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What is Threading?

By: Richa Bhatia - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Threading Body Hair Eyebrow Shaping

Threading is a technique of removing hair practiced since time immemorial in the Middle East, South Asia and South-East Asia and now becoming popular in the West. Threading involves twisting a thread of pure cotton between the fingers and around rows of hair to pull them out of their roots. It is commonly used by women at home, or in beauty parlours, for shaping their eyebrows and removing other facial and body hair.

Where is Threading Used?

Threading is most commonly used for eyebrow shaping; removing facial hair, like hair from upper and lower lips, chin, sideburns, space between eyebrows and for removing hair from any body part, especially where smaller amounts of hair need to be removed.

Benefits of Threading

Fast Way to Remove Hair
Threading removes many hairs in one go, in contrast to tweezing or plucking, where hairs are removed one by one; so, it is a faster and less painful method of removing hair. For example, threading a set of eyebrows usually takes around 15 minutes and threading the upper lip takes around 5-7 minutes by a skilled professional, whereas plucking the eyebrows can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes.

Specialised Technique Gives a Perfectly Chiselled Effect
Threading is considered to be a more specialised way of removing hair, especially from the eyebrows, because it involves a technique of removing hair in their natural lines, thereby, giving a more chiselled effect and well-arched eyebrows.

Gentle with No Harm to Skin
Threading rarely causes harm to the skin and suits even people with sensitive skin. It is therefore, especially good for facial hair removal, where the skin is particularly sensitive. Threading is also often preferred over other hair removal methods like waxing, depilatory creams, bleaching etc. because they may not suit every skin type and methods like shaving should not be used. In this way, your skin is saved from the wrath of harmful chemicals and hot wax, and so, retains its glow and elasticity without falling victim to premature wrinkles as may occur after years of waxing.

Very Effective for a Completely Hair free Look
Threading removes hair more completely and effectively than plucking as it is a very precise method and gives the smooth, neat and hair free look you're after.

Finer, Softer and Less Dense Re-Growth
Threading causes new hair to grow finer and sparser, which is surely what everyone desires? Also, the hair free look lasts for 1-3 weeks depending on how fast your body hair grows.

Suitable for People Using Vitamin A Products
Threading is one of the best options of hair removal for those using Vitamin A products like Isoretinoin, Retin A, etc. in which case waxing and many other methods of hair removal are not advisable.

Suitable for Removing all Kinds of Hair
Threading is suitable for removing fine as well as coarse, long as well as very short hair, which definitely gives it an edge over many methods of hair removal.

Drawbacks of Threading

Threading has a few drawbacks, which are listed here:

Rare Skill in the West
Threading is not so common, yet, in the West, so, it might be difficult to find a professional who does threading, especially in your local area. Threading is a technique which requires skill and practice, and so, if you want to do it yourself at home, it may take some time to master it.

Problem of Ingrown Hair
Threading can cause the problem of ingrown hair in many people. This can be prevented by gentle exfoliation of the area regularly.

Risk of Folliculitis
A bacterial infection of the hair follicles, known as folliculitis, may occur if an improper technique and inadequate hygiene is employed.

In some people, the skin redness after threading may persist and even skin swelling and scarring can occur. In this case, you should see a skin specialist for further advice and treatment. Some people also report skin darkening and thickening with repeated threading, although there is not enough evidence to support this.

How is Threading Done?

Threading is done using a fine, pure cotton thread, one end of which is held between the teeth, the other end in the left hand, and the remaining thread is used to make a loop between the index and middle fingers of the right hand and twisted around the unwanted hair to dislodge them from their follicles.

Skin redness and mild irritation is common immediately after threading. Applying ice packs or cold compresses to the area greatly helps as does application of an aloe vera gel or a soothing lotion.

Cost of Threading

The cost of threading varies for different body parts and for different beauty salons, ranging from £5 to £25 for eyebrows, £5 to £12 for upper lips and so on. If you learn how to thread yourself, all you really need is a thread!

Threading is a very effective way to get rid of unwanted hair, especially from the face, and with its advent and growing popularity in the UK too, it may be on its way to becoming the next big thing in facial hair removal.

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