Dear Mother of God in Heaven. That was painful.
I just went and got threaded.
I went to Shobha Salon (hey, no sense messing around, right?), and showed up early to watch my friend get her eyebrows done. I wanted to understand how it worked. And now, having watched it being done, and having had it done myself, I STILL don't understand how it works.
First of all, they use thread. Just a regular old spool of sewing thread. I know, it's all the name, what did I expect, but honestly I didn't think it could be as simple as--thread! How does that work?! They describe it as lassoing the hairs, but between the two-hands-plus-teeth method, it all went so fast I couldn't understand it. The thread twisted the hairs out, I guess.
Rechana, the very nice woman assigned to me, smeared on some numbing creme , and got to work. I have to say--after my friend's bare twitch of an eye, and the complete stillness of the women on either side of her, I was a complete baby. I couldn't stay quite still, I gripped the arms of the chair, and a tear trickled from the corner of one eye. Rechana wiped it away with a tch, tch, and told me to come back way more often and it wouldn't hurt as much next time.
All right, pause in the narration here: while I am thinking about coming back fairly often, for reasons that will be forthcoming, the argument of "it won't hurt as much next time" is not a good one. At that point in time, I'm considering never coming back ever and screw my Neanderthalish Portuguese heritage! Waxing (which I've done, several times) makes the same point, and I'm all forget it. Especially bikini. Never again. Can't make me. They don't even offer threading for that, praise be.
Resume narration. Rechana got everything. Way more than any waxing I've had. (On the other hand, it definitely hurt way more than waxing). It's a very precise method--and doesn't take very long, considering how many swoops of the thread she had to do. Zzzzzzt! Gone is a line of hair! Left is a line of flame! (Side note: the thread kept breaking on me, way more than on my friend. Does that mean my hairs are unusually wiry? Or plentiful?) It looks great. It's not even red (maybe slightly pink).
And they used thread. Which felt all folkloreish and magical, a la thread magic and knot tying, and the secrets of womanly lore.