Called kite in Arabic and fatlah in Egyptian, it’s 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.
The history of threading is not clear; with some claiming it began in Turkey. 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. Here in Calgary, salons performing it can be found in the neighborhoods. Most Canadian cosmetologists are not trained in the procedure.
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.
Inexpensive, fast, neat, considered less painful, less red skin than plucking for many. Good for eyebrows and facial hair. Good for ingrown hair. Results can last up to two to four weeks.
Hard to find a professional practitioner outside large cities. Can be painful and cause itching afterwards. Skin reddening or puffiness can be experienced by some.