Beauty Wednesday: Eyebrow Maintenance

If you’re looking for a simple way to “clean” your look up for the holidays, one thing I always do is to get my eyebrows done.  I was reluctant for years (years!) to get any professional eyebrow maintenance, but I’m here to tell you that, when done right, it cleans up your face oh-so-subtly, and makes you look more refined and elegant.  I also think that if you wear glasses frequently (as I do) it puts even more emphasis on your brows to be perfect.  For example, one of my brow’s arches goes much higher than the other, and it’s really noticeable when I wear my glasses, I think because there’s a straight line to gauge how far apart/even things are on your face.  (This sounds crazy, but I swear it’s true.)

I’ve tried plucking them myself, shaping, waxing, and threading, and personally I prefer threading — the look is sharper and more uniform, and while the pain is more intense than waxing the experience is generally shorter — much better for a busy day.  I’ve paid anywhere from $9-$20 for threading, and $9-22 for waxing, so the price is about the same.  The first few times I got them done I wound up paying $60 (!!!) but I suspect the woman I went to would call herself a “shaper” since she both plucked and waxed my brows.  But she cost so much more ($60) and took an hour, so I’d much rather take my quick and cheap threading, thankyouverymuch.

I’ve posted some brow-only pictures below the jump, for those who care to see…

I started plucking my brows in high school, encouraged by one of my frenemies who suggested I do it. Hate to admit it, but she was right — here’s a picture of my brows probably from around the time I started plucking them.  (Let’s ignore the overdose of brow pencil. Sigh.)

I always hated that over-plucked look, though, so I was careful to be judicious in my plucking. Here’s another shot of me before I started handing it over to the professionals. (This was before a friend’s wedding, hence the sparkly makeup.)

It wasn’t until 2008 or so when I thought to have them done professionally. This was in part from a girl I knew through work (another frenemy, oddly enough) who encouraged all of the girls at work to use her “brow specialist,” and even worked out a deal with a local salon to let “her” girl come downtown and do all of our brows. I didn’t know it then, but this was fantastically expensive for essentially a wax job: $60. Anyway, here’s the first time she did my brows.  I was surprised that she plucked from the top of my brow — I had always read that you should ONLY pluck from the bottom side.  Sadly I think for my brows it does make a big difference!

I first tried threading a few months before my wedding: I’d read good things about it and wondered how it would go. The look tends to be much more angled than a waxing because of the way it’s done — the thread creates a straight line. This is actually a picture from my wedding day; I’m sure I had my brows done about a week or so before the wedding, almost certainly at the Shobha salon in NYC’s Soho.  (While on the pricier side, this is a great way to give threading a try if you’re scared — it’s much more of a salon experience than the $9 places.  One of my favorite cheaper places is Yuva Threading Salon.

Readers, do you wax, thread, pluck, or just go au naturel for your brows?  Are you religious about it?  Any favorite spots?



  1. Anonymous :

    Threading, when I lived near a large Indian/Pakistani population. But now, sadly, I pluck and trim my own when I notice there’s some new growth/unevenness. It just doesn’t look as good as threading.

  2. I have them waxed + plucked every 3-4 weeks by a professional – cost is about $30 in a non-major city. But I also have “Bert” brows when left natural – they literally will grow into one huge uni-brow. I sometimes pluck myself for maintenance (because my brows are so heavy and dark, it’s necessary) in between, although I try to let it go because it makes the waxing last longer. No way could I make them look as good as my waxer does.

  3. Wax with plucking as maintenance in between visits (slant-tip Tweezermans were worth the $20, I have to say). And the occasional brow and lash tinting. I actually don’t know what I pay – I go to my esthetician for all my waxing needs (Brazilian w/landing strip) and she does everything for $50, which I think is pretty good for my area without going to a nail salon for it.

    • I started waxing mine in college (2000) and once I realized how good a pro could make them look, I never went back.

    • just another shout out for the 20$ tweezermans…mine are my prized beauty tool. They also do free sharpening, you send them in and they send them back all nice and sharp for free! they’re great!

    • another shout out for the angled/slant tweezermans.

    • KateMiddletown :

      where do you find someone to do all that for $50??? a brazillian around here (ohio even!) costs upwards of $65.

  4. I’d love to hear recommendations for a good, cheaper threading place in SF! I’ve been plucking OYO for many years, but I think it may be time to bite the bullet and try a professional at least once.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I go to RB Threading in Burlingame.

    • Gooseberry :

      Lucid Beauty! (lucidbeauty [dot] com)

      Go see Catherine. Seriously, she’s awesome. I’ve been to her for bikini, eyebrows, facials, massages — if I could make her get me dressed in the morning and do my job, also, believe me I would. She used to be at IO, but now she’s at Lucid.

      • Check out Cocoon Bare as well. They’re in Rockridge, but their main spa (Cocoon Urban Spa) is in SF, both have threading/waxing services. I go to their brow bar in Rockridge and they are great.

    • Confessions :

      Any rec’s for a threading place in the South Bay?

