Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Little Masochism Never Hurt Nobody: Threading

As I was saying you don’t know much about me. If I continue at this rate you’ll soon know a little too much about me. But until then I’ll add this to your little database: I’m the grandchild of Sasquatche’s bastard and I actually don’t have a problem with a little bit of pain in my life. Actually, based on my taste in men, I may be seeking out pain—but that’s neither here nor there. I’m here to tell you about the wonderful art of threading. 

Depending on who you ask (Iranian, Indian or other shades of Middle Easterner), we all claim to have invented threading. On one hand it’s obviously an Iranian invention; on the other hand it really doesn’t matter. It is a simple solution to a major problem and it proves that no one is limited by the hairy genes they inherited. And in addition to removing unwanted hair, threading is said to exfoliate and condition skin—like a mini massage.

Due to my lineage, women in my family have been getting full face threading for about three generations that I know of. The process is simple: cotton thread from your local fabric store, your face and a pair of hands that knows how to manipulate said thread to pull the hair out of your face. A few of my friends and cousins know how to do this themselves standing in front of a mirror; I (being a late bloomer) need the help of a professional. Last weekend, I went to a local threading shop in my neighborhood, sat back in my chair and let the lady do her magic. She twisted the thread into a cat’s cradle like thing and started with one side of my face and worked her way to my eyebrows, shaping and cleaning up the underbrush, and moving on to more sensitive parts like the upper lip area. After half an hour, my face had lost its peach fuzz, my eyebrows were distinctly different from my father’s and I have distanced myself just a little bit more from my ancestors.

The pros: Obviously a smooth face and nice eyebrows, although the shaping of your eyebrows will depend on the experience level of the person doing the threading. You can chose which part of your face you want threaded. For people not from my part of the world, eyebrows may be the way to go. For my people? Anything short of full face is like selling yourself short. In San Diego, full face threading is about $30 (without tip), which is about $10-20 less than waxing so it makes sense financially as well, especially if you have to go regularly. For most people who are not related to me, the results are good for about 4-6 weeks. As I have mentioned, I am at a disadvantage here.

The cons: If you’re not used to it, it can be more painful than waxing, especially the upper lip area. I don’t find the eyebrow area to be painful at all. I do prefer threading to waxing my upper lip and face, as I break out every single time get anything but my eyebrows waxed. My skin is pretty sensitive and I still get tiny areas of white bumps the day after, but they usually go away after a couple of days.


  1. I love getting my brows threaded and go to my Indian salon regularly. The brows don't hurt much, but the rest of it is a bit too painful for me. They do give your brows fantastic shape.

  2. Is it better or worse than plucking? What's different about it?

    And here's where I confess that I've NEVER done a damned thing to my eyebrows. I'm too much of a wuss, too cheap to pay for it, too lazy to do the upkeep. It's like one more thing to worry about.

    But I wanna know. Just in case one day I change my mind.

  3. Via GWACL: "Figgy, threading gets more hair out at a time so it goes by faster than plucking. If you have crazy eyebrows like me, there will inevitably be some tweezing after the threading is done to refine/get the tiny hairs out. Shaping eyebrows completely by tweezing/plucking is a little time consuming but more precise. Unfortunately, if you're like me there is the danger of over plucking and mismatched eyebrows, which is why I prefer waxing or threading for the eyebrows. Also, if you've never done anything to your eyebrows (I was almost 30 before I started), it's a really good idea to go to a professional for whatever method you choose."