My first day of law school, I made an enemy. We were making nervous small talk before our first-ever class, and she starts going off about what a drag it is to be living in Pittsburgh again after her dreamy undergrad experience in New Yahk Citah. “It feels like there’s nothing going on here,” she complained. “Plus I can’t find anyplace to get my eyebrows threaded.”
This person sounded like a snob and a lunatic to me, because I had never heard of eyebrow threading, which I guess is no surprise because I was living in podunk PGH. When I was in undergrad, I joked that going home to New Jersey was “time travel” because trends on the East Coast take a few years to make it inland to PGH. I hope I didn’t sound as obnoxious as this chick.
Fast-forward to 2011, and Pittsburgh has a threading salon at the mall. [Yes, we still have malls here. Believe me about the time travel yet?]
As I recently mentioned, I hate plucking my eyebrows. I’m a pain baby, and as soon as I rip out one hair my eyes water, and doing precision work through a wall of tears is a challenge. Plus it seems like I can never find my good tweezers when I really need them.
So I’ve been thinking about getting my eyebrows threaded for a while, but I was reluctant to spend more than $0 on eyebrow-maintenance. Plus I was terrified they’d over-pluck and I’d have to draw on my eyebrows with a Sharpie like Drew Barrymore circa 1992.
I like my eyebrows in their natural shape. Just, you know, separated into two distinct brows and with clean edges.
But I’d let my eyebrows get really out of control recently, so with a little encouragement from my friend Megan (a New Yorker who is an old pro at having her eyebrows threaded and other cosmopolitan pastimes like Brunch and Being Groped on the Subway) I decided to give it a shot. I figured if even the results were disastrous, I’d have four months to let my brows grow back before our wedding.
Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about the growth rate of eyebrow hairs, because I’m pleased as a peach with the results. The experience, on the other hand, was so profoundly lame my first trip to the threading salon will probably be my last. [Well… until shortly before my wedding. The results really are great.]
When I arrived at the salon, before I could say “do you take walk-ins?” the Threading Technician asked, “First time?”
Do my eyebrows really look that messy? “Um, yeah.”
“Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt. Take a seat. Now tilt your head back and pull your eyelid—OH MY GOD, what happened to you?”
“Um… oh, my scar? I just have a little scar through my eyebrow; hair doesn’t grow there. It’s ok, I like it.”
“How did you get it? It must have been gruesome.”
My face is gruesome? “I was two years old, playing ‘ring-around-the-rosie’ with my sister, and I hit the corner of a coffee table at ‘we all fall down.’ I don’t remember it but I still give my sister crap for it.”
“Sheesh, I would too.” Your sister ruined your face.
“No, really, I like it. I think it is distinctive.”
“Oh…kay. Well, I guess I’ll start with the other one.” At this point she started ripping hair out of my face.
When she moved on to my left brow, the scarred one, the Thread Tech piped up with, “You know they make brow makeup, right?”
“Sure, I just don’t feel the need to use it.”
“But with makeup your eyebrows could be even!”
“But I don’t want to cover up my scar.”
“But it wouldn’t take much makeup! Just a few strokes with a pencil. Or even a powder to darken it a bit. It would even out your whole face!”
“I think my face is ok uneven.”
“All right.” It’s your funeral, Scarface.
This backsass was definitely the worst part of the eyebrow threading experience, though. I was pleasantly surprised by how little it hurt. Each yank was about as painful as plucking a single hair, maybe less painful, but getting rid of dozens of hairs at once. Unfortunately, the amount my eyes watered increased in proportion with the amount of hair being removed in each pull. My face was so slippery with tears it was really difficult to hold my skin taut while she worked. But at least once the tears started flowing the brow architecture was someone else’s responsibility.
I don’t have the income to justify regular threading, or the self-esteem to withstand regular interaction with this particular salon employee. But like I said, I’ll probably do this again before the wedding. Even though it will make my already-embarrassing wedding beauty budget bulge a little bit more.
Has anyone else tried eyebrow threading? Anyone else get a tongue-lashing about their beauty failures at the salon?