By Shannon R.,SELF magazine
I'm sure you are familiar with tweezing, shaving and waxing as common hair-removal methods, but have you heard of threading? Threading is actually an ancient Arabic technique that has proven effective and grown in popularity in the Western world. Let's take a closer look at this traditional method and see if it's worth a try.
What is threading?
There are two basic types of hair removal: depilation and epilation. Depilation only affects the part of the hair that's above the surface of the skin (like shaving and chemical depilatories). Epilation removes the entire hair, including the part growing beneath the skin so the effect lasts longer. Threading is an epilation process that uses thread to pull out hair from sensitive areas of the face like the lips and eyebrows (tweezing and waxing are also forms of epilation).
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How does it work?
Thread, usually made of cotton, is twisted and rolled along the surface of the skin. As the thread twists, it entangles the hairs, pulling them out of the follicle. As with tweezing, it takes about 3 to 8 weeks for the hairs to grow back out. Unlike tweezing, which requires you to pull out one hair a time (ouch!), you can actually remove a larger area of hair resulting in a cleaner, straighter line and less pain.
What are the pros?
Inexpensive - Especially if you do it yourself. The only equipment you need is thread (talk about a bargain!).
Gentle - Waxing can remove some skin when ripping out your hair which can be painful and can cause irritation while threading only removes hair. If you have sensitive skin you may want to give threading a try.
Chemical-Free - This is one of the only beauty treatments I can think of (other than flossing!) that is truly chemical free (remember that even water is a chemical). If you are looking for a natural hair-removal method, then threading is for you!
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What are the cons?
Tricky - While inexpensive, this process is very tricky to do yourself. It will take practice and patience. You can certainly go to a pro (which I recommend) for better results but of course that makes it more expensive.
Only Good for Small Areas - Threading is great for small facial areas like brows and lips but it's not very efficient for large areas.
Time Consuming - While a little quicker than tweezing, threading can be a bit of a slow process which makes methods like waxing and shaving preferable for girls on the go!
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Threading is a safe, effective and natural way to remove hair. It's pretty amazing that a technique that has been around for so long is still a popular and effective treatment. There are certainly quicker, more efficient ways to remove hair from larger areas but for the more delicate skin on your face I think threading is an excellent option!