By Erin Lukas
Oct 30, 2018 @ 2:00 pm
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

Don't give microblading too much credit. There's other ways of grooming your brows to get the thick and full arches of your dreams. Eyebrow threading is a cost-effective alternative that's equally as good at shaping your brows. Plus, it's much gentler and less painful than other options like waxing

With origins in Asia, the treatment has been around for centuries. But, anyone who's never had their eyebrows threaded before probably wonders how a single piece of string shapes brows and gets rid of stray hairs. 

That's why we turned to Umbreen Sheikh, founder of Wink Brow Bar to clear the confusion on how eyebrow threading works, what to expect during a threading appointment, and if it's really less painful than waxing. 

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THE PROCESS 

First things first, here's how eyebrow threading actually works: A piece of thread is taken and twisted on itself as it's glided along the brow to shape it. The hair is removed from the follicle, but it doesn't damage the skin. Before the actual threading happens, you'll be given a consultation to decide on shape. The whole process takes around 15 minutes to complete. 

THE BENEFITS

Since threading only removes the actual brow hair and no skin, it hurts a whole lot less than waxing. This also makes it more precise, so your threading artist will be able to remove finer hairs that usually don't stick to wax. "While waxing and plucking can often leave unwanted stray hairs around your eyebrows, a threading artist goes through your hair row by row, giving eyebrows a clean and defined shape," Sheikh explains. 

Threading is also a great option if you have sensitive skin that's prone to irritation. Sheikh says that it's a natural, organic technique that doesn't use harsh chemicals on your face. "People on particular medications or with certain skin conditions may turn to threading to remove their hair because it's gentler on the skin than some other types of hair removal," she explains. "For example, some dermatologists recommend that people who use acne medications — including Accutane and topical retinoid creams — choose threading over waxing because the former only affects hair and not the skin underneath." 

OK, SO DOES IT REALLY NOT HURT? 

It's true: threading is significantly less painful than waxing. While it can still be a little bit uncomfortable, there's little contact with the skin. There's also no risk of burning or irritating your skin with wax. 

"Your skin may look red, but this redness is from stimulation of the skin, not through excess skin removal that can happen from waxing," explains Sheikh. 

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HOW LONG DOES IT LAST? 

Much like waxing, threading generally lasts two to four weeks, but this depends on your hair type. However, you may eventually be able to go longer between appointments. "Hair will start to grow back sparse and finer after repeated threading because hair is pulled out at the root, which gets weakened through this process," says Sheikh. 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? 

Threading costs around the same as waxing and sugaring. The price will vary depending on where you live and the type of salon you go to, but expect to pay $25-$35. At Wink, an appointment will set you back $27. 

If you can't afford microblading and waxing is just simply too painful, eyebrow threading might just be the brow grooming method for you.