Monday, 22 October 2012

Eyebrow Agony

Dear Auntie Lizzy,

I moved to Dubai from New York.  All the Arabic ladies here (and many of the European/American ones as well) are constantly getting their eyebrows "threaded".  My eyebrow regimen in the states was plucking and trimming with the occasional wax.  I have fairly light hair (white blonde when I was little - those were the days!) so most of the errant hairs are blonde and hard to notice. 

My problem is that I can't find a salon (they call them saloons here.  Much to my amusement) that does waxing, and all the ladies I see having the threading are actually crying!  Yikes!  I don't want to go though individual hair pulling agony, but I also don't want to be that girl with the unkept eyebrows that everyone is secretly talking about.  Do I have to submit to a threading


Hopefully not too hairy

Dear Hopefully not too hairy

For those of you who don't know what threading is it is basically the threader will rub a couple of strands of cotton thread against your brow bone as they tangle together they catch up stray hairs along the way. Kind of like when you were a kid and put two elastic bands on your wrist and then rubbed them up and down ripping out your poor arm hairs. Don't tell me you never did that.

Many people extoll the virtues of threading verses waxing. Because the thread is guided against your brow bone it is suppose to give a brow shape that naturally flatters your face shape rather than a curve dictated by however free the beautician is with the wax strips. 

I have never had my eyebrows waxed - unlike almost every other part of my body - mostly because I was put off by my sister who got hers waxed the day before her wedding. Fortunately the bit where the waxer pulled off part of her forehead in an over enthusiastic tug isn't so visible in the photographs. 

Threading however I have done a number of times. I'm not going to lie - it stings - and yes I have also seen tears. But it isn't so much women openly weeping in pain, more that it makes your eyes water. 

With a bit of forethought there are a few things you can do to lessen the pain. Pop a couple of pain-killers thirty minutes before. I'm not convinced this has any more than a placebo effect but if the placebo works go for it. A friend swears by smearing her brows with Bonjela (teething-gel) to numb it prior to plucking, just make sure there isn't too much gunk to catch on the thread. Maybe try and numb them with ice before hand.

The good thing is that the fashion nowadays is for a more substantial brow so there will be less to pluck. Compare and contrast the picture below:

But whatever you do, don't go for the sperm brow, and no it isn't what you might think:

Oh dear.

But the short answer is do it. Embrace this new hair removal technique. It might change your life, or at least highlight your cheekbones.

Yours with a few stray hairs of her own,



  1. I'm very sad that my eyebrows are darkening with age, which means it's now obvious when I have unibrow. :( Sigh. I refuse to get threaded or waxed.

  2. Ah, the eyebrows. I've never done threading or waxing (your poor sister) but I am addicted to my tweezers. Especially now. Two weeks ago I discovered my first gray interloper.

  3. I much prefer threading to waxing! More than ten years later and I still have broken capillaries from my first eyebrow wax, the swelling was THAT bad. Something about the waxing process causes me to break out in horrible welts that last for days, but no such reaction with threading. Maybe because there is no actual product on the skin? And the crying thing really is more of an eye-watering thing. Whatever... I say go for it.

  4. I'm the same, prefer threading for eyebrows. For legs, no - some of the Asian ladies here do threading on their legs. Ouch!


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