Waxing vs Threading: To Thread or Not to Thread

Waxing vs Threading: To Thread or Not to Thread

I would be more than happy to demonstrate my technique or even go head-to-head with any threader from anywhere because as I always say... 'The proof is always in the pudding' and seeing is believing.

By Michelle Phillips BTEC LCGI
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First published: June 7, 2009

Threading: The Ancient Art Of Hair Removal

Note: This is a random video from YouTube created without any input from Michelle Phillips or UGPulse.com

Threading is an ancient method of hair removal. It can be extremely effective and has become increasingly popular throughout the history and development of beauty techniques. However in specific reference to the threading of eyebrows, my views on the threading of brows based on physiological facts along with my extensive professional experience within the beauty industry lead me to conclude that this age old method is not ideal in most cases.

Natural guidelines as the correct rule of thumb:

Eyebrows like the head hairline take on their own natural shape. This is THE guideline that all therapists should in fact work with. As a rule you should work with what you've got in creating and defining the best natural look as the wax removes the excess whilst the tweezers skillfully cut the shape in by being freely maneuvered with the skillful hand of the therapist.

Threading contradicts this natural definition approach due to the fact that the thread needs to be pulled taught and positioned and maneuvered at a perfectly straight angle along the brow in order to grasp the hairs, and so then every hair which falls alongside the taught thread will then be pulled out. Thus inevitably demonstrating that the thread is dictating the shape as opposed to a skillful free hand. So although the eyebrow line will be clean and neat, it will always be straight and angular which can take on an unnatural hard look, which is not necessarily suited to all face shapes. I find that all threaded eyebrows are almost always the same shape, just placed at different angles.

Threading and thin eyebrows:

However, threading does look quite good on those who have naturally thick prominent brows, as there is enough 'to play with.' However, if threading is used on someone who has not got reasonably thick eyebrows then the finished brow will become even thinner due to the taught thread and straight angular scenario ultimately occurring.

I have found throughout my years of practice that the brows that often take the longest to do are indeed the thin ones as you have to be extremely careful in removing the right hair and most importantly to not remove the wrong one, and I specifically mean do not remove a single hair that should remain, as one hair taken out that should remain can make a massive difference and be detrimental to very sparse brows. A free hand dictating the shape is absolutely paramount here to achieve and maintain complete control of the dictation of shape and not a piece of thread for the end result as it is more likely that the thread will remove more that one hair at a time.

Threading over a period of time:

Repeated threading over a period of time causes the brow hair to grow back in an outwardly facing direction. Look at the inner corners. This is due to the thread pulling the hair in the direction in which it does not grow naturally and so the hair follicle eventually becomes distorted and is manipulated into the altered direction. This is based on physiological fact. See for yourself.

When wax is used to remove hair, the wax is smoothed over the hair in the direction of growth and then pulled quickly in the opposite direction, which enables the hair to grow back in its original direction and never in an outwardly facing way.

The Pain factor:

Threading and waxing are in my opinion no more or less painful than one another as pain is in fact personal and depends on individual thresholds and in some cases, the time of the month for a women due to changes in hormonal levels.

However I have heard threaders say that when brows are waxed it is a lot more painful and that the skin is pulled out of shape or even more untrue that a layer of skin is pulled off each time! What a load of rubbish. First of all the skin only has 5 layers to begin with and I can assure you that I must have repeatedly waxed the same clients hundreds of times over the years, and guess what? Their skin is still intact, their brows are perfect and they keep coming back! So therefore, if taking layers of skin off was the case, then I am sure waxing would have been banned by

The physiology in regards to this determines that when the strip is pulled off the skin, the skilled therapist will hold down and pull the skin taught in the opposite direction at the same time so there is absolute minimal pulling. This is the only way to apply the correct technique and a therapist should always apply an after wax lotion to the area to help sooth as long as the client is not allergic to the product. This could be tea tree or witch-hazel based. However, in the process of threading, it is only logical to realise that in order for hair to be removed, the skin will always be pulled at the point when the brow hair is leaving the follicle and what is more, there is no free hand or fingers to hold down and pull the skin in the opposite direction to counteract this effect as the threaders hands are fully occupied with manipulating the movement of the thread. Watch both techniques in slow motion and come to your own conclusions.

