Before I wandered into Brow Studio 7, threading was something I had only seen advertised in windows of the ethnic shops that line Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis: colorful images of stylized, exotic eyes beneath thin, black arches. I didn’t expect to encounter it across from Orange Julius in Rosedale Center. But thriftiness quickly trumped my wariness. Eyebrow threading at Brow Studio 7—a relatively new chain with multiple metro locations that focuses exclusively on threading—is just $12, less than half of what I was accustomed to paying for a wax.
An ancient practice originating in India, threading traps hair in doubled-up strands of thread that roll along the hair shaft, ripping it out at the follicle in clean lines. To the observer, it looks like a chicken pecking at feed while playing cat’s cradle, as the threader holds one end of the string in her mouth and moves her neck back and forth while twisting taut thread between her hands.
While there isn’t a significant difference in the pain factor (ripping hair out of your face is never going to be pleasant), threading, unlike waxing, does not remove the top layer of skin or use any chemicals. This makes it ideal for people who have sensitive skin (especially those who use skin-thinning acne medications or other products containing Retin-A). Proponents say that it also allows for greater precision on the part of the aesthetician.
The convenience and skin-friendliness of threading are causing it to gain momentum as a mainstream alternative to waxing. Some local salons (such as Givan’s Salon in Eden Prairie and Blink in Minneapolis’ North Loop) are adding it to their menus of services (at salon prices).