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Should I Tweeze, Wax, or Thread My Brows?

Your eyes and brows are the central focus of your face and key to how you look, so the upkeep to these essential arches is pretty important to anyone’s beauty regime. People interested in grooming their brows often ask us which method they should use: tweeze, wax, or thread. So we decided to give an overview of the drawbacks and benefits of each but keep in mind it’s less about the grooming method that gives you “wow” brows. The real key is the skill, training and experience of the artist doing them.




The Middle Eastern practice of threading, which has become very popular in the States over the last few years, is the method of wrapping two pieces of thread around hair and pulling from the root.


Like tweezing, this is a chemical free process, which is beneficial to those who are sensitive to wax, have very dry skin, or use products like Retin-A and other anti-aging products.  Redness of the areas treated tends to disappear in a short amount of time. The process can be done very quickly.


This technique can be done in a short amount of time but this means mistakes can occur just as fast. As we age, those mistakes take longer to grow back (if at all). Or the other end of the spectrum, if an inexperienced professional performs this technique incorrectly, brow hairs can break resulting in quicker hair re-growth and more visits. Depending on a person’s sensitivity and the skill of the person performing the technique, it can be somewhat painful and leave skin feeling a little tender. The sharp thread can even lead to minor cuts if not done properly.




Removing hair with wax is done with various types of hard or soft waxes that are either applied cold or hot to the skin. Hard wax is heated and applied to the brow hairs and then pulled off once it has hardened, while soft wax is also applied warm but removed with a strip of muslin.


Waxing can be appropriate for people with dense or coarse hair or for people who need a larger amount of hair removed. Waxing is also a good option for teenage girls who are new to brow grooming and timid about the pain of tweezing. It’s also frequently used by men looking to tame their uni-brows. Businesses prefer waxing because it’s fast and profitable and all practitioners are taught waxing at beauty school.


Waxing is not recommended for people with rosacea or those using Retin-A or other anti-aging products or anti-acne prescriptions. Always be sure to inform your aesthetician if you are using any of these before opting for waxing*.  Waxing can cause or aggravate breakouts. Though it is a brief process, waxing provides the least amount of control and precision of the three methods and can also cause the most discomfort. Hair needs to be a certain length for the wax to take hold, so time between treatments may be longer – meaning more noticeable growth between treatments. Finally, since the wax also adheres to the skin, the pulling from repeated waxing over time may lead to prematurely sagging skin and hyperpigmentation.




Tweezing originated in France and is a classic and precise hair removal approach for small areas of hair like the eyebrows.


Tweezing is the preferred method by our brow artists for one simple reason: it allows for the most detailed and accurate brow shaping, leading to the most beautiful and perfect results possible. Tweezing doesn’t harm the skin and there’s little risk of major errors since each hair is taken individually.

It’s also the only method that can easily be done at home when you notice stray hairs popping up, which can let you go longer between appointments. Even if you have your brows professionally waxed or threaded, your brows will be fine-tuned with some tweezing.


Tweezing can be slightly painful, if at all, depending on personal tolerance. Although a skilled and experienced artist can work quickly, pulling each hair individually takes some more time and costs a bit more. But since the results will be the focal point of your face for weeks, most people find it well worth the effort. Over tweezing is the most common problem we see with new clients, so be sure to get some expert brow shaping advice before you pick up the tweezers

Remember it truly comes down to the brow artist for obtaining your perfect arch. Questions about which method is right for you? Call us at 617.262.160 or email  [email protected]

* When this writer was 18 and taking Accutane I went tanning, (very bad) and then had my brows waxed immediately after (crisis).  Layers of skin were taken off leaving bright red and painful looking marks where the wax had been applied. No amount of makeup could cover it up and the only option was to stay in every night for almost a week to avoid  embarrassment, which as a college freshman is social devastation. The healing process was scale like skin for another week or two and  having to apply copious amounts of concealer just to be seen in public. Lesson learned.


  1. Lorri McBride on May 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Do you do brow tatooing?
    [email protected]

    • Steve Pennypacker on May 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Lorri,

      Tattooing semi-permanent makeup – aka micropigmentation – is our forte. Most of our work is brows, lips, and eyeliner. Julie introduced the practice to Boston in 2005 and we currently have 3 fantastic micropigmentation artists. Take a look at our reviews on Yelp or Google+. We also have more detail at or you can call us at 617-262-1607. We hope to hear from you!

  2. researching waxing on July 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I was wondering – about the micropigmentation – is that a true tattoo? How long does it last if it’s semi-permanent?

    • Steve Pennypacker on August 19, 2014 at 12:51 am


      Micropigmentation, a.k.a. semi-permanent makeup or cosmetic tattooing, uses a needle to deposit long-lasting pigments below the surface of the skin. So yes, it is a tattoo. That said, the pigments we use for micropigmentation are different than those used for body tattoos. Most noticeably, the pigments used for cosmetic tattooing are warmer colors that we can mix in order to finely tune the color of your brows, lips, eyeliner, beauty mark, (restored) areola, etc. How long they last depends on a number of factors, including the pigments themselves (darker pigments last longer), how you care for them, and how fine a hairstroke look you’re after. Most people return for a touchup every one to three years, though some last much longer.

  3. Jasper Whiteside on October 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I agree, tweezing sounds like the most accurate method. I understand that some complain about the pain and amount of time that it can take compared to the other methods. I have found that for many things in life, putting in a little extra effort not only makes the finished result nicer it gives a greater sense of satisfaction.

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