Why Eyebrow Threading May be for You (Especially If You Hate Waxing)
"I was laying comfortably on the aesthetician's table when, just as she was pulling a wax strip off my skin, she sneezed!" she exclaims. "Needless to say, the outburst messed up her form a bit. I left the spa with seriously uneven brows and spent the next couple weeks looking like I was in a constant state of surprise," she says.
That incident inspired Favin to look into eyebrow threading, and she's never looked back.
If you've had issues with waxing, you may also benefit from getting your brows threaded. Here's everything you need to know before you go:
What is eyebrow threading?
Eyebrow threading is a hair-removal technique in which aestheticians loop thread around errant brow hairs and pull them out at the root. It's been practiced for centuries in the Middle East, India, and Asia.
What happens during a typical threading appointment?
The threader first unwinds a few feet of thread and grabs it in the middle. They create a loop at the midpoint by winding the ends together several times. Next, the threader places one loose end in their mouth; one hand holds the other loose end while the other hand holds the loop. These three anchors allow the threader to alternate the pressure that tightly twists the thread together near the loop—and that twisting motion snags errant hairs and pulls them out.
You may be expected to pull your forehead and eyelid in the opposite direction so the skin around your brows is taut. While the skin is taut, the threader removes brow hairs and shapes your eyebrows. They may brush up your brows afterward and trim any excess length with brow scissors. The whole session takes about 10 minutes.
Does threading hurt?
A bit. "It's not the best feeling in the world," Favin explains. "You do feel the hairs being pulled out. But the sensation passes quickly—there's no residual pain like with waxing. I will say that it's a bit more uncomfortable when she's working below the brows, because that skin is more sensitive."
What does threading cost?
It typically costs around $10, but as low as $3 with one of our deals. (Click here to find threading deals).
Eyebrow threading vs. waxing
Threading is more precise.
By threading eyebrows, you can remove one hair at a time or you can remove a whole line of hairs. You can also remove stubbier hairs that wax might miss. Plus, there's no such thing as the threader tweezing away any left-behind hairs—a common occurrence during waxing sessions.
Threading is less likely to irritate skin.
Cristy, Favin's threader at Marimarshe' Salon in Chicago, says that clients with rosacea or sensitive skin have come to her at their dermatologists' recommendation, since threading is much gentler than waxing. "No matter how [natural] the wax is, it's still gonna damage your skin eventually if you do it for long periods of time," Cristy says.
She finds that the tugging involved with waxing can stretch skin out over time, leading to wrinkles or loss of elasticity. Waxing often removes the topmost layer of skin, too. And the problem is exacerbated if you use retinol or acids. Wax applied to highly exfoliated faces can leave behind raw patches of skin that can take a week or more to heal, so threading is generally recommended if you use these products. (Just know that threading can still leave behind a few marks, which is why it's best to stop using your retinol or acids anywhere near the brows for at least a week before your appointment).
Favin says that she personally used to experience some ripped skin while getting waxed, but now she doesn't worry about it. "Cristy always offers to apply a soothing lotion to my brows when she's done, but I always pass because I feel like I don't need it," Favin says.
Wax may contain chemicals.
If you're concerned at all about natural beauty, it's probably best to stick to threading unless you're 100% sure about the ingredients used in the wax.
Threading may be more uncomfortable than waxing.
Both are unpleasant sensations (after all, hair is being ripped from your face), but the actual hair removal part is over faster during a wax.
Watch our step-by-step eyebrow tutorial with an expert, and check out the 7 necessary supplies to learn how to give yourself a brow makeover at home.
Her Instagram-worthy brows no longer have to be filled in.