Threading vs. Trimming, Shaving, or Plucking

To Thread or Not To Thread?

As a young woman plagued with a (somewhat) hereditary hairiness, I've sought many different hair removal methods throughout my 25 years here on Earth. I have always had a fine layer of hair all over my face; save my forehead and nose, presumably. Unfortunately as of late I'm feeling more on the werewolf side. I have a good grade of skin, not acne prone; quite sensitive--so it makes tackling the challenge all the more--well, challenging!

Around my teenage years the hair on my chin was not at all noticeable (I have what some would call a baby face) and did not require much, if any, maintenance. Approaching my twenties I was in for a more rigorous shaving routine. Not only did I do my eyebrows, forearms, underarms, legs, thighs and bikini zone...I also took up shaving my chin! For awhile the eyebrow razor seemed to suffice, then, suddenly I began to suffer terrible ingrown hairs--leading to hyper-pigmentation.

Moving into my mid twenties, the hair growth has proved itself to be more and more problematic. I went on to try facial depilatories, wax strips, and tweezing in addition to shaving. A scale ranking the removal methods from least time elapsed (between treatments) to most is as follows:

  1. Shaving ( I'd have to do it everyday)
  2. Depilatories (stubble comes back almost as quick as shaving)
  3. Tweezing
  4. Waxing

Which is why I thought wax strips were the answer to all of my hair removal prayers! It lasted about two weeks and my skin was smooth even when the hair grew back; unlike shaving and tweezing which caused it to be very stiff and burrow backwards into my skin (creating "hair-bumps" and darkening). The waxing went well for approximately a year.

My skin, then, went through another morph: waxing gave me the same results shaving and tweezing did. The hair re-growth was thick and dark with a fast turnaround rate, accompanied by painful razor bumps that left scars. As a last resort I looked into laser treatment. I felt 'so unpretty', but [after two different consultations and a test treatment] I had to think thrice about using a laser to burn out the hair follicles on my face--when popular *name-brand* products irritated and broke it out--along with nearly everything else. That would've been quite an expensive "experiment" to participate in.

So, what's my solution, you ask? No...it is not ignoring the malady and being satisfied straddling the androgyny fence. I happened to be in the mall last week and there was a Middle Eastern lady working a kiosk specializing in henna tattoo art. She advertised all shapes of eyebrows on a placard as well as some henna designs--and I unwittingly thought she used henna on the brows. I thought it a little foolish of people to come back every two weeks though (since she informed me that is how long the henna ink lasts on skin).

However, this woman was also a threader. While I was flipping through a photo album of her henna work she offered to "thread" my eyebrows, and the first question I asked was if it hurt. I'd read about threading sometime at the beginning of this year, but never encountered anyone who had any firsthand experience(s). She assured me it wasn't very painful, but that it wasn't painless either. I'm a stickler about my brows, so I mulled it over and told her I'd come back.

The allure of threading is that it [supposedly] creates precise and streamlined brows. The one thing that caught my attention when I returned was that...her brows were not freshly shaped. Upon that, I decided to allow her to do my chin. It was a very nominal price, and I figured I could remedy it with exfoliating scrub and cocoa butter if ingrown hairs appeared afterward.

And boy did they! I have a large dark hairbump on the left side of my chin, as I type. Aside from the fact that I felt I needed to shave the next day (but refrained from doing so), threading is really no different than any of the aforementioned hair removal techniques. The whole process is not very extensive, but it is very meticulous. For a person with low patience, like myself, it may be all the more wise to stick to home remedies.

I was (more than) ready for the stinging to stop...regardless of being able to still feel a few stubble-y stray hairs on my chin after she stepped back and asked 'how was that'. It's a toss-up on whether tweezing is more uncomfortable than threading, because the removal of the hair follicle is imminent in both cases [and its regrowth is equally as painful].

Thus, I've resigned any fancy methods of getting rid of the hair on my face. I've picked my razor and shave gel back up because for the last three months it has been the most practical solution for my skin and its hair issues. In comparison to my waxing in the year prior, I have had much smoother results since going old school. There is no sense in spending money on a hype-new procedure that you could replicate in your home (minus the laser treatment).

I think we can all learn how to thread. Once its novelty wears off--what will be the next hottest thing? Or will we move on to become a society where facial hair on women doesn't really matter? I highly doubt the latter. However, once that nouveau hair removal product does debut....I can't promise you I'll be first in line to try it. Hairy or not, I'm happy with being traditional!


Comments 9 comments

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Interesting. I had no idea that this could be such a problem for a young person also. Thanks for sharing.

Love and peace

Tony


Shannon 6 years ago

I have gone through all of the same things you described and was considering the threading as well. Thank you for posting this so I don't waste my time, money or my poor skin.


Simone 5 years ago

Interesting piece - when was this written?

Sorry to hear of your troubles, I had heard that skin sensitivity issues could create problems with hair removal.

Personally, I've never found dark hair on women to be unattractive (speaking as a gay woman). I remember specifically a very pretty 20-something girl on the train a few months back who had noticeably dark hair on her arms. I noticed it because I guess it wasn't the norm here in the UK but it certainly wasn't unattractive and then somehow became all the more attractive for how body-confident she seemed. I've always found people who are confident and comfortable about themselves and just accept their body as it is to be attractive if only for that reason.

That said (and yes, this is turning into a very long response) I do understand the pressures for hair removal. Such a shame and hopefully it is something that will change a long long time into the future.


4 years ago

I have had this problem since I was a child. I have been shaving since I was a teen as well. I am trying to go back to waxing, but I can't seem to get all the hair at once and I tend to burn myself when I do it on my own. I tried the threading, and yes it is painful. I just had to have to go every few weeks.

Has anyone gotten electrolysis or laser done? I'm looking for something more permanent.


Tania 4 years ago

I am not one to promote expensive hair removal treatments, but I also suffer from facial hair. I have tried shaving, waxing and plucking. I had about 7 weeks of electric pulse and had to stop the treatment because I fell pregnant. I noticed that the hair on the sides of my face grew back as a very fine white fuzz, hardly noticeable but it didn't do much for my moustache! When I stop breasfeeding, I may consider re-starting to see if it takes longer for my lip hair to turn into a light fuzz. This may not work for everyone, as my sister also tried it, but her hair was constantly shaved and she had a lot more than i did. Maybe it is only good if you don't have really thick hairs, only soft ones. Good luck to all you hairy gals.


Anon 3 years ago

I am hairy as well and have decided after many years of reading about it to finally get electrolysis. It's permanent and doesn't cost as much as i thought it would. I googled the price and it's like 79 bucks per session. So kinda like the cost if you get your hair done on the regular. The only part Im concerned about it what to do in between sessions. I think I will trim with scissors(cant see myself shaving) and bleach the hairs. Anyway good luck.


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