The debate over whether to wax or to thread is not over yet

Your appearance can be completely altered by the style and shape you adopt, and while thin, plucked arches used to be all the rage, at the moment it's all about thick brows - influenced by super models and social media influencers who favour a defined, but well-shaped brow.


Eyebrow shapes have been one of the more controversial and talked about beauty trends in recent years with in-vogue styles changing all the time.

The debate over whether to wax or to thread eyebrows to help achieve your desired shape, and keep them looking well-groomed, is a hot topic, so here we take a look at the pros and cons of each.

What is waxing? Eyebrow waxing is a method of removing unwanted hair, using hot or cold wax. Once the wax is applied, a cloth strip is placed over the wax and pressed down firmly. After two to three seconds, the cloth strip is quickly pulled off in the opposite direction of hair growth.

What is threading? The technique, which has been the primary mode of hair removal in Asia for centuries, involves rolling twisted cotton thread over the hairs, to pull each follicle out of its pore.

Both methods can be painful. Waxing is instant, and the pain is over quickly (rather like ripping off a plaster), however most people say threading is more painful as it takes longer to complete. Waxing is perfect for thick brows and for people who find brow shaping painful. It's quick, with instant results, and the hairs can grow back softer and finer if performed regularly.

It’s uncommon, but sometimes skin can react to waxing – so an allergy test should be carried out 24 hours in advance of the treatment. Those with extremely sensitive skin types should avoid waxing as it can be aggressive on the skin and cause irritation. Waxing is also unsuitable for anyone undergoing chemical peels or using retinol. If opting for wax avoid using products that contain AHA’s (AHAs are water-soluble acids which are used to help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells can generate and take their place) as this can make skin temporarily more fragile. It is advised to avoid applying make-up to the area directly afterward as the follicles will be open which can lead to pimples.

So if you suffer from chemical allergies or sensitive skin, have had skin peels, or are on medication, threading is a better option. Some also say that threading gives a smoother and more exact finish as the professional brow technician performing the procedure can extract the smallest, finest hairs. The technician also has more control of the shape, and so it is often the most requested treatment for precision results, with people prepared to forgo the pain in favour of a neat, groomed shape.

It is not uncommon for people to break out into spots after threading, so good hygiene must always be practiced by the technician, who needs to use a clean thread and sanitise the skin before the treatment.

Whether you have your brows threaded or waxed it is advised to stay out of direct sunlight the day before and after treatment as UV exposure can make skin more sensitive.