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Get Your (Facial) Hair Did

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Like a lot of women, I started down the long road of body hair removal at the onset of puberty. First came DIY techniques: plucking, bleaching, shaving. As I got older I moved into "it takes a village" territory: waxing, electrolysis, and lasers.

I was always most concerned with my eyebrows – I even used to carry a pair of tweezers with me to high school. But maintaining good eyebrows takes either a great deal of time, or a great deal of money.

Or so I thought -- until the day that I laid eyes upon the most thrilling eyebrows I have ever seen. Their owner told me her secret: Vinita's in Westwood, where they practice the ancient art of threading.

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Threading works by the practitioner holding one end a piece of cotton thread between her teeth, and twisting the other end with her hand. She then uses the thread to entangle precise, straight lines of hair and pull them out from the follicle. Like waxing or plucking, it lasts for about 2-3 weeks.

The first time I went in to Vinita's, my eyebrows were stumpy and weirdly thick from a bad wax job. It's cozy inside, just one square room with four salon chairs lined up against the north-facing wall and a separate room for waxing. They only take walk-ins, and there's a sign-up sheet at the door where you put down your name, what service you're there for, and who you'd like to see. I had been instructed to ask for Christina or Jen.

After signing in, I waited for about ten minutes before Christina called my name and led me over to her chair.

"Just your eyebrows?" she asked in her lilting accent.

"Yes," I replied.

The next few minutes were nothing short of agonizing. I'm used to plucking, and plucking is painful -- but it was nothing like this. I clenched my fists, curled my toes, and did my best not to squirm so violently that I'd tip out of the chair.

At the end, Christina offered me some witch hazel for my skin and a hand mirror to inspect her work.

I hardly recognized the brows looking back at me. It was as if she had not just shaped the existing brows, but re-grown hair in spots that needed it and shaped them too. They were amazing.

The best news, aside from the fact that it only took about five minutes, is that the most fabulous brows I've ever had in my life cost only $8.99. Yes -- $8.99.

I'm happy to report that the pain gets less and less the more I go back (and I do go back every two weeks). Anyway, you can have your Anastasia, the Beverly Hills eyebrow guru who charges $50 - $80 for a wax. I'll stick with the ladies in Westwood.

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They don't take appointments, and if you go on a Saturday afternoon, be prepared to wait for up to 40 minutes with throngs of UCLA students in low-slung sweats and flip-flops. Here are the details:

1271 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 477-5625

Open Monday - Saturday, 11 - 7
Closed Sundays

Prices range from $8.99 for eyebrows to $30.00 and up for full facial threading (eyebrows, upper lip, chin, etc.)

Other services include henna, waxing, and hair styling.

Photo by Jessica

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