Threading: Brown Women’s Ritual of Connection

Eyebrow Threading
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Threading, a traditional hair removal method rooted in ancient Indian and Middle Eastern practices, has evolved into a significant cultural and bonding ritual for many Brown women.

This unique process involves using a twisted cotton thread to pluck hair from the roots, preserving the follicle and offering precise results, particularly for eyebrow shaping.

Cultural Tradition: Threading has become a rite of passage for Brown women, representing not only a journey into womanhood but also a cultural connection.

The practice is deeply embedded in Brown beauty culture, with luxury threading salons proliferating in Canada alongside more traditional, intimate spaces where South Asian aunties demonstrate their skill with adroit fluidity.

Generational Bonding: The threading salon serves as a communal space, fostering a sense of belonging and connection across generations.

Mothers often introduce their daughters to threading, creating a ritualistic experience that transcends beauty.

This cultural continuity is crucial for Brown women living in places like Canada, where such spaces are limited.

Mother-Daughter Traditions: For many Brown mothers, introducing their daughters to threading goes beyond aesthetics. Taslim Jaffer, in passing down this tradition, emphasizes the importance of supporting Brown-owned businesses.

The threading salon becomes a space where cultural nuances are preserved, language is shared, and sisterhood is celebrated.

Skin Safety Concerns: While threading is generally considered safer for sensitive skin compared to waxing, individual reactions may vary.

Some may experience minor irritation or breakouts. Salons often provide aloe vera to soothe the skin, and hypoallergenic threads are available for those with heightened sensitivity.

Questioning Beauty Standards: However, some Brown women question the cultural pressure around hair removal.

Neelam Gandevia reflects on the societal expectations that underlie this practice, challenging whether it’s for personal preference or to conform to external perceptions. She advocates for questioning these beauty norms within the South Asian community.

Despite the initial pain, threading has become a mundane yet cherished part of many Brown women’s lives.

The thwaap-thwaap sound of the cotton thread against the brow bone is now a familiar and comforting element in their routine, symbolizing connection, tradition, and the celebration of Brown beauty.”

Note: The above rephrasing aims to capture the essence of the original article, condensing information while maintaining the focus on threading as a cultural ritual for Brown women.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The Chatelaine

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