Ask Afrobella Part Deux — On Brows

There were soooooo many comments and questions about eyebrow maintenance in the previous post on hair removal, I’m just gonna go ahead and answer a few questions right here right now. Otherwise it’ll be ANOTHER thing I was supposed to do three months ago.

I’ve done it all. Waxed, plucked, and lately — threaded. I’m a big fan of the threading. I am almost ashamed to admit the inspiration for my heading to the threader…. ok, I’ll admit it. Kim Kardashian. She’s got bangin’ brows! I can’t even hate. On the brows. That is all.

I also noticed that Bollywood stars, like Aishwarya Rai, have gorgeously manicured, thick, real, sexy brows. The kind that women in Indian and Middle Eastern cultures have — cultures where threading is an ancient art. I wanted strong, defined brows like that. Like the ones that gain admiration on Blu’s Eyebrow Blog (there’s a little nudity on that site, beware workplace readers). Eyebrows truly do frame your face, they are the windowsills to your soul. Keeping them neat, arched, and not over plucked has made a huge difference to my look. It’s a damn shame that I am terrible at maintaining my own brows. I really admire the ladies who do.

So basically, I got caught in a bad-eyebrow pattern — let ‘em grow out to the point of ridiculousness, then go to some two-bit strip mall wax joint, you know, the kind where the manicure chairs look like hands with red fingernails? I’d get me an $8 eyebrow wax. Half the time it would turn out alright, but ever so slightly jacked up. One side uneven. Once I wound up with the Vanilla Ice. I got burned. I had enough of the bad-eyebrow pattern, and I decided to give threading a try.

Here’s the thing. Threading is way too expensive in Miami, because there aren’t many people who do it here. At Peter of London, it cost me $35 for Luby, a very sweet, loving, attentive eyebrow expert, to whip my arches into shape. That was my first experience. It’s weird, because honestly you can’t SEE what they’re doing, or how they do it. It’s definitely an art I couldn’t master — I am no good with thread, or knots. I even tie my shoes sloppy.

Every so often, I’d see Luby out of the corner of my eye with thread stretched between her teeth and her finger. Then whizzz, I’d feel a row of tiny hairs disappear from my forehead. Almost any kind of hair removal involves a little pain, except shaving (unless you cut yourself, obvs), and depilatorys (unless you’re allergic or leave them on way too long which really sucks). And both of those methods aren’t recommended for eyebrows. To rank the experience in order of pain, with 1 being the most painful, I’d say:

1. waxing

2. threading

3. plucking

Although, jeez – plucking can really hurt sometimes too.

Over time, I’ve become more immune to the pain of threading. Luby was great, but I decided to give up Peter of London — it’s really a hair salon and it’s insanely busy. I wanted someplace intimate and professional. My eyebrow mission continued until quite recently, when I struck gold and found The Brow Shoppe. The name says it all. I recently reviewed it for Pretty In the City, and I interviewed one of the eyebrow experts, Taina. $35 for 15 minutes, and worth every penny. I don’t think I’ll go anywhere else. She whipped my brows into perfect shape by threading my forehead, and plucking the area just above my eye. I noticed she had a super fly leopard print pair of Tweezerman tweezers, too.

I’ve been meaning to get myself a pair of those, and I like these adorable, smaller sized Go Green tweezers (a new tree is planted for every one you buy, plus $1.00 from every sale goes to the National Arbor foundation. AND the packaging is made from 100% recyclable paper and printed in natural soy ink, for you environmentally friendly bellas out there).

For bellas with thinning brows, Taina recommended filling in the spaces with brow powder — Milani has a good, cheap new Brow Fix kit at your neighborhood drugstore. But of course Milani being Milani, it’s nowhere to be found on their website. (The beautiful Yummy411 went on a drugstore reconnaissance mission, so check out her pics so you know what to look for). To grow back brows, Taina recommended Rogaine, and there’s two amazing products she introduced me to – Renew Eyebrow Revitalizer, and Revitalash Eyelash Conditioner. I just got some of this raved-about stuff, so I’ll let you know if it works or not!

