What Is Eyebrow Threading & Should You Try It? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Fact: Eyebrows can make or break a face. So when it comes to styling and maintenance, you want to choose your version of brow-scaping carefully, and be sure you can tolerate and afford the upkeep. Plucking is painful and waxing can be expensive and, well, we’re not all Cara Delevingne. Luckily, there’s a way to keep your brows on fleek that’s both effective and easier to bare: eyebrow threading. So, what is eyebrow threading? It’s a relatively quick and simple means of hair removal that has been around for thousands of years.

1. What Is Eyebrow Threading?

Eyebrow threading is an ancient method of hair removal that originated in Iran, India, China and Central Asia. It involves a professional using a thin cotton or polyester thread, which is doubled up and then twisted, to remove unwanted hair. The thread is rolled over areas with unwanted hair to pluck it out at the follicle level. Sounds effective, right?

2. How Is It Different Than Waxing Or Plucking?

Waxing removes more hair in one pass and is less precise, and plucking (one hair at a time) is often time consuming. Threading allows for a much more defined and natural look since it’s so targeted. When it comes down to it, however, the way you decide to sculpt your brows is really about personal preference.

3. Does It Hurt?

Honestly, it depends on who you ask. Some say it hurts like hell and others maintain that it’s definitely less painful than waxing. Discomfort from waxing is usually due to the tugging and pulling of skin. Threading, on the other hand, just tugs out the hair and leaves skin alone completely. Some areas of the face will, of course, be more painful (lip versus eyebrows), but it really boils down to your personal pain tolerance.

4. What Does It Feel Like?

Some equate the pain experienced during threading to someone pinching you or ripping a Band-Aid off really, really slowly. Others say it, well, feels like someone pulling out hairs one by one, which is basically the gist of it. On the plus side, it’s a fast process.

5. Can You Make It Hurt Less?

There are various ways you can make threading more manageable as it relates to pain. Stretching the skin on the area that’s being worked on is helpful and using talcum powder on your skin before beginning the process reduces moisture and therefore friction.  Splashing your face with cold water or applying ice cubes are also ways to numb the pain. Making sure your skin is moisturized, but not too slick, and that you don’t have any breakouts are also key.

6. How Much Does Threading Cost?

It really depends on where you go, but threading is typically inexpensive: Just $5 to $30.

7. How Long Does Threading Take?

The time it takes to have your eyebrows threaded depends on a number of factors: the thickness of your hair, the amount of growth you have and what shape you’re looking for. Typically, however, the entire process takes only five to seven minutes.

8. Where Can You Have Your Eyebrows Threaded?

There are a number of threading places you can visit, from traditional eyebrow shaping salons to brow spas that focus specifically on threading.

9. How Long Does It Last?

Depending on how quickly your hair grows, threading results last two to six weeks. Another plus? Hair grows back thinner and sparser afterward because it’s been pulled from the root and thus weakened.

10. Is Threading Useful For All Hair And Skin Types?

Yes. Because threading doesn’t tug or pull at skin, it’s an especially good option for those who have naturally sensitive skin or use Retin-A or Accutane. That said, a little redness after brow threading is to be expected. Brow threading is an option for any and all hair types, as well.

11. How Long Does Hair Need To Be For Threading?

There’s no magic number. As long as hair is above the skin, it’s able to be threaded.

Threading is exclusively used on faces, so eyebrows, lip, chin and full-face are all potential options.

13. Can It Stop Hair Growth Or Make Hair Grow Back Thicker?

No, hair will not grow back thicker or darker after threading. Since it removes the hair follicle, hair should become finer over time, but growth will not stop completely. 

14. Are There Side Effects?

For one, you may feel pain or see redness. Watering eyes or slight swelling may also occur from the hair being pulled out, but both are temporary. Threading may cause ingrown hairs, too, if hair is exceptionally thick.

15. Can Eyebrow Threading Cause Breakouts Or Headaches?

The majority of people experience neither, but some with sensitive skin may experience slight breakouts afterward or a minor headache. Most likely, neither will occur.

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