Of all the features to be finicky about on your face, eyebrows are the ones that can change how you look the most dramatically, we think. Whether you choose eyebrow threading to shape, tint to change the color, or you get the hairs laminated to lay down flat, “brows bring balance and proportion to your face and eyes,” Jared Bailey, Benefit Cosmetics's San Francisco-based global brow expert previously told Allure. That means, a few too many hairs plucked from their humble follicles or a few stray ones left in the wrong areas can slightly alter the way you look. By no means will you be unrecognizeable — but you'll definitely look a little different.
We can't stress enough the difference a well-groomed set of brows makes, especially for those whose brow hairs are naturally curly — you've got to keep them in check. “A brow shape or brow line can be lost when the brow hair grows long and curls too much,” Azi Sacks, a New York City-based brow expert previously told Allure. “The brow can also appear to shrink in width because the hairs are bending and clumping together.”
The good news is there are myriad ways to groom or build upon (hi, microblading) your brows. But the technique you choose to get them where you want matters. If shape and definition are your main concerns, you can wax, pluck, or even thread your brow hairs.
Whether you're used to a more maintained brow look or are in need of some extra TLC in the arch department, eyebrow threading, in particular, is an excellent, natural option for hair removal. With its origins in Asia centuries ago, threading is a simple process that is often considered to be one of the most painless (and least invasive) options for shaping brows. If you've ever — or never — seen it in action and have wondered how a single piece of thread (held in the practitioner's mouth) can transform arches in mere minutes, allow us to explain.
Meet The Experts:
- Shobha Tummala, owner of Shobha Salons, which has locations in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Shobha Salons specialize in hair removal, offering threading, bikini waxes, laser, and more.
- Nitasha Dahiya, Washington, D.C.-based owner of Dupont Threading, boasting four locations in the city and one in Arlington, V.A.
- Shari Marchbein, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She specializes in aesthetic procedures and laser surgery.
- What Is Brow Threading?
- The Benefits of Brow Threading
- The Potential Risks & Downsides of Threading
- How Often Should You Thread?
- How Much Does Threading Usually Cost?
- How Can You Find the Right Threader Near You?
The process is quite simple and typically involves a single piece of cotton thread, according to Shobha Tummala, the founder of Shobha hair-removal salon. After wiping the eyebrow area clean with alcohol, the thread is “twisted and pulled along areas of unwanted hair acting like a mini-lasso, lifting the hair directly from the root without the use of any chemicals or unnecessary tugging on delicate skin,” she explains.
One of the most common methods of threading is with the long strand of cotton thread held in one end of the mouth, says Nitasha Dahiya, owner of Dupont Threading in Washington, D.C., where she is based. “The thread is twisted in order to efficiently roll over the skin to individually pluck the roots of unwanted hair,” she says. While there are many different threading methods, Dahiya says this is the most practiced technique.