For removal of other facial hair, I’ve waxed aplenty. But if you ask me, upper lip waxing is just as painful as lower lip waxing, if you know what I mean and I think you do. I prefer not to wax my upper lip, or sideburns. Instead, I use the Sally Hansen Creme Hair Remover Kit.

It’s a super gentle two-step kit, it doesn’t stink like chemicals (it has a very mild vanilla scent), and I really like the conditioning lotion. And it’s $6.19 at Drugstore.com, and lasts for a LONG time. Can’t beat that. But like I said in the previous post, if you’ve got sensitive skin or are allergic to hair-removing creams, you’d probably be better off going to a professional who can use a cold wax, or a speciality wax for sensitive skin.

And for the record, I’m against bleaching your body hair — most of the time, all you’re doing is attracting attention to the hair. If you get caught in the wrong light, it’s written all over your face. And when it grows out, you might wind up looking like a bumblebee. So not cute. Trust. I speak from experience.

How do you deal with your facial fuzzies, bellas? Don’t deny — we’ve all got some!

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Comments

  1. I may have to try that string thing one day! It sounds interesting. I used to get the brows waxed but like you said it is hit or miss, and plus I have an eyebrow ring so it is often awkward and painful.
    My DIL does wonders with a tweezer, so for now I’ll go with that.

  2. I’ve done threading, and I completely agree with you! It’s amazing! Here, in West Palm, I can go to the JC Penney salon and get it done for $17. But I must say, it still hurts to pay that price because my first experience was in London, where there is a huge Indian culture. I could get it done for 3 – 5 pounds, which is equivalent to $6 – $10…*sigh*

  3. I have thin eyebrows. The last time I got them waxed was three years ago. I am afraid to look like an alien the next time I try lol… I do use tweezers occasionally.

  4. wow threading costs like $7.00 here. Counting my blessings lol

  5. I was thinking about trying the threading cause I heard about it somewhere else too. But knowing how lazy I am I’ll probably stick to the mall waxing since I don’t feel like searching for a threader. Lol.

  6. desertflower says:

    I heart threading! lol. I learned how to do it at home,in between visits to the salon. I do my upper lip and chin but leave the eyebrows to the professionals. Here is a step by step tutorial with pics:

    http://www.indiaparenting.com/beauty/article.cgi?art_id=133

  7. Mrs. Mckinzie says:

    I have also tried the threading method about ten years ago ,and this was the best that my brows ever looked.J.C Penney is where i had them done at to Camille,but they stopped doing them, and i have moved since then so i returned to getting them waxed at the nail shops.I think i’ll have to find me another threading artist.

  8. $35 Bella??!?!?!?! Wow, you REALLY need to come to Flatbush. Ceecee is right, $7 here in Brooklyn. (And you can get great Bake and Shark after you get your eyebrows threaded!!!! LOL!!!!)

  9. I am Indian and I only recently found out that not all women around the world use threading. Waxing looks so painful! I somehow don’t trust myself to thread my eyebrows but doing your upper lip is not so bad:

    http://www.indianmakeupdiva.com/2007/10/tutorial-easy-threading.html

    However, my cousin in Australia has never done threading, she has been using those Veet wax strips- the one in the yellow box- and just cuts them according to what shape she wants for her eyebrows and upper lip. Tried it and it works well.

  10. $7 and a bake and shark????????? Islandgirl, I need to come to Flatbush stat!!! I only get bake and shark when I am at home… sigh

  11. I love threading for my brows. I get it done for $2.00 if I visit my mom. I have to pay $6.00 if I stay close to home.

  12. nanafromghana says:

    I have been threading for almost 7 years and it is the best thing ever. Threading enables you to get that precise brow that you want and you really can’t beat the price. I live in the DC area and I had to hunt a bit before I found my beloved Sophia and now you couldn’t pay me to go anywhere else. I would definitely recommend her. Her salon is Old Towne Salon and Spa and she is located in Old Town Alexandria, VA. Happy threading!

  13. Mrs. Mckinzie says:

    I am so greedy…..What is a bake and shark?

  14. Like a couple of other women mentioned, I do my own threading as far as the upper lip hair is concerened. Once you’ve had it professionally done, its not too hard to figure out how to do it yourself…I’ve tried to self thread my eyebrows and I just get better results w/ tweezing…I’m all about the tweezerman slant tip tweezer:) Oh, and for those not cool w/ the pain, it’s a little less painful to thread right out of the shower. Thanks afrobella for posting about this!

