Fed up with his bushy eyebrows? Tell him to get them threaded! It's eye-wateringly painful but more and more men are having it done

  • Geoff Peters, 40, spends up to £15 a time on eyebrow shaping
  • Keith Yexley tamed his busy brow with threading and waxing after his wife talked him into it
  • Oliver Sadie, 35, reached for the tweezers as he was fed up with his "caterpillar monobrow"
  • Beauty salons have seen increase in male customers

By Jill Foster


At an age when many men are worried about losing their hair, 53-year-old Keith Yexley noticed that he was gaining it - just in all the wrong places.

'Like most men, as I've got older I've found hair sprouting out of places I'd prefer it not to, like my nose, ears and the eyebrows,' says Keith, who runs a marketing company in Hitchin, Herts.

'In particular, my eyebrows have started getting very long, thick and bushy and sticking up like antennas, in a Mr Spock from Star Trek way. It's a standing joke in my house when they get out of control: "Put your antennas down, Keith," they say.'

No pain, no gain: Keith Yexley having his eyebrows shaped by Kerie Hoy at her Salon in Hitchin

No pain, no gain: Keith Yexley having his eyebrows shaped by Kerie Hoy at her Salon in Hitchin

While many men might simply put up with the jibes, Keith, a married father of four, decided to do something about it.

He is among a growing number of men who are paying to have their eyebrows waxed or threaded to keep them groomed.


'Since opening in 2004, we have noticed a consistent year-on-year increase in men's waxing and eyebrow shaping and we currently perform around 30 a week,' says Ray Khandpur of male grooming salon Drakes of London.

'In fact, eyebrow waxing has now become our second most popular service after back waxing. We find that most gents like to combine an eyebrow "tidy" with a haircut. Most want the "just noticeable" look, so that there are cleaner lines and no mono-brow but it is not so obvious.

'More and more of our younger clients are opting for this whereas the over-30s are generally talked into it by their wives.'

Keith before the treatment
Better shape: Keith after having his eyebrows plucked and theaded

Wife approves: Keith, before, left, and after, right, his eyebrow treatment

This was certainly the case for Keith. 'I probably wouldn't have had my eyebrows done if my wife Louise hadn't moaned at me to do something about them,' he says.

'I used to just wet my finger and smooth them down. Sometimes, if they got really long, I'd sit in the car and yank them out with my fingers. It drove her mad.

'I was having a meeting in the local salon when the beautician said to me: "I'd love to get my hands on your eyebrows."

'Louise and I go to spas sometimes for weekend breaks and I enjoy being pampered, having manicures and massages. I like taking care of myself so it wasn't a big deal to try another treatment.'

Keith tried the Billion Dollar Brow treatment, which combines waxing, threading and cutting, to tackle his bushy brows.

'I'm not particularly vain. But I think you should do whatever you can to make yourself look as tidy as possible and to keep up with the times'

'I was a bit nervous that it would hurt, but it wasn't too bad. I also worried that they'd look too groomed, but Keri, the beautician promised that they'd still look natural and masculine.

'When I got home, Louise was over the moon and I was really pleased with the result - they were a lot neater but not unnatural looking. They have kept their shape well, too.'

Keith now plans to keep up his new beauty regime, despite the teasing from his friends on his Saturday football team.

'I did make the mistake of telling a few of the guys that I'd had my eyebrows done. I got a bit of stick for that - I think they called me a girl. But quite a few of them have treatments, like manicures, too - they just don't tell anyone.'

TalkSport presenter Geoff Peters, 40, embraced a rigorous eyebrow waxing regime following a radical makeover - and hasn't looked back.

Beauty indulgence: Oliver spends up to £10 a time on threading appointments at an Indian pop-up stand in a shopping centre near his home

Beauty indulgence: Oliver spends up to £10 a time on threading appointments at an Indian pop-up stand in a shopping centre near his home

'When I turned 30, I decided to change my lifestyle completely, losing four stone in a year and shaving my head,' says Geoff, from Enderby, Leicestershire.

'I began having treatments to improve my appearance and make me feel better about myself. I also started shaving my chest and "manscaping" - meaning grooming the hair down below.

'One day, I was having a back wax when the beautician asked if I'd thought about having my eyebrows tidied up. I thought, "why not" - I'm having other treatments such as a back wax, pedicure and manicure. I've now been having it done every four to six weeks for the past five years.

'They wax in between and above my brows, and then pluck out the stray hairs underneath and to the sides, and trim the length with scissors.'

Geoff spends up to £15 a time on "natural-looking" eyebrow shaping.

'I'm not particularly vain,' he says. 'But I think you should do whatever you can to make yourself look as tidy as possible and to keep up with the times. I have them done at the same time as my other treatments.'

'Of all the treatments I've ever had, having my eyebrows done is the most painful. It's over quickly, but it does hurt a lot.'

Before: Oliver disliked his 'caterpillar' brow
After: Oliver's trimmed and shaped brows

Groomed: Oliver disliked his 'caterpillar' brow, left, but threading had made them neater, right

'Generally, people don't tend to notice or mention it - especially as I paint my toenails pink every summer for four months to raise awareness of breast cancer. I get odd looks for that.'

Like Keith, Geoff has taken a ribbing from his mates for his beauty habits, but says he knows plenty of men who indulge in a spot of grooming.

'It's become much more acceptable for men to have treatments and care about their appearance. Twenty years ago men wouldn’t even wear moisturiser. I definitely see more blokes in the salon than I used to.

'I definitely think I look better than I did ten years ago, and I feel better, too. Having my eyebrows waxed is just part of my routine now, it feels natural. And my ex-girlfriends have appreciated it.'

Having to endure daily jokes from his then girlfriend about his "caterpillar monobrow" prompted Oliver Sadie, 35, to reach for the tweezers.

The number of hairs in an eyebrow can vary wildly, from as few as 250 to as many as 500

'Even though I've had bushy brows since childhood - a family trait handed down from my father's side - I'd never been teased or conscious of them until my mid-20s,' says Oliver, who works in finance and also composes music for films and television.

'It was only by accident that I eventually started having them threaded ten years ago after happening across a threading salon in Camden one day.

'Watching on as someone had their brows done, I reasoned that it looked a lot easier and quicker than messing about with tweezers.

'Thankfully it wasn't painful, just a spiky tingling sensation, and I was amazed at the difference well groomed brows made to my overall appearance. My girlfriend was suitably impressed. Subsequent girlfriends have universally approved and haven't made a fuss of my metrosexuality.'

Now Oliver, a father of four who is separated from his wife, spends up to £10 a time on threading appointments at an Indian pop-up stand in a shopping centre near his home in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

'I'm always careful to tell whoever's doing the job not to take too much hair away and to leave a natural line that doesn't look cosmetic.

'I don't want my brows to look effeminate or to be left so thin that I'd need to pencil them in. I just want them to look neat.'

Though he takes pride in his appearance, Oliver doesn't talk about his grooming habits with his friends.

'I'm not a vain, gym buff type of man but I like a clean shave - often at the barber's - and a good haircut. I wear sharp, tailored suits and crisp shirts, and ensure that I keep my nails neat.

'Even now, there's still a sexuality stigma attached to many aspects of male grooming. My male friends don't know that I groom to this degree so I'm a little worried that when they read this they will respond in the stereotypical macho way.

'Other than my brows, I'm very happy being hirsute - you should see my toes!'


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

a backwards step for feminists everywhere when a woman is 'glad' her partner has had his eyebrows threaded.

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whatever happened to the ''i love the way you are'' we live in sad times indeed

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Its not painful - I have mine done regularly - men are such wimps!

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Amazing , it even got rid of Keith's spot under his right nostril .

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Sorry, which one was the 'before' and which the 'after' picture? Cant tell the difference.

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Men should not get that done... Unless they have a unibrow.

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Spot the difference...

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Neither of those guys look any different, other than removing a few sticking out hairs- nothing they couldn't have done themselves in two minutes with a pair of tweezers! Someone needs to tell Keith though that the 80s spiky gelled hairdo does him less favours than the so-called bushy brows!

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Oh for goodness sake Man up.... " eye wateringly painful" it is no worse than plucking, women do this all the time... Jeez, what is the world coming to.... actually... be a REAL man and leave them alone in the first place!

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