Whether it's pencil-thin '90s brows or the full and fluffy arches that dominated the 2010s, there might be only one constant when it comes to brow trends: Impeccable grooming.
And just as there are countless shapes for eyebrows, there are also countless ways to keep them tidy—including tweezing, waxing, and threading. And while it's always best to trust your brows to the pros, it can be very tempting to tweeze or wax your brows yourself; after all, the tools are easily accessible and the online tutorials are endless. Threading, however, can prove more challenging, as there are fewer guides on how to thread your brows at home.
Turns out that's for good reason: Threading your brows is not exactly something you want to take into your own hands. Read on to find out why, straight from eyebrow experts Sonam Choeden, Sadia Brangan, and Azi Sacks.
Meet the Expert
What Is Eyebrow Threading?
You've likely heard of eyebrow threading, but just in case: "Eyebrow threading is an ancient hair removal technique that originated in South Asia and the Middle East which is used to shape and provide well-groomed eyebrows," Choeden explains.
Both experts share that threading requires two things: a cotton thread and a professional who can skillfully use the cotton thread to remove short rows of hair precisely at the follicle level. This generally results in sharp, defined eyebrows, and makes the unwanted hair grow thinner after each session.
Can I Thread My Eyebrows Myself?
Technically, yes. But should you? No.
Cheoden likens it to whitening your teeth or, say, Brazilian waxing: You can do it at home, "but the difference is knowing that a professional who has been educated, trained, and professionally licensed with many years of experience can provide you the quality and reliable service that you need. Especially concerning your eyebrows, which are the most important feature of your presentation—professionally and personally."
If you've experienced threading services, you'll note that you are typically laying down on a reclining chair and that your professional threader is standing above you while grooming your brows. "The process of holding the threading, seeing the hair, and creating the loop is best done by another person who can do the service from a higher vantage point," explains Brangan. So, in this case, you quite literally need a second pair of eyes.
How to Thread Your Brows Yourself
Per expert recommendations, you don't. That being said, there are important steps to make sure your professional takes during the threading process. Choeden recommends a consultation prior to your first appointment to help both you and the threader get on the same page about requirements, goals, and steps to achieve the perfect design.
Physical preparation begins by "first sanitizing the area with a gentle cleanser," says Choeden. "Following that we utilize a cotton thread which is twisted and turned into a lasso to pluck hairs at the follicle level."
Brangan also notes that while the technical process is the same across the board, every brow expert has their own flare when it comes to threading. "The step-by-step process of threading brows is different for each esthetician," she says. "It does require a bit of artistry as some technicians have a better understanding of brow shape and lines than others. Each has their own way of doing brows. The actual process of threading is the same, creating the loop and taking the hair out, but some may take the hair out one by one, [while others] do a few at a time... there is no one step-by-step process."
Advice From the Experts
When it comes to threading, there are a few things to know.
- Put down the tweezers: Brangan does not recommend at-home touch-ups between sessions. "We advise our clients to just leave it to us—please no tweezing at home. More often than not, most will ruin their brow shape with tweezers by going into their shape, even if they think they are only tweezing stray hairs," she shares.
- Make that follow-up appointment: Brangan also recommends threading every two to three weeks depending on your desired look and personal factors, including hair growth speed and pattern.
- Come to your appointments prepared: When it comes to appointment prep, CC Brow Bar recommends keeping the skin around your brows healthy and clean. "We recommend our clients skip any facial makeup, especially around the eyes and brows, so our professionals can provide a smooth process and precise shaping," says Choeden. "We also recommend our clients stay hydrated to make their skin less sensitive. Also, talc-free baby powder helps with soothing the skin and absorbing oils that can cause the cotton thread to slip during the session."
Alternatives to Threading Your Brows
"I do believe a more natural brow is actually beautiful on all of us," says Sacks. "It's not necessary to maintain. And just like anything, when it comes to the face, it's an art and it requires perspective. You need someone to stand in front of you and over you."
All three experts are in agreement that a professional knows best when it comes to the art of brows. Sacks compares grooming your own brows to trimming your own bangs. "It feels like it should be easy," she laughs. "I've tried to do it I can't tell you how many times, and every single time I destroy my own bangs because it's just impossible to fold my wrist and hair in the correct way."
When asked what she recommends for brow hair growth and health between any brow session (regardless of your grooming choice), Sacks suggests anything with castor oil, almond oil, pea peptides, and coconut oil. Also, "allow time for your brows to truly grow in," she advises. "Your hair grows in cycles and the cycle is around three weeks, so you should give your brows a minimum of three to four hair cycles to start shaping. Ideally, it's best to even go as far as four months for full growth."
The Final Takeaway
The experts agree: Regardless of what route you take to keep your brows perfectly snatched, simply put, the professionals know best.