Threading is a hair removal method that originates from Asia. Threading has recently become popular in Western Countries. I have had my eyebrows threaded for many years now, so I thought I would go over some of the basics of eyebrow threading for you, including what it is, the hair removal process, and any tips I’ve picked up along the way. I’ve also taken a quick video of one of my recent eyebrow threading appointments, so you can see what it’s really like.
What is hair threading?
Threading is the use of a thin thread (cotton or polyester) to remove hair. The thread is doubled over, then twisted, and is then rolled over the areas of skin where the unwanted hair is. The hair is picked up by twisted thread and pulled from root. Single hairs can be removed using this process, but rows of hairs are more commonly removed using it. Threading is mainly used to remove facial hair like, eyebrow hair, cheek hair and upper lip hair. My experience is with brows, so that’s what I’ll be referring to in this blog post. Many people opt for eyebrow threading over waxing as it is faster, more precise, and can remove hairs that are too small for wax to pick up. I started doing it because waxing was becoming too harsh on my sensitive skin, and eyebrow threading wasn’t causing as much redness or pain. However, I have noticed that the skill of the technician plays a big role in how painful it will be (I’ll discuss this more later).
I get my eyebrows threaded every 3 to 4 weeks at an Ottoman3 Brow Bar. I have been a regular customer of theirs for at least 8 years now. I originally went to Ottoman3 to get Biosculpture Gel for my over-bitten nails, but I soon started getting my eyebrows done by them too. Ottoman3 no longer do nails, and have instead completely focused on threading and brows. My long-term customer relationship with them led me to actually film a commercial with them in 2011. I don’t have a copy of it, but if I find one, I’ll link to it so you can see my attempt at acting. For complete disclosure, I wasn’t paid for the ad, I was instead given a lifetime “gold” membership, but that’s now only a 10% discount, so it’s actually better for me to buy a normal eyebrow pack with them instead. I have gone to a couple of other eyebrow threading places, but my experience hasn’t been good, so I always stick to O3 now. Therefore, the process I’ll explain is the process at Ottoman3, but most places will do something very similar.
Ottoman3 has their own makeup line, focusing on eyebrow products. I haven’t tried any of the products myself, but I did ensure they answered all my questions about animal testing and their cosmetics. The Ottoman3 makeup products are cruelty free and the only product that isn’t vegan is the brow powder as it contains beeswax. I listed all my favourite cruelty free brow makeup products in my Eye Makeup Favourites blog post if you want to know about those.
When you sit down, the Brow technician will give you a mirror and measure out your brows so you can see what they’re going to do. Then they will begin removing the hair from one eyebrow. You may be asked to stretch the skin to make the process easier, but don’t worry, the brow artist will show you how to do it. Some longer hairs may need to be trimmed and some tiny ones may need to be plucked during the process. When one brow is done, they will give you a mirror to see the result, make sure you tell them then if something isn’t how you want it to be. Then they will repeat the process on the other eyebrow. Once you have seen the final result, they will massage in a soothing gel and ask if you want your eyebrows filled in by them. I always opt to not have my brows filled in as I prefer the leave the area makeup free while it heals, but many people do opt to have them filled in. Your skin has been stimulated and lightly exfoliated by the process, so it may be red for a short time, but it’s nothing to worry about. Waxing removes a lot more skin than threading does, which is one of the benefits of threading. My skin is very reactive and very sensitive, but the redness is completely gone by the next day, and usually within a couple of hours. There is some pain during the process, but I find it very easy to tolerate. My eyes used to tear up every session, but now they’re finally getting used to the process. Check out my Instagram video below to see what eyebrow threading actually looks like.
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Eyebrow threading tips
- Choose your technician/brow artist wisely. Brow technicians will have differing levels of training, so choose your brow technician wisely. I have personally found that there can be a huge difference between brow salons. I tell Ottoman3 Brow Artists that I have sensitive skin before the threading starts, so they know to be gentle and not put too much pressure on the skin. Other salons I’ve been to haven’t changed their technique at all and have caused me extra pain, discomfort and redness. I had redness for two days after seeing one particular artist who tried to blame me for the redness while she was threading. There will be some pain and some redness, but a good brow technician can reduce that for you.
- Go makeup free, or with minimal makeup. I prefer to go to my threading appointments makeup free, as it makes the healing process better for my skin. If you do arrive with heavy makeup, the brow technician will be able to remove the makeup in the area they need to. Don’t put foundation or concealer on the area immediately after your appointment, as the pores will be open which will make them more susceptible to getting clogged. Also try to avoid touching your eyebrows too much, so that your hand oils don’t clog the pores.
- Avoid the sun afterwards. Your skin will be more sensitive to the sun immediately after you have had that area threaded, so avoid the sun for a few hours after your appointment. And, as always, wear sunscreen if you will be exposed to any UV rays.
- Talk to your brow practitioner if you are using actives that thin the skin or make it more sensitive, or if you have skin conditions that could be affected by the treatment, like eczema. I have had my brows threaded while I’ve had eczema on my eyelids, but I’ve spoken to my brow practitioner before the appointment and worked out a way to avoid that irritated skin. Keeping your skin well hydrate is also a good idea, as any flaky skin will be picked up by the threading process.
- Don’t tweeze between appointments. This isn’t a hard rule, as I have tweezed some stray hairs when I had an event that was in the middle of my brow appointments. But to get the most out of your appointments, leave the hair removal to your brow artist. The time between appointments will depend on how fast your hair grows. I go every 3 to 4 weeks, which is how often I used to wax my eyebrows before I started getting them threaded.
I really like getting my eyebrows threaded because it’s precise, sanitary, affordable, better for sensitive skin and quick. Threading is a sanitary practice as a new thread will be used for each client. I don’t know if it’s some other aspect or the technique itself, but I never get ingrown hairs from threading, but I do have them with waxing. My brows have never looked better, and I have the brow artists at Ottoman3 to thank for that. If you have any questions about eyebrow threading, leave them in the comments and I can answer them for you. Don’t forget to watch the video I included, as it will give you a better idea of how the hair threading really works. Have you had any hair threading done, what was your experience? Do you want to try it?
If you want more posts like this, explaining certain beauty therapies, let me know. I’ll have more cruelty free product reviews coming soon, and I’m even trialling a brow growth serum which I’ll do a full review on in 12 weeks, so stay tuned for that. If you want to get my blog posts sent to your inbox, then sign up to email updates. You can also find me on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.