  15. Sumatra77 says:

    You read my mind! I need to get my eyebrows threaded. I’ve been a converet for a while now. It isn’t the most pleasant experience, but I prefer it to waxing. Here in Dallas, I was paying $10 at the popular threading house, but got irritated one day and found another salon near my job that charged $5. I’ve since found yet another place near my home that charges $4. She used thinner thread so it doesn’t hurt as much. I found quite a few people who threaded when I did a search on Indian Salons, rather than “threading.”

  16. Getting your brows threaded is probably the best thing you can do for your face-no joke. I always get a better shape with threading and for me its a lot less maintenance. I started getting my eyebrows because wax burns my skin. When I left NY and moved to San Diego I had to start waxing again because all the threading places were out of the way. The last time I got my brows waxed, they stripped off half of my eyelid. I exaggerate but that’s what it felt like. So as soon as the skin on my eyelids grow back, I’m going back to threading. Can’t wait.

  17. I had no idea that people paid for threading anywhere! My roommate in college taught me how to thread, and I have been doing my upper lip myself ever since. I also thread my legs, but my leg hair is very fine and sparse, so it’s easy. I have done my friend’s eyebrows for them in the past too… It’s faster and easier than any other method I’ve tried…

  18. Sabrina97 says:

    I like threading. There’s a lady at JCPenney here in Knoxville that does it for the same price as a wax ($12). I like it because I get razor burn and sometimes I react to wax. However, her hours are crazy, Mon and Wed during the day…. To have a job where I could leave and get threaded and go back! *sigh* I think I’ll try to find someone else here to do it. BTW, no one said what bake and shark is….

  19. So sorry about that, curious bellas who asked about bake and shark! I’ve been sleeping all afternoon – got a fever of 101. Feeling quite sorry for myself, too. =(

    I first mentioned Bake & Shark here — http://afrobella.com/2007/08/31/happy-independence-to-my-trinis/

    And here’s a video from Bizaare Foods where he got the best kind, mmmmm, Richard’s! — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh9CWFcps1w

    And here’s a recipe from Trini Gourmet! — http://www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/fried-bake-n-fish/

  20. i’ve been threading for a year, nothing like it i get compliments on my brows all the time, there are several places in charlotte nc, ranging from 10 – 20 bucks! my favorite is Beautiful Brows.. an indian sister named Poojia.. awesome… but even after a year it still hurts like HECK!

  21. Sabrina97 says:

    Oh, I’m sorry Bella! Get well soon….

  22. I was just going to write that you should find out where the Indians, Arabs, Afghans or Iranians are, cuz they all know how to do it and it’s cheaper. In Atlanta, the Indian salons charge less and do a much better job than any of the fancy places I’ve been to.

  23. BoogieRock says:

    I just started threading my brows this past summer after my best friend recommended it. Found a place in Miami (University Dr. and Griffin Rd.) that hooks me up. It was $7 but they bumped it up to $10. Sooooo much better than some random chick wielding a razor.

  24. LBellatrix says:

    I’m in eastern Iowa and as far as I know nobody threads around here, unfortunately. I paid $12 including tip in NYC this past January and $6 including tip in Chicago a few months before that.

    Funny that you think threading hurts less than waxing. I find the opposite to be true BUT I love the precision look that threading gives me. I’m trying to keep it up using sharp needlenose tweezers…I wish I’d gotten the Tweezerman ones instead!

  25. Sumatra77 says:

    Just got back from getting mine done. Love them! I forgot to put some Orajel on before I went. That’s helps numb the area and makes it less painful. Just a little tip!

  26. BlackHoney says:

    For my cat whiskers, I use Nair Sensitive Formula Face Cream. My eyebrow problem is different. My eyebrows are sparse and I hate the way shadow and pencil look.

