I discovered the joy of eyebrow threading while in London two months ago and could not believe it hasn't caught on in Tokyo, or that there is not at least one Indian woman doing it out of some shady salon. We know that Japanese women shave their arms (there goes another key Google search phrase) but did we know that most of them shave their eyebrows and faces as the preferred method of hair removal? I did, although I didn't know that there was so much cheek-shaving going on. I am personally a fan of peach fuzz.
Cut a long story short, I found a Japanese woman who runs a small threading salon out of her apartment in Tokyo and promptly made an appointment. I initially thought you could opt for just eyebrow threading but apparently all that is on offer is a full-face package. Alright, I thought, and I arranged beforehand to just have my eyebrows done anyway. The lady who runs it, Matsuoka-san, was very sweet and I was getting some good vibes from her. Things started to go downhill when she said that a) she has never threaded a gaijin before and b) I am the first person to only get my eyebrows done. Are you sure? she asked. I explained that while I may indeed have minute hair on my face, it is blond and therefore basically invisible. No need to get self-conscious about a little invisible hair now is there? She agreed enthusiastically and even went so far as to say that it was probably really cute when the light hits my invisible blond facial hair and makes it sparkle. Great, now I am the supergaijin with magic light-reflecting facial hair!!!
So she starts threading and things are going OK until she starts commenting on how my takai gaijin nose is making it hard for her to do certain spots. Come on, I think, if you are a professional offering threading services I can't imagine a little nose getting in the way - she is used to threading entire faces for fuck's sake. We laughed and chatted for the first few minutes and then all I could hear was the sound of her breathing as she (I imagine) anxiously inspected at my brows. Things on the threading side starting to slow down a bit and it felt like she was doing piecemeal work, removing one hair at a time instead of a whole line as is par for the threading course. Minutes ticked by and I started to break out in a nervous above-the-lip sweat thinking that an hour had gone by and I was going to open my eyes to no eyebrows. She got out the tweezers, which should be unnecessary when threading, and proceeded to target certain areas with them while giving me the most painful tweezing I have ever received. A bikini wax doesn't hurt that much. For real.
She finally finished and handed me the mirror with stress and anxiety written all over her hairless face. It was only then that she started gushing non-stop about how she had never realized before how different gaijin hair is and that she really learned something today. She did an OK job and I don't regret going to her, but she seriously lost her shit over my gaijin-hair eyebrows. Minus 10 points. I'm sure my hair is different from Japanese hair but I still don't see how that and my nose could truly stand in the way of a professional. The thread she uses to remove hair doesn't discriminate, why should her technique? I am trying not to get frustrated but I don't understand why it is so hard to adapt for some people here, but I guess that explains the foreign-run beauty salons here in Tokyo. I wish I was in London where the Indian woman doing your brows wouldn't blink if you were black, white or hot fucking pink.