Wondering what the best way is to treat those pesky stray eyebrow hairs, embarrassing mustaches, or unwanted sideburns? Don’t worry: waxing and threading have existed for centuries, and still remain your best bet. Read on to find out more.

Unfortunately, unwanted facial hair is a problem for most women. Unless you’re naturally blessed with a perfectly smooth face (in which case, thank your genetics), you’ve probably experimented with different types of hair removal before. And while stray hairs can be annoying and frustrating, there are plenty of ways to deal with the problem. Out of all the hair removal options out there–laser treatment, Nair, bleaching, dermaplaning, waxing and threading are some of the oldest, most tried-and-true, and definitely most accessible methods available to everyday women looking to get rid of peach fuzz.

Waxing

Waxing
At its most basic level, waxing is the process of applying some type of wax to the skin and removing it, taking unwanted hair along. While this process seems pretty basic, there are lots of variations and different methods of waxing: here are some of the most common.

  • Hot Wax: the most common waxing method is hot waxing, where hot wax is poured onto the skin, covered with a strip of muslin or other soft cloth, then quickly and firmly removed. This method is moderately painful depending on your skin sensitivity and the area you’re getting waxed (thinner skin typically hurts more than thicker skin), but the pain is very quick. This method is great for those who are on a time crunch, have a higher pain tolerance, and are waxing larger areas, like bikini, underarms, or even legs.
  • Cold Wax: essentially the same process as hot waxing with just a slight tweak, cold waxing involves pouring hot wax onto the skin, applying a muslin or other soft cloth strip, then waiting for the wax to cool before removing it from the skin. This process is supposed to help alleviate some of the pain from hot waxing by waiting until the skin has time to adjust to the wax before pulling the hair out, and lots of women report that this method is less painful. However, this method of waxing does take up more time, since the wax has to have time to cool off. Cold waxing is ideal for smaller areas with thin skin, like the eyebrows, upper lip, and chin area.

Threading

Threading
Threading is one of the oldest known types of hair removal: it originated in Southeast Asia in what is known as modern India around the sixth century BCE. Since its origination, it’s spread to the rest of Asia and the Middle East, and remains the most popular method of hair removal in the Eastern hemisphere, recently gaining popularity in the west.

Threading is the process of grabbing lines of hair with a twist of two strings (usually cloth or silk), and pulling out the hair via pressure applied with the string. With this process of hair removal, the hair is removed “line by line”, and pulls hair out by the root, similar to waxing. Threading is ideal for those who want a very precise, polished look: because it doesn’t involve strips of cloth, it’s usually easier to see exactly what hair you’re removing, which makes it ideal for areas like the eyebrows where shaping is involved.

Threading tends to be around the same pain level as hot waxing, and can be quick or slow depending on the skill of the threader.

Have another favorite method of hair removal? Let us know in the comments!