"I'm Punjabi, being hairy is in our genetic makeup."
Desi eyebrows, thick and bushy or thin and bristly – they are a pain point for many women of South Asian descent.
Luckily, the current trend in beauty has been the thicker the eyebrow the better, but in order to achieve that perfect statement brow, grooming is required.
Traditionally, most South Asians go to a ‘parlour aunty’ to be tortured via threading.
However, many Desis now advocate waxing as a quicker and cleaner technique, while Instagram beauty bloggers swear by microblading.
The question lies in which method achieves the best results, to answer this we must look at the hair regrowth period, cost, effectiveness and the level of pain involved in each method.
DESIblitz looks at the best grooming techniques to have your Desi eyebrows shaped to perfection.
Threading and ‘parlour aunties’ go hand in hand.
As the tried and tested failsafe for Desi eyebrow care, threading is most South Asian women’s choice to groom their eyebrows.
The way that it works is, a string is tightly pulled and twisted to grab unwanted hairs and pull them out from the root.
Speaking to a young British Asian woman reflecting on her threading experiences, Asha said:
“I remember my first threading aunty trip, it was awful. I was 14 with a monobrow and I was getting bullied.
“So my mum was like ‘Enough, we can fix this.’ This was the early 2000s when pencil thin brows were in.
“Needless to say I went in bushy and came out with toothpicks.”
“Not to mention, ouch!”
Asha isn’t wrong, threading can be quite painful but normally if the practitioner is experienced it’s over in minutes.
There are often gels offered to aid with redness and stinging post-threading.
To any young Desis, we would recommend being firm with whoever your eyebrow groomer is.
As the trend is for thick brows, specify if you want your brows to remain thick otherwise, like Asha, you may walk out with very little brow left to your face.
While it is an effective and quick method to groom your eyebrows, continual use of threading is not recommended.
Threading largely pulls and pushes at the skin, this action causes the skin around the eyebrow to loosen.
Therefore we suggest using threading as a monthly or even bi-monthly refresh, or just as a last minute pre-event measure.
Sticky and stress-inducing, waxing has received a bad reputation over the years.
However, as the formulas have improved for self-peeling waxes, this method is being more widely adopted.
Waxing is a more long-term resolve to grooming stray eyebrow hairs.
Hair removal usually lasts around six weeks and so it is considered more efficient and cost-effective than threading.
Speaking to Bal a young British South Asian student about eyebrow waxing, she said:
“To me, it just makes more sense.
“I don’t have time to pop in to see the eyebrow threading lady a week after getting my eyebrows done because my monobrow has grown back.
“I’m Punjabi, being hairy is in our genetic makeup.”
“A gentle gust of wind and there’s my moustache back or there’s the unibrow again.
“That was the case with threading and I got fed up. Waxing gives a cleaner finish and lasts longer.”
“I love actresses like Deepika Padukone and her bold brows are definitely the work of wax, you can’t get that finish otherwise.
“Waxing just gives you a good base to work with, if you want to fill in your brows afterwards the shape is just so much better.”
With the rise in home-kits for waxing you can get these results for a fraction of the cost and in the comfort of your home.
The trend appears to be leaning toward waxing eyebrows over threading, hence the service now being offered in most Desi beauty parlours.
Microblading is the latest Instagram trend to be sweeping over women everywhere.
A new way of achieving the ‘thicker and fuller’ eyebrow look, people cannot stop raving about its wonderful benefits.
However, when you look at the people promoting this product often it is caucasian women who are unable to grow naturally thick eyebrows.
Not that this isn’t an issue for some Desi women.
As highlighted by Asha, if at a young age you over-tweezed or threaded your brows it may have caused a stunted or strange growth pattern.
If this sounds familiar to you, then you should consider microblading.
Microblading is a semi-permanent natural eyebrow tattoo.
As highlighted in the image above this tattoo is achieved via a pen needle which is very thin.
Many liken this experience to getting a paper cut, virtually painless.
It is slightly pricier as it is new to the market but if you desperately require a fuller eyebrow aid, this could be the method for you.
Speaking to a British Asian businesswoman Jaya about microblading, she said:
“It was a life saver, I’m in my 40s, I came from the generation of super thin eyebrows.
“I remember in my 20s women were getting their eyebrows fully lasered off to draw back in thinly with a pencil.
“The things we do for beauty!”
“Now, I would tweeze, pluck and thread my brows constantly.
“When my daughters told me thick brows are back in I thought brilliant! Finally, I can stop seeing my eyebrow lady, save some money.
“But when I let them grow out they looked a right mess, they would only look right if tweezed back to thin points.
“That’s when my eldest recommended microblading, it’s so easy and painless.
“Plus it lasts from a year to 18 months.”
Thus, meaning microblading is a long-term solution to any Desis who fell victim to over-plucking their eyebrows.
That completes the breakdown of the three most popular eyebrow grooming techniques available on the beauty and grooming market.
Threading while quick and effective prior to an event is great, in the long-term hair grows back quite quickly, alongside it loosening skin.
Waxing appears to be the most popular and beloved method of grooming eyebrows among Desi women.
It is a quick process, with hair regrowth not occurring for much longer than threading.
Microblading is only a useful technique if you struggle to get the thick and full brow look naturally.
Depending on your eyebrows, the needs and techniques will vary but these three are the main and most effective grooming methods for Desi eyebrows.