  27. MamaBella says:

    If you want cheap threading you have to find a N. African (preferably Egyptian) or S. Asian community. I live in Houston where we have a huge S. Asian (Indian and Pakistani mostly) community and I get my eyebrows done for $5. Yep, you read that right, five dollars. And this is the full 10 minutes or so with perfect shaping. Whether I go for thick or thin I always walk out of there looking fabulous. The only problem is the woman keeps trying to push her “whitening” facials on me. Like I’d do anything to mess up all this luscious chocolate.

    For $35 bucks this sistah would seriously consider learning the art herself.

  28. You are so right, Bella. When my brows are freshly done, I feel so kickass! It changes the whole look of my face. I grew up with caterpillars above my eyes…big, busy and unkempt. I thought I died and gone to heaven when I first started grooming my brows. I wax but have been considering threading for a while I’m in the DC area and it’s around $12, me thinks, at this place called Threads. You’ve just convinced me to convert just in time for the summer

  29. $5 for a fantastic threading job in Los Angeles! Sepulveda & Venice– Rozina’s– Ask for Tahira They are always very professional and organized and might I add, quite economical. Does anyone know of any spots in Boston, MA aka Beantown?

  30. I have had my eyebrows threaded for past 13 years. I love the precision. I went to Sonnie at Genesis Day Spa in Houston for 10 years before I moved to DC. I know go to Threads here in DC. I suggest Sonia or Natasha.

  31. My Man was looking at mines the other day.. honey I had to let them grow out.. so you know I look like a 6th grader in heel’s. I dont mind waxing because I dont do it often I let them set the stage and I take over form there by maintaing them my self (I’m pretty good) But Threading ???? can anyone recommend a spot in Sounthern Prince Georges County, Maryland?

  32. You would think there has to be an Indian part of town in every major city. In NY threading cost under $10. How did they get to 35? It doesn’t even take that long!

  33. $35 for threading!!! GOOD LORD THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY!!! In Toronto/Scarborough, I get my eyebrows threaded for $2-$3 maximum. ($4-$5 if I leave a tip). Althought it is definitely worth it, I could never fathom paying $35 to just get my brows did. My bikini wax is under $25 as well.

  34. iono im a man i guess i should stop visiting

  35. I love threading! I started doing it in college and haven’t stopped since. I’ve gone to women in Atlanta, Bermuda and now Michigan. The least was $7 in Atl (Indian salon), the most was about $15 in Bermuda (regular salon, but done by an Indian woman) and now I pay $12 (Indian woman at mall kiosk). I think my eyebrows look so much better with threading than waxing and it hurts less too.

  36. I LOVE getting my eyebrows threaded. Its the only way I go. Luckily here in the Los Angeles area there are a chain of salons called Ziba (Indian owned and operated) where they do threading, waxing and Bollywood makeup and body art. My eyebrows cost me $9 and the girl I have is FABULOUS.

  37. Mamabella, I’m from Houston too (holla!) and there is a huge Indian population/almost subdivision. I got mine done for 7 dollars at a salon on Hillcroft/Westpark, where are you finding 5 dollars, let a sista know, lol! To me, threading hurt more than waxing (which is why I haven’t been back) but I liked my results better (which is why I’m going back).

  38. I’ve never done anything to my eyebrows except threading (I guess because of my South Asian background) and I would never do anything else!

    http://www.sunehra.blogspot.com

  39. I’m in chicago and i used to pay about 12 for some lady in the great south asain community. i stopped going and pretty much let myslef go :( i’m getting married soon and so i’ve decided to go this this lady named rashida b. she is based in miami and chicago and has a blog and myspace. i first read about her in a chicago magazine and she does consider herself an artist. i’m about to pay 65 dollars to see her and reading all this has me thinking i should just take myself back down to devon ave. maybe i’ll stop by afterwards to tell if it was really worth it.

  40. warrior11209 says:

    I love threading – the lady that I go to charges $15 for my brows,upper lip and chin. Unfortunately for me she is going back to India this week so I will have to find another person to do them. I have tried waxing in the mall – but the staff rotated so much that I never got the same person twice so the results were always less than satifactory – and plucking left my hair follicles puffy looking..leaving little dots across my face.
    Bake and shark ..sounds delicious!!! Hope you are feeling better soon

  41. I’m from Chicago too. Go on Devon and get threaded, it’s only 5 dollars. I haven’t had my brows done in a while but threadig is whole lot easier for me.