  5. SF Bay Associate :

    Threading. It’s freaking amazing. I wish I had discovered it years ago. +1 on being surprised that you’re supposed to clean up the top of the brow too – the threader did that and I was like, oh duh!

    I’m terrified of hot wax. I once worked for a woman got her eyebrows waxed in college, and the wax was too hot, so it killed most of her eyebrow hair folicles. She doesn’t really have eyebrow hair anymore, and has had to draw her eyebrows on ever since. She has to wear a full face of makeup every day so that the drawn-on eyebrows don’t look out of place on a makeup-free face.

    • I now have a new nightmare. That is horrifying!

    • I once got my brows waxed at a random place in a strip mall near my grocery store (when my regular stylist was full) and the wax was so hot it burned my skin. Nothing like your friend, but I still went around for a week with burns above my eyes and it hurt like he**.

      I’d rather look a little ungroomed while I wait for an appointment with my usual stylist!

      • That’s happened to me before, too (the burn…luckily everything grew back). Made me much more wary of trying new places.

      • anonymissmyeyebrows :

        Oh, how I wish this post had been put up yesterday. I went to a strip mall salon yesterday afternoon in preparation for an interview I have late next week. I’ve been twice before and they’ve always done a good job.

        There’s no undoing a bad job. She clearly mixed up my request with the pencil-browed hooker request. My eyebrows are a tiny line about 2mm thick, and there is no arch – it is straight up and down. But there’s no undoing it. I sat in the car and cried and cried last night. I have no idea what – if anything – can be done before my interview next week.

        Now I’m terrified that it won’t grow back.

        • Oh no! I bet that it looks much, much more noticeable to you than anyone else. I will also add that last year I had a similar terrible experience with a pre-interview wax…good luck!

        • S in Chicago :

          I’ve totally been there. It will grow back. It just may take some time. If you have a store that carries Bobbi Brown, I’d highly recommend asking the sales assistant to help (go during a slow time so there is minimal distraction–a weeknight vs. pre-Friday or Saturday evening). I have some patches that occur naturally along my brow, and they recommended a powder that has been amazing for filling things out. They can also instruct you on the proper way to do it. When I’ve tried to pick things on my own and apply, I usually have ended up overcompensating and it looks silly. And I also agree with JAS1, it will definitely be much more noticeable to you than anyone else.

          If you wear glasses, and it is truly horrendous (like gangster girl) where make up isn’t enough, then I would simply wear the glasses. No one really notices eyebrows with glasses on.

          • Sorry to hear this happened! If it were me, I’d go with eyebrow pencil + brow-length bangs and even, if necessary, glasses. But this would be for my confidence only. Your prospective employer will not judge you on your brows.

  6. I like brow threading as well. My 2 cents:
    – Some of the more “mainstream” salons, suggest you book an appointment the first time you go, for around $25 (instead of the usual $9). I’ve done this before and didnt find that it made any difference. I suggest yelping the salon, so you know which threader to ask for.
    – For a while I threader the upper lip area, which I do not recommend – felt like the hair was growing faster. Has anyone else experienced that?

    • I didn’t notice the upper lip area hair growing faster, but I broke out the three times I had it threaded (at two different salons). I had no problems with my eyebrows, just the lip area, so now I’m back to threading the brows and bleaching the ‘stache.

    • I thread the upper lip and do not have breakouts/hair growing faster.
      But I don’t do it often enough because it hurts so much worse than the eyebrow area.

    • Tired Squared :

      That’s interesting to hear, because I get my upper lip threaded too (thanks, Hairy Mom and Hairy Dad!). When I started threading I had to get it done every 10 days or so, and now I go every three weeks.

  7. MissJackson :

    I wax. Usually at Ulta at the Benefit Brow Bar, where I’ve had good experiences, and there is no need to make an appointment. I’ve only ever had the threading done once — I thought that it was marginally better than waxing, but there are fewer places in my city that do threading, and I don’t think it’s worth going out of my way.

    I pluck between waxings, which is necessary because I have a tendency to go way.too.long. between waxings. Every time I go get my brows waxed, I inevitably think “why on earth did I wait so long, this looks so much better!” I am kind of terrible with all girly maintanence stuff, though (haircuts, etc.)

    • before I found my person, I used to go to Benefit but the up-sell drove me up the wall – no, I really just want my brows done, thank you. But they do a good job in a pinch.

      • The Benefit ladies drive. me. crazy. Last straw – I stopped into the Benefit boutique to pick up a lip gloss, right after having an amazing facial at a downtown spa. The Benefit girl accosted me at the door, and after I said ‘no thanks, I just am looking for a lip gloss’, she still smeared make-up on my cheek. Make-up with chemical SPF, which irritates my skin. I had to wash off all of my expensive post-facial moisturizers and the whole time she was like ‘here, let me do the other side too!’ GAH.

        • MissJackson :

          Yikes, I guess I’m lucky because I’ve never experienced any of this! That kind of behavior would certainly drive me away, too!

          • Before that, it was every time I walked in an associate would say (1) you need to try our pore minimizer (thanks for pointing that out) and (2) you need to tint your eyebrows (awesome, thanks). Borderline rude. Too bad, bc the products are pretty good! Glad you don’t have to deal with that from the one near you!

