What Is Threading?

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  • Written By: Elle Jay
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2019
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Threading is a method of hair removal dating back to ancient times. Extremely common in the Middle East and India, threading is becoming more popular in Western countries. The process involves removing body hair by the root, using a cotton thread. This type of hair removal is called khite in Arabic and fatlah in Egyptian.

Facial hair removal is the most common use for threading, especially trimming and shaping eyebrows. Hair on the chin, cheeks, sideburns, and upper lips can also be taken off with this technique. During the procedure, the technician loops a long piece of thread around the hairs targeted for removal and twists very quickly to pull the hairs out by the roots. The practitioner typically holds one end of the thread in one hand and the other in her mouth, while using the free hand to grasp and pluck the hairs.

When compared to other methods of hair removal, threading has many pros and few cons. The biggest drawback is that skilled technicians can be difficult to find, especially outside of large and diverse urban areas. This procedure requires a particular skill set, along with training and practice to perfect the technique. Using a well-trained and experienced practitioner is vital to avoid poor results, such as crooked eyebrows or uneven hair removal.


The benefits of threading include cost, speed, ease, and cleanliness. Prices vary from salon to salon, but eyebrow threading can cost as little as a simple haircut. An expert can complete an entire eyebrow session in approximately five minutes, which is less time than it takes to apply the wax used for eyebrow waxing. Session times may be longer for different sections of hair, but threading tends to be faster than other hair removal techniques.

Fans say this procedure is less painful than other methods of hair removal. The process is not always pain free, however, and the feeling can be compared to plucking. Some people experience minor swelling, redness, or itching in the affected area, but this usually goes away within 15 or 20 minutes.

Cleanliness is vital when it comes to beauty services outside the home, and a threading salon typically offers a safe environment for hair removal. Waxing and tweezing require the use of instruments or substances to take the hair off, and contamination can lead to health problems. This technique requires only a cotton thread, which is discarded after every use, thus eliminating hygienic concerns. Since the process pulls hair out by the root, there is a slight possibility of infection, but cases are extremely rare.


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Post 1

I have heard some real horror stories about how painful threading can be if the practitioner doesn't know what h/she is doing. I think I'd rather pluck my eyebrows. I *know* how much that is going to hurt, and when I've had enough and want to stop.

Also, the person might not leave your eyebrows with an attractive and/or flattering shape. I'd hate to pay good money for a procedure like that and still end up with a monobrow or really shaggy eyebrows. When I do it, I control what comes off, where and how hard I need to tug.

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