There are so many ways to get rid of unwanted hair on the face and body. There are the short-lived effects of shaving, painful waxing, irritating hair removal creams and expensive lasering. A “new” and interesting hair removal method that’s actually been around for centuries has only recently become popular in the Western world.
The process is called threading. If you’ve ever seen videos of it online, you know how mesmerizing and surprisingly painless it looks. According to Salon Today, the hair removal method has been around since ancient times, originating in India and then being used throughout the Middle East and East Asia. Westerners always seem to be the last to know about amazing beauty innovations. We might be a little late to the party with his one, but today, threading is offered at salons all across North America.
Shobha Tummala, the founder of hair removal salon chain Shobha, told Allure how threading works when done by a professional. First, the area is wiped clean with rubbing alcohol. Then, a single cotton thread is “twisted and pulled along areas of unwanted hair acting like a mini-lasso, lifting the hair follicle directly from the root without the use of any chemicals or unnecessary tugging on delicate skin,” she explained.
In an Instagram video posted by Brows By Ash, we see just how stubborn some body hair can be. She waxes and rewaxes a client’s underarm several times, most of the hair being removed but still some relentless patches remaining. She touches up the spot by threading the excess hairs and eventually clearing them out.
I know what you’re thinking. How bad does it hurt? Not that much at all, according to Sabah Feroz, brow expert at Blink Brow Bar in New York City. “Our clients tend to describe threading to be an unusual sensation but not painful,” she told Glamour magazine. If you’re super nervous to try it out for the first time, she suggests asking your technician to do a test run on the back of your hand. Once clients get an understanding of the feeling, they’re usually okay with going forward on their face or body.
Threading is considered by many professionals the most precise form of hair removal. “Threading allows our specialists to have greater control over which hairs are removed,” says Tummala. She added that it’s 100 percent natural, making it a great option for those who aren’t a fan of harsh chemicals or invasive techniques.
PubMed notes that while threading unwanted hair is considered fairly safe, it does come with its own set of risks. There have been very few reported side effects, including inflamed hair follicles and bumps on the skin. Feroz notes that you can avoid these things by following up on your appointment with a cooling gel. “A rose water, aloe-vera or tea-tree gel helps to calm the area, soothe the skin.”
All in all, threading is an extremely efficient way to banish any unwanted facial and body hair. The process comes with minimal pain and you won’t see regrowth for several weeks depending on your hair type. Like other spa services, it’s important to get this done by a professional with proper technique to ensure it’s safe and you’re getting the best results.