How to Thread Eyebrows at Home in 2020

Lemme guess: You became so DIY efficient during quarantine that even as salons start to open back up, you’re still thinking about recreating your favorite beauty treatments at home. Spot on, right? And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably researched the shit out of the easiest ways to maintain your brows, only to find that the most effective treatments are kinda, sorta, definitely best left to the pros. That said, there’s one hair-removal method I keep seeing people DIY on my Instagram feed and I’ve officially gotten desperate enough to try it (or, you know, think about trying it): eyebrow threading.

So, like any excited—but cautious—beauty lover, I called up an expert before I did anything to my face. Keep reading to find out if you can, in fact, safely thread your own eyebrows at home, plus all the tips and tricks you’ll wanna enlist for the best results.

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What is eyebrow threading?

First thing’s first: Eyebrow threading is a hair-removal technique that’s been around for centuries, says Umbreen Sheikh, founder and CEO of Wink Brow Bar. “Threading is basically when we take a twisted thread and use it to gently pull the hair from the follicle,” she explains. “I like to describe it as hair removal for small areas—like your brows, upper lip, or the sides of the face.”

When compared to other popular hair-removal methods—like waxing or sugaring—Sheikh says threading is way more precise. “We can remove hairs that are too short or fine to be waxed,” she says. “And since threading puts pressure on top of your skin, it can even push hairs up from underneath the surface to grab and remove.” BTW: That pressure might feel a bit uncomfortable during your session (like, your-eyes-will-probs-water uncomfortable), but threading is actually safer for sensitive skin types. Unlike waxing—which takes a very fine layer of your skin with it, leaving you red and/or irritated—threading just removes your hair.

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How do I thread my eyebrows myself?

Okay, I know you’re here to learn how to thread your eyebrows at home, but I have to say it: Threading requires tons of skill, patience, and practice. Everyone has to start somewhere, yes, but if you can wait to see a professional, Sheikh recommends it. “Threading requires you to understand the art of how to move the thread with your hands, and that’s not something you can do off the bat—it takes practice,” she says.

“Using the wrong technique can be really, really detrimental to your brow shape. It’s not like the hair on your head—if you remove one too many brow hairs, you can end up changing the entire shape,” she adds. Shitty arches aside, you also run the risk of cuts and scabs when you DIY thread with little-to-no experience (which, uh, no thanks).

That said, if you are committed to learning how to thread at home, Sheikh suggests you start with an easy area that doesn’t require any shaping—like your upper lip. And if you do go ahead and thread your brows, you’ll want to invest in cotton thread (Vanity Threading Thread is a favorite on Amazon) and a few shaping tools (a spoolie, tweezers, and mini scissors should do the trick) to help clean up any areas you missed. Before you get started, queue up a YouTube tutorial and watch it all the way through at least twice—the goal is to have the method down before you actually remove any hair. This video is a great place to get started:

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Is it better to tweeze or thread my eyebrows?

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If you’re still on the fence about DIY threading, Sheikh says tweezing is a safe alternative for at-home brown maintenance—so long as you follow a few ground rules. “Try to tweeze pretty far away from your eyebrow—you don’t want to do any actual shaping, so just grab hairs that are out of place or further away from your brow line,” she says, adding that you can also do a little trimming with scissors.

In general, though, Sheikh suggests looking towards brow makeup if and when you can’t make it in for an appointment. “I recommend hiding any excess hair with concealer or brow products—you can still make your brows look neat and clean without damaging the shape.” I’m personally a fan of Sheikh’s own Wink Brow Perfecting Quad and Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer for quick and easy touch-ups.

Final thoughts

Even though DIY treatments are kinda my jam right now, I think I’ll take Sheikh’s advice and book a threading appointment when it feels safe to do so. In the meantime? I’ll definitely be doing some gentle maintenance—read: not shaping—with my good ol’ pair of tweezers. But, hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll catch me next week practicing my threading technique on my upper lip. Quarantine boredom works in mysterious ways.

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