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What Is Threading? Why This Gentle Eyebrow Grooming Technique Is Great for Women Over 50

Learn how threading can also minimize wrinkles

There’s so many ways to achieve perfectly groomed and youthful-looking eyebrows today. From waxing to tweezing to threading and more, there’s an option for everyone. And if you’re over 50, threading is the gentlest technique. But maybe you’ve never had it done before and are wondering what is threading. So we turned to top brow pros to answer all your questions about threading and why you should try it.

What is threading?

woman getting eyebrows threaded

Autumn Estelle, a brow artist with Benefit Cosmetics, says that threading is one of the oldest forms of hair removal and that it’s essentially a faster version of tweezing. “Threading is a gentle way of removing hair, and it has an interesting history — it dates back centuries to Arabia and South Asia,” says Bridget Adamson, training and development manager at Shobha. “The whole process involves using a twisted thread that’s pulled along areas with unwanted hair, kind of like a mini-lasso.” Threading lifts the hair directly from the root without using any chemicals or tugging on your skin. “We’re big believers in this method, to the point where it’s the only hair removal option we offer for the sensitive area around the eyes,” adds Adamson.

Why threading is great for women over 50

Threading is an ideal choice for women over 50, particularly those with sensitive skin. “It’s gentle, precise and minimizes the risk of irritation,” says Adamson. Estelle adds that threading is also a great option for someone who’s using active skincare ingredients such as retin-A, retinal or glycolic acid. “As we age, our skin begins to thin, which could result in a higher chance of skin sensitivity, which is why someone of a more mature age might consider choosing threading over waxing,” explains Estelle.

And it’s also a great option for those concerned with losing too many brow hairs, especially if your hair in the area is already sparse. “The technique reduces the likelihood of taking more hair than intended and allows for controlled hair removal,” she says. “For example, the specialist can take a single hair or a perfect line, vital for precise brow design. It’s also suitable for delicate areas, such as around the eyes, making it a preferred option for shaping eyebrows and managing unwanted facial hair.”

How threading compares to waxing and tweezing

Threading takes the spotlight when compared to waxing and tweezing, with some noteworthy perks, says Adamson. “For starters, the minimal redness post-threading is a game-changer — for most, any hint of it usually fades within 30 minutes,” she says. It’s also good for those with acne concerns. “It tends to play nicer with breakout-prone skin than waxing does.”

Threading allows for a quicker and more precise removal of multiple hairs than tweezing, offering efficiency and a clean, well-defined outcome, especially crucial in areas like the brows where meticulous shaping is key. And there’s also a wrinkle prevention angle to threading. “Unlike waxing, which can be a bit rough on the delicate facial skin, threading requires only subtle contact, without overly tugging,” says Adamson. “Threading is 100% natural — there are no artificial waxes, chemicals or invasive techniques used.” This means less damage caused to skin and, in turn, less chance of wrinkles forming.

close up of eyebrow threading

Estelle adds that for those who want to DIY eyebrow grooming, tweezing is the best option — threading is best for professionals to do. So tweezing has a slight advantage when it comes to anyone being able to do it and it gives you the ability to control which individual hairs you want to pluck. “However, it’s a longer, time consuming process and depending on how thick your brows are, it may take up to 30-40 minutes to finish shaping up your brows.

Related: Brow Lamination Before and After: You Won’t Believe How Dramatically This Simple Procedure Can Restore Thinning Brows

How threading is done

The threading process at Shobha and most salons begin with a conversation so your brow tech can understand your preferences, especially for eyebrow shaping, says Adamson. “We discuss any concerns or differences in vision between the client and our experts so everyone is on the same page before a single hair is removed.”

Then, the technician gets to work with the thread. Estelle says a thread of 100% cotton is used as “it’s strong enough to remove even the coarsest hair without breaking, but typically it isn’t strong enough to nip the skin the way a cotton blend thread could.” The thread is moved along the eyebrow area to precisely remove unwanted hairs and reshape brows. At a point during this process, the technician will ask the client to their skin taut by placing one hand over closed eyes and the other above the brow.

To see threading in action, watch the below video from @Brows_byAlyssa on YouTube.

How much threading costs

In the U.S., brow threading prices typically range from $10 to $25, on average, says Adamson. “However, in bustling locations like New York City, where costs may reflect the higher living expenses and demand for skilled technicians, you might find prices ranging from $15 to $50 or more,” she says.

How do I care for my brows post-threading?

woman brushing eyebrows

Since your skin may feel a bit sensitive after threading, it’s important to avoid any type of exfoliation on the skin and unnecessary irritation, says Estelle. “You can apply aloe vera on your brows for a natural cooling-effect or simply apply a cold compress to soothe any redness.”

At Shobha, Adamson says aftercare includes soothing the threaded skin with a compress of cooling rosewater and optional hydrocortisone cream. “It’s best to be gentle with the area (no harsh cleansers, avoid makeup if possible) for 24-48 hours and after that, you can exfoliate.”

Related: Castor Oil Proven to Regrow Hair on Head, Eyebrows + Eyelashes — For Pennies A Day!

How often should I get threading done?

Estelle says depending on how fast your brow hair grows, you can get threading done every three to four weeks. Adamson says most clients return to Shobha about every two to four weeks for threading. “In terms of upkeep, we recommend avoiding activities that may cause excessive sweating or rubbing immediately after threading to ensure the best results,” she says. Two days of rest afterward is best and regular moisturizing and gentle cleansing can also contribute to healthy, well-maintained eyebrows between threading sessions, she notes. And she adds “no plucking in between salon visits” so hair continues its normal growth cycle for your next appointment.

For more eyebrow tips and tricks, click through these stories:

Powder Brows: The Most Natural-Looking Technique To Thicken Thinning Eyebrows

3 Tricks for Fuller Brows and Longer Lashes That Will Give You a Natural, Beautiful Look

‘Soap Brows’ Are the Secret to Making Sparse Eyebrows Look Thick and Fluffy in Seconds

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