Everything You Need to Know About Shaping Eyebrows: Threading, Waxing and Tweezing



Should I wax, tweeze, or thread my eyebrows? You might get this question from your clients on a daily basis.

Even with the full, “bold brow” look dominating the pages of every fashion publication in recent years – from Cosmo to 17 – even a more natural look simply won’t work without proper shaping and some maintenance.

Eyebrow shaping is an important beauty technique that can transform your client’s whole face. Depending on face shape, some women prefer softly angled brows, a high arch, a straight brow, a strongly angled brow, a rounded brow, or a curved brow.

Through waxing, you can quickly remove stray hairs and keep brows in shape for up to two weeks. Threading is less painful, and also removes hairs for up to two weeks. If your client is just looking to quickly clean up stray hairs, you can tweeze them away.

Through standard esthetics curriculum, you’ll have a solid grasp on traditional shaping techniques such as waxing and tweezing. If you’d like to learn more advanced techniques such as threading, you’ll find cosmetology schools and specialty salons offering advanced supplementary courses.

Whatever method your client prefers, becoming a go-to brow shaping stylist is as easy as being familiar with popular brow shapes and shaping techniques.

How to Customize Brow Styles to Different Face Shapes

One of the most important considerations in eyebrow shaping is your client’s face shape. The shape of the brows can help your client’s face to appear thinner, to make the eyes appear larger, and to provide an overall cleaner, more confident look.

Enter Zip:

Square face shape– A softly rounded brow compliments a square face. A softly rounded brow brings balance to a more square-shaped and angular face.

Round face shape– A round face shape needs some angles for balance. With a round face, you can bring a more oblong balance with highly arched brows.

Long face shape– A long face shape is flattered by an extended brow. Short brows appear even shorter on a long face.

Heart face shape– a heart face shape pairs well with a thinner brow. The thinner brow helps to soften an angled chin and makes the forehead appear larger.

Oval face shape– a slightly arched brow is preferred for the oval face shape. Because the face is already defined, the brows don’t need a strong arch to compliment the facial structure.

Eyebrow Waxing – Using Wax Products to Achieve Eyebrow Perfection

To wax your client’s eyebrows, you’ll start by trimming them with a small pair of scissors to shorten any unruly hairs. Next, you’ll apply numbing cream underneath your client’s eyebrows if they are sensitive to the wax. You’ll need to leave the numbing cream in place for a few minutes to let it activate and desensitize the area.

Next, you’ll cleanse the brow area using pre-wax cleanser on a swab. You’ll need to make sure to cleanse both the brows and the underside of the brows, where the wax will be applied.

You’ll use a wooden wax applicator to dip into the wax, which is liquefied in a small wax warmer. With the applicator, you’ll smooth the wax over the top of each brow. Then you’ll apply a pre-cut strip of wax paper on one brow at a time, press it firmly, and then quickly rip it off. You client may experience discomfort, but you can minimize this by pressing firmly on the area for a few moments after you pull the wax off.

Next, you’ll repeat this process underneath both brows and in between the brows. Even after waxing, there may be a few stray hairs left that need to be removed. You’ll need to remove them with tweezers.

Next, you’ll apply an aloe-based solution all around the eyebrows to fight redness and pain.

Because waxing removes the hair from the root, the hair removal can last up to two weeks before your client needs to come in again.

Eyebrow Tweezing – The Original, and Some Would Argue Still the Best Method of Eyebrow Shaping

Some clients may choose to get their eyebrows tweezed if they have sensitive skin that doesn’t tolerate wax well.

You’ll simply use a pair of tweezers to remove unwanted hairs. You can also treat the skin with numbing cream before beginning to tweeze and apply an aloe-based solution afterwards to treat redness and tingling.

Eyebrow Threading – The Centuries Old Method That’s Making a Comeback

Eyebrow threading is a tried-and-true method of shaping that has been around for centuries and is especially popular in Eastern countries. It can be done in 15 minutes or less, and is less painful than waxing or tweezing.

All you’ll need for this method is a spool of thread. You’ll first tie it in a circle, then twist the circle several times until the thread creates an hourglass shape.

You’ll position the hourglass shape above the hair you need to remove, then quickly open one hand while closing the other in a scissor motion, which will pull out the hair. You’ll repeat this for each hair, moving quickly across the brow.

Eyebrow threading is a more difficult technique than waxing or tweezing, and you’ll need to be trained specially in the art. Most esthetician programs won’t cover this in their standard curriculum, so you’ll need to be sure to seek out instruction or certification in eyebrow threading in order to confidently offer your services to your clients.

Eyebrow Tinting – Perfecting Your Clients Look with the Right Color

The “bold brow” look is in style, and many clients are going to seek out your services to have their eyebrows tinted. Some clients may need their brows tinted to match a new hair color, to fill in patchy spots, or just to achieve a darker, more intense look.

You’ll need to clean your client’s brows to remove any residual makeup. You can clean them with makeup remover and a swab. Next, you’ll apply a thin layer of Vaseline around your client’s eyebrows to prevent the color from staining the skin around the eyebrows.

Now you’ll mix the tinted color powder with developer cream and mix it thoroughly. You’ll use a spoolie brush to comb the color through the eyebrow and make sure that it coats all of the hairs.

You’ll tint one eyebrow at a time. Usually, it takes about a minute for the color to process. Then, once you’ve waited long enough, you can remove the color with a wet swab.

You’ll repeat the whole process on the second brow, and make sure to leave the color on for exactly the same amount of time that you did on the first brow—otherwise, your client may end up with a different tint on each brow.

If your client would like the color to be darker, you can let the eyebrows dry and repeat the process, or apply cleanser and toner to the brows if the color is too dark.

Eyebrow tinting usually needs to be repeated every one-two months to freshen the color.

Advanced Training and Certification Courses in Eyebrow Care

In most cases you’ll need an esthetician’s license in your state in order to offer eyebrow shaping services to your clients, though in some states this would fall within the scope of a cosmetologist license. There are methods of eyebrow care that you may learn through a cosmetology program or a specific eyebrow shaping program:

  • Eyebrow waxing
  • Eyebrow tinting
  • Eyebrow tweezing
  • Eyebrow threading

You won’t need to have a special certification aside from your cosmetologist license to provide eyebrow care, but if you want to perform more specialized techniques such as eyebrow threading, you may want to pursue advanced training through a dedicated course at a school of esthetics or directly from a master esthetician in order to be confident in your skills.

Advanced courses can also help you brush up on the art if it’s been a while since you covered it in your skin care classes, while also giving you exposure to the latest products and techniques.

Many salons offer short certification courses for eyebrow threading and waxing. You can even take online classes on eyebrow shaping. This can be a good refresher with the added benefit of covering more specialized techniques and safety considerations not included in your initial training program.

Back to Top