The main function of permanent make-up needles is to penetrate into the protective layers of the epidermis and deliver pigment to the papillary layer of the dermis with minimal damage to the skin. This function entails certain requirements to selecting and using needles in permanent make- up procedures. 


First and foremost, they must be: 

• High-quality 

• Sharp 

• Sterile and disposable for each client. 

Needles for permanent make-up are produced from steel-alloy needle wire. They are sharpened, polished, individually packaged, and pre-sterilized.The success of every procedure depends on the sharpness and quality of a needle. Any contact with an external object will dull the needle and change its geometric form, which, in turn, will impede its penetration into the epidermal tissue and lead to trauma. For example, with the PMU machine switched on, when we dip the tip with the needle into a disposable container with pigments, the needle is dulled from the contact with the bottom of the cap.

There are many different needles on the market used for PMU procedures from needle cartridges for power operated machines to blades for manual use like microblading. Each needle has a different purpose for a different outcome. Understanding the different needles out there will help you better understand how to choose the correct needles for each procedure. While many of the needles on the market follow the same guidelines, they will vary with each manufacturer. AAI has provided the basic knowledge of these needle guidelines for your better understanding. 

Needle size

Each needle has a diameter, regardless of the device used. Diameter can be described as the individual needle size.   

Needle Taper

Each needle has a taper. A taper is the measurement of the needle point length and may be short, medium, long, or extra long. Short taper produces a larger puncture size with long/extra long creates a smaller puncture size.   

Needle Count

Each needle grouping has a count. This is how many individual needles are within one configuration. For example, single needle has one needle while triple shader has three.

Needle Configurations

Configurations can be round, flat, and magnum. There are also cartridge-type and manual device configurations.

Round liners is a grouping of needles that are soldered together so the points are close together. The result is more concentrated. 

Round shaders is a grouping of needles that are soldered together so that the points are further apart. The result is more spread out. 

Flat configurations are needles in a flat, linear pattern that are soldered together so that there is an exact space between needle points. 

Woven magnum is one row of needles that is woven in a way that gives the appearance of two rows. It has a wider configuration and is available in straight or curved. 

Stacked magnum is two rows of side-by-side flat needles with the smaller grouping placed on top of the larger. 

Cartridge-Type needle configurations are encased and inserted into the handpiece of a machine pen. The needles normally retract back into the encasement when the machine is in the off position. Cartridge needles come in all shapes and sizes such as liners, shaders and magnum! 

Manual Device needles can be arranged in flat or round configurations. These are configured specifically for eyebrow hair stroke patterns and may be smaller in diameter than the typical needle. 




Holding your machine correctly entails much more than getting a firm grip on it and implanting pigment. Some basic things to remember when holding your machine include: 

-Holding the machine as if you are holding a pen or pencil. You will eventually get used to the “heavy” feeling from the weight of the machine. After only a few procedures, it will feel quite natural. 

-Rest your pinky on their skin 

-Use short, small strokes 

-Move the machine with your finger 

-Hold your machine upright 

-Go slow! The faster you go, the less color stays in



The needle speed and hand speed are two related variables that influence your micropigmentation. Your needle speed or frequency determines the quantity of injections or dots per second implanted in the skin. Your hand speed determines the distance of the injections or dots implanted in the skin. 

It is important to get a good balance in needle speed and hand speed. With a slow hand movement, you will get a denser implantation of pigment because the dots are closer together. With a fast hand movement you will get less implantation of pigment because the dots are further apart. 

When you doing a hair stroke technique and your needle speed is too high in relation to your hand speed, your hair strokes will become too thick. In that case you should lower your needle speed or raise your hand speed movement to create thinner strokes. 

When you are doing a lining technique for eyeliners, it is best to keep your hand speed movement slow to get a more dense pigmentation. In this case working slowly will give you better and faster results.    

Stretch the skin when working, this will give you more control over the area and creates less of a chance for the needle to catch on the skin. This will allow you to evenly and smoothly implant the pigment into the skin. 


Disclaimer of Medical and Legal Liability: Aesthetics Accreditation International training courses are intended to provide the general knowledge to perform procedures but is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on the information in this training course for procedural purposes is to be used at your own risk. If you have questions or concerns, contact a medical professional prior to treatment. AAI is not held responsible or liable for risks involved with this procedure. 

AAI strongly advises each member or student to research their local legislation. It is your sole responsibility to check and clarify all rules and regulations pertaining to your country, state, city, and county if you are planning on performing our training program procedures as a professional. AAI is not held responsible to provide this information and AAI cannot guarantee this information for any person. Please check with your local health department, governing boards, and FDA regulations regarding performance of any AAI course procedure. AAI is not held responsible or liable for legal encounters regarding licensing, regulations, or other legal aspects pertaining to procedural operation.