      • speaking of up sell, I get my brows waxed maybe 5 times a year, more for hte shape and maintain it with tweezing ($20 tweezerman’s def worth it). So, I have very little body hair, and one time the girl asked me if I wanted my upper lip waxed! I had to ask my little brother when I got him if he noticed any hair there (bc he would be honest) bc I never noticed any!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I have received that upsell many times. I have blonde hair so it is barely noticeable on my upper lip. I definitely do have some hair there but def. not enough to warrant waxing it off. Totally gave me a complex for awhile.

          • Same here! Totally gave me a complex, but Im am pretty confident I do not need it!

      • The Benefit Brow Bar does a free brow wax on your birthday, which is nice. I didn’t experience an upsell, either.

    • Vegas Baby :

      MissJackson, are you me??? I do the exact same thing. And I love the Brow Bar at Ulta. The wax is not as harsh as I’ve encountered at other places so I don’t break out after the waxing.

      I’ve never tried threading, but after reading this, I may give it a try.

      • Anonymous :

        I quit going to a salon entirely because the woman who did my hair, brows, and nails asked me if I needed a lip wax. That was the last straw. She was great at cutting my hair, but I had to spend every appointment telling her no, no, no to highlights, french manicures, facials, whatever. So, she lost my business entirely.

  8. For the last couple years at least I’ve gotten my brows waxed when I get my hair cut (so every 6-7 weeks or so) and do a fair amount of tweezing myself in between – so the waxing is more fine-tuning the shape than a lot of hair removal.

    So I’m curious how often everyone else gets theirs waxed? And you do any plucking in between yourself or not? I haven’t ever tried threading, but this post makes me intrigued to try it.

  9. Sadly, I have noticed that I have to pluck from the top of my eyebrows too. I so want to try threading, I hear they can use that on upper lip hair, and actually on the entire face.

    • One of my best friends gets her upper lip threaded (actually, the beautician offered – see my post below where I refer to our beautician’s fantastic bedside manner) and loves it.

  10. I’ve tended to have mine waxed or, more recently, threaded, a couple of times a year. In between I maintain as best I can with plucking. I do find threading more painful than waxing (the pain level is probably equivalent, but the painful part of the process lasts longer) but the results seem a little better and I have a more convenient place to go for threading than for waxing.

    I’m wondering if Kat or a reader can comment on eyebrow maintenance during pregnancy. I’m in my second trimester and really could stand to have my brows cleaned up, but I’m afraid to given my more-sensitive-than-usual skin. Any thoughts or experience?

    • I just tried threading for the first time in Oct, but it’s hard for me to go back because there isn’t a place close to where I live/work. I didn’t think it was more painful than waxing, but I didn’t like the ripping sound. So for now I do wax/pluck. But, I did like the threading and I thought it looked more natural.

    • See my above comment re: unibrow…Thus, I have to continue to have them waxed during pregnancy (34 weeks now) – it hurts marginally more, but not substantially so. If you can stand it normally, shouldn’t be that big of a deal, at least in my experience. (Bikini, on the other hand was out as soon as I was pregnant – tried it once, and – never again.)

      • Sorry for the very personal and sensitive (HAH) question, but what do you do for bikini line maintenance? Pre-pregnancy, I waxed instead of shaving . . . now I am also afraid of waxing because of the pain, but I can no longer maneuver around down there to shave. I want to go swimming for the exercise, but I need some clean-up!

        • well, through the summer I was shaving – but I was small and it was easy then. Since I no longer hit the pool or beach I am back to natural….so I’m afraid my answer is pretty much useless for you. Maybe the solution is to not worry about it and get one of the super-attractive maternity swimsuits with a skirt?

        • karenpadi :

          I’ve never been pregnant. So this is just my random thoughts.

          If a person is in a relationship with the co-parent (e.g., father of the child), isn’t a little bikini shave the kind of thing that the co-parent should be ready, willing, and able to do for you?

          Also, you are pregnant. You have bigger things on your mind than body hair. That’s a good enough excuse to skip maintenance. Just take a towel and leave it at the edge of the pool. I used to lifeguard at a public pool and, believe me, senior citizens don’t give a rat’s a** about their pubic hair.

        • Research, Not Law :

          My husband + Veet = Happy mama

          Karen, admittedly I mainly do it on account of all the exams. I’m sure my OB has seen plenty of natural areas, but I like to be spiffed up. Plus, as the due date approaches, I’m fanatical about keeping the area clean on account of stitches. It’s a long time until that area can be fully groomed again, so best to start with a clean slate.

          Anon – But I do agree with Karen head to the water regardless! It’s fabulous when you’re pregnant!

        • I have very sensitive skin on my bikini line and underarms, and therefore have to time shaving and waxing for maximum effect, knowing that the NEXT day, I will break out, get lots of ingrowns, etc. So, I have an electric razor that I use for everyday maintenance it is easy to use out of the shower, as needed, and without looking. lol. It gets it all very smooth, it just doesnt last as long as shaving. I have light skin and light brown hair fwiw.

