Threading Hair Removal 101

Threading hair removal
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Threading is an ancient way to remove hair that sprung from Egypt and India. For reasons you'll learn about below, it's becoming very popular on the west side of the globe as the go-to method of getting rid of unwanted fuzz

How Does it Work?

A thread (often made of cotton) is pulled along unwanted hair in a twisting motion, trapping hair in what can be described as a mini lasso, and uplifts it right out of the follicle.

Because it removes hair from the follicle, it can last up to six weeks. 

The Pros

  1. It's extremely sanitary. Nothing but the thread touches the skin, and it's thrown away after use. There's no worry about double-dipping like with waxing, or other tools not being sanitized.
  2. Great for people with 'trouble' brows. Threading has this amazing ability to be so precise in getting each hair it's after. It has a cult following from those who say that other shaping methods, like tweezing, waxing, or sugaring, could not make their brows look even.
  3. No chemicals are applied on the skin. Many have allergies and skin sensitivities, which make it a gamble anytime they put product on their skin. With a string, there are no chemicals or products used, and it can prevent a lot of unnecessary irritation. (Sometimes the tech will cleanse skin or apply powder before removing hair, so please alert them of any allergies.)
  1. It's very fast. Although every technician is different, it can take as little as two minutes flat, from start to finish.
  2. Temporary results can turn into permanent. Over time, frequent threading can cause the hair follicle to become damaged and stop growing hair.

The Cons

  1. If done incorrectly, the hairs can break. If hair is broken either above or below the skin from an inexperienced threading professional, hair re-growth will show up sooner.
  1. It can be hard to find a tech. It's a true art that has been passed down through the generations and isn't something you learn at most schools to become a cosmetologist or esthetician. Most techs have learned the technique being passed down from previous generations. Unless you live in a large metropolitan city, you may not find a salon or spa that does threading.
  2. Some growth is needed. About 1/16 of an inch of hair is needed for the thread to wrap around.
  3. Not generally performed on the body, only the face. The string can technically remove hair from the body, but mostly it's used the shape brows and remove hair on the sides of the face, upper lip, cheeks and chin on women.

Ouch Factor

The discomfort has been compared to tweezing, but threading removes hair quickly, so it's over sooner than tweezing.

The amount of pain has a lot to do with the skill of the technician, from where the hair is being removed, and your personal tolerance. Use a warm compress to relax the hair follicle for an easier exit, and apply a numbing spray or cream prior to service if you're sensitive to any discomfort.

Threading Hair Removal Costs

Pricing will depend on where the salon or spa is located, the amount of competition, and if your state charges tax on spa services.

A 15% to 20% gratuity on the total bill is the average amount to leave.

  • Eyebrow (both eyebrows, including in between) $12 to $50
  • Lip (skin right above upper lip) $6 to $20
  • Full Face $35 to $60
  • Chin $6 to $15

At Home

If you can master the technique, wonderful. But you will only be able to remove hair from your body or other people's faces.