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Hair Threading 101

Close-up of woman getting her eyebrows threaded

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Let's be real: Grooming your brows is an art form. And while some of us may be blessed with envy-worthy arches (we're looking at you, Cara Delevingne), the rest of us mere mortals need to up our game if we're aiming for eyebrow perfection—and that starts with hair removal. Sure you've got tweezing and waxing, but there's also another method of getting rid of unwanted hair that deserves attention: threading.

What Is Hair Threading?

Hair threading is an ancient method of hair removal that originated in Southeastern Asia and is still popular today. It involves pulling a cotton thread along unwanted hair in a twisting motion, trapping hair in a mini lasso, and lifting it up and out of the follicle.

The Pros of Threading

  • Because threading removes hair from the follicle, it can last up to six weeks.
  • Unlike waxing, discomfort from threading is minimal and has been compared to tweezing.
  • Since nothing but the thread touches the skin and every thread is thrown away after use, it is extremely sanitary. There's no need to worry about double-dipping like with waxing.
  • While waxing can sometimes cause irritation, this is not the case with threading. Just be sure to tell the technician whether you have any allergies to avoid any kind of unwanted reaction.
  • Because threading has an ability to be incredibly precise in removing every hair for all areas of the face, it's great at evening out the most unruly of brows.
  • Although every technician is different, threading can take as little as two minutes from start to finish.
  • Like other hair removal methods, some growth is needed—but only about 1/16 of an inch as opposed to sugaring which requires 1/8-1/4 inch or waxing which needs at least a 1/2 inch.

Exfoliate the brow area a day or two in advance so any ingrown hairs or dead skin can be removed.

The Cons of Threading

  • Over time, frequent threading can cause the hair follicle to become damaged and stop growing hair (although, some might consider that an upside).
  • If done incorrectly, the hairs could also break, which can lead to unevenness and ingrown hairs; it's important to find a good tech and avoid any DIY attempts at home.

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