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Eyebrow Threading: How It Works

By HERWriter
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For years I have seen signs advertising eyebrow threading and never knew what it was. The other day at the mall, I was coming down the escalator next to a kiosk for eyebrow threading. As I peered down, I saw a young woman with thread stretched between both hands with one end in her mouth poised over another young woman’s face. My first thought was, OMG, she has that thread in her mouth and she is planning to do something with this contaminated thread on that young girl’s eyebrows!

As I approached, she began moving the twisted thread between her outstretched hands, gently smoothing it over the young girl’s eyebrow following the shape and contour of the brow. The thread in her mouth stayed in her mouth. The rhythmic twisting of the eyebrow threading was pulling out hairs that were becoming entwined in the thread. Interesting, I thought as I watched the girl’s brow became cleaner and more polished looking. The whole process took under 10 minutes. A final trim of a few hairs and brush of the eyebrow with an eyebrow brush finished the look.

Apparently, eyebrow threading began in Asia centuries ago. I asked the eyebrow-threading young woman how she had learned the technique. She told me she had learned to do it in India a year ago. First, they practice on velvet cut in the shape of eyebrows, then move on to remove hair on their own feet, practice on willing relatives and finally are supervised by an experienced eyebrow threader on real clients.

Eyebrow threading has gained popularity over eyebrow waxing for a number of reasons:

1. Gentler on those with sensitive skin, such as people with Roseola.
2. No risk of allergy to string. Wax can contain additives or preservatives that cause skin reactions.
3. Less skin contact. Wax pulls at the top layer of skin and can leave it red and irritated.
4. No risk of burns. Wax is heated to apply to skin, and if allowed to get too warm can cause burns or skin inflammation.
5. Hair is thought to grow back thinner like wax, without the risk.

I took the eyebrow threader’s card and told her I would consider coming back another day to try eyebrow threading. I have been using the tweezer method for years, which works fine and doesn’t cost anything, but my results are often erratic and uneven. Eyebrow threading at this kiosk was $10 and supposed to last for two to three weeks.

The only concern I had is that neither the scissors she used to trim the extra hairs or the eyebrow brush she used afterwards were soaked in any type of cleaner. I might consider bringing my own little scissors and eyebrow brush or seeing if she has cleaner to spray on hers so they soak for 10 minutes while she works on my eyebrows. I don’t know how high the risk of hair and skin contamination is, but I would feel better knowing the tools used on me were clean.


Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in women’s health care and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele can be read at http://www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles.

Add a Comment12 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Has anyone tried the Lotus spa for threading? I want to try it?

October 3, 2009 - 4:03pm

My eyebrow lady does EVERYTHING. Wax, tweeze, thread, scissors for any little strands that are longer than the others, and then she brushes them. I think she is amazing, and the threading doesn't hurt a bit.

For the person with the comment about the thread being in her mouth, the piece that goes in her mouth stays there-- it does not touch the client. My lady also disinfects her products with alcohol, it is a good idea to ask if you suspect that they aren't being sanitary.

September 7, 2009 - 6:46am

thanks for your point of view you make a good point. I was also taken back seeing the thread in her mouth which is what prompted me to write the article. The eyebrow threader actually never touches the person's eyebrow with her hand nor does the saliva end of the thread come in contact, only the scissors and the brush which are not soaked in solution and should be cleaned. I did not see any hand cleaner solution on her counter but I was more focused on the lack of sterilizing her tools. Asking someone to wash their hands first, even with those liquid cleaners, would probably be a good idea.

September 6, 2009 - 7:34am
EmpowHER Guest

I found this website whilst searching for info on this procedure because there is a kiosk doing it directly across from the store in which I work. I'm both amazed and appalled at what I have read. I fail to see how someone with no access to handwashing facilities, handling money, and using string in her mouth can possibly be considered sanitary. Seems very odd to me that anyone would wake up and say, "Today I want some stranger's dirty hands and saliva on my face." To each her own, I guess.

September 6, 2009 - 7:14am

I watched both a daughter and mother have their eyebrows done by this eyebrow threader and neither had redness. The daughter's looked a little pink but they looked okay when they got up to leave.

August 6, 2009 - 9:37am
(reply to Michele Blacksberg RN)

Thanks for letting me know. That would definitely be an advantage to getting this done!

August 6, 2009 - 10:32am

I have seen this done and one of my good friends has it done. She also has sensitive skin and turns as red as her hair; but, she loves it. I haven't tried it yet.

August 5, 2009 - 4:37pm
(reply to alysiak)

Does your friends eyes become read when she threads or just when she waxes her eyebrows? I am trying to avoid such reaction and thought threading might negate that side effect.


August 6, 2009 - 9:21am

I rarely care for my eyebrows because they are so light, but would love to try eyebrow threading. I have very sensitive skin and unless I pay a lot at a high-end salon, my eyebrows become red for hours. I think it is because of the sensitivity to lower quality waxes. Anyway, I do want to try threading and should soon.

Does anyone know of a good place to go in the Phoenix-metro area?

August 5, 2009 - 4:26pm
(reply to Shannon Koehle)

Hi Shannon,

There is a place at Scottsdale and Shea called Lotus that does a decent job and only charges $10. There is also a place close to Fashion Square in old town called, The Brow Lady, where I believe they do threading . I have never been but have wanted to stop by. Would you like to join!? I just looked up their website (http://thebrowladyusa.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1), they offer a ton of services, although they seem a little more pricey. I will further look into other places.

August 6, 2009 - 9:58am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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