    • I had my usual brow and upper lip waxing done while I was pregnant and didn’t notice any difference in sensitivity. If it would make you feel better about how you look, I would say go for it now since it will be harder to make time to have it done when you have a new baby at home.

    • Salons will do plucking for you, so that might be an option. I had to have my eyebrows done before a wedding while I was in the midst of being on antibiotics which I then had a reaction to in the form of an amazing rash all over me. It took longer than waxing, but looked just as good and was cheaper. I’d only opt for it if I couldn’t have wax on my skin since it takes longer and thus, imho, hurts more.

      I get my brows waxed every 3-4 weeks. If I stretch it out, I’ll wear my glasses and try to pluck a little to kind of hide it. I also have my browns trimmed, they brush all the hair upward and then trim the hair. It takes some of the volume out and helps the nice shape created by waxing last longer.

    • I don’t wax/thread my eyebrows, but I did just have my first Brazilian while pregnant and while it was slightly more painful than usual, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I think you’ll be fine with waxing now if you’ve done it in the past.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I don’t find eyebrow waxing to be very painful to begin with, so I think it would be fine. I also don’t think pregnancy probably changes much about nerves on your face, but everyone is different.

    • I just did it pregant (waxing!). wasn’t bad! or any worse than usual. lady said she hadn’t heard of pregnant people say it’s any worse, ever. i too was a bit leery though.

  11. I used to alternate between waxing and threading, with plucking between for maintenance, but once I after I had my eyebrows threaded I noticed a . . . hole in my eyebrows. Like hair was just missing in one spot. I can’t say for sure that it was the threading, but I haven’t gone back. I just don’t trust the threading places as much — their prices are SO cheap around me ($6, really!).

    • I had been threading for 10 years until I too noticed the hole toward the front of my eyebrows. I now have switched over to waxing. What I heard is that threading pulls hair from the root, which can be good if you want permanently thinner eyebrows, but can be really bad if you already have somewhat sparse eyebrows or want them to grow back more full and lush. If you already have eyebrows on the thinner side, I highly recommend against threading because the hair may not grow back.

      Also, if you are trying to bulk up your eyebrows, try putting some castor oil on them every night. I’ve been doing this for a month and I think it’s helping.

      • Bushy brow :

        Yikes, I was about to try threading, but now I’m a bit concerned since I have longish brow hair that I sometimes have to clip – to avoid the “hole” issue. I also tweeze, but if I pull out some of the hairs on top, holes result. Is there a technique to threading that avoids creating holes?

        • I’m trying to think of what could be causing holes. Is it that the hairs towards the top/nose are too long and you’re plucking them/they’re getting threaded out? If that’s the case, trim those hairs with a scissor *before* you tweeze or go to get them threaded. Point out the area to the lady – I’m trying to grow this area out, leave it alone, and they will. Once, when I was especially frustrated, I took eyeliner and drew in my desired eyebrow shape in front of the lady and told her to keep outside the lines (she laughed and she did). Then again, I’m a crazy eyebrow lady.

          • Bushy brow :

            Holes result if I pluck a long hair that should be trimmed instead. Haven’t tried threading yet. Was wondering what was causing holes for others when they tried threading.

  12. And this might be TMI for some, but while we’re talking about waxing, I’m very curious about what people do for a “down there” grooming routine. Shaving my bikini lines always seems to be leave me with ingrown hairs and an overall not good look despite exfoliating. I did wax for a while but that just seemed like a lot of upkeep while the feminist in me struggles with “needing” to do much at all.

    • there was a looong thread about this a few weeks back…

    • I shave down there once every 5-7 days. I use hair conditioner instead of shaving cream though. I don’t get ingrown hairs, but I also don’t have coarse hair, or a lot of hair. If i totally let it go it would only show in a tiny string bikini, and I only have to shave my legs once every one or two weeks, even in the summer!

    • Always a NYer :

      I use the Shick(?) Bikini Trimmer. One end is a traditional razor and the other is an electric trimmer. The electric side gives a close shave without the annoyance of ingrown hairs.

    • for ingrown hairs “down there,” try using a salicylic acid lotion- the kind sold for your face. I find it really helps. I put the SA on right after shaving, then follow up with a layer of lotion.

      • I tweeze that area. Takes forever, but lasts a while so I find it’s worth it. I’d love to figure out how to wax it myself.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I refuse to shave down there for that reason. I loved waxing, but it was cut from the budget.

      I’ve been very happy with Veet. No ingrown hairs, cheap, painless. I just try to not think about the chemicals ;)

    • I figure it’s polite to trim if my husband starts sneezing.

    • late to the game, but see above for my comment about an electric shaver. A ladies one! I have the same problem and the shaver is great. I sprinkle a bit of baby powder over the bikini or pit to reduce the friction and get a smooth shave. lifesaver for me.

  13. I’m cursed with thin eyebrows towards the ends. If I don’t get them done every three weeks, it looks off. I try to let my eyebrows “grow out” once in awhile (while not at work) in hopes that maybe the thin ends won’t look so wimpy, but alas nothing.

