4.24.2007

Thread of hope?

Every once in a while, I’ll hear media commentary about the unfortunate state of women’s health care. The leading theory concludes that female medical problems get less attention and funding than those related specifically to men. Personally, I’m not sure if this is as true today as it was twenty years ago. But when I see products like Viagra on the market, as opposed to a cure for menopausal hot flashes, I can at least understand why the criticism exists.

Oddly enough, when it comes to issue of health and beauty, I do cry foul because science has yet to find a pain-free cure for one of the peskiest, mostly (but not exclusively) female issues facing beach-going women all over the globe.

Hair removal.

As I look forward to another pre-beach weekend appointment with my esthetician, I have to ask: How is it that we can put a man on the moon, but we can’t find an easy way to clean a woman’s bikini line? Seriously folks, how is it?

Like most women, I have tried just about every way to remove unwanted hair including depilatories, laser treatments, electrolysis, and the tortuous Epilady. I’ve found these techniques to be ineffective, painful, and expensive. But unfortunately, thanks to my Greek heritage, I am one of those women who have to avail herself to this sort of barbaric treatment on a regular basis. And as far as I am concerned, leeches might as well be plucking out my stubborn follicles. It’s just that bad.

One day, I moaned about my problem to Christi, a friend who originally hails from Mumbai, India.

“Have you ever had your face threaded?” she asked.

“Excuse me?”

“Threading-- it’s an ancient method of hair removal that is still very popular in India and the Middle East.”Chrsti went on to explain exactly how the process of threading worked. She said that the practitioner holds one end of the cotton thread her teeth and the other in the left hand. Then the middle of the string is looped through the index and middle fingers of the right hand. The practitioner uses the loop to trap a series of unwanted hairs and pull them from the skin.

I was totally confused despite her explanation, but decided threading couldn’t be any worse than waxing. Christi offered to make the appointments to have our eyebrows threaded at an Indian beauty salon in a nearby town.

During the appointment, I waited and watched as woman after woman made her way to the practitioner’s chair. Within minutes, eyebrows, lips, chins, as well as entire faces were rendered completely hair free by using a single cotton thread. But even though the room was quiet and nobody grimaced, I couldn’t imagine that the friction caused by rubbing the thread against the skin would be pain free. Fortunately, there wasn’t time to worry.

“Ready?” Christi asked, the skin surrounding her brows a little pink after the process.

“Oh..ok,” I made my way to practitioner’s chair. Ten minutes and five dollars later, I emerged with my newly threaded eyebrows. Despite a little redness, they looked fantastic.

I found the process of threading to be unusual and uncomfortable, but certainly no worse than any other hair removal methods. If the Indian beauty salon was a little closer, I’d probably thread my eyebrows again. Even so, I left knowing that threading wasn’t the permanent answer to a persistent problem that has troubled women since ancient times. But then again, hot flashes have also plagued women since the beginning of time and there still wasn’t a solution for this either.

All of this seems a little unfair. Perhaps women should organize, protest, and hijack Viagra until solutions are found for some of our most persistent ills. Maybe then, under the threat of erectile disfunction, scientists and researchers will take notice.

8 comments:

Monica said...

I saw this in the Mall.. yep, you read right, in the middle of the MALL.. and as I sat there, they must have taken care of like 10 people ... and like you said, this is just another method to the madness... but, did it hurt less or more than waxing (I'm a waxer).

Diane Mandy said...

It hurt less, but took longer. I think I prefer waxing. Get it over with one swift yank.

utenzi said...

I shave my face everyday, Diane. What's the problem? LOL

(I hope I don't get hate mail over this...)

kenju said...

I wrote about our recent trip to NYC, where both my daughters got their eyebrows threaded. I imagine they can do the bikini line, but it would take forever!

Thanks for the visit. It is much easier for me to answer questions than it is to think up questions for others - so thanks for the vote of confidence!

Dan-E said...

i don't really have anything to add to this. i'm just glad i was born a dude.

Suvii said...

I've never heard of this, but will have to look into it, as one of the thousands of women who go through brow waxing every month!

Annie said...

One of my best friends is Indian and carries her thread with her everywhere she goes. It's a great art: she is able to take off hair row by row and the end result is gorgeous! I have been threading my brows for years now and it's so much better than waxing or plucking. I find that the upper eyebrow is less painful than the lower. And if you have PMS of any kind, don't have it done until the following week.

Just a trumpet player said...

Vodka is always a good solution for the pain.

I've had my brows threaded 2 years ago and it never grew back ! Good thing that women was a fine worker...