DALLAS -- The Texas Supreme Court took up a case Thursday about eyebrow threading, the practice of removing facial hair by plucking it with a thin string.

Right now, the state requires a cosmetology license to do it, but some threaders have fought back saying it's an expensive rule that hurts their business.

Mewish Shekha works magic on women's faces with just a simple spool of thread and a keen eye for detail, removing stray hairs one by one. She works at BlinQ Lash and Brow Boutique in Arlington.

'It's not just something that you learn in two or three days,' Shekha said.

And for many threaders, it's not something you learn in a cosmetology class, even though the state of Texas began requiring threading salons to get cosmetology licenses in 2009. That's about the same time threading became popular in the United States.

Shekha learned it as a young girl in Pakistan from her mother and sisters.

'Everybody in our house, we did each others eyebrows and stuff and that's how we learned,' she said.

When the Texas Department of License and Regulation began cracking down on threading, a national civil liberties law firm filed a lawsuit against the board on behalf of threaders. They said the hundreds hours of training and thousands of dollars it costs to get a license makes it hard for threaders to make a living. Lower courts sided with the state board, so they appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.

Unlike Mewish, who also does eyelash extensions, many threaders don't do other cosmetic services.

'I see both points,' she said. 'And I think it should be regulated and it should be done in the proper, professional environment.'

Many cosmetology schools don't offer threading classes, but there are some salons who offer threading courses or workshops for their employees.

Shekha said there should be some alternative. The state could create a separate threading license that requires fewer training hours.

She said it may be the only way for the skill to continue being passed on legally if the court once again sided with the state board.


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