Skin Care

By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein


I was skeptical too. Who needs threading when there’s a perfectly capable eyebrow waxer conveniently located in the same place as my neighborhood manicurist? Besides, doesn’t the thought of twisting a piece of thread around one strand of hair and pulling it out from the root sound downright painful? So what if my eyes are red and puffy for a few hours after an eyebrow wax? Who cares if the hot wax once scorched my skin so badly, I couldn’t wear eye shadow for a week? Waxing is fine – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Wrong. Shobha is one of the few, if only, high-end salons working exclusively in threading and sugaring as the most effective means for hair removal. With convenient locations in both Soho (594 Broadway, Suite 403 between Prince and Houston) and Midtown (595 Madison Avenue Suite 1403 @ 57th Street), not to mention reasonable prices, there’s no reason not to try out this new and perhaps, superior technique.

Sugaring and threading are all natural and less irritating to people with extremely sensitive skin types (i.e. people using Retin-A and Accutane). Threading is a gentle hair removal technique using a cotton thread (imported from India) to remove an entire row of hairs or individual hairs by capturing them between the fine twists of the thread and pulling them easily from the root. The “threader” has full control over which hair(s) is removed, thus giving the client the exact shape and look desired. After trimming my eyebrows, the threader shaped my eyebrows using the threading technique. It was an odd sensation to get used to at first but certainly not painful; and the results are terrific and apparently, more long-lasting than waxing and/or tweezing.

The method of sugaring looks a lot like waxing, but the products used are all natural and hypoallergenic. The “wax” is made up of sugar, water and fresh lemon juice. The gel, which is applied warm as opposed to hot, and does not leave a sticky residue, is used in conjunction with a seep-resistant denim to remove the hair. I got my bikini line “sugared” and already, I can totally understand why this method is preferable to waxing. Furthermore, after only a few sugarings, the hair grows back softer, finer, slower and with few, if any, ingrown hairs.

The story behind Shobha is an interesting one and the concept is no doubt a perfect addition to the eclectic New York City beauty scene. Shobha Tummala, the founder of the salon, spent her childhood summers in South India where she was taught various customs and beauty techniques by her grandmother. Although her salon offers what we consider new and up-and-coming alternatives to more conventional hair removal methods, the beauty customs Shobha introduces to us have actually been tried and tested for centuries in their origin – South Asia. With her well-trained staff of threading experts and cosmetologists, Shobha intends to bring to her Manhattan clientele the spiritual beauty rituals of her grandmother in a professional but luxurious environment.

Shobha has also formulated several unique products so that you can bring her South Asian beauty traditions home with you. Indulge in the aromas and botanical remedies of India with Shobha’s face and body products – including a soothing Rose Water toner and a seductively aromatic Sandalwood massage oil. Dedicated to honoring the beauty secrets and traditions of India, Shobha also offers henna tattoos for the ultimate in Ayurveda beautifying experiences. For more information and to purchase products and gift certificates, visit and travel to exotic lands without leaving Manhattan!

Originally published January 2004



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