Okay, we’re going to come right out and say it: eyebrows are arguably the most important feature on your face, and they often don’t get the attention they deserve.

Just think about it a moment. The first thing we think we notice when we first meet someone might be their eyes, their smile, their dimples or that weirdly attractive little upturned part at the end of their nose, but if there’s something not quite right about their eyebrows… well… their whole face can look a little bit out of balance. Why? Because eyebrows help to bring focus onto your face and they’re instrumental in what makes your face unique. Even if you think your eyebrows are imperfect, take a second to look at them again. Your eyebrows are gorgeous and expressive and, just like a birthmark, your eyebrows are unmistakeably you. You should be proud of them.

Unfortunately, that also means your eyebrows need to be maintained from time-to-time, and that usually involves making a very uncomfortable decision… waxing or threading? The chances are that both those choices automatically make you think ‘ouch’ but which option (if any) is better for your brows and what are the key differences between them?

Waxing

Waxing is probably the world’s most popular form of semi-permanent eyebrow hair removal. It involves applying a wax or resin to the hair and then pulling it out from the root. There are two types of wax – soft wax, which is gooey enough to apply and remove using wax strips, and hard wax, which is applied warm, allowed to cool and then (without using strips) pulled away from the skin, taking those annoying hairs with it. A quick note of caution, though: never use wax if your face is sunburned and be cautious if you’re using retinol products (it’s best to discontinue the retinol at least three to five days before waxing.)

Threading

Threading uses a doubled-up cotton or polyester thread to quickly tweeze hair from the root. It doesn’t leave behind the tell-tale redness that can be caused by waxing (although waxing redness usually quickly fades) and is a much better, gentler alternative for people with sensitive skin. Threading can also shape your eyebrows with much more precision.

Waxing vs. Threading – how long will either treatment last?

The thing about semi-permanent hair removal is that your hair will always grow back, and how long it takes to grow back will depend on how fast your hair grows in general. For the average person, the results of waxing or threading will last for between one to two weeks. If you’re really lucky, it might even be three weeks or more before those pesky eyebrow hairs start to bud through again. The reason for regrowth is because, unlike permanent methods like laser hair removal, the process of waxing or threading removes the hair but doesn’t kill the root.

How long should you wait until your next removal session?

Whichever method you choose, your eyebrow hairs need to grow to a certain length before they can be waxed or threaded again. For waxing, new hair should be approximately one-quarter of an inch long. For threading, it should be between one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch long. In theory, that means you could get your eyebrows re-threaded sooner than you could get them re-waxed but considering that the difference between 1/8 and ¼ is so infinitesimal – are you really going to break out the tape measure and magnifying glass to check?

What’s the verdict?

Well, first of all it’s important to add that other eyebrow hair removal treatments are available. Waxing and threading are the most popular choices but there’s always tweezing, laser hair removal and even at-home electric trimmers to consider. One thing you shouldn’t consider, though, is depilatory cream. Using depilatory cream on your eyebrows is a very bad idea. Please don’t do it. It can be harmful to your eyes, damage your skin, and in the very best-case scenario you’ll probably end up looking like the Mona Lisa (who famously doesn’t have eyebrows, although some experts think the eyebrows were unintentionally removed when the painting was cleaned. See? Read our blogs and you’ll discover all sorts of weird and wonderful things!)

The fact is, there’s no clear winner between waxing and threading. Whichever you choose, your hair will grow back just as quickly. So, it all depends on your personal preference and individual pain threshold (yes, we’re back to using that ‘ouch’ word again!) Some people find threading less painful than waxing but other people think waxing is less painful because threading can be a lot slower, especially when removing the shorter finer hairs. There’s also a chance that threading can separate the hair at the level of the skin (in other words, without removing the hair completely from the root) which could make the hair grow out faster.

One thing’s for certain, though. If you want to make sure your eyebrows are maintained in the very best way possible, it’s always better to visit a beauty professional instead of attempting it yourself. Or, alternatively, you could take a short beauty course at the LBTA, learn everything there is to know about waxing, threading, eyelash and eyebrow treatments, and have all the skills you need to make yours, your friends and your clients eyebrows dazzlingly trim and shapely (plus it’s a fantastic way to make an extra income.) If you want to find out more, get in touch on 020 8023 8044 or enquiries@lbta.co.uk.

Now, who fancies going down to The Louvre and drawing some new eyebrows on the Mona Lisa? (but don’t tell anyone we suggested it!)

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