Having difficulty choosing the right microblading needle?
Then this is the video for you. Soula Kou gives an intro into the advantages and disadvantages of each needle type.
If you don’t know the difference between a 9 flexi and a 9 hard, or a 12, 14 and 21… and it sounds like I am talking Chinese right now….Then this is the video for you!
Let’s start of ….by discussing the difference between ‘flexi’ and ‘hard’ needles.
‘Flexi needles’ are ideal for beginners, because they are flexible they can absorb some of the pressure so they give a softer superficial hairstroke, because of that absorption. On some occasions though you may need to repeat the hairstroke on the 2nd pass in order to get the desired intensity.
They are ideal for sensitive or thin / aged and compromised skins.
they are bound together using soft leather or synthetic fabric which is what gives them their characteristic flexiness.
“Hard needles” are the ‘divas’ of the needle world. They are for bold, confident results… and as such, should only be used by confident artists. Because there is zero absorption of the shock, they tend to go deeper into the skin with less pressure as they are wrapped with metal there is no shock absorption, resulting in more definition in your hairstrokes.
I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive or thin skin but they are great for thicker and hard skins.
Now, let’s get into it… the different needle configurations. The different numbers refer to the number of needles in alignment. Unlike tattoo pen cartridges, microblading needles are usually configured in a straight line, of a fixed size.
7 Flexi Angled or ‘PeeWee’
This little guy is designed to give high definition fine hair strokes, it is ideal if you want to target between two existing hair strokes with accuracy - for example you want to add a different colour. It is suitable for all skin types.
I usually recommend this to my students after they are very comfortable with your pressure skills and I would recommend you do the same.
9 or 12 Angled Flexi ‘Helpful Auntie’
Confusingly some people call this a ‘9’ or a ’12’, officially it is a 12. If you want to be certain which needle you have, take a photo on your smart phone and zoom in, count the needles and here you go you have your number.
Anyway, the ‘Handy Auntie’ is a multi purpose needle which is a great starter needle for students, because it gives fine lines, it is ideal for blonde women with fine natural hair, as it can emulate them accurately.
Because it is flexi, it doesn’t go too deep, so it is ideal for beginners as you avoid colour migration, it also gives you the option to repeat the hairstroke, with less pressure for a more defined result.
’18–21 U Shape’ ’Picasso’
This is one of my personal favourites, it allows you to create truly stunning results, and super fine lines if you know how to use it.
Because there is no gap between the needles (18 to 21 superfine needles are packed into a small surface area with no gap).
The ‘U Shape’ is great for the inner corner of the eyebrows. As in the inner corner, for great results you need to be able to draw smooth, angled curves in a short space.
It combines the attributes of a multi flat needle and a single needle. What do I mean by this? The more vertical you hold the needle, the less needles come into contact with the skin so it functions as a single needle allowing you to create tiny curved hairstrokes. If you angle the needle, it allows more needles to touch the skin thus it is easier to create a less curved hair stroke. So by using a u shape needle you can create a variety of hair strokes from very curved to straight - all in one needle.
Different needles can be used on different parts of the eyebrows for different techniques, or effects.
14–21 Angled Needles
They are ideal for longer and thicker hairstrokes for example brunettes and hard, thick skin types.
They are very good for creating shadow effects through different shading techniques because the needles are fat on their base and the tip ends thin. because of that They have a gap between each other at the top. That gives the desired shadow effect that you could not possibly attain with needles that have no gap. for example size 7–12 needles.
An important note before I go, about your needle selection.
18–21 U Shape versus 14–21 Angled
Imagine driving a Mini (I own a Mini, it’s my favourite car).
Someone tells you …choose one of those and take a U-Turn. Which one would you choose? Unless you’re a masochist, you would choose the mini because it is smaller and easier to maneouver.
Exactly the same principle applies for microblading. If you want to create a small precise curved hairstroke, you want to choose a small needle configuration, not a long 21 (i.e. a bus). Why make your life difficult?