you with a less natural finish
  • You can’t change brow thickness or shape after an eyebrow tattoo
  • Trends change, so your brows may go out of style
  • Possibility of poor results that will last months or even years
  • The process of getting an eyebrow tattoo can be painful
  • Mistakes are hard and expensive to fix
  • There’s limited regulation around who can offer eyebrow tattoos
  • You still need to shape and pluck your natural eyebrows

Lots of people feel eyebrow tattooing is too high-risk, and seek alternative options like microblading or eyebrow transplantation to restore their brows.

How painful is eyebrow tattooing?

Eyebrow tattoos can be painful. While your tattoo artist will normally apply a topical anaesthetic to the area beforehand, this won’t completely eliminate the discomfort of getting a tattoo.

Semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing is usually a little less painful than permanent tattoos, as the needle doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply.

How long do tattooed eyebrows last?

Semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos usually last between one and three years before you need a top-up. Getting additional or top-up tattoos will cost extra, so consider the ongoing financial impact of getting an eyebrow tattoo.

However, the pigment is unlikely to completely fade even after several years. So you need to be certain about getting this procedure, even if you’re opting for a semi-permanent technique.

How much does eyebrow tattooing cost?

UK eyebrow tattoo costs range from around £300 to £700, depending on the type of restoration you want and the artist’s expertise. Barely-there eyebrow tattoo filling tends to be cheaper than full eyebrow restoration.

Can eyebrow tattoos go wrong?

Unfortunately, there have been instances where eyebrow tattoos have gone wrong. And because this is such a permanent, visible procedure, there’s no disguising a botched eyebrow tattoo.

Eyebrow tattooed in the wrong place.
Eyebrow tattooed in the wrong place.
Eyebrow colour fading with contrast to natural brow colour.
Eyebrow colour fading with contrast to natural brow colour.

One study found that around 90% of people with permanent eyebrow makeup were satisfied with their procedure, so mistakes like this aren’t too common [1]. But it’s worth doing plenty of research so you know you’re getting an eyebrow tattoo from a reputable, skilled stylist.

Eyebrow tattoo alternatives

There are several alternative eyebrow restoration options available for those who aren’t keen on the idea of a permanent or even semi-permanent facial tattoo. These alternatives include:

  • Makeup — It may be a little more hassle, but filling in your eyebrows with makeup each morning means you can change your style as often as you like, and there’s no risk of long-lasting mistakes.
  • Microblading — Microblading is a slightly less invasive procedure than eyebrow tattooing. Your beauty therapist makes tiny incisions and fills them with pigment to create the illusion of natural eyebrow hair.
  • Eyebrow transplant — Eyebrow transplants involve surgically transferring hair follicles from the scalp (usually behind the ear) to the brow, giving you the most natural-looking, permanent results.

Many celebrities turn to eyebrow transplants to get fuller brows that look completely natural.

Is eyebrow tattooing better than microblading?

Eyebrow tattooing carries a few more risks than microblading. Unlike a tattoo, which is carried out using a needle, microblading involves rubbing pigment into tiny hair-like incisions. This can give you a more natural-looking result than a tattoo.

before and after microblading (left) and eyebrow tattoos (right)
Left: microblading; right: eyebrow tattoo

Both methods take time to heal and scab over before they start to look natural. Results will fade over time, so you’ll need to revisit your stylist every few months or years for additional treatments.

Are eyebrow transplants better than eyebrow tattoos?

Eyebrow transplants tend to be more expensive than eyebrow tattoos, but there are several advantages to getting an eyebrow transplant vs microblading or an eyebrow tattoo:

  • Permanent, natural-looking results — Eyebrow transplants won’t fade, discolour, or fall out over time. You’ll have thick, full eyebrows that last a lifetime.
  • Change your brow style — Unlike tattoos, you can pluck or style an eyebrow transplant as much as you like, so your look is always on trend.
  • Find a style that suits you — Work with your eyebrow transplant surgeon to find a natural-looking brow shape for your face.
  • Eyebrow transplant surgeries are regulated — All UK hair transplant clinics must be registered with the Care Quality Commission, so you can be sure you’re working with the best hair transplant surgeons in a safe environment.
  • Correct bad eyebrow tattoos — You may be able to cover up a botched eyebrow tattoo with an eyebrow transplant.

Restore your eyebrows at the Wimpole Clinic

At the Wimpole Clinic, we perform the highest quality eyebrow transplants at a range of hair transplant clinic locations across the UK. This includes regrowing overplucked brows, adding density to thin eyebrows, and correcting faded or botched eyebrow tattoos:

before and after eyebrow transplant

Book a consultation with our eyebrow transplant advisors for an assessment of your brows and to learn more about getting an FUE eyebrow transplant.

Eyebrow Tattooing: Pros, Cons, Costs, Alternatives, Wimpole Clinic

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

Book a consultation

Simply fill in your details in the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.