via Giphy

Since basically forever, humans have tried all sorts of wild ways to remove the hair from our bodies, both in an attempt to smoothe appearances and also to maintain good hygiene (lice back in the day was no joke). For instance, at one point in time, ancient Egyptians would use razor-sharp seashells and even shark teeth to scrape away hair, which TBH sounds like a serious recipe for gnarly ingrown hairs. In ancient Persia, however, a more sensible method was being used, and it’s one we still take advantage of thousands of years later: threading.

What is Threading?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Thread Eyebrows (@threadeyebrows) on

Threading is a form of hair removal that gets its name because of the tool that’s used: thread. It’s often a high-cotton thread, but today salons sometimes use polyester or silk. Threading is truly an art, and the second you witness a practitioner in action it’s hard not to be amazed. Essentially, a piece of thread is doubled and twisted, and then is strategically rolled over the targeted area to remove hairs. Think of it as highly precise epilation.

Practitioners typically use a method that involves holding the thread taut with their mouth while their hands position the thread to remove and shape hair. Before squirming, note that the thread in their mouth never touches the client. Also, sometimes they will use their neck to hold the thread taut, and some will only use their hands.

Does Threading Hurt?

Just like waxing, epilation, and tweezing, threading doesn’t exactly feel pleasant. However, it’s more localized discomfort versus all-over since only small amounts are being removed at a time. Salons also use numbing creams and will prep the skin in advance to help.

Which Areas of the Body Are Ideal for Threading?

Threading is almost exclusively used for the face since the hair that grows there is fine and minimal. It’s especially popular for eyebrow shaping since the technique allows for more precision than any other form of hair removal. It’s also good for small amounts of hair on the upper lip. Hair on the rest of the body tends to be too thick and too plentiful; threading would take forever and be pretty painful.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by NeeziieBabiie® (@neeziiebabiiebeauty) on

How Long Does Threading Take?

Since threading focuses on small areas, it’s very much an in and out process. On average it takes 10 to 20 minutes, which means you can schedule an appointment for your lunch break and still have plenty of time to actually eat. Get that Chipotle, girl.

How Long Do Threading Results Last?

Your results will last for about three to eight weeks depending on how fast your hair grows. This is the same as waxing and epilation where hair is completely removed. You can help maintain your shape by going in with tweezers occasionally to remove hairs that’ve grown back more quickly than others.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Threading?

The drawbacks associated with threading are pretty much identical to other forms of hair removal. Those include pain or discomfort, as well as the potential for infection or ingrown hairs if you don’t take proper hygiene steps.

Pro tip: use an AHA exfoliating wipe over your brows once every other day, or anywhere you get hair removed for that matter. Doing so removes the very top layer of skin so that new hair growth doesn’t get trapped underneath, which is the primary cause of ingrowns.

Another common issue is post-treatment redness and slight swelling, which can linger for about an hour. Since there’s more rubbing on your actual skin, redness tends to be more of an issue with threading than other forms of hair removal.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 📍Near Detroit (@shape_your_beauty) on

How Much Does Threading Cost?

The cost of threading varies depending on where you live and who you go to, but on average you can expect to pay between $20 and $40.

Is Threading Right for Me?

If you’re seeking a more precise alternative to shaping your brows or removing upper lip hair, then threading is definitely the way to go. That said, discomfort can be slightly more intense compared to waxing, so keep that in mind if you have a low pain tolerance. Also, if you’re more concerned about removing hair from other parts of your body — be it armpits, pubic, or legs — then pass on threading and opt for shaving, waxing, lasers, or epilation.