The Awkwardness of Threading My Eyebrows

Entering a Women’s Safe Space to Remove my Unibrow

A.J. Bryant
3 min readJul 11, 2022


Photo by Rune Enstad on Unsplash

About every three weeks, I visit a store that causes severe social anxiety. I endure about a half-hour of awkwardness and cannot wait to leave. I pay 15 dollars for the experience.

I’m talking about getting my eyebrows threaded.

I began threading my eyebrows 11 years ago. They look pretty terrible if unkempt. I have a unibrow if unattended. A former girlfriend told me that I should tidy up my eyebrows when we dated. I took her advice and joined her at a threading salon one afternoon. I was hooked.

Actually, that’s not true. I appreciated the result. They definitely looked cleaner, but the whole social situation distressed me.

Some say that threading one’s eyebrows are more hygienic than waxing. I have nothing to add, as I’ve not tried waxing. This post is not about threading advocacy. I want to explain how awkward the situation is for me, as a man, particularly an Indian one

For the last seven years, I’ve had my eyebrows done at ‘Unique Threads’ in Union Station, Washington D.C. It used to be an open-air kiosk on the second floor. Pre-pandemic they moved into one of the storefronts. Whereas before I was in the middle of foot traffic, now one can see me through big glass windows.

Privacy is non-existent.

Union Station is always bustling with people. Plenty of tourists stop and gawk at people receiving threading because they’ve never seen it done. Also, I’ve overheard guys, especially older men, wondering what I’m doing and why. I try not to pay attention.

Usually, I show up, and the line consists of two to five women. The majority of customers are South Asian, but I’ve seen different ethnicities. Not once, in my seven years at this place have I seen a single guy, either coming or going.

Newcomers to the line usually assume I am waiting for my partner. They cut in front of me. Then I am forced to verbally acknowledge that I am ‘in line’, and was ahead of them. Sometimes multiple people do this, and I must again stake my claim in the queue.



A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, and contemporary India. Prawns are my love language. @adoptedkeralite