HK Traditional Skin Care - Treading @ Street Talk in HK Magazine
From waxing to electrical epilation and laser surgery, getting rid of unwanted hair is big business. But amid all these new-fangled methods, Leung Ho Shui-tin, Mrs Leung, is determined to keep the tradition of threading - removing single hairs with a length of cotton thread - alive. She talks to Samuel Lai about the ancient practice, which has been alive in China for thousands of years.
HK Magazine: What is threading?
Mrs Leung: As the name suggests, a piece of thread is used to pull out hair at the follicle level and simultaneously scrape away dead skin cells during the treatment. This improves blood circulation and leaves the skin soft and smooth. Before threading, beauty power must be patted all over the skin to make the smaller hair visible. Traditionally, threading is a ceremony performed before a girl's wedding to signify her coming-of-age.
HK Magazine: How have you adapted this ancient method to suit modern needs?
ML: In the past, threading was used for facial hair removal only. My grandma once told me it was bad luck to thread one's underarm hair. No, however, people want to remove all different kinds of body hair. I am happy to thread bikini lines. No, I am not embarrassed - O&G doctors have to examine the public regions of women, too!
HK Magazine: Have you introduced any innovations to the traditional way of threading?
ML: In my hometown, pure cotton thread was used for threading, which was painful and might even cut the more vulnerable pat of one's skin. I now use cotton-wool thread in stead to make my customers more comfortable. You can also see that I ave a wall of labeled beauty powder boxes here. In the old days, resources were scarce and we had to share the powder. People today value sanitation, s I have one exclusive box of powder for every customers.
HK Magazine: How would you compare threading to conventional skin treatment methods?
ML: Threading does not employ any luxurious technology or apply unknown chemicals to one's face, and therefore it has fewer harmful side effects, if at all. It is simple, frugal and natural. Call me a minimalist.
HK Magazine: How did you first come across threading?
ML: It was a common hobby among girls from where I grew up. We would thread one another to keep our skin smooth and make us look pretty - in that sense it's kind of like how girls today help to paint each other's nails! Threading is easy to learn, but craft difficult to master.
HK Magazine: Your daughter is also a threading practitioner?
ML: Yes, she grew up watching me threading, and she would try it on her schoolmates. I am lucky that none of their parents complained! One day my shop was packed with customers and I was extremely busy, sp she offered to help me thread the younger ones. She was eleven then. The kids liked her as she felt like their big sister. Perhaps it is in the genes, she actually threaded quite well! Threading become her passion, and she has decided to take it on as her job after her Hong Kong A-Levels. I am very proud of my daughter. Through her, I hope threading can be more widely recognized among teens. It is to "to pass the flame onto the next generation." as the Chinese saying goes.
Visit Mrs,. Leung for a threading session at Room 4-5, 8 Floor, Des Voeux Building Des Voeux Road West 25, Sheung Wan Hong Kong. Price start from $80.