Eyebrow Waxing 101

Note: This is a random video from YouTube created without any input from Michelle Phillips or UGPulse.com

Is waxing harmful?

In my opinion and millions of others in the business... NO WAY. The wax used is totally harmless and free of any harmful chemicals as all wax produced and formulated is specifically done so with the purpose of skin contact in mind. However a very small percentage of people can have a reaction, but this is due to either the wax being too hot, in which case the therapist has been careless or may be due to the skin being overly sensitive in general because of a derma logical condition that the client already has, whereby there could also be similar reaction to other skin products. However there are now a multitude of different waxes available that contain much more natural ingredients i.e. tea tree and green tea waxes which can be much more soothing to sensitive skins.

Threaders also get the notion that wax is harmful because the skin may go a little red after a wax. This is completely normal and usually settles down after 30 minutes in most cases. In stating this, it is also beneficial for warm wax to be applied because it is a fact that when the skin gets warm the pores of the skin become more open therefore making it easier for the hair to come out. After weighing up the pros and cons, a little temporary redness is a tiny price to pay for perfect brows. Millions of waxing clients around the world would agree.

Time factor:

Threaders claim that they have a much quicker method of hair removal... Well this is perfectly correct due to the dictation of shape scenario (the thread doing all the work). I have always allocated an average of 15 minutes for eyebrows, in order to wax off the excess, trim, and cut in the shape with tweezers and then apply any tint if necessary.

I consider the reshaping of eyebrows a very creative art and all art forms should never be rushed. If ever I have been running late with appointments then it is a lot more justifiable to apologise to my next client than risk losing a present valued one and an excellent reputation. After all what's a little extra time spent on eyebrows when 'you have to wear them for the next few weeks!


However, I have to maintain respect for threaders as it is indeed a skill in itself and you have to be able to maneuver the thread in the correct manner at the right angle and I can't do it myself. But this is primarily because I do not wish to do so as overall, due to my extensive knowledge and definitive skill in this area of beauty I realise that the physiological factors regarding threading do not and will never sit comfortable with me. Also over the years I have had to correct many threaded eyebrows which is a slow and patient process and I also have to raise factual points regarding threaders rubbishing waxing techniques as many of the references made are untrue and can be conclusively proven to be so. This may be due to unintentional ignorance through lack of knowledge rather than a deliberate attempt to rubbish waxing as most threaders learn from being very young girls in the home from older family members and so are brought up with only this hair removal knowledge. In light of this, I would be more than happy to demonstrate my technique and/or even go head-to-head with any threader from anywhere because as I always say... 'The proof is always in the pudding' and seeing is believing. I don't mean to come across as all knowing and over confident, its just that eighteen years in the business and specialising in this area for the past several years due to personal demand gives me the privilege to be forth coming. No doubt I will continue to learn like all therapists should, However, I genuinely believe that currently I am one of the best eyebrow specialists in the beauty business and that the wax and tweeze technique is in fact the best technique.

By Michelle Phillips BTEC LCGI
more from author >>
First published: June 7, 2009


I am Michelle Phillips, a qualified Beatuy Therapist with over 18 years experience, in the beauty industry and I currently work on a freelance basis in a commercial and private capacity.

Throughout the years it became increasingly apparent that the majority of my practice developed and became focused towards specialising in eyebrow reshaping.

It was also evident that on my browsing through various best selling glossy magazines and other printed and advertised media sources, that despite professional make-up artists performing an excellent professional service for models chosen to promote commercial products, they however with the greatest respect do not pay the required attention to their clients eyebrows for achieving the "perfect look" except for only brushing them.

If we consider how much business is generated from expensive advertising campaigns in which models are the main focus of many, then it's only appropriate that their faces should be even more "picture perfect" simply by having their eyebrows reshaped prior to a photo shoot. After all, we will all be looking at our pictures as a framed moment in time. Having this done professionally always "Frame Your Face" and everybody, not just models should benefit from looking their very best at all times. This is why I am so particular about performing this specific professional service for everybody and why I decided to specialise in this area of beauty treatments.

You do not have to be a model to achieve looking your best, just simply...

"Frame Your Face"