Traditions in Turkey

Oriental hair removal with thread

Who among you has not heard of the oriental hair removal technique using thread? In Europe it is fashionable to shave one’s moustache and eyebrows with this technique, to obtain a longer lasting result.  Did you know that it has been used in Turkey for centuries? It is clear that not everyone knows how to put it into practice, it is often handed down from generation to generation. In my case, since I am one of the few in my family who knows how to do it, it went a little differently.

It wasn’t my mom who taught me, but a neighbour of my cousin’s. Every summer we spent three months in Turkey in our cottage on the edge of the Marmara Sea, in the Kamaradere district, which belongs to the place called Marmara Ereğlisi, a seaside town in the province of Tekirdağ.

In the 1990s, Tekirdağ (Sea of Marmara region), along with other towns on the Marmara, was a resort area for many Istanbul families. My parents, together with my uncles, had decided to build this villa which was located two hours’ drive from Istanbul.

That famous summer (I was about 12-13 years old), my cousin was learning the technique from a friend of hers, who lived a couple of houses away. My mom jumped at the opportunity to push me to learn it, so she would have a personal hair remover at home!

Oriental hair removal, a simple but laborious technique

I must admit that the technique seemed apparently simple, despite being laborious and tiring at first. But almost immediately a love and an addiction for this ancestral technique, practiced by many women before me, started in me. I felt I was part of a small and at the same time sought-after group of women.

It is not only a question of aesthetics but also and above all of hygiene. The hair is not tolerated in any way and there are no exceptions. A woman’s face must always be clean! Never a hair in sight!

Thread hair removal is a millenary technique, traces of which have been found in Asia and India. Very quickly it conquered the whole Middle East and is widely used today among Iranian, Indian, Lebanese and Turkish women. The method has never changed, nor has it ever undergone any changes.

All you need is a cotton thread! The thread must be twisted on itself and rotated on the area to be cleaned, the hairs get stuck and the rotation of the thread pulls the hair out!

In Europe, thread hair removal was recently discovered and is highly regarded for its countless benefits. In fact, it is acceptable enough that the hairs are  short enough to be able to extract them with the bulb, this aspect has contributed to the success of this technique.