The Eastern Beauty Parlour

In Caramel (2007), Lebanese actress Nadine Labaki (left) is a Beirut esthetitian in a dead end relationship with a married man.

Staying fuzz free can be pricey – waxing services in salons often start at $20 per body part. Over the course of a year those bikini, underarm, eyebrow, and for boys – back and chest – waxes can really add up.

Years ago, when I was living back home in Vancouver, a friend of mine shared her little secret for staying beautiful without breaking the bank: Eastern beauty parlours. If you venture into your city’s Middle Eastern or Indian neighbourhoods, you can find great little esthetic shops that will take your from bushy Amazonian to groomed and glam for just a few bucks.

Here in Montreal, when I’m dangerously close to unibrow territory, I head to Dee’s in Little India. Here, for $3, I have my eyebrows threaded and biking line waxed for $10.

If you haven’t yet discovered threading, it’s a traditional Middle Eastern brow shaping technique where the esthetician wraps a double strand of thread around her fingers and pulls it taught along the unwanted hair, thus removing the hair from the follicle.

Threading takes about ten minutes, is surprisingly precise and doesn’t pull on the delicate skin around the eye area the way waxing does. This protects the skin from wrinkles and damage. Results last about six weeks.

Have you tried threading? How do you like it compared to waxing?


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