  14. soulfusion :

    When left on their own my brows can be completely out of control and I vividly remember the woman at a makeup counter at Macy’s who not-so-gently suggested I get them waxed to “open my eyes.” That was 11 years ago and I’ve pretty much waxed my brows and lip ever since – except for the bulk of this year of course when chemo did away with all the unwanted hair along with the wanted hair (I like to look at the positives – like giving the Brazilian a test run without the pain of waxing!). I’ve tried threading but the place I like requires an appointment and I’m more of a drop-in type as I do not tend to priortize these things well and I have a nail salon on my regular commute route that has consistently good waxing so I tend to go there. Although for bikini wax there is a spa I like that uses a different type of wax that is more like silly putty. I think it is less painful than the normal type of wax.

    • @soulfusion: Just wanted you to know that a random Corporette was thinking about you the other day. Hope all is well with you!

  15. I have always had, shall we say, very “healthy” eyebrows so have plucked them for years. I never tried threading until this past summer, but OMG, I am totally a convert. The look is so much more uniform and tidy than I ever achieved with plucking. It was very funny the first time I went: the no-nonsense woman who ran the salon asked me what shape I wanted, and I vaguely said, “Oh, the same shape I have now, just tidied up.” Her response? “You have no shape.” Ouch.

    Bedside manner aside, I’ve gone back there religiously (in fact, I really need to go again pronto), and for $5 a shot (yes, you read that right, $6 with tip), it is the best investment ever.

    • Business, not Law :

      Sounds very much like my first experience with threading! I was actually just accompanying my aunt (had no plans to get threaded) and one of the threaders said “you need it too…your eyebrows are looking a bit thick” OUCH! (but true)

      But I am totally converted to threading now, though a different salon since we live in different cities. It’s $10 ($12 with tip) and I should probably go every 2 weeks, but it’s usually every 3 and I also desperately need to get this done before the weekend!

  16. MeliaraofTlanth :

    I much prefer threading. IMO, it looks better and doesn’t hurt as much. And is usually cheaper. I should go every 3 weeks or so, but it usually ends up being 2 months.

    which reminds me I need mine threaded before I head home for christmas.

  17. Boston bound :

    Can someone recommend a good place for eyebrow waxing in Boston? I’ve been to one place on Newbury which was highly recommended on Yelp, but I’m looking for another option. Not interested in threading, just waxing (threading thinned out my brows way too much). Thanks!

    • my mani pedi salon on Tremont St. in the South End is great. It is right next to Addis Red Sea. Very clean and very nice employees.

    • Adara Spa in the North End- smal but fabulous

      • Boston bound :

        Hi Anon, anyone in particular at Adara Spa I should go to?

        • sorry for the late response- there are only 2 people that work there, the owners. And each owner does different spa treatments- so just call & book an eyebrow wax & I am sure it will be with the same person I use!

    • I like Pure Line Skincare in Harvard Square. Around $20, ask for Natasha.
      It’s in a kind of funny location, but she does a great job.

  18. Anonymous :

    I feel like my brows are too thin (I pluck the strays just on the underside, and fill in with a light brown brow pencil). But they’re kind of scraggly and I would love to have them professionally done. Do i need to grow them out more, or can the brow person help make them look better as is?

  19. Soleil salon (soleil spa?) on centre street in Jamaica Plain is good.

  20. I also want to chime in with a huge endorsement for threading. Man. I had my brows waxed in college and it was horrible so I just went back to plucking on my own. Almost ten years later I decided to get something professional done after basically letting myself go for a year. :P Anyway, my sister and I went to a threader for the first time together and now we’re both devoted. For $10-15 every five weeks or so… totally worth it.

  21. anon because I'm so dumb :

    Uh, pardon the stupid question, but can someone please explain how threading works?

    I tried waxing but can’t do it because my skin is so sensitive it was swollen and puffy and shiny for a week. So I’ve always just done my own plucking but I could use some shaping expertise.

    Would threading be bad for very sensitive skin?

    • I’ve heard that threading is better for sensitive skin… I remember reading somewhere that folks on accutane and other similar medications that cause skin sensitivity are better off with threading vs. waxing because it is a little more precise, doesn’t involve heat, etc.

      That said, I honestly have no clue how it works. I watched the threader do my sister and it was seriously like some kind of magic process or something. Best I can tell, a twisted section of thread “grabs” the hairs and then the threader sort of pulls them out by rolling the twisted thread away from the skin. I’m sure other more experienced people will contribute.

    • Just a heads-up. I have sensitive skin and use Retin-A, so my skin is thin, too. I had my brows threaded and it ripped off some of my skin.

      Tweezing only for me, now.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I get bright red and shiny for at least a day from waxing and if they do the unibrow area (though I don’t even have hair there!) I break out. I have had it threaded instead and still get bright red but don’t break out. I found it almost too painful though.

    • It would depend on what your skin is sensitive to: if it’s the heat of the wax, then yes, threading would be better. If it’s the whole ripping hair out part, maybe, maybe not. If your skin can handle plucking, then threading should be ok because it pulls hair out by the roots, just a lot more quickly.

