Eyebrow threading is an ancient hair-removal technique, practiced for centuries in Asia and the Middle East. Some, including myself, consider threading an art form. Most technicians will use a 100 percent cotton thread, their hands and a crafty eye.
The cotton thread is twisted in a double strand and then swept along the skin to pick up the hair and remove it from the follicle, root and all. Watching a technician thread is like capturing an artist with a brush on canvas. There is a rhythmic feeling and it's done with precision, like a surgeon and his/her scalpel, only without the invasive pain.
They Use What?
The technician may hold one end of the string in their mouth as an anchor. It's sanitary because it always stays in their mouth. This part of the string never makes contact with skin.
Another way is for the technician to tie the string together and only use the hands like in the above photo. Many people prefer this method as they don't like seeing the person holding something in their mouth while working on their brows. (See the Threading Technique Video.)
How Long Does It Take?
A simple eyebrow shaping can take just 5-7 minutes. Can you even imagine? You can have beautiful brows in less than the time it takes to flip through all the pictures in that magazine at your doctor's office!
How Long Will It Hold My Eyebrow Shape?
The time you can go between appointments will all depend on your hair type and how your hair grows. Re-growth can be anywhere from two to six weeks. Even if your hair grows back faster, it will grow back finer if you get this done repeatedly. The hair follicle will become weakened over time- and for some- hair will not regrow at all!
Unlike waxing, threading can be done as soon as you see the hair. There's no need to wait until the hair is a certain length.
Great for sensitive skin. It's the best alternative to waxing especially for those who turn red at the thought of removing hair. Unlike waxing, threading doesn't remove a layer of skin, which can cause excessive redness, scabbing or hyperpigmentation.
If you're taking a medication or using a skincare product that may cause a problem with waxing, threading may be a safe alternative. (See: Waxing Safety and Precautions).
Precise shaping. While the technician has to be skilled in their craft and able to understand how you want your brows to look, the technique itself allows for creating clean, well-defined edges.
Threading eliminates removing the inner hairs that we sometimes get carried away with leaving the bare patch when removing hair from the top of the brow. Since hairs are removed individually, the brow can remain precisely shaped but full.
- Not a lot of chemicals or waste. The only chemicals that may be used are product(s) to cleanse, prep or soothe skin. There's hardly any waste beyond throwing away the string- as opposed to the product, strips and applicators that are tossed in the trash after waxing.
Potential Side Effects
- Redness and irritation. You may end up a bit pink and feeling a slight sting like I do. I haven't ever gotten ingrown hairs or breakouts, so the redness is worth it. But generally this lasts only a short time. I generally bring a cold pack with me and slap it on if there's some redness. It goes away in no time.
- Ouch factor. As far as pain goes, it really is subjective. It also depends on the skill of the technician. I don't think it's painful at all but I do know people who feel discomfort.
Read what others have to say about the pain, shape, speed, side effects and more in: What I Think of Eyebrow Threading.
What Is Too Much?
Now this is a tricky one. If you're located where there is a lot of competition, the rates may be anywhere from $3.99 to $15. There are so many threading salons popping up that the prices are starting to go down, especially in big cities. If there aren't many places offering it where you live, the prices will be probably be higher.
This doesn't mean that higher priced technicians are better. I recommend stopping that person with the amazing eyebrows and asking where and who created the masterpiece. They will be happy to tell you because you just gave them one of the best compliments ever. I certainly have gone by word of mouth and recommend you do as well.
Can I Do This at Home?
There are home kits for threading out there like Helix Thread Ease Hair Removal Kit and Karmissie Deluxe Threader Kit. If you are confident that you can do it and have the money to spend then you can certainly give it a try.
Personally, I wouldn't recommend it for the brows. Remember that depth perception changes when you only can see out of one eye and when you are looking at one eye at a time things can look very different. I have tried shaping my own brows using a threading kit, and it was simple enough. But I prefer the professional take the time and work their magic.
For facial hair removal, I would definitely try the one from Helix. It's affordable and does work well. Not only is the kit from Karmissie very expensive, it doesn't remove the hair.