Threading as a hair removal option

Threading also called khite in Arabic and fatlah in Egyptian, is a less common method in the West for removing hair at the root, used primarily on facial hair. Rows of stray hairs are yanked out with twists of cotton thread.

Threading hair is so basic to women in the Middle East and India that it can be compared to girls learning to braid each other’s hair as children. Traditionally, threading is used on the entire face, including upper lip, chin, eyebrows, sideburns and cheeks. Most American cosmetologists are not trained in the procedure. Threading requires using a trained practitioner for removing unwanted hair temporarily.

How does Threading work?

The way threading works is that the practitioner uses a piece of regular cotton thread and through a series of twisting the thread, removes unwanted hair from the skin by entwining the hair in the thread.  The benefit of threading as a hair removal technique is that the hair can be removed at any length.  Hair re-growth usually occurs within 2-4 weeks after threading.  

How to Do Threading

The first time you have threading done, you should have it done by a practitioner.  Pay careful attention to the method the practitioner uses so you can do threading yourself.  Consider it “tuition” so you can learn how to do it yourself. 

The practitioner holds one end of the cotton thread in his or her teeth and the other in the left hand. The middle is looped through the index and middle fingers of the right hand. The practitioner then uses the loop to trap a series of unwanted hairs and pull them from the skin. There are also devices made that can hold the thread during the procedure.


1.     Using approximately 2 feet (24 inches) of thread length, take both ends of the thread and knot them to form a circle.

2.     Hold the thread with both hands, and wind it around ten times so a twist forms in the middle.  The thread will slightly resemble a bowtie.

3.     Place the thread around the index finger and the thumb on both hands.

4.     Push the wound section of the thread right and left by opening and closing your fingers simultaneously.

5.     Position the hair you want removed alongside the wound part of the thread. Simultaneously open and close your fingers on one hand to move the wound part over the hair you want removed.


The Best Areas on the Body to use Threading

Threading is most effective on smaller areas of the body where you want unwanted hair removed.  The best places to use threading for unwanted hair on the body for men and women are:

·      Eyebrows

·      Facial Hair

How Long Does  Threading Last

After using threading as a method for hair removal, expect to use threading every four weeks, when the hair grows back.  Hair may grow back lighter in color and thinner and less coarse then original hair appeared.

Pros and Cons of Threading


1.     Relatively inexpensive

2.     Neat

3.     Less painful then tweezing


1.     Sometimes difficult to find a practitioner

2.     Skin can become itchy

3.     Can cause ingrown hair

4.     May cause skin irritation/puffiness

5.     May change skin pigment


The Risks of Threading

1.     Skin irritation if you have sensitive skin

2.     May cause ingrown hair

3.     May change pigmentation of skin


Threading Tips

1.     Excellent option for those who use Retin-A, Accutane and similar products

2.     Make sure the thread is strong and made of 100% cotton

3.     When threading eyebrows, draw the desired eyebrow shape on your brow before threading

4.     Make sure you always hold the thread taut.

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