      What “a” said is correct. There is a section of twisted thread that is rolled across the skin. The hair is twisted into that section of twisted thread and the quick rolling of the thread pulls the hair out of the skin.

    • I used to have my eyebrows waxed every time I went in for full leg/bikini waxing. The first time I did that while I was on Accutane, I lost a chink of skin between my eyebrows and the bridge of my nose. Since then, tweezing only.

  22. momentsofabsurdity :

    I tend to get my eyebrows waxed every 2-3 weeks (I don’t like to keep up maintenance with tweezers, etc). I see little difference between an $8 and $25 brow wax, to be totally honest, so I typically go for the former in a nail salon.

  23. I’ve lived most of my life in Brooklyn (the “far” parts, not Park Slope). Here everyone gets their eyebrows waxed and acrylic nails put on before their junior high prom and stays that way forever. The single experience with acrylics was more than enough for me, but I’ve been waxing religiously every since. I own tweezers for emergencies, but never use them because my nail/wax place is around the corner from my house, open until 8pm 7 days a week, and an eyebrow wax costs $5. I go every 2-3 weeks or so.

  24. Threading. I’m in LA and there are threading salons in every mall. It is usually $11 a pop, and I LOVE it–much more controlled look, and less painful than waxing, IMHO!

  25. How can I get my dad to get rid of his UNIBROW? Should I get him an appointment at my salon? He goes to an old-time BARBOR, who does NOT do his eyes or his HAIRY ears! FOOEY!

  26. Threading all the way! So convenient in my city, pretty inexpensive and quick. Plus it hurts me less than waxing and I get my upper lip and chin done at the same time. I love the natural look of it and have never had a problem. I would love to go every 3-4 weeks, but usually make it every 6-8 on average (with plucking in between to maintain the strays).

  27. Anonymous :

    Wondering if anyone has places in the DC/Bethesda area?
    Also – curious if anyone has experience with the Red Door Salons? I am thinking of getting my first brazilian – and heard their wax is “better.” Ha, whatever that means! Input would be (greatly) appreciated.

    • So I’m in Arlington myself, but I’ve basically heard that Red Door is a rip off for the price – its SO expensive compared to other local places. I basically cant afford any spa stuff so I cant recommend stuff, but I’d recommend that you check out caphillstyle DOT com if you don’t already read her blog – Belle’s done some good reviews of dc area spas.

    • Never had waxing done at Red Door – only massages, manicures, pedicures – as with all of their services, I would expect it to be immaculate. Personally, I would highly suggest going to Bliss @ the W Hotel for a brazilian (at least for your first one). Their estheticians make you feel very comfortable and it was virtually pain free (after popping an aspirin ahead of time).

      • Had my first at the Red Door in Fair Lakes; not too shabby! Have always had mediocre experiences (not wax related) at the one in Pentagon City, so I just stopped going to that location. Their body waxing prices are similar to anywhere else. That said, I’ve heard good things about Polished in G-town (Tammy) but haven’t gotten over there to try.

      • Anonymous :

        I absolutely swear by Dupont Threading for my brows. I’ve had my lip and sideburns done there too. The first time, I broke out a bit afterwards (disclosure: I also worked out immediately afterwards so that was likely from all the sweat, rather than the threading itself) but I never break out after threading anymore. I think it’s maybe $12 to get my brows done. They’re really highly rated on Yelp.

      • aspirin before is actually a little dangerous, and can lead to thinner blood and bleeding from the waxing. tylenol is not a blood thinner, and would be safer.

    • Yes, go to Threads in Bethesda or DC (they have locations in both cities). Make sure to make an appointment with Preeti, the owner. She is excellent and really listens to what you want. Highly recommend going to Preeti only, as I’ve had less luck with the other women there.

    • I highly recommend Norya at Roxsan Day Spa, on the upper level at White Flint Mall.

      • I also would recommend Roxsan–White Flint is far from my favorite mall, but I used to work near there, and used to go there regularly (a couple years ago)

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I go to R&R Salon in Dupont Circle for waxing as well as nails. They always do a great job and give you exactly what you ask for. My usual technician is Thao (or possibly spelled Dao) but I’ve had most of the other technicians at least once and they have all been good.

    • Orchid Nails & Spa in Potomac. Ask for Kathryn – she is AMAZING.

    • They say their wax is better, but in my opinion it isn’t. I’ve only been there once (Pentagon Row) and it looked so messy and uneven. I’ve had better luck w/ wax and cotton strips from my local strip mall salon. I tried many many places, found a lady I like and have been with her for years.

    • locomotive :

      I live/work in the area and only get waxed by Karin at the Tysons Red Door. I was a little hesitant about the price, but believe me, there is a huge difference between getting waxed down there by Karin and getting waxed by other people. I’m ready to shell out a little bit extra if to avoid the pain (not just during the session, but after too). I highly highly recommend her – not sure about other waxers at this particular red door though.

  28. Anonymous :

    Okay, I’m intrigued. Any recommendations for threading places in Chicago?

