If you’ve ever seen a set of enviable eyebrows, chances are they were threaded. Threading, the ancient Middle Eastern and South Asian practice of gentle hair removal using thread, dates back centuries. It’s simple, relatively painless, and a natural alternative to waxing. We asked Shobha Tummala founder and CEO of Shobha, a hair removal and threading shop with locations in New York City, Washington D.C. and Maryland, to answer all our questions around the hair removal practice. Here’s everything you need to know before you sit back, relax, and enjoy the ancient hair removal process.
What exactly is threading?
“The simple process involves a piece of thread that is twisted and pulled along areas of unwanted hair acting like a mini-lasso, lifting the hair follicle directly from the root without the use of any chemicals,” explains Tummala. The technique allows you to pull one hair or multiple hairs at a time from the root without the use of harsh chemicals. Unlike wax, threading is able to pinpoint and target the tiniest of hairs, so you can say goodbye to unwanted peach fuzz or hard to reach fine spots around the eyes. The ability to tug on those micro hairs makes it even more thorough than plucking with regular tweezers.
What parts of your body can you get threaded?
Threading can be done on any part of your face. The most common hair that’s threaded is the eyebrows but you can also thread your chin, upper lip, forehead, neck, middle brow, and the sides of your face.
Does it hurt?
Yes and no, according to Tummala. It’s been found to be less painful than waxing, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to feel anything. With waxing, pain usually stems from the tugging, pulling, and stretching of the skin. Threading differs as it targets the hair follicle and leaves the skin in place. Tummala compares the pain to tweezing. When the lasso-like thread grazes the skin, it’s a light rubbing but nothing extremely painful. Different parts of the body have different sensitivity, so areas with more delicate skin—the sides of the face, or above the lip—might feel more painful.
How should you prepare for the procedure?
Be hairy! The more hair the better, says Tummala. You also don’t have to worry about stubble as specialists can target those tiny hairs. Also, if you’re looking for an eyebrow makeover, resist the urge to tweeze, so your specialist can have a full canvas to work with.
Also, just as you would bring a picture of a haircut you like, you can bring an image of perfect brows to inspire your specialist.
How long does the process take?
The complete eyebrow process shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, but can differ for other parts of the body.
How often should you get your brows threaded?
Hair regrowth can vary from person to person but Tummala recommends between every two to five weeks. Since threading removes hair from the root like waxing, it lasts just as long.
Can you thread at home?
You can…but Tummala doesn’t recommend it. Threading your chin or lip is easier but your eyebrows are a whole new ball game. It’s best to leave shaping to experts.