Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Threading | The Fashion Dungjen

Before Veterans Day, it had been quite some time since I had my eyebrows done. Actually, it was right before I finished my summer internship in Portland, Ore.

Missy, one of my Portland roommates, was going for a bikini wax at a quaint, one-room shop, The Wax Shack. I sat in the 90-degree hallway for about 30 minutes waiting so we could hit up the Portland Beavers baseball game.

When they were finally finished and came to find me, the woman who runs the Shack took one look at my eyebrows (which had not been waxed since before I went to Portland about 11 weeks prior), and said “You cannot leave here like that.”

Long story short, that was toward the end of August. Veterans Day was last week. That’s a pretty long time to go without any sort of eyebrow grooming or upkeep. My eyebrows, to say the least, were a little out of control. So, when I went home, Mom offered to pay to have my eyebrows threaded.

Because Mom was buying, I was game. Over the river and through the suburbs of Dayton to the mall we go.

If you’ve never had your eyebrows threaded, it’s quite the experience.

Threading is an old practice traditionally used in Eastern countries, like India and Egypt. In the last couple of years it’s become more popular in the United States. You can even get your eyebrows threaded in Cincinnati. Maison De Sourcils in Kenwood Towne Centre offers threading. One session with them takes about 10 to 15 minutes, but costs a pretty penny: $32.10 plus tax.

(I went to Nirvana, a shop in Dayton Mall – the price there was $8, four times less than Maison De Sourcils, but also not an eyebrow specialty location.)

It’s a fairly simple process – the only thing the stylist uses is a piece of cotton thread and steady, precise hands. The lack of chemicals or anything else touching the skin means it’s super sterile, which is a plus for a germaphobe or anyone with allergies.

The cotton is wrapped around unwanted hairs, kind of like a lasso. The hair is pulled from the follicle, which means the threading is supposed to last longer than something more common like waxing or plucking.

Because the thread has to lasso the unwanted hairs, it’s ridiculously precise. Even after waxing or plucking with my favorite stylist I usually have to go back through and pluck
a few stray hairs. This time, no such thing.

It sounds pretty cool, right? Sounds like it might be worth your $8 for a simple procedure that lasts up to six weeks. (The hair removal can become permanent if you have it done often enough.)

But I, for one, will never have my eyebrows threaded again.

Threading took about five times longer than waxing and was at least 1,000 times more excruciatingly painful. I’ve since read testimonials that say the opposite, but, in those testimonials, they also say they were given a numbing spray or had a warm cloth compressed on their eyebrows to make it easier to remove the hairs.

Perhaps it was my anxiety that prevented me from finding any redeeming quality about my experience, but I could feel every hair being yanked from my face and the sound of the thread twisting was too much to handle.

My toes curled. My hands were sweating. I wanted to reach up, grab the woman who was threading my eyebrows and throw her to the ground.

I may or may not have cried.

My younger sister Kasey was next in line to have her eyebrows done. After watching me struggle to maintain composure she opted out of the experience. I wish she had volunteered to go first.

No more threading for me, but if you’re into some sadistic-type of pain, you might want to try it for yourself.

Wild about waxing or would you rather admire your flawless – but throbbing – threaded brows? Tell Taylor at

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