Lifestyle

The Ancient Art of Threading

Saturday, August 30, 2014    

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Beauty experts always stress the importance of neatly groomed eyebrows as they can 'make or break' a pretty face. And let's face it, no matter how perfect your hair and make-up is, your look is incomplete without those perfect, neat arches framing your eyes. The most popular methods for eyebrow shaping are waxing, tweezing and shaving, but there's a fourth method that's quickly taking over salons all around the world - threading.

Threading, also known as epilation, is an ancient custom practised in Asia and the Middle East believed to have originated thousands of years ago in what is now India. In the Old Persian Empire, a girl's eyebrows were threaded for the first time to mark her becoming a woman. Today, celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Liv Tyler and the Duchess of Cambridge swear by the procedure's unique technique to keep their brows red carpet ready.

So, waxing, tweezing, shaving or threading? Under the Dryer brings you the scoop on this age-old, all-natural method to help you decide if it's right for you. Threading professional Sherene Singh of Amiri Beauty gives us the lowdown on everything you need to know about this ancient art.

Under The Dryer (UTD): How does threading work?

Sherene Singh (SS): 100% natural thread is doubled, twisted, and then rolled over areas of unwanted hair, plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing, where single hairs are pulled out one at a time, threading can remove short lines of hair all at once.

UTD: How long does the procedure take?

SS: Anywhere between 5 and 7 minutes.

UTD: Can other areas of the body be threaded?

SS: Definitely! Although threading is commonly used to shape and groom eyebrows, facial threading is extremely beneficial for removing unwanted hair on the face (upper lip, cheeks, chin, sideburns), especially for those with sensitive skin or individuals undergoing other permanent hair removal methods such as laser treatment.

Threading is also favourable to one of the body's most sensitive regions, the underarm -- especially for those suffering from skin discoloration or burns from hot wax; threading is always a healthier alternative that leads to less or no hair growth.

UTD: How long should a person wait in-between threading sessions?

SS: The whole purpose in opting for either eyebrow or body threading is the idea that the more often you thread, the less often you will need to thread. An appropriate interval for eyebrow and facial threading is about 3-4 weeks. This allows enough time to clean up any strays, keeping the brows groomed and facial hair finer and less visible. The longer the interval period is, the longer it will take to groom them into a desired shape, so frequent clean-ups are vital for maintaining thick, healthy-looking brows and hair-free skin.

UTD: How long have you been doing threading?

SS: I have been threading for 10 years and was trained at the London College of Beauty Therapy in the UK. It started out as a hobby, but I fully dived into my love for holistic health and hair removal when I moved back home to Jamaica from London in 2011 and realised our need for this ancient practice.

UTD: Why do you prefer it to other methods of eyebrow grooming?

SS: Apart from the thick, clean line shape it gives you, it's important that threading is an organic and healthy way to remove unwanted hair: even the most sensitive skin types can opt for this method. This is contrary to waxing, for example, which removes hair with very hot, sticky wax that can sometimes lead to burns and thinning of the skin. The skin on the face, particularly on the eyelids, is very thin which makes it prone to developing wrinkles and scarring caused by continuous waxing.

Threading is also a brilliant way of correcting brows that have been badly damaged or butchered, as I call it. The method is designed to groom even the thinnest eyebrows into a thicker, shapelier state. Since our eyebrows are naturally different to each other, there's even more reason to choose a grooming option like threading that will make them as uniform as possible. So, unlike waxing, tweezing or shaving that may result in having two very different-looking brows, threading will gradually add symmetry and balance to your brows. The 3-4 week interval between threads is also an advantage, unlike shaving, which will result in hair growth in just a matter of days. Contrary to most permanent hair removal treatments, threading is versatile, cost-effective and suits almost everybody's budget.

UTD: In your opinion, why has the thousands-years-old practice of threading stood the test of time and is increasingly popular?

SS: Eyebrow and facial threading have not only stood the test of time but have progressed from old Asia to the modern world, becoming the number one choice of hair removal in countries like the USA and the UK. This is because threading uses skill and precision, providing that very well-known cosmetic clean look to the brows which make- up artists today try to achieve with make-up.

With more aestheticians around the world excelling and preserving the skilled art, threading will be around for a really long time for its simplicity yet overwhelmingly amazing benefits.

Sherene from Amiri Beauty can be contacted at: 343-7272

Photos by Joseph Wellington

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