In The Greatest Showman, a bearded lady sang ‘I make no apologies, this is me’. We cheered, wept, and were inspired by her defiance. But do we want to follow in her footsteps?
It’s rare to see a woman embracing her moustache, despite most of us naturally having one. Whether thick and wiry, or soft and downy, it seems we aren’t interested in twiddling our tash in intellectual contemplation. We want a fuzz-free upper lip that doesn’t catch the sun at certain angles and make us look like we’re channelling Kris Kringle.
Now, don’t get us wrong, we are not here to hair shame. It’s all about choices, and the freedom to make them. If you are a powerful women leading the body and/or facial hair movement, then we fully support you. As do we support those wishing to adopt a more slippery silhouette.
Luckily for the latter, it seems hair removal options are becoming increasingly varied. Especially when it comes to facial hair. With options to wax, laser, epilate and thread, we no longer need to risk a shaving injury from attempting to dermaplan with our Venus Gillette (please do not try this). But which method is preferable for our upper lip?
Francesca Farnesi from Naked Hare (a sister-run hair removal salon based in Brixton), tells us threading is the way to go if you have sensitive skin. “Both waxing and threading remove hairs from the root. However, if your skin is dry or sensitive to products, then threading can be the better option.” Francesca says. Why? “No product is involved. It’s merely a thread removing the hair.”
Threading plucks out hairs from the follicle using a twisted string or thread. It works by catching hairs in a row, and can remove even fine fuzz, quickly and (sometimes) painlessly. Sounds pretty straightforward. But should we be leaving it in the hands of the professionals? “It’s a definite skill and I wouldn’t advise someone to blindly thread away at their skin.” Francesca warns. “However, our trained threading technicians are able to do their own upper lips and brows.”
Well, if they can do it, why can’t we? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. But first, we have a few questions…
Is lip threading painful?
“This is down to the individual and the day. For women, your skin is much more sensitive just before and during your period so threading could be more painful at this time.”
What is the recovery period?
“Some people don’t experience any redness at all. For those who do, I would recommend leaving 2-3 hours for any inflammation to settle.”
What should we do after threading?
If you can, keep the area clean and makeup free for 24hours after threading. It’s advised to avoid sunbathing, hot showers and baths, along with saunas, steams and sun beds for at least 24 hours afterwards.
How often do you need to re-thread?
This depends on how quickly your hair grows, but threading will usually last around 2-3 weeks.
Thanks, Francesca. Okay *gives self a little pep talk*, we’re ready. Now let’s get threading!
You need to use a 40 count thread. Cut to around 30cm and tie the ends together to form a large loop. With your palms facing inwards, loop the string over the outside of your fingers and stretch outward to form a rectangle (sort of like a cats’ cradle.)
Step two – The Twist
Move both hands in opposing circular movements 10 times to form a twisted line along the centre of the loop. Release your little, and fore fingers, so only your thumbs, ring fingers, and middle fingers remain inside the string. Pulling the string taut, alternate lifting the middle finger on each hand. This will move the twisted section from side to side. This is your hair-catching device.
Step three – The Thread
Press your lips together and smile to tighten the upper lip area. Holding your string, move the threading twists to the right by lifting your left middle finger. Then place the twisted section to the outside right of your lips. Keeping the string in contact with your skin, switch to lifting your right middle finger to move the twist along the thread and catch any hairs it comes into contact with. Repeat on the other side.
You did it!
With any luck, your upper lip is now smoother than silk. If, however, you’ve read this and decided self-threading sounds just a bit too hazardous, either follow that bearded lady and embrace your tash, or head to Naked Hare. Francesca will be waiting to whip away those whiskers.