  42. bellas, I am out sick today. Will be back later with a brand new giveaway! And all your reports on the price disparity between Miami and oh, it seems everywhere else… makes me want to teach myself the art of threading!! Paying $35 for something that costs $5 elsewhere makes me feel ripped off, literally – LOL!

  43. DC, MD anyone know of a place ?

  44. OMG!!! I was SUPPOSED to get my eyebrows threaded this weekend…but the place that I was told did it, ended up NOT doing it…so I had to go back to waxing. I was soo mad…I let my eyebrows grow out with the intentions of getting them threaded. Oh well…next time hopefully

    @Markeysha, I’m looking for a place in DC/MD/VA area now. I heard this place called THREADS was really good. Its in DC I googled it and they had RAVE reviews.

  45. Blkbuttafly826 says:

    Mamabella and Tamz, hey homegirls!! Tamz, are you talking about Pakeeza? I go there as well. I adore threading. I used to wax, but it made the skin above and below my eyebrow lighter than the rest of my face :-( (Kinda of like how people wax under arms to make them lighter from the darm mask shaving gives).

  46. MMMM Lord, that bake & sharks recipe looks easy and delicious.

    Also, I’d seen threading only once (on America’s Next Top Model, eons ago), but this looks like a good solution for that area b/t the temples and the upper eyebrow that unfortch for me has a little too much fuzziness to be written off as “cute baby hair”.

    Feel better, bella!

  47. Mrs. Mckinzie says:

    Hey Markeysha E. i’m in P.G. County to girl in Capitol Heights.If you find someone who does the threading in our area let me know by leaving a post .I think that someone said that they do it in D.C,but i’m not trying to hunt this place down,because i don’t really frequent D.C alot.

  48. Threading is absolutely the BEST! i have been going to the same girl for 5 years and get sooo many compliments. Anyone is Los Angeles need a referral lemme know!

    Hey Bella – I asked about a solution to black elbows and knees a while back..Any suggesstions besides lemons and luffa sponge??? Thanks!!!!!

  49. The threading cost me 10 bucks!!!!

  50. threading cost me $12 !!
    and my eyebrows ALWAYS come out PERFECT: thick, natural, and proberly curved ( NOT arched – curved !) I LOVE IT and highly recommend it to you all -a little pain for weeks of beautiful brows

  51. Gee wiz! $35 dollars for threading in Miami?! It’s a paltry $6-$8 here in NYC.

  52. Go to threads in DC! They’re the best!! I loved them when I lived in DC.

  53. MamaBella says:

    Hey Tamz and Blkbuttafly I go to Rubina’s @14623 Beechnut off of hwy 6. There’s a huge Indian Muslim market and Rubina is next door. I’ve had everyone who works there do my brows and I’m always pleased, but Rubina, the owner, has a sistah lookin’ hawt. If you walk around the corner there’s a cute little Somali owned store that sells wonderful perfumes from Arabia and the Gulf states.

  54. I haven’t gotten my eyebrows done in SO long…cause last time I got them waxed they LITERALLY took off skin below my eyebrow and between my eyes. I swear it didn’t grow back for a month or so. After that I went with my cousin to this guy who used an electric razor…it was ok but grew back really quickly.

    Yo…this threading thing sounds really interesting. I’ve heard about it before but here in VA (not the DC area, but southeastern VA near the beach) I have no idea where to go. Any hints?…I kinda don’t want to drive 3 hours to get my eyebrows done.

  55. hi bella! i love threaded eyebrows. since i love the tech that waxes mine, i don’t make a big to do about finding some where to get them threaded. thanks for the shout out! i feel special!!! ;)

  56. Haitianroots says:

    @Chicago, girl, head back twds Devon b.c. paying $65 is a rip off. i’ve gone to the salons on Devon and they are decent. some other spots if you don’t mind heading a lil further north are Bollywood Salon (847) 674-1616
    4029 Dempster St, Skokie, IL 60076. or Guys Barber Shop (847) 679-9491
    4338 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60076. the barber shop has about 3-4 women who do threading. it’s only $5.

