Johor beauty salon ups eyebrow threading game amid Covid-19 pandemic

A beautician at Akshada Beauty, Bridal and Boutique demonstrates her threading skills on Sarojini. — Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy
A beautician at Akshada Beauty, Bridal and Boutique demonstrates her threading skills on Sarojini. — Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy

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JOHOR BARU, June 17 — Increased awareness of hygiene to curb the spread of Covid-19 has driven one beautician in Kempas to work on an alternative way to continue the age-old practice of threading with a single cotton thread.

Threading — the removal and reshaping of unwanted hair, especially eyebrows — originating from India, has gained popularity in multiracial Malaysia over the last few decades due to the precise control and the belief that it is gentler on the skin, besides the affordable price.

There are several methods to threading, with the most popular practised here involving use of the mouth. This sees the aesthetician hold part of a single thread in her mouth while using her fingers to twist the same string around individual hair strands and pluck them out quickly.

At Akshada Beauty, Bridal and Boutique, owner H. Sarojini has been retraining her staff to use their necks instead of their mouths to hold the string, which eliminates the potential risks of saliva coming into contact with the customer.

“We know various techniques, but using the mouth is the easiest. Seventy per cent of beauticians do that, but because of the strict regulations by the government, we retrained for two weeks for this current technique we employ.

“This is a very rare technique. There is another called the scissor technique using fingers,” Sarojini, who has been in the beauty and bridal makeover business for 20 years, told Malay Mail.

Sarojini said that the neck technique takes great skills, as one would need to have basic knowledge on eyebrow threading in order to master it.

A beautician at the salon shows how she gets ready to thread her customers’ eyebrows using the novel ‘neck technique’.
A beautician at the salon shows how she gets ready to thread her customers’ eyebrows using the novel ‘neck technique’.

“I use that technique here. Only this. My business took a great hit and I need to rebuild with new initiatives. I lost about 90 per cent of my revenue,” she said.

Sarojini, who also provides bridal makeover services and tray decorations in Hindu weddings, said she had to refund deposits for bookings that were originally scheduled in March.

She said she lost more than RM1,000 for tray decorations as she had to buy the materials like lace, beads and fresh flowers using her own money first.

“Since the bookings are cancelled, I had to bear the loss. RM1,000 in this current climate is a lot,” she added.

Sarojini, whose salon can accommodate five customers at any one time, said bookings for facials and threading sessions for her shop has trickled in since the government allowed beauty salons to reopen this week. But it is insufficient to make up for her earlier losses.

“Some are still skeptical given the overall situation, and also many are struggling financially, so it is understandable,” she said.

Despite being financially strapped now due to the additional cost to provide her staff with face masks, face shields, gloves, aprons and sanitisers to address hygiene concerns, Sarojini said that she would not be raising her prices, preferring to rebuild her clientele instead and make sure they feel comfortable at her salon.

“I’m not raising any prices as my customers may also be suffering financially. Especially regular clientele.The request for house-calls are there, but I’m concerned about their home hygiene aspect, so I do not offer that for now.

“I prefer monitoring directly in my salon, which is easier,” she added.


 

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