Indian hair removal technique gains popularity in midwest USA
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Indian hair removal technique gains popularity in midwest USA

The ancient Indian practice of threading (removing unwanted hair by twisting a thread around it and pulling) is slowly but surely spreading throughout the United States. Already a popular treatment in New York and California, threading is making inroads in the Midwest, luring women away from salons who only offer waxing for hair removal.

Roma Thadani is one immigrant capitalizing on the trend. After arriving in the US in 1998, Thadani made her way to Indianapolis to start her new life, and was shocked to find no threading parlors in the city, a marked contrast to India where they spring up on every corner. Thadani began offering threading for $1 to customers at her sister-in-law’s India Emporium, but this 44 year-old businesswoman has come a long way since then. With four locations and ten employees, Thadani is only one of many South Asian women to capitalize on this growing trend. In fact, Thadani and her husband Kumar now plan to add to their empire by opening 3 more stores in Pennsylvania in the coming year.

Thadani and those like her may just have found the perfect road to the American dream. In 2004, American consumers spend over $44 million on tools and makeup for eyebrows alone, and sales of eyebrow related product have grown by 80 percent since 1997. The growing popularity of threading in the Midwest is a solid sign the technique is here to stay; people in this region are unlikely to jump on and off the style bandwagon, especially as compared to their counterparts on either coast.

Threading is inexpensive; at $5 to $7 per treatment, it costs about half the price of waxing and lasts for the same amount of time. Many customers express a preference for threading because there are fewer safety concerns- no hot wax near the hyper-sensitive eye area and no risk of burns from inexpertly applied wax. Threading is also more likely to remove the finest hairs that tweezing often leaves behind.

Some proponents of waxing point out that threading is more painful and takes longer than waxing, which removes all the stray hairs in one quick tug. Given the average consumers willingness to suffer for beauty, few experts believe the possibility of additional pain will have a strong effect on the spread of threading. Though practitioners like Thadani often have to coax new clients into the chair at first, consumers are almost always delighted by the end result, and most become repeat customers. In the words of an Indianapolis native threading is inexpensive, no-nonsense, no mess, and a method that works and lasts.

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