    • Oops, missed this. Just start walking west around Devon and Western and you’ll see the signs – “$3 THREADING! $5 HAIRCUTS!”

      I wouldn’t risk the haircuts, but the best part is, after you’re done, you can stop for ras mallai at Tahoora Sweets . . . mmmmmm . . .

  29. For those of you who live on the north side of Chicago (and don’t already know this): There are places in Devon that will do it for $3. Granted, the threader will be talking on a cell phone the entire time, but she’ll still do a good job!


    Exiled for Law School, Can’t Wait to Get Back to Real City

  30. Eyebrows – one of my favorite obsessions. In NYC, I’m always so perplexed to see people pay around $20 for threading, seriously???? Grab a pal, have some Indian food in Queens (Jackson Heights, Flushing, Jamaica) or some other outer boro and get your brows threaded for $4. If you go to a more crowded place, fine, it may even be $5-$7. My neighborhood has a bunch of places that does threading for $3 (yes, I’m very lucky but also very out there boro-wise).

    I think eyebrows are pretty important and you should tell the threader what you want – thick, thin, medium, etc. Do you want an arch, or no, rounded or sharp angles/slopes, etc. It all depends on your face and preferences. And absolutely feel free to inspect their work and make sure that both brows are symmetrical (can you tell I think about this a lot?).

    I’m blessed with super thick eyebrows, with a natural and obvious arch. I’ve played with my look over the years – going from a Cruella DeVille look, to full-on no threading, to a modified neatened approach. I always insist on keeping my eyebrows thick so that it’s easier to maintain and I go approximately every 2-3 weeks. With thinner eyebrows, depending on how dense your eyebrows are and how fast they grow back, maybe every 1-2 weeks.

    I also get my upper lips threaded and every six weeks, I get my entire face threaded ($18, yep, super lucky but many places in Queens will do it for $30ish). I don’t break out unless I touch my face or accidentally put lotion on while my skin is still “recovering”. When I get my whole face done, I bring an alcohol swab or a face wipe, wipe my face immediately after it’s over and put on my own face lotion after a few minutes (I have acne-prone combo skin).

    I’ve written a lot but just for fun, if you want to thread yourself, take thread and cut a piece (say, 12″-20″, depending on your preference and hand size) and tie it into a loop. Twirl it so that you have about an inch of twisted thread in between two loops (each loop is supported by a thumb and the middle finger). Practice on your legs by framing some hair in one loop and spreading the fingers of the other hand so that the twisted thread grabs the hair in the loop and removes it – do this part fast. Tada, you now know how to thread.

    • Also, I just need to express my extreme dislike of overplucked/overwaxed/too thing eyebrows. It looks terrible, it really, really, really does. Ladies, look at photos of yourself – do your eyebrows look invisible? It may be due to super-thin eyebrows – that’s exactly what it looks like to other people. When we examine ourselves, we press our faces up to the mirror and it doesn’t look so thing but from a typical person-to-person distance, it’s toooooooo thin.

      Ok, I’ll stop talking about eyebrows now.

      • This is why I feel so horrible about my upcoming interview. I’m the above poster with the eyebrow disaster.

        • Don’t worry about it, nobody will notice except neurotic people like me. Whoever will meet you for the first time will think, “Ah, this is anon and this is what she looks like.” Also, I’m sure it’s not too bad and definitely don’t experiment with drawing in eyebrows just for your interview!

      • My eyebrows are very thin naturally, I have to tweeze/wax the strays and clean up the arch shape a little, but if I let let go rampant for 6 months (it’s happened) they’re still thin. And they practically disappear on my skin because although the hair is dark, there’ s not a lot of it. Also doesn’t help that I have dark features. So anyway, not all of us are willingly rocking this look :-(

        • I have the same issue. I don’t really bother to wax because there just isn’t enough there to make it worth it. It also looks a little strange to use makeup to make them look more prominent because I have blonde hair and brown eyebrows.

          • You ladies are fine. There is this plucked chicken look, for lack of a better description, for women who go nuts with the eyebrow grooming. Naturally thin eyebrows actually look natural and not like malnourished klingon brows. And suit your face.

          • +100 LL points for “malnourished Klingon brows”. You are my hero.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I agree, $20 is too much! You can get it done for $7 even in midtown.

      Also, this is possibly not a proper question — but I can’t understand why most women would ever want to pluck or get their brows threaded. My brows generally look like caterpillars, which is why I get them threaded, but my WASP friend from college asked me recently if she should get her brows done, and I was like hell no! Even my sister, who does not have the same hair genes apparently, does not need to get her brows done. Once you get them done once, you can never go back to the un-maintained look.

      • Dude, I TOTALLY agree. If I didn’t have hairy manzilla eyebrows, I’d save my dollars for some shoes. Or the books everybody recommended on the other thread.

  31. Any suggestions on how to thicken my brows? It seems they have gotten thinner as I’ve gotten older, especially on the outer ends.

    • Try Castor Oil on them every night. There is also something called Rapid Lash at CVS which supposedly works well on eyebrows.

    • also- perhaps get your thyroid checked. one telltale sign of hypothyroidism is thinning outer eyebrows. (along with thinning hair, weight gain, lethargy, etc. but I clearly have no idea if you are having any other issues!) not to worry you, but I know from personal experience and MANY women go without a diagnosis because the symptoms can be attributed to so many other things.

  32. is it true that once you start threading, though, you can never go back?

  33. Does anyone else do nothing to their brows? Mine are blond and neat naturally. I’m sure they could look much better with professional styling, but that’s just one of the places where I draw the line with personal grooming.

    • I have very thin eyebrows and do pluck the strays, but there just isn’t enough hair to merit professional styling on a regular basis.

    • Another “blond and neat and have drawn the line” here. Reading this thread made me mumble to myself over and over, “I’m SO glad I don’t have to do that!”

    • I’ve never even plucked a single hair from my brows. I just don’t see the point of making my eyebrows look perfect, but I am not much of a makeup person either.

  34. Praxidike :

    I wax once every three or four weeks. At the same time that I get my brows done, I also get my upper lip done. Although I have naturally light hair, for some reason I get a little ‘stache. Needless to say, that doesn’t work for me. Waxing works very well.

    After several experiences with it, I prefer the “hard” wax to the “soft” wax. I break out less afterwards, and experience less skin irritation.

  35. Am I the only one who regularly tweezes … at home … with cheapo tweezers? :)

    I suppose I am pretty light-haired and my hairs are really thin and wimpy, so it is easy for me to spend no longer than five minutes a month on my brows. (I also shave my legs maybe twice a month.)

    Funny, though: it is only in the last couple of years that my eyebrows are really, in my opinion, well-shaped and “good looking,” as I used to tweeze the crap out of them when I was younger. Oh, my. What was I thinking?!

  36. Kat, I love your eyebrows! At first I thought the picture was an eyebrow model. I yearn to have brows as thick and well shaped.

  37. I think the natural look is much more youthful.
    It’s okay to clean up a few strays and make sure you don’t have a unibrow, but besides that, I think with brows thicker looks better than thinner.
    Those thin overplucked brows look really old and diva-ish as well.

  38. for years i went to the benefit browbar in their store… but the last lady said my eyebrows have a natural arc an there’s not much to wax.

    that said, it doesn’t mean i have perfect brows, they’re very sparse so i use both pencil and gel to keep them filled in properly. which i think i’d rather have enough brow to wax.

  39. can’t believe i misspelled my own name.

  40. I’ve been getting my eyebrow (singular, really, I’ll get a unibrow if I leave it to its own devices) threaded since I was maybe 15 years old. This was after it grew back, from me being so frustrated that, on a whim, I took to it with a razor! I remember only shaving the middle and top parts of my eyebrows because I was so scared to poke myself in the eye with the blade. Yikes. My mother was furious! I must have ruined family photos for months.

    I’m 22 now, and I get my eyebrows threaded every three or four weeks, though I admit I’m not religious with it – I’ll pluck them every so often for maintenance. I also pluck my upper lip hair. I shave my legs maybe twice a month, if that, since I’m lucky I have thin hair growing on there. I used to shave my underarms and bikini area, but a few months ago I started getting them waxed and I love it. The place I go to uses waxing strips rather than hot wax, and it’s not that bad. It’s practically painless for me.

  41. I have no arch to my eyebrows, and they are not very thick. not much room to “create” an arch. Boo.

  42. I started plucking when I was about 25, and have been grooming the brows ever since. I now go to a woman who tweezes – very quickly and precisely, she does an amazing job, much nicer than most waxers I’ve ever been to. (I don’t know if there’s much threading out here – there is an outfit at the local mall, but, well, it’s the local mall, so I’m kind of leery. I love my city, and consider it a “real” city, but it’s not on either coast, nor is it Chicago, and we don’t have any significant south Asian population, so I’m not sure the threading is a great option.) It’s $25 a pop, so I go once a month (every other month I get the brows tinted since they’ve started to go gray, and gray brows do NOTHING for me).

    On me, getting the brows done really makes a huge difference – it opens up my whole face and makes me look younger. I envy people who don’t need it done. But I also like beauty treatments, so enjoy even having someone yank my eyebrow hairs out one by one. (I know that sounds twisted!)

    The funny thing is that while some people’s brows get thinner as they get older, mine have got bushier. I swear age just intensifies whichever negative characteristics you had.

  43. As my mother says, I have “Brooke Sheilds” eyebrows and do get them waxed for $10 (L.A. suburb).

    On a different note, at what age do you think it is reasonable to pluck/wax one’s eyebrows and shave one’s mustache? My daughter is in 3rd grade (8.5 years) and wants to do these things. She’s not that hairy, but her classmates are starting to discuss this and she does have black hair. (We are Asian.)

  44. ex-runner :

    Am I the only person who waxes my own eyebrows with those little Nads strips? I guess i’m a bit of a control freak – I’d rather do a so-so job myself and not lose half my eyebrow than risk having a bad job done at a salon. I’m definitely intrigued about threading now though!