Brow Threading, Waxing, or Tweezing?
The most popular methods of brow shaping are threading, waxing and tweezing. So which is the best and the most effective method? There are pros and cons to these methods depending on personal preference and skin health.
Threading involves the use of cotton thread wound around the fingers in such a way that it makes a scissor-like loop which is quickly manipulated to pluck unwanted hair in either a “full line” (several hairs at once) or just a few hairs at time, when more precision is desired.
Waxing involves applying heated, liquid wax to the area where hair removal is desired. A narrow strip or paper or cloth is then pressed into the wax, allowed to set for a second or two, and then quickly ripped away from the skin to remove the hair which is stuck to the wax.
Tweezing involves the use of a pair of usually flat edge tweezers to grab individual hairs, followed by a quick “pluck” to remove.
- Control. Threading is more precise than waxing (but less than tweezing unless you are in the hands of an expert threader) while removing hair. Control is important to achieve a balanced, uniform pair of brows.
- No side effects. There are no virtually no side effects and reactions do not occur often because no “product” is used, apart from cornstarch or talcum powder. Generally speaking, any irritation disappears rapidly. You may wish to inquire if your threading artist uses talcum powder to highlight the hair to be removed, in the event you have an allergy.
- Hygienic. The process is quite hygienic because the tools only involve disposable cotton thread which is discarded after use.
- Ideal for Sensitive Skin. Applying hot wax to the skin of Rosacea sufferers is a big no-no — it can irritate the condition terribly. Threading is also ideal for those suffering from Rosacea or with extra sensitive skin.
- Economical. Because the process is fast and uses virtually no product save powder and cotton thread, there are no costs to pass through and the artist’s time is minimal. Those savings generally mean eyebrows can be threaded for very few dollars.
- Slow regrowth. Threading removes hair at the follicle level and regrowth is slower.
- Locations. Threading is an ancient technique in Eastern countries, but was fairly new to Western countries until a few years ago. Not all salons offer threading, or if they do, it’s difficult to compete with low priced kiosk prices in malls or shopping centers. Fortunately, it is becoming increasingly popular in the United States with salons and threading kiosks appearing in shopping malls and high-end day spas adding the service to the menu. Here are just a handful of our picks for day spas and salons offering threading.
- Experience. Threading is an art and requires experience. The artist must have a good sense of control, eyesight, and dexterity. Because the process goes so quickly — mere seconds to remove a number of hairs at once — mistakes also happen quickly and you can’t “go back.” Be certain to choose someone who has plenty of experience with the craft.
- Quantity. Waxing will remove a number of hairs at once.
- Control. Although waxing is not nearly as precise as threading, it can give a good balance and shape to brows provided its done by an expert.
- Home use. Waxing can be performed at home with over-the-counter products provided you have an adept hand and don’t rely on prescription eyewear for close work.
- Slow to no regrowth over time. Frequent waxing contributes to follicle damage, which may eventually result in no growth.
- Patience. To properly apply wax, you have to let your brows become rather unruly, so brows tend to look unkempt between visits.
- Control. Unless you are in the hands of an expert with skills, wax applied in a sloppy manner can stick to too many or too few hairs, create a painful mess, or spoil the shape of your brows.
- One shot. If your waxing artist doesn’t get enough hair in the first go-around, applying more wax is not advisable. It can easily irritate and burn the skin and even cause it to bleed. This is particularly irksome if you paid full price for a waxing session but leave without a job to your liking.
- Irritation. Waxing is generally considered more painful compared to threading and can cause significant irritation to the sensitive skin around eyes.
- Allergies. Waxing is not suitable for those suffering from Rosacea, using Retinol products, or having sensitive skin and allergy issues.
- Costly. Waxing performed in a salon or spa environment is far more costly than threading or tweezing, and usually requires an appointment.
- Control. Tweezing is the most precise method to remove hair. Control is easily maintained to achieve a balanced, uniform pair of brows.
- No side effects. There are no virtually no side effects and reactions do not occur often because no “product” is used.
- Hygienic. The process is quite hygienic because the tools only involve tweezers, provided they have been sterilized between use.
- Ideal for Sensitive Skin. Tweezing is ideal for those suffering from Rosacea or with extra sensitive skin.
- Economical for Home Use. If tweezing is done at home, there is no cost involved. Tweezing at a salon or spa is a different matter as it will be more time-consuming than threading or waxing.
- Time-consuming. Tweezing individual strands of hair from the brows or lip is more time-consuming than threading or waxing.
- Painful. Tweezing individual strands of hair is necessarily more painful as the process repeats the sting of removing the hair, individually and repeatedly.
- Balance. Over-tweezing can create unbalanced brows, and tweezing at home, if you are forced to remove your prescription eyewear, can also contribute to uneven, mismatched brows.