  57. I need to find a eyebrow waxer in Orlando. A good one, that is. I always end up crying after someone does it because they fuck them up. And when I finally get a good one, they move away.

  58. On the real, Kim K. has style. Don’t feel bad for checking out her swagger. Her brows are on point. Lol.

  59. I use to get my eyebrows threaded when I lived in NYC and loved it! I would get compliments on my brows everyday. Now (sadly) that I have moved the the west coast I can’t find any wonderful Indian threaders.

  60. I love threading.I got to this place where all the indian girls at my uniersity go. I pay 4 dollars to get them. That’s 2 dollars per brow. Its 6 dollars to get the upper lip and brows waxed and 20 dollars for the whole face.

  61. All this talk of threading prompted me to set up my first appt at an Indian salon in my area. I look forward to seeing how it turns out!

  62. Blkbuttafly826, yes that’s the one! I may check out Mamabella’s one if it’s cheaper.

  63. naturalglolady says:

    I just got mine done for the first time when I went back my hometown Fredericksburg VA-Spotsylvania Town Center. Loves it! It was only $8.
    I like the job she did but I’m now back in Killeen Texas, I have no idea where to do the upkeep here. Help..

  64. justblack says:

    1st post ever, even though i’ve been reading for a while
    couldn’t let you continue to pay $35 for threading.
    ——————-
    try nikki’s creations
    lady’s name is ranuka, $10 for eyebrows
    i guarantee you will be pleased
    ——————–
    4472 n university drive, lauderdale fl.
    954-747-1077

  65. I love the look that threading gives – really framing your face without the “suprised” look. You’re getting stung on the prices over there! I’m lucky to live in an area of the UK with a relatively high asian population. I pay £3 to get my eyebrows threaded which I think is about $5. They do offer threading for facial hair but my pain threshold is not that high!

  66. jaedalaurez says:

    I’m an american transplant in Toronto, and most people look at anybody who charges more than 5 bucks the serious side eye! 35? whoooo lawd. Does it come with a 2 piece and a biscuit? lol

    On the serious tip, once I discovered it- never went back to waxing. I love the fact that it is precise,lasts for a long time, and it’s cheaper than waxing here.

  67. Wow! $35 for threading! That to me is extortionate. I have been threading for about three years now and there are definitely places you can go and get it done for about $10.

    I currently live in London and get my eyebrows threaded in a little family-run shop for £2 (about $4)!! That is the key. Think small. When you go to the really polished, high-end salons they charge loads for what I have found to be an OK, but not amazing result. But when I go to smaller outfits (normally run by Indian women) its cheap and I am so pleased with my results.

    Sorry to go on. But I am obsessed with my eyebrows. They are bushy and nearly unibrow like when unkept so I make sure to head to Dee’s every 2-3 weeks.

    If you’re in London I can recommend a couple good places. x

  68. michelle says:

    Sumatra 77, i’m in dallas too! i’ve never got mine threaded before, but i’m dying to. . .my brows are heinous! where do you go? TIA

  69. purple lady says:

    I love the results you get from threading (very precise, no irritation or wax residue left on your face), but I find it extremely painful. I used to get my whole face done for about $20.00, and this is in the Wall Street area of Manhattan! It’s a no-frills place run by South Asian ladies (Eyebrow Zone on John Street).I like that tip about applying Oragel beforehand; maybe I’ll try it again. Anyone who charges 35 dollars to thread eyebrows is a thief!!!!

  70. ChrissyBaby says:

    In P.G. County Maryland there is a woman named Anita who does threading in her shop Shingar at Laurel Mall. (301) 490-6280 She is very nice and does an excellent job.

  71. Abbey Taylor says:

    Hello! My name is Abbey, I thread eyebrows for $15 at Lillian Dion Salon in downtown Chicago. You will feel so relaxed and comfortable in this stunning loft salon. $15 includes trimming, threading, as well as some plucking if needed.
    Lillian Dion Salon
    1020 S. Wabash
    Chicago, IL 60605
    (312)386-9311

  72. There is a place in I believe Miramar called Anarkalys they charge $10 for threading and they do a pretty good job you should try it. I don’t know the exact address but I just take 27th Ave straight up to Taft street it’s in a plaza with KFC

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