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8 Things You Need to Know Before You Try Eyebrow Threading

If waxing irritates your skin and plucking leaves you with ingrown hairs, the ancient technique of eyebrow threading may be your best hair removal option. Here's what to know before you book your first eyebrow threading appointment.

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Threading is simple

Eyebrow threading is basically exactly what it sounds like: A trained threading specialist twists a thin thread (similar in appearance to dental floss) and rolls it quickly over your brows to pluck the hair from the follicle, explains Sabah Feroz, a brow expert at Saks Fifth Avenue’s brow bar, blinkbrowbar. It’s less messy and faster than waxing, she adds. Find out the grooming secrets to getting perfect eyebrows.

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Threading is good for sensitive skin

Everybody’s tolerance for pain will differ, but if you have sensitive skin or hate waxing because of how painful it is, eyebrow threading might be the best hair-removal method for you. Unlike waxing, it doesn’t remove any skin (making it a safe alternative to waxing for people who are on Accutane or other medications that contain Retin-A), nor does threading contain any chemicals, such as depilatory cream, which makes it one of the least invasive hair-removal methods on the market, according to Feroz. “Some people find it a bit uncomfortable, but generally speaking, there shouldn’t be any pain,” she says. (Related: Don’t miss these natural recipes for amazing skin from a plastic surgeon.)

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Eyebrow threading is quick

If you’re only having your eyebrows shaped, your threading session probably won’t be longer than 10 minutes, Feroz says. Good news if you’re popping in on your lunch break or between meetings or errands. (Though your skin may be a little red afterward, so don’t plan on doing it right before a date.) However, Feroz warns that if you want to have your entire face done (threading is also a popular hair removal method for upper lips and jawlines), the procedure can last up to an hour. (Related: Wear glasses? You’ll want to check out these makeup tips for women who wear glasses.)

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Threading is more sanitary than waxing

When it comes to cleanliness and eyebrow threading vs waxing, eyebrow threading has the edge here, too. While reputable salons will have processes in place to prevent infection when it comes to waxing—such as rules that prohibit double-dipping the same stick into a pot of wax multiple times—sanitation can be an issue when it comes to waxing, says Nikki Amini, a Beverly Hills-based aesthetician and CEO and founder of Brows by Nikki. In contrast, threading only uses one short piece of thread per person and your aesthetician should have an entire spool with her, so there’s no need to worry that he or she will be using the same thread on multiple clients.

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You’ll probably want to skip wearing makeup

While you can wear eye makeup to your appointment, your aesthetician will probably just wipe it off before she starts, says Feroz. It’s not a big deal if you’re wearing some makeup, but you might want to build in time to apply your eyeliner and mascara after your threading session finishes. (Related: Find other ways to use makeup to make your eyes pop.)

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Threading allows for easier brow shaping

Because each hair is pulled out individually in threading, your brow therapist has much closer access to your hair follicles, making it easier to develop your brow’s natural arches, says Amini. Feroz adds that you should feel free to speak up if you’re going for a particular shape or look. “At blinkbrowbar, you have a thorough consultation before your therapist removes any hair,” she says. Regardless of where you go or whether you want to look more like Cara Delevingne or Lily Collins, you should always feel comfortable communicating with your brow artist about your wants and needs.

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Exfoliate before you go

If you’re prone to ingrown hairs, Feroz recommends exfoliating the skin around your eyebrows before your first appointment to minimize ingrown hairs post-threading. Otherwise, your pre-appointment prep will probably be pretty minimal. Your hair doesn’t have to be a certain length in order to get re-threaded, but Feroz and Amini both recommend making a follow-up appointment two to four weeks after your initial session.

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Some redness is normal post-appointment

A common question of threading newbies is: Does eyebrow threading hurt? The answer is no. However, a bit of redness is normal after your threading appointment, but because threading is so gentle on the skin, it should be minimal and fade within a couple of hours.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest