There is a relatively new method of facial hair removal here in the states that's giving waxing and other forms of hair removal competition and for good reason. Threading, believed to have originated centuries ago in the Middle East, is quickly becoming the hair removal choice of many because of it's gentleness and superior precision.
Typically used to shape and remove hair from eyebrows in western countries, some salons now offer additional services for upper lips, chins, cheeks, and sideburns. And yes, it's all done with a thread!
I haven't tried threading yet, although I've seen it being done at the malls. I've been hearing good things about it, so I have decided to look into it and share what I've found... for those who may be interested in undergoing the string.
It seems more like an art form than hair removal. The cotton thread is twisted and maneuvered in a way that twists and plucks a row of hair out at a time, instead of plucking with a tweezers that removes one hair at a time. As a result, it's quick and a typical eyebrow session only takes about fifteen minutes.
There are other advantages to threading. Unlike waxing, which takes the top layer of skin off along with the hair it pulls out, threading doesn't offend the skin – which is especially beneficial for those with acne, rosacea, thin or sensitive skin, or who use retinol products and other topical medications. It's very gentle and does not come in contact with the skin much, if at all, and is very easy on delicate skin around the eyes. There usually is mild redness involved, but much less than with waxing, and it's typically gone within an hour.
- It's chemical free, which is another great feature. Wax, which is derived from petroleum has resins, preservatives, artificial fragrances and other ingredients that can be irritating to sensitive skin and those who suffer with allergies. With more awareness on reducing our exposure to unnecessary chemicals, threading is a viable option.
- It doesn't burn like waxing can, either. I don't know about you, but I have been burnt from wax being too hot, and then had to deal with scabby skin for a week until it healed. There's no fear of this happening with threading.
- It's more precise than other hair removal methods, and grabs hold of fine hair that other procedures leave behind. It defines brows by giving them a very clean shape and appearance.
- Many say threading is less painful than other methods; however this isn't the case for everyone. It's believed not to hurt as much because it doesn't come in contact with the skin.
- Like waxing and plucking, threaded hair often grows back thinner and more sparse. Since it's pulled out at the root or follicle, as it is with the other two methods, some follicles become damaged and stop producing hair. This isn't a guarantee for everyone, but it typically happens to some degree.
- The cost should be about the same as waxing's, which varies depending on the salon.
Ok, so now for some of the disadvantages to threading:
- Because this procedure is new in western countries, it's not easy to find salons who perform it. It's probably easier to find it in large cities, but in time, I'm sure it will be available in most areas.
- Make sure the salon is clean and professional. Like any other type salon, be sure sterile equipment is used. You don't want a used piece of thread, or any of the other tools, for that matter, that have the last guy's stuff on it to touch your face. Look for credentials hanging on walls, and ask questions that pertain to the salon and practitioner's credibility.
- For most, threading doesn't cause much redness or irritation, but for some it can. Typical redness and puffiness is gone shortly after the procedure. It may itch a bit, too, but serious or severe complications don't usually happen with threading.
- Because the hair is being pulled on, it's possible the hair can snapback into the hair follicle below the skin and cause ingrown hair or folliculitis. The chances of this happening don't seem greater than with waxing or plucking, so it's not a big deal, but something you should be aware of – especially if you're prone to having ingrown hairs.
There's a lot to be said for threading, so expect to see and hear more about it. It's a great choice for everyone, not just for those with sensitive skin. There are numerous threading videos online, so check it out if you've never seen it done. Get back to us with your experience – we'd love to hear what it's all about firsthand!
by Aaron Marino