Does Eyebrow Threading Hurt?
Published Aug. 26, 2022
Despite the popularity of eyebrow threading, many people are still reluctant to try it thinking that it’s going to hurt. In fact, one of the most popular questions on web forums about this brow shaping method is, “does eyebrow threading hurt?”
Considering that the procedure involves pulling your eyebrow hair from the roots, we can’t blame you for thinking such. The first time I tried it, I was a nervous wreck and had the same hesitations you currently have. I was even looking around the salon to see if they’ve got some balms or ointments on hand, just in case.
Besides, if you’ve tried other brow shaping methods like waxing and plucking, then you know how painful they can be. I swear they brought out the beast in me a couple of times before. And if eyebrow threading is anything like them, I’d rather stick to razors.
So, Does Eyebrow Threading Hurt?
Yes, eyebrow threading can hurt but in general, the pain is tolerable. It can be daunting, yes. But based on my experience, the amount of pain really depends on the skills of your brow artist or aesthetician.
You see, threading is not just about twisting some threads and uprooting eyebrow hairs. It requires dexterity and precision to properly control the thread.
I’ve had some aestheticians who did my eyebrows while I was asleep and I didn’t feel anything. While one aesthetician made my eyes water because the thread accidentally clamped on several pieces of eyebrow hair at once.
However, the overall threading experience can vary for each person. Some people are more sensitive to pain while others have better pain tolerance. Your first time will inevitably cause some flinching from time to time, but, as I said, the pain is usually tolerable. And if it does hurt, a dab of aloe vera or cooling gel usually helps.
How Does Eyebrow Threading Work?
Eyebrow threading is a brow shaping method that uses (surprise, surprise) threads.
The aesthetician starts by tying both ends of a piece of thread that’s about a foot long until it forms a loop. Then the thread is twisted tightly until it’s taut and forms an hourglass figure. As the brow artist adjusts the tightness of the twisted thread, the twisting motion rubs the threads against each other. This allows it to trap brow hairs and remove them from the hair follicle.
But before the actual threading process will start, the aesthetician will prepare your brows first. The process usually varies per salon but in general, it involves brushing or trimming your brows. If you’re aiming for a specific brow shape, the aesthetician may also draw your preferred shape using a brow pencil.
Depending on your brow shape and thickness, an eyebrow threading session can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. If you’re lucky to get an experienced aesthetician, the process is usually faster and more efficient. But if your aesthetician is still learning the ropes, it may take longer than 15 minutes.
Benefits of Brow Threading
Compared with other brow shaping methods like waxing and plucking, threading is considerably less painful. But aside from the pain, there are other reasons why many people are choosing to thread their brows.
For one, other brow shaping procedures require a lot of work. Let’s take plucking, for example. This procedure takes longer as it involves pulling the hairs off your face one at a time. Threading, on the other hand, takes only a few minutes so the discomfort is much shorter.
Eyebrow shaping also produces clean and precise results. Because it pulls hair from the follicles, it doesn’t cause lumps and bumps like waxing. Nor does it make your eyebrow area red and swollen like plucking. There might be a little redness but it’s nothing that an aloe vera gel can’t fix. You can walk out of the salon right after the procedure like nothing happened.
Another reason behind the popularity of eyebrow threading is that it doesn’t use any chemicals. It’s no secret that wax and hair removal creams can damage the skin in several ways. So chemical-less procedures like this are a definite win for your skin.
How to Make Eyebrow Threading Less Painful
While eyebrow threading pain is pretty tolerable for most people, others might not be so tolerant to the pain. Besides, there are instances where the thread will accidentally clamp on large chunks of hair making the process much more painful.
If you think that eyebrow threading will cause you more pain than you can handle, here are some ways to make eyebrow threading less painful:
1. Rub ice over the affected area
Ice numbs your nerves helping you feel less pain. You can do this before or after the procedure. Though it might be harder to thread your brows if they’re wet, as the hairs can clump together. So if you’re rubbing ice on your brows before the procedure, make sure to wipe it thoroughly to make the threading process easier.
2. Wash your brows with cold water
If ice is too cold for you or if you have no ice cubes available on hand, washing your brows with cold water can help lessen the pain too. Like ice, you can also do this either before or after the procedure.
If the water is cold enough, it can temporarily relax the tissues and nerves which makes it easier to pull out the hair from the follicles. It also helps relieve any swelling and inflammation after the procedure.
Moisturizing your skin softens it and makes it less sensitive to all the pulling and plucking movements involved in the eyebrow threading process. This makes the procedure so much easier and less painful.
Remember, however, that the skin on your brows are pretty thin. So make sure that your moisturizer doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or anything that may irritate your skin. Also, avoid using moisturizers that are too oily or greasy as that could prevent the thread from clamping onto the hair.
4. Apply a cooling gel
A cooling gel not only moisturizes your skin. It also helps relieve redness and swelling after the eyebrow threading procedure. Most salons have cooling gels and cold creams on hand so don’t worry if you haven’t brought one with you.
5. Use talcum powder
Talcum powder soothes your skin and absorbs extra moisture and oil from your brows. This prevents the thread from slipping during the threading process and ensures that your brows are pulled out directly from the hair follicle, making the threading experience less painful.
6. Stay in the shade
Exposure to the sun can further irritate your skin. So make sure to stay indoors at least 2 to 3 days after your threading procedure. Or if you really need to go out, make sure to wear hat, sun visor, or anything that can shade your brows from the heat of the sun.
Is It Worth the Discomfort?
On the whole, eyebrow threading is worth the discomfort. But if you want to ensure a pain-free procedure, choose your brow artist carefully. Make sure they know what they’re doing and if possible, read up a few reviews about them. When the future of your eyebrow is on the line, it doesn’t hurt to be extra careful.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you thread any part of your body?
While it’s possible to thread any hair in any part of your body, it’s not really practical. One brow threading session can take up to 15 minutes. If you’re gonna do it in other parts of your body like say, your legs, it would probably take several hours. This is why threading is usually reserved for eyebrows and facial hairs.
2. Does eyebrow threading hurt more than waxing?
Both waxing and threading are great for removing unwanted hairs. In general, however, eyebrow threading hurts less than waxing. You see, the waxing process involves dabbing hot melted wax on your eyebrows. So aside from the pain of pulling your hair out, you’ll also have to contend with the hot wax irritating your skin.
3. How often do you need to thread your brows?
After the threading session, your brows may retain their shape and cleanliness for approximately two to five weeks, maybe even more if you take care of them properly. Depending on how fast your facial hair grows, you may or may not need to revisit your esthetician to do a follow-up or trim any hair that grew back. For better and long-lasting results, just be sure to maintain your brows properly, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.
4. Where did eyebrow threading originate?
This form of hair removal procedure started centuries ago in Southeast Asia and Middle Eastern areas. The procedure eventually arrived in the United States, where it rose to fame. Nowadays, almost every salon in the US offers eyebrow threading services.
(Related: Microblading Gone Wrong? Here’s How to Fix Bad Microblading Eyebrows)
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is the lead writer for the Salon Suites of Palm Beach website and blog. Her many years of blogging experience and passions for beauty trends helps her create content that has helped millions of people worldwide.