What is "eyebrow threading"?

My questions at local salons have been stymied by language problems. Is it to give women that Joan Crawford look? Do men get/do it also? Is it painful?

You’re on the internet, man! Eyebrow threading. It’s just another way of plucking unwanted hair, only using a string instead of tweezers or waxing. It doesn’t give any certain look, whatever the user wants. Men could get it as well as women. I don’t know if it’s painful, as I’ve never had it done, but I imagine it’s similar to plucking.

Threading is one way of removing unwanted hair (wabbit season) on legs, arms, and I guess eyebrows. It involves using twisted thread to pick up and remove hair.

This is a very nice and short tutorial.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVmbHB2p4WM

the gist of it is, you take a piece of sewing thread and twist it just so, put your unwanted hair ahead of the twist to catch the hair, and the hair is pulled out. It seems cool because it is very precise and you don’t have to pay for wax or tweezers.

I must have done it wrong because the woman in the you tube video has thicker hair than me (harder to pull out I assume) and her eyebrows look great! When I tried it and all it did was make my unwanted hairs very curly.

I’ve had it done numerous time, only on my face though. It doesn’t hurt any more or less than waxing. I find it more precise in the shaping.

I’ve never heard of it being used on the arms or legs. Well, sometimes I’ve had waxers pick up hairs that didn’t get waxed off with thread but I’ve never had anyone set out to do the whole thing with thread–that would probably take forever.

I personally think it hurts a lot more than waxing, so I only get my brows waxed.

I grew up in a neighbourhood with a lot of Persian families. I do remember that when a friend’s older sister was getting married, there was a day when a few female relatives came over and the bride’s face and arms were threaded. I imagine it did take awhile but it’s apparently an Iranian custom. I think it may be similar to Indian women having Mendhi ceremonies pre-wedding, they also serve as a chance to calm prenuptial jitters and, I don’t know, relax the bride or something.

And yes, because threading pulls out several hairs at once, many people find it more painful. I used to really like the clean, precise look it gave on eyebrows, but I’m into a more natural look now so I just tweeze here and there.

How would this be any easier than using tweezers?

Not easier, but faster over large areas, such as cheeks or the upper lip. Tweezing is rarely used professionally as the main hair removal method - usually tweezers are just to pick off a few stray hairs that weren’t picked up by the wax/thread. It can be easier to get a symmetrical look on the brows with wax or thread than by tweezing.

They even have kiosks for this now at Tysons Corner Center (largest DC metro mall). I see these women lying back in chairs as if they were at the dentist, with another lady standing over them working them over with a length of white thread. Why anybody would want to submit to this in public I’ve no idea.

I first heard of it maybe 20 years ago or so when a friend of mine opened his own salon and hired a part-time threader. But the practice seems to have really caught on in the last few years.

Threading was introduced to the Washington area by beauty parlours catering to the South Asian immigrant community. It has recently become mainstream.

I’ve seen the kiosks in the shopping mall. Usually there’s a few people standing around staring. I don’t see how the women getting their eyebrows done tolerate being stared at like that.

But waxing pulls out several hairs at once, too, doesn’t it? But somehow it still hurts much less (IMO).

How fast it is and how much it hurts rather depends on who does it.

IME the middle-aged Indian lady who does eyebrows for £5 and takes 30 seconds was much less painful than the Irish girl who charged £15 and took 10minutes.

The Indian lady had been doing it from childhood on most of her relatives, the Irish girl had done an afternoon course at the local beauty school when threading became the new “in” thing.

Suddenly the difference in pain and speed made sense, while the difference in price…less so.

My main issue with threading is the scrick scrick noise of the thread. Not nice.
Threading doesn’t involve chemicals (good for those with sensitive skin and allergies or who use retinoids and can’t use depilatory creams) and it gives a very precise finish to brows, for those who are into that.

I hate the noise, too, Irishgirl. I use retinoids but I still do waxing on my face (upper lip and brows). I know they say that you’re supposed to wait 6 to 8 weeks after you stop them to wax but I generally wait about 2-3 days. I’m a real rebel. (To be fair, I don’t really use it on the areas that would get waxed anyway.)

My aunt does threading in her salon - she’s very good at it, and has done it to me. She is Indian, of course, and white people love it. There is also a salonist in the mall that does it now, but I would never go there because there isn’t even a semblance of privacy. Literally the whole place is shaped like an open-box canyon, and there is a chair off to one side with no curtains or anything. I know you aren’t naked or anything like that but I just don’t feel it’s relaxing when people are staring at you all the time.

I’ve seen that in a lot of places, too. They have a private area for leg/bikini/etc. waxing but face threading/waxing takes place in the front. I prefer the places that do it in the back myself as well, personally. It just feels a bit more relaxing.

I hadn’t seen the kiosks (then again, I rarely go to Tyson’s Corner) but Fair Oaks (probably next biggest after Tyson’s) has an actual storefront for the purpose.

I’ve had it done at a kiosk in a mall. Why should I care that it’s in public? My eyebrows aren’t exactly a private part. It only takes a few minutes.

I tend to like the aesthetic that Indian women prefer better than the more Western waxing. It’s not quite as severe. I have pretty fierce eyebrows when they’re left untended and although I like them tidied up, I don’t want them shaped into tiny little things. When I get a threading, my eyebrows still look like MY eyebrows, just a nicer version of them.

Weirdly, the most painful threadings I’ve had done were in India. I’m not sure what was going on with the lady in my neighborhood but holy crap.

I know. Still feel self-conscious. i didn’t say it was logical or rational.

Well, if you feel self-conscious about it, that’s fine. I was objecting to CookingWithGas’ assertion that it was bizarre that anyone would submit to having their eyebrows done in public, like it’s some kind of super-private act.