Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Perfect Lady's Shaver is in Your Sewing Box

If I hadn't sat down to have a cup of coffee with Louise, I might never have learned about this. I almost didn't believe her, so she kindly offered to demonstrate.

In the picture above, you will find the perfect lady's shaver – the gentlest, most effective and ideal way to pluck eyebrows, remove unwanted hairs and  'defluff' an entire face – safely, painlessly and precisely.

Have you guessed what it is? All the hair-removing magic you could wish for can be done with a simple piece of thread.


It's a Verb
'Threading' has been practiced for ages and ages (as a matter of fact – for so long that no one quite knows its origins). There are several methods of holding the thread, and each is equally effective. Shown above is the 2-handed-coupled-with-mouth-holding stance that many advanced threaders use. Experienced threaders can pluck single hairs with the precision of a surgeon, but one of the main advantages of threading is being able to remove an entire row of hairs – making for clean edges on areas like eyebrows and mustaches. Threading takes moments to learn, but lots of practice to become proficient at.

Are you ready to give this a go? Don't worry, I'm not going to start you off with the advanced method; I haven't even learned it myself.

How it's Done
Tie a single strand of thread into a loop. The loop should be about the length of a ruler. Hold the loop between your fingers. Twist 5 times – no more, no less. You now have a kind of 'figure 8' in thread. You're ready! This is your magic hair removing instrument!

(I realize the pic is showing a rubber band that is not nearly long enough, but it's pretty impossible to demonstrate something with both hands, hold a camera, focus AND get the shot all at the same time, so you're just going to have to pretend it's a thread and that it's longer).

Now, let's try the method. Open and close your fingers alternatively. As you do so, the twisted area in the middle will 'wander' from right to left.

To make hair removing magic, lay the twisted area of the thread against your skin and 'walk' it back and forth across the area you want to de-fluff. That's it.

Does it Take a Lot of Practice? 
I won't lie. In the beginning, it feels about as awkward as trying to cut the back of your hair using 2 mirrors and a left-handed scissors (or right-handed scissors if you are left-handed). I'm sure you get the picture.

But it gets easier real quick – promise.

My First Lesson
I was trying to get the feel of it and was moving the thread around my face as Louise and I chatted. Although there was the occasional tiny nip, it didn't really feel like anything was happening. I mentioned that this was going to take some practice, but Louise replied, 'You must be doing something right – I can see little fluffs flying off in this light (I was backlit to her).

A quick inspection in the mirror confirmed what she said. It was working.

I've been threading for a few months now, and find it quite effective – not only for single unwanted hairs, but for those 'downy' hairs on the side of the face that sometimes catch the light and make you feel like a contender for a role in the Planet of The Apes.

Thanks Louise, for enlightening me about threading!

Do Tell
Did you know about threading? Have you ever tried it? Did you find it easy?

Check out these links for more info
the art of threading
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology: Eyebrow threading

Advanced threader pic courtesy of Wikipedia.

11 comments:

alicyn said...

yes! i just learned how to do threading on myself this summer, and i love it. it's almost painless, and great for hairs that are too fine to be properly grabbed by tweezers.

Lise M Andersen said...

How fun, Alicyn! So, did you learn from a friend too? Just curious. :)

alicyn said...

threading has become pretty commonplace around los angeles-- you can have it done at the mall for ~$6! that seems cheap compared to other hair removal services here, but my friend from india thought it was too expensive; she says the going rate is ~3 rupee in india.

i'm cheap and i have a lot of thread at home, so i searched for youtube videos and just tried it myself. :)

Lola Zabeth said...

I've had my brows threaded religiously for about 10 years now. You'd think I'd be used to the pain, but each time is like the first and I want to cry like a baby. But the results are so much more precise than with waxing. The young lady who I go to is an artist in her own right. I wish I could thread my own brows.

Stephanie said...

I've been soooo curious to try this so thanks for posting! You gave me the courage to DIY :)

I think I'll trust my brows to a profession threader for now, but I'm practicing on the rest of my face (where precision isn't as crucial). Like you said, it's awkward in the beginning but it works great!

Stephanie said...

Meant to say: *professional* threader :)

Lise M Andersen said...

@Alicyn - OMG - six bucks for threading?! That's outrageously cheap. I'm officially on the next plane to LA!!

@Lola - pain? really? I had no clue that it could hurt. (then again, I'm a newbie and may be doing it less efficiently). I am now officially curious to try a pro threader! (not for the pain - but so I can see how a real pro does it)

@Stephanie - Let me know how it goes for you and if you pluck up the courage (yeah, lame pun intended) to do your brows yourself at one point.

Stickytarts said...

I live in an city with a large Asian community, so threading is readily available in salons. I have had it done, and it seemed to be a better method for me than wax, to which I have had an allergic reaction in the past.
Don't think I would try it for myself though as it seems a bit complicated to do on yourself. So will stick with plucking my eyebrows for now !

Lise M Andersen said...

hey there Stickytarts - I envy you the proximity to salons that offer threading. I haven't actually seen any in Copenhagen, but hinestly, I haven't actually looked either. You're right about it being complicated to do on yourself, but I'm having fun while I practice. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I live in Copenhagen too. Did you find any professional threaders yet? I am just not brave enough to do anything to my eyebrows on my own!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Anon - I must admit I haven't looked for any threaders but would be super interested in trying one here in Cph. If you find one, please drop a comment! :)