"Waxing makes your eyebrows droopy"

So I wandered into the spa place where I usually get my eyebrows waxed and was told that since June they've stopped providing waxing services for eyebrows. I had been out of town for the summer and had just been plucking my own brows, but they were badly in need of being reshaped.

"Well, what do you do then?"
"We can pluck them."
"Oh. What about threading?"
"No, we don't do that here. Just plucking. Would you like an appointment?"

Now, I find plucking to be very painful, and threading too - but at least threading is faster. I needed a lot of shaping to be done, both top and bottom and I was NOT going to sit squirming in a chair for an hour as they plucked the hairs out of my face one-by-one.

"So, why did you stop waxing?"
"Well, waxing the eyebrows makes the skin droopy and it's against our goal of making women naturally young-looking and beautiful."

So I thought about this for a second. I'd heard it before but I was kind of pissed off that the place I liked to get my brows waxed was all of a sudden falling for myth and denying me the service I wanted.

"I'm pretty sure that's not true. Thank you anyway."

That's pretty out-of-character of me, and I felt kind of bad after, but I left and went to another salon and had my eyebrows shaped very nicely in under ten minutes and for $15. So there you go.

I've gone searching for the source of this idea - that waxing makes your brows droopy - and was not surprised that there was no source to be found. Oh, plenty of people will say it, but no one can point to any conclusive evidence. I'm not asking for the results of a long-term double-blind study here - something simple like "Women in India thread their eyebrows instead of waxing and there are fewer requests for eye and brow lifts than in North America" See, I didn't even ask for that to be corrected by financial earning and social stigma against cosmetic surgery! Just give me something to work with here.

But no. There is nothing. You know why? Because it isn't fucking true. That's why.

I turned up a whole lot of forum and blog posts about how much better threading is than waxing, how waxing tugs at the skin and makes it lose its elasticity and that's why it makes your skin droopy. One that made me laugh was "I've been waxing for twenty years now and my skin is droopy! It must be the waxing." Ha, that makes you what - 35, minimum? No shit your skin is losing it's elasticity. It's called aging.

Here's a question for you: how often do you wax your brows? Once a month, and the most frequent? How much tugging, exactly, goes on in an appointment? Cool. Now compare that amount with how often you vigorously rub your eyes and brow, massaging and pulling on the skin - like in the morning, for example. If you're anything like me there's a whole lot more tugging going on from daily activities than from waxing - and that's still assuming that tugging the skin can cause it to lose elasticity!

You know what I did turn up? I turned up a peer-reviewed article titled "Eyebrow threading: a popular hair-removal procedure and its seldom-discussed complications". From the abstract: [1]

Threading now enjoys immense popularity with women worldwide, irrespective of race or colour, and is an accepted method for removing eyebrow hair and shaping the eyebrows. However, this popular cosmetic procedure has some significant dermatological side-effects and is not familiar to many dermatologists. To our knowledge, this is the first report of verrucae occurring in threaded eyebrows. Other complications include erythema, folliculitis, pseudofolliculitis, hyperpigmentation, and depigmentation, including koebnerization of vitiligo.


Look, I know the intent is actually noble - "We're just looking out for our customers" is an honorable goal. But in every aspect of my life I fight ignorance. Frankly, I'm sick of these myths being perpetuated by people who should know better or who should at least do the minimal amount of research beforehand. Posting this shit on a blog or a forum is one thing, but repeating it to customers is something completely different. Just use your fucking brains people, and question this shit. Progress is only made by being skeptical of the status quo.

Anyway, in summary - don't fucking tell me that you won't do a service I have good reason for wanting for a reason that is not supported by any science whatsoever. I fucking hate myths that get passed on because people refuse to fact-check ("You must drink 8 glasses of water a day", anyone?) and I hate it even more when other people's stupidity impedes my life.


I also turned up another bunch of things I've found via personal experience not to be true. I've done it all - I've been threaded, I've been waxed, I've been plucked, and I've sugared (not my brows, but I still have). I can compare the results more than most people.

Waxing is more painful than threading
The fuck it's not. Waxing pulls all the hair in one go. The area goes numb instantly. Threading just tears it out in excruciatingly small amounts. It takes much longer to do the same amount of shaping. My eyes water and it makes me squirmy (same as with plucking) Sure, waxing pulls on the skin a bit (sugaring is actually better - it pulls the skin much, much less) but one strip and it's over.

Waxing causes ingrown hairs
They all do. Everything but semi-permanent hair removal and shaving causes ingrown hairs, and even then. Ingrown hair is caused by a fine hair growing back and being unable to punch through the top layer of skin, so it continues to grow under the skin. That's all it is. Waxing, threading and plucking can all cause it.

Waxing results last four to six weeks
Ahahahahaaa... hahahaha.. haha. Yea, maybe if you're Caucasian.
Personally, the results from waxing last a maximum of two weeks for me. Shaving lasts almost a full day. I have thick, fast-growing hair and I always have. I wax not for long-lasting results but for shaping.

You should only wax the underside of the brow
Again, maybe if you're Caucasian - just like people with fair hair can get away with not shaving their thighs. The top of my eyebrows is what I'm most concerned about here - it's the unruly, messy-looking part that needs to be shaped! My natural brow shape is "Fuck you!" and I'd rather it look like an eyebrow.

Threading is nice - really! If you have sensitive skin or are prone to acne it can be better than waxing. Plucking works fine for some people - just not me. I have a lot of very fast-growing hair that needs to be managed, and waxing is the most efficient, least painful way to do it.


[1] Verma, S. B. (2009), Eyebrow threading: a popular hair-removal procedure and its seldom-discussed complications. